In an “exceptional case”, the current acting chairman of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), Meenesh C Shah, whose term ends on November 30, has been promoted as managing director from executive director by the Board of Directors, where Shah himself is a member.

No illegality

The post of managing director was lying vacant after Dilip Rath was elevated as Chairman of NDDB in 2016. Rath, an IAS officer of West Bengal cadre, joined NDDB as MD in 2011 after taking premature retirement from service, sources said. “There is no illegality in the promotion. But it is unconventional since Shah himself is holding charge of Chairman and as such he also is a member in the Board of Directors,” said a former NDDB official. The minutes of the meeting, in which the promotion was approved, will clarify what was Shah’s stand in that Board meeting, he said.

Mails and messages sent to Shah and Varsha Joshi, Additional Secretary in the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying and also a Director in NDDB Board, did not elicit any response until this report was published.

In an office circular issued on November 16 by NDDB’s senior general manager (HRD & Admin) and circulated to all offices of the agency, it was communicated that Shah has been “appointed in the next higher grade on promotion as managing director with effect from November 15”.

In August, the Centre notified the extension of Shah’s tenure by six months as Chairman until November 30. It was made effective from June 1. The post of a full-time Chairman of NDDB has been vacant since December 2020 after Rath vacated office. Shah has been in charge since June 1, 2021.