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Modi’s A-team in PMO: Who’s Who
New Delhi: To ensure that the Prime Minister’s flagship schemes are implemented on the ground, a core team at the PMO is at work. They are some of the most powerful civil servants in the country but they are, in general, much more low profile than some of their predecessors. The four senior-most members of the PMO are the soft spoken PK Mishra, who was appointed as principal secretary to the PM after Nripendra Misra stepped down; Ajit Doval, national security advisor; and Modi’s two advisors — retired IAS officers Amit Khare and Tarun Kapoor. Each of the top four lend their expertise in key areas. Mishra, a retired Gujarat-cadre IAS officer who is known for his more ‘decentralised style’ of functioning, oversees important policy issues, which include the agenda of cabinet meetings and appointments-related matters, in addition to other responsibilities. Former director of the Intelligence Bureau, Doval has been looking into everything related to national security — from foreign affairs to defence and intelligence agencies — since 2014. Both Mishra and Doval have cabinet ranks. Khare, a 1985-batch Jharkhand-cadre IAS officer, who was reappointed as Information & Broadcasting secretary for a second time after retirement, moved to the PMO in October 2021. He handles the rural and agriculture verticals. In the late 1990s, Khare had famously exposed the fodder scam in Bihar that had led to Lalu Prasad Yadav’s conviction. Kapoor, the second advisor in PMO, was appointed in May 2022. The former Petroleum secretary is a Himachalcadre IAS officer and looks after infrastructure and resources.