Bengaluru, May 22: The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) on Friday gave nod for senior IAS officer G Mohan Kumar to take over as India's next Defence Secretary.
Born in 1955 and hailing from Vanchiyoor in Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala), Mohan Kumar has been given a two-year term, till 2017. He is from the 1979 batch of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) of the Odhisa cadre.
Mohan Kumar will be the 37th Defence Secretary of India and the second Keralite to hold the highest administrative post in the MoD.
Earlier, K A Nambiar had held the post of Defence Secretary (24th) from April 1993 to June 1996.
Currently the Secretary (Defence, Production), Ministry of Defence (MoD), Kumar will take over the reins of MoD from R K Mathur, who is set to retire on May 24.
Mohan Kumar will now be replaced by Ashok Kumar Gupta, currently a Special Secretary with MoD.
According to MoD insiders, Mohan Kumar has played a key role in creating a level-playing field for India’s private industries in the defence sector.
“In the last nine months he has been actively involved in vendor development and also scripting long-term procurement policy,” an official requesting anonymity told Mathrubhumi.
“He harps on the point that defence production and procurement must go in tandem. He wants major reforms in the sector. His vision is to equip India’s armed forces well so that they can take on the challenges,” the official said.
At the Aero India 2015, one of the major events under the Ministry of Defence held at the Air Force Station (Yelahanka, Bengaluru) in February, Mohan Kumar ensured that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make India’ vision got maximum mileage.
A post-graduate in Chemistry and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from UK, Kumar has held many positions with the Odhisa and central governments. He has handled rural development, fisheries, export development, VAT administration to name a few.
He has also worked as Additional Secretary and Special Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources and as the Secretary, Ministry of Steel before taking over as the Secretary, Defence Production. He has been involved in all the policies and programmes of the government, in the Defence Production sector.
Mohan Kumar, a voracious reader, is married to Dr Geetha Mohan Kumar and the couple is blessed with two daughters. A close family member says that Mohan Kumar, post his retirement, plans to settle in Sreekaryam in Thiruvananthapuram.
Interestingly, coinciding with Kumar’s elevation today as Secretary Defence, the MoD announced the launch of their official page on the Facebook. This follows MoD’s presence on Twitter, which has been active through the Operation Raahat in Nepal.