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NEW DELHI : Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, Rajiv Bansal, who is currently the chairman and managing director of national carrier Air India Ltd, will take over as secretary, ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) following the retirement of incumbent Pradeep Singh Kharola on 30 September, Secretariat of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, ministry of personnel, public grievances and pensions department of personnel and training said in a statement on Wednesday.

Kharola, who was appointed as the secretary, MoCA, in February 2019, also served as the chairman and managing director of the national carrier before being ushered into the ministry.

Bansal, a 1988-batch IAS officer of Nagaland cadre, took charge of Air India during February 2020 after serving as the interim chairman and managing director of the national carrier for about three months starting from August 2017.

During his career, Bansal has served as additional secretary in the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, secretary at Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC); joint secretary, department of heavy industries; and as a director at MoCA, apart from various administrative positions with then Nagaland state government.

He has a civil engineering degree from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi, a diploma in finance from ICFAI, Hyderabad, and an executive master in international business from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi.

Bansal's appointment as the secretary of MoCA comes at a time when the government is looking to conclude the divestment of Air India Ltd.

As things stand, the government has received financial bids for the national carrier ahead of the 15 September deadline and hopes to conclude the privatization process in the coming months.

Tata Sons and SpiceJet Ltd promoter Ajay Singh have submitted bids for the airline, Mint reported last week.

As a secretary of MoCA, Bansal will oversee, among others, the transition of Air India from a state-owned carrier to a private airline.

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