A 1996 batch Gujarat-cadre Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer Rajeev Topno, who has served as a key aide to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been appointed as senior advisor to the World Bank Executive Director.
Topno’s next assignment was cleared by the PM Modi-led Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) on Thursday. The committee also cleared the names of five other officers for foreign assignments.
Topno had joined the Prime Minister’s Office as a deputy secretary in 2009 when Manmohan Singh had just started his second term. He handled key portfolios such as telecom and ports at the PMO in the UPA-2 government.
PM Modi handpicked Topno to his personal staff when he assumed power in 2014, appointing the Gujarat cadre officer as his private secretary.
The prime minister, according to the convention, has two private secretaries. One of them is an IAS officer, the second, Vivek Kumar, is an Indian Foreign Service officer.
The ACC has also cleared the appointment of 1999 batch IAS officer Brajendra Navnit as Ambassador and India’s permanent representative to the World Trade Organisation in Geneva.
Ravi Kota, a 1993 batch IAS officer, has been appointed Minister (Economic) at the Indian Embassy in Washington; Lekhan Thakkar, Central Secretariat Service as Counsellor Economic at the embassy in Beijing; H Atheli as an advisor to ED, Asian Development Bank.
Also, Anwar Hussain Shaik, an Indian Railway Traffic Service officer, has been appointed as a counsellor at the Permanent Mission of India to WTO, Geneva.