As the Cabinet met on Friday in Jammu, chaired by Chief Minster Mehbooba Mufti, it was a major reshuffle in the administrative department of the state. In the thirty-one reshuffles the highest posting went to Bharat Bhushan Vyas as he was appointed as the chief secretary of state replacing B R Sharma, who was posted as advisor to CM. A 1986-batch IAS officer from Rajasthan, Vyas has served as the principal secretary to the chief minister for the past year. His post is no case of favouritism, bureaucrats says, but he has been an all time favourite of all the changing political heads of the state. Born in winter of 1957 he qualified Indian Administrative Services after completing his bachelor’s in Botany.
Since his career begun with J&K cadre he has survived at sensitive positions all along. It is not only with the politicians he served as principal secretary to Governor before turning same to former chief minister Omar Abdullah. Besides other key positions he was holding position of Secretary (Finance).
As Vyas is experienced in handling situations in fragile J&K. His appointment came at the time when the state is battling with worsening situation on the ground.
Vyas who shares cordial relations with top leadership of all political parties is known as an able administrator.
This can be stated from one of the instances when he, on behalf of his team of officers, received rupees five lakh, a medal and a citation from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Civil Services Day of 2005.
The award was conferred on him for “extraordinary performance” in carrying out relief and rehabilitation work during the devastating 2005 earthquake and among those honoured with the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration.
In April, he was also appointed as member of Amarnath Shrine Board. Viyas was due to retire in November this year, however, after his appointment he will get a two years fixed term.
Vyas, who is considered close to both ruling and opposition party, is pitched as crisis manger in current situation. But how effective Vyas will be in managing the ongoing crisis, only time will tell. He has taken the prized position at a time when apprehensions about ruling PDP-BJP are growing every passing day.
– Aakash Hassan