Bhubaneswar: Senior IAS officer Pradeep Kumar Jena was named the new Chief Secretary of Odisha, an official notification issued by the state government Sunday stated.
Jena will take charge as Chief Secretary March 1, followed by the scheduled retirement of current Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra February 28.
Notably, Jena is a 1989 batch IAS officer of Odisha cadre and is currently serving as Special Relief Commissioner (SRC). He also serves as Development Commissioner of Planning and Convergence Department.
Anu Garg will replace Jena as Development Commissioner while continuing as Additional Chief Secretary of Water Resources Department, the official notification informed.
It can be mentioned here that speculations were on from last year suggesting that Jena would be promoted to the top bureaucratic post in the state. However, the state government gave incumbent Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra two extensions extending his service tenure.
Born January 1, 1964, Jena began his career as the sub-collector of Dharmgarh in Kalahandi district in 1991. He also served as the collector of the coastal Kendrapara district before being appointed the district magistrate-cum-collector of Cuttack.
Jena earned laurels from both the state government and the Centre for efficiently handling the Super Cyclone in 1999 as the collector of Cuttack.
As the director of Agriculture and Watershed Development, he was able to create an impact among farmers. He was the youngest officer to head the twin revenue-generating bodies of Commercial Tax Commissionerate and State Transport Authority, when Odisha was facing a financial crisis in the early 2000s.
He also served at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), helping the state government in formulating a progressive resettlement and rehabilitation policy.
Jena served as the principal secretary in the departments of Energy, Panchayati Raj and Water Resources. He also served as the chief administrator of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA).
As the special relief commissioner (SRC), Jena dealt with several cyclonic storms. His role during the pandemic was appreciated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
In a separate notification, the government named SC Mohapatra as the chairperson of the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC).
PNN & Agencies
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