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Pande heir hunt

New Delhi, Sept. 9: With Kamal Pande expected to move out of North Block to take over as Cabinet secretary, the search is on for a new Union secretary. The current incumbent, T.R. Prasad, an Andhra Pradesh cadre officer, is expected to end his tenure by October, reports our special correspondent.

His replacement is likely to be among the current batch of senior officers, starting with finance secretary S. Narayan.

Somnath Bandopadhyay, a 1966 batch officer of the Orissa cadre, who is secretary consumer affairs and public distribution, is another name to watch out for. Commerce secretary Dipak Chatterjee of the Bengal cadre is also in the reckoning. So is coal secretary Nishi Kant Sinha, again from the 1966 batch.

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