Naresh Dayal tipped as new secretary after Tripathi

Vol 9, PW 16 (17 Nov 05) People & Policy

Speculation is rife over the successor of present oil secretary Sushil Tripathi, who retires on 31st December.

PETROWATCH learns three additional secretaries from other ministries are under consideration for Tripathi's job, one of the most sought after in government. First among them is Naresh Dayal from the forest and environment ministry.

Others include Pradeep Kumar from the coal ministry and Sanjiv Mishra from the health ministry. Until now it was widely believed that oil ministry special secretary MS Srinivasan would replace Tripathi, due to his proximity to oil minister Mani Shankar Aiyar.

But we are told that officials from the Prime Ministers Office take a dim view of ministers who are too close to their secretaries. Aiyars openly declared fondness for his fellow Brahmin from Tamil Nadu could ultimately prove his downfall and ensure that Srinivasan is not selected to replace Tripathi.

PMO officials take the final decision on appointment of secretaries and Srinivasan, it is rumoured, may soon be on his way out to a new post as secretary in another ministry. Most in the oil ministry are betting heavily in favour of Dayal, who if selected, will return to Shastri Bhawan after a gap of more than ten years in a new role as top bureaucrat.

Dayal is from Uttar Pradesh and joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1972. Between 1990 and 1993 he was joint secretary exploration, a position currently held by Sunjoy Joshi.

Dayal played a critical role in the formation of the DGH, the government agency set up to oversee exploration and production in India, currently headed by VK Sibal. Mishra was born in 1947 and is additional secretary in the health ministry.

Pradeep Kumar, born in 1949, is also from Uttar Pradesh and comes with high recommendations. However, his chances appear slim because he has zero experience of the oil industry and is younger than either Dayal or Mishra.

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