Civil aviation secretary given additional charge of I&B

June 19th, 2008 - 8:18 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) Union Civil Aviation Secretary Ashok Chawla was Thursday given additional charge of the information and broadcasting ministry. This follows incumbent I&B Secretary Asha Swarup being moved back to her home cadre, and taking over as the chief secretary of Himachal Pradesh.

A senior official in the civil aviation ministry said Chawla will hold additional charge as I&B secretary for at least three months, or till the appointment of a full-time secretary.

The names doing the rounds in the bureaucracy and also under consideration by the Cabinet Secretariat for the post include Vijay Singh, Sushma Singh and Santha Sheela Nair, sources said.

Vijay Singh, the Madhya Pradesh cadre 1970 batch IAS officer, is currently serving as the defence secretary. He is not a new name in the I&B ministry as he earlier served as its additional secretary till 2004.

It was during Singh’s tenure that the I&B ministry initiated the roll out of Conditional Access System (CAS) regime in the country. CAS is a digital mode of transmitting TV channels through a set-top box (STB).

Another officer, Sushma Singh is a 1972 batch Jharkhand cadre IAS officer and has been serving as the secretary in the ministry of development of North Eastern Region since 2006.

Santha Sheela Nair, a 1973 batch IAS officer from Tamil Nadu, whose name is also being considered by the Cabinet Secretariat for the post is currently serving as the secretary in the department of drinking water supply.

“Whosoever is appointed as the I&B secretary, it would be a challenge for the officer to take on issues like the roll out of CAS regime across the country, FDI limits in media sub sectors, besides issue of measurement of television rating points,” a senior official of the I&B ministry said.

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