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IANS

IAS officer Vini Mahajan on Monday assumed the charge as Secretary, Drinking Water and Sanitation in the Union Jal Shakti Ministry, while Additional Secretary, G. Asok Kumar took over as the new Director General for the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).

Mahajan, a 1987-batch Punjab cadre officer, was earlier state's Chief Secretary from June 26, 2020, and has served as Additional Chief Secretary, Housing and Urban Development, as well as Industries & Commerce, IT & Investment Promotion.

She has also served as Additional Chief Secretary/Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, and Principal Secretary, Medical Education and Research, and Finance.

Mahajan served as Joint Secretary to the Prime Minister from 2007-2012, and was earlier Director in the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, a release from the Jal Shakti Ministry said.

She has over eight years' experience in cutting edge positions at the field level, including as Deputy Commissioner (the first woman to be posted as such in Punjab in 25 years).

Asok Kumar, an 1991-batch IAS officer of Telangana cadrem, has held several important positions such as Joint Secretary, Civil Aviation, and Director in the Power Ministry. He has also served as the Executive Director, Projects in the NMCG.

Before joining NMCG, he served as the Mission Director for National Water Mission where his work in "Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain" campaign led to the sanction of over 9.5 lakh water conservation and rainwater harvesting structures all over India.

This resulted in him receiving the popular moniker - "the Rain Man of India".

He has also spearheaded several innovative initiatives such as the monthly "Water Talks" and "Water Tech Talks", preparation of water budgets for states, water audit of various industrial units, and irrigation projects to improve efficiency of water use efficiency, etc.

As the District Collector in 2002, he supported the construction of over 0.14 million household toilets in 1,000 schools in Nizamabad district and was responsible for providing drinking water supply to over 3 million people in Hyderabad in 2008.

Also working in several key sectors such as infrastructure, urban planning, civil aviation, power, sports, welfare, health, education, and IT, he played a major role in setting up India's Aircraft Accidents Investigation Bureau.

Asok Kumar is also the recipient of several awards such as the SKOCH Award for Public Services 2021, Jal Mitra award from the Government of Andhra Pradesh and the first Telangana Excellence Award by the Telangana government for outstanding work done in Public Administration.

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