Gujarat cadre officer PD Vaghela now TRAI chief

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The central government has appointed Gujarat cadre officer PD Vaghela as the chairman of the (TRAI). According to an order issued by the Personnel Ministry on Monday, the 1986-batch IAS officer has been appointed as the TRAI chief for three years or till he attains the age of 65.

“The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the of Dr PD Vaghela, IAS (GJ:1986), Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals as Chairperson, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for a period of three years or until he attains the age of 65 years, or until further orders, whichever is the earliest,” the order read.

Vaghela will succeed RS Sharma, a 1982-batch IAS officer of Jharkhand cadre, who is set to demit the office on September 30, 2020. Sharma’s three-year security ended in August 2018 but the government offered him a fresh term of two years making him one of the first TRAI chairman to have a tenure of five years.

Typically, the tenure of a TRAI chairman is three years, or 65 years of age, whichever is earlier, and the TRAI Act does not have a provision for extension of the tenure of the chairman.

Vaghela was sent to the Centre on deputation in July 2019. He has been serving as the secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers.

As the commercial tax chief of Gujarat, he played key role in the rollout of the goods and services tax (GST) in 2017. He has earlier served as MD, Gujarat Tourism and later as Chairman of Kandla Port Trust.

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