Nripendra Misra, the principal Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has expressed his intention to step down, the government said on Friday. He will continue for two more weeks on Modi’s request. The Centre appointed former Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha the officer on special duty in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Misra is a 1967-batch Indian Administrative Service officer from the Uttar Pradesh cadre, and of the first bureaucrats hired since the Narendra Modi-led administration came to power in 2014.

Modi called him an outstanding officer, and said his guidance will remain extremely valuable.

“After serving the PMO assiduously and diligently for over five years and making an indelible contribution to India’s growth trajectory, Shri Nripendra Misra Ji will be embarking on a new phase of his life,” Modi said in a tweet. “My best wishes to him for his future endeavours.”

“Shri Nripendra Misra is among the most outstanding officers, who has a great grasp of public policy and administration,” the prime minister added. “When I was new to Delhi in 2014, he taught me a lot and his guidance remains extremely valuable.”

Misra in a statement said it was a privilege to serve the country under the leadership of Modi.

“I am deeply grateful to him for this opportunity and the complete confidence he has place in me,” he said. “I have enjoyed working committing my every hour and thought for more than five years, towards this satisfying journey. It is now time for me to move on, even as I remain devoted to public causes and national interests.”

Misra has held several crucial positions in Uttar Pradesh as well as at the Centre. He has earlier served as secretary in the central government and was subsequently made chairperson of the Telecom Regulatory and Fertilizers Secretary of India.

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