On the day he was to retire, Union finance secretary Rajiv Mehrishi was asked to continue for another two years, but this time as home secretary.
Mehrishi’s extension on Monday was announced as incumbent home secretary LC Goyal took voluntary retirement citing “personal reasons”.
The Prime Minister has also approved the request of Shri L.C. Goyal, IAS seeking voluntary retirement from Government service due to personal reasons with immediate effect,” a release from the Prime Minister’s Office said.
In October 2014, Mehrishi who was then serving as the chief secretary of Rajasthan and spearheading economic reforms in the state, was brought in to the North Block to take charge of bureaucratic affairs of the Ministry of Finance from Arvind Mayaram.
The 1978-batch Rajasthan cadre IAS officer is no stranger to Delhi having studied in St Stephens College, where he did his MA in history, and during the course of his career working in at least three central ministries.
The 59-year-old Mehrishi has worked in the ministry of petroleum, agriculture and overseas Indian Affairs and served as Joint Secretary in the Union Cabinet Secretariat, apart from various ministries in Rajasthan.
He was on deputation from the state in the relatively low profile ministry of overseas Indian Affairs in 2013 when he was called back to Rajasthan by the Vasundhara Raje government to be chief secretary.
According to reports, the bureaucrat who was a Raje loyalist, had already sought to return to his home state after the BJP came to power in Rajasthan. He is reported to have earned the chief minister’s confidence on account of his work as principal secretary (finance) during her first term as head of the state government between 2003 and 2008.
Raje, who is one of the state chief ministers close to Modi, has been spearheading various economic reforms in the state with measures on labour, insurance and other schemes being announced since the BJP government came to power. Mehrishi is presumed to have played an important role in the drafting of the new policies that have earned Raje a fair measure of praise.
The Rajasthan chief secretary, incidentally, hails from the same IAS batch and cadre of Arvind Mayaram, the bureaucrat he’s replacing in the Finance Ministry and at one point the two were reportedly working in Krishi Bhavan in different ministries.