IAS reshuffle: Biju Prabhakar new KSEB CMD, Khobragade health secy

Biju Prabhakar.

The LDF government on Wednesday effected major changes in the top echelons of the bureaucracy. One principal secretary and three secretary-level IAS officers have been subjected to a major reshuffle.

Biju Prabhakar will be the new KSEB chairman and managing director; he is now secretary, industries (mining and geology, plantation, coir and handicrafts, and cashew). Prabhakar will retain his existing additional responsibilities, namely transport secretary (railway, metro, aviation) and commissioner of both Guruvayur and Koodalmanickyam devaswoms. Prabhakar had ended his long stint as transport secretary and KSRTC CMD in February this after K B Ganesh Kumar was sworn in as transport minister.

The incumbent KSEB chairman, Rajan Khobragade, has been brought back as the health secretary. Khobragade had received wide acclaim as health secretary during COVID. However, during his tenure as KSEB chairman, the public utility had slipped into a major supply crisis in summer. There were also charges that knee-jerk purchase decisions of the management under him would impose huge financial burden on KSEB. Still, during his tenure, the management-union relations were not as combustible as under his predecessor B Ashok.

Mohammad Haneesh, the incumbent health secretary, will be the new industries secretary in place of principal secretary Suman Billa who had gone on central deputation. Under Haneesh, the Health Department had been embroiled in a series of public controversies, including cases of serious medical negligence and administrative lapses.

K Vasuki, who is now labour and skill development secretary, has been given full additional charge of NORKA. She is already in charge of Loka Kerala Sabha, the annual gathering of non-resident Keralites introduced by the first Pinarayi ministry.

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