Official communications in the PMO on Friday indicated that Nripendra Misra (74) had expressed his intention to be relieved of his assignment, following which Modi asked him to stay for two weeks.

Nripendra Misra, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will be demitting office in two weeks after serving in the post for more than five years.

Official communications in the PMO on Friday indicated that Misra (74) had expressed his intention to be relieved of his assignment, following which Modi asked him to stay for two weeks.

The PM-headed Appointments Committee of the Cabinet on Friday also inducted P K Sinha, a 1977-batch IAS officer who just stepped down as Cabinet Secretary after a four-year term, as an Officer on Special Duty in the PMO. Rajiv Gauba, former Home Secretary, took charge as the new Cabinet Secretary.

It is believed that P K Mishra may be made the next Principal Secretary to Modi. Mishra, a 1972-batch IAS officer, is the second seniormost bureaucrat in Modi’s PMO after Nripendra Misra, serving as his Additional Principal Secretary since 2014.

“I have enjoyed working committing my every hour and thought for more than five years towards this satisfying journey. It is now time for me to move on, even as I remain devoted to public causes and national interest,” Misra said in a statement on Friday. “I wish Narendra Modi ji success as he leads our country into a bright future.”

“Shri Nripendra Misra is among the most outstanding officers, who has a great grasp of public policy and administration. When I was new to Delhi in 2014, he taught me a lot and his guidance remains extremely valuable,” Modi tweeted in the evening after announcing that he had accepted Misra’s request to step down.

Soon after Modi came to power in 2014, Misra’s was the first important bureaucratic appointment he made, for which the government got a TRAI (Amendment) Bill, 2014, passed in Parliament that gave legal validation to Misra’s new position in the PMO. Misra was TRAI chairman between 2006 and 2009 and the Act restricted a TRAI chairman from taking up any government job after demitting office. The Congress had protested the move in the Rajya Sabha even though other key Opposition parties, like the Trinamool Congress, had raised no objections.

Over the past five years Misra, a 1967-batch IAS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, has played a key role in transmitting the PM’s thoughts, observations and wishes to various government departments, ministers and secretaries. Misra’s missives to ministries have kept various departments on their toes vis-à-vis the PM-monitored items.

Before joining TRAI, Misra was the telecom secretary between 2004 and 2005 and fertilizers secretary from 2002 to 2004.

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