Skill, Labour, Talent for MSMEs: Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has appointed Central Secretariat Service (CSS) officer Mercy Epao as the new Joint Secretary (JS) – SME Division. Epao was elevated to the JS rank from her earlier position as the Director – SME Division at the MSME Ministry where she was managing the International Cooperation section, Coordination section, EDI section, and Media cell. Previously, Epao was the Director at the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region.
Epao was among the 10 directors across multiple ministries and departments including Women and Child Development, Education, Mines, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Civil Aviation, Cabinet Secretariat, and Central Vigilance Commission who were appointed as Joint Secretaries in the Senior Administrative Grade (SAG) with effect from the date of their assumption of charge to the post in their respective ministries or departments, according to a recent order by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions.
In the most recent major rejig at the ministry as part of the overall cabinet reshuffle in July this year during the second term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the MSME Ministry portfolio, which was earlier held by Nitin Gadkari, was allocated to Narayan Tatu Rane – former Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Rane, 69, had earlier also served as the Cabinet Minister for Industry, Port, Employment and Self-employment verticals in the Maharashtra government.
MSME Ministry was comprised of three joint secretaries for SME, ARI, and AFI divisions. The agro and rural industry (ARI) division and AFI division were headed by Alka Arora and Ateesh Kumar Singh respectively. According to the ministry, while the SME division was allocated the work of administration, vigilance, and administrative supervision of the National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC), along with the implementation of different schemes, the ARI division looked after the administration of statutory bodies such as KVIC, Coir Board, Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Rural Industrialization (MGIRI). It also supervises the implementation of the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP). AFI division included work and projects related to HR, vigilance section, billing section, Hindi section, and more.