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Chandigarh:

 
The Punjab government on Friday appointed 1987-batch Punjab cadre IAS officer Vini Mahajan as the new Chief Secretary, replacing Karan Avtar Singh.

Mahajan becomes the first woman Chief Secretary of the state.

1984 batch officer Karan Avtar Singh has been posted as Special Chief Secretary of Governance Reforms.

The only Punjab cadre officer currently in the state who is empanelled to hold the position as Secretary with the government of India, Mahajan was till now serving as Additional Chief Secretary with the Investment Promotion, Industries and Commerce, Information Technology and Governance Reforms and Public Grievances.

She has been playing a crucial role in steering the state government’s response to the COVID crisis as Chairman of the Health Sector Response and Procurement Committee.

An economics graduate from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University, and a postgraduate from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta, she was pivotal in the state’s success in attracting over Rs 20,000 crore new investments every year during her tenure in Investment Promotion and Industries and Commerce department.

In fact, it was with her at the helm of the department that Punjab participated for the first time in the World Economic Forum at Davos in 2019, and held a highly successful Investor Summit, with focus on MSMEs, in December 2019.

She served in the office of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from 2005-2012 and handled matters relating to finance, industry and commerce, telecom, IT, etc.

She was part of the core team of the central government that put together India’s domestic response, during and following the 2008 global financial crisis.

She also participated in the global response through the G-20 mechanism.

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