India on Wednesday appointed former bureaucrat Anil Baijal as the new lieutenant governor of Delhi, the national capital, a week after incumbent lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung resigned 18 months before the end of his term.
Baijal, 70, is a 1969 batch Union Territories cadre IAS officer. A former chief secretary Andaman and Nicobar, he became the Union home secretary for a brief period in 2004 during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government at the centre.
He was removed as the home secretary after Manmohan Singh-led UPA government came to power in the centre the same year.
In his long service career spanning over 37 years, Baijal held several other important positions like Union urban development secretary, Indian Airlines chairman and managing director, Prasar Bharti Corporation chief executive officer, Delhi Development Authority vice chairman, Goa development commissioner and Counsellor in-charge of Indian Aid Programme in Nepal.
As the urban development secretary, Anil Baijal was instrumental in rolling out the Rs. 60,000 crore Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) for improvement of infrastructure and provision of basic services in urban areas.
After retirement from urban development ministry in 2006, Baijal was associated with the Vivekananda International Foundation, a New Delhi-based public policy think-tank.
Considered to be the brain behind the Narendra Modi government, VIF has fed the government with many top officials including Modi’s national security advisor Ajit Doval, principal secretary Nripendra Mishra and additional principal secretary P.K.Mishra.
VIF, founded by Doval in 2009, is affiliated to Vivekananda Kendra, a charitable non-government organisation that was started by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader Eknath Ranade.
According to Hindustan Times the government earlier wanted to appoint him as the governor of Jammu and Kashmir. The move fell through as the law and order deteriorated following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8.