New Delhi: V L Kantha Rao (IAS) has assumed the charge as Secretary of the Ministry of Mines, an official statement said.
Rao is taking over the charge at a crucial juncture when the Ministry has big plans to auction critical mineral blocks, which are important in the context of energy security of the country, the Ministry of Mines said.
He replaces Vivek Bharadwaj who has been appointed as Officer on Special Duty, Ministry of Panchayati Raj.
In his previous role, Rao was serving as the Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Telecommunications, the Ministry of Mines said in a statement on Friday.
VL Kantha Rao, who belongs to the 1992-batch of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Madhya Pradesh cadre, took the charge as new secretary of the Ministry of Mines on Friday, the statement said.
"He (Rao) has been instrumental in successful execution of initiatives under the Digital Communication Policy, regulatory recommendations, international relations and universal connectivity," the ministry said.
Bharadwaj was instrumental in bringing major reforms in the mineral sector through the recent amendments to Mines and Mineral (Development & Regulation) Amendment Act & the Offshore Areas Mineral (Development & Regulation) Amendment Act. Furthermore, in his stewardship, the country has been able to identify 30 critical minerals.
Rao is a Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering and has done Master's in Business Administration from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.