Shimla: The new State Government has replaced state’s chief secretary VC Pharka with Vineet Chawdhary, a 1982-batch IAS officer.

Pharka, a 1983-batch IAS officer close to former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, had superseded Vineet Chawdhary during the Congress rule. Pharka will swap places with Chawdhary as principal advisor (public grievances).

The orders were issued immediately after the new Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur returned from Delhi on Saturday.

Vineet Chaudhary was born on 23 September, 1958 at Jalandhar (Punjab). He did his graduation in Economics, LLB and MBA in Business Administration. He entered into Indian Administrative Services in 1982.

Vineet Chaudhary today took over the charge of Chief Secretary of Himachal Pradesh. Earlier, he held the post of Additional Chief Secretary to the Government of Himachal Pradesh from 1 May, 2013 to 21 August, 2015. He remained ACS Urban Development, Agriculture, Health & Family Welfare, Forest, Irrigation & Public Health, Horticulture, IT and Cooperative during this span.

Later, he was appointed as Principal Advisor (Redressal of public grievances) to the Government of Himachal Pradesh.

Vineet Chaudhary rendered his services as Deputy Director (Administration) and Joint Secretary in the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. He has served as Chairman Environment & Forest, Commissioner & Secretary, Horticulture, Managing Director, HP Financial Corporation and HPSIDC, Secretary Panchayati Raj, Director Health Services, Special Secretary Housing, PWD, Managing Director State Tourism Development Corporation and State Civil Supplies Corporation. He also worked as Deputy Commissioner of Solan district.

Earlier, Manisha Nanda, IAS (1985), was appointed as Additional Chief Secretary-cum-Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Himachal Pradesh.

In another development, Ashok Sharma, a senior advocate, has been appointed as the state’s new advocate general in place of Shrawan Dogra, who had already quit.

In important education department, Dr. Amar Dev is appointed Director, Higher Education, while BL Binta has been appointed as Advisor Education.