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Civil aviation ministry embraces new year with top-level changes

Prabhat Kumar to assume additional charge as DGCA; Ashok Lavasa to be civil aviation secretary

Sharmistha Mukherjee  |  New Delhi 

The will usher in a change of guard in the ministry with Prabhat Kumar, joint secretary in the ministry, set to assume additional charge as Director-General of (DGCA) and Ashok Lavasa (special secretary, power ministry) taking charge as secretary.

The government on Tuesday additionally granted a three-month extension to V P Agrawal, chairman of Airports Authority of India (AAI).

Kumar succeeds Arun Mishra, a 1986-batch IAS officer who is expected to join the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) as regional director for Asia-Pacific in January. Mishra would replace Pakistani diplomat Mokhtar Awan at the ICAO regional office. Kumar is a 1985-batch IAS officer from the Uttar Pradesh cadre.

The decision to give additional charge of to Kumar comes at a time when India is facing a threat of downgrade from US aviation safety regulator Administration (FAA).

Shortage of staff in senior positions in has been one of the reasons raised by FAA in audits carried out in September and December 2013. In its technical wing, the is yet to fill positions of two joint directors-general, five deputy directors-general and over 100 directors, deputy directors and assistant directors. The DGCA was also found short of flight operations inspectors.

Lavasa will take over from K N Shrivastava who retired on Tuesday. An IAS officer from the 1980 batch of the Haryana cadre, Lavasa was appointed civil aviation secretary by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet on December 23.

Lavasa, who has two Master of Arts degrees and an to his credit, had earlier served in various capacities in the ministries of power and home affairs. He has also served as the Resident Commissioner of Haryana in Delhi.

First Published: Tue, December 31 2013. 19:27 IST
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