Assam Civil Service officer Hitesh Dev Sarma has been appointed as the new State Coordinator for the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
He has replaced Prateek Hajela, an IAS officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre who ensured publication of the final version of register on August 31 under supervision of the Supreme Court.
Mr. Hajela was transferred to his home State Madhya Pradesh by the Supreme Court on October 18. He will relinquish charge as the NRC State Coordinator on November 11.
Following the apex court’s order, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has already approved the proposal of the Department of Personnel and Training for inter-cadre deputation of Mr. Hajela from the Assam-Meghalaya cadre to Madhya Pradesh cadre for three years, official sources said. The Assam government had also written to the DoPT stating that it did not have any objection to the transfer.
Until his new assignment, Mr. Sarma was the Secretary of the Urban Development and Finance departments.
He had also handled the NRC exercise during its initial stages five years ago.
Mr. Sarma has his task cut out as those who have been excluded from the NRC have 120 days to appeal against it at Foreigners Tribunals.
If not satisfied with the verdict of the tribunals, they will have the option to move the High Court and the Supreme Court for redress.
The updated final NRC, which validates bona fide Indian citizens of Assam, left out over 1.9 million applicants.
(With inputs from PTI)