Rajeev Singh Raghuvanshi is the new Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI). His appointment was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet on Wednesday, an official release stated.
He takes charge at a time when the pharmaceutical manufacturing and regulatory landscape in India is under the scanner, after multiple reports of sub-standard and contaminated drugs exported to various countries in the globe began doing the rounds last November-December. The DCGI heads the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), which is responsible for ensuring quality supply across the country. Raghuvanshi has worked in various roles at some of India's leading pharmaceutical companies.
The appointment has been made at "Level 14 of the Pay Matrix", on "short-term contract basis", and with effect from the "date of his assumption of charge of the post till his attaining the age of superannuation on 28.02.2025, or until further orders, whichever is earlier", the release stated.
A Masters from IIT-BHU, and PhD from the National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, Raghuvanshi has worked as the secretary-cum-scientific director of the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission, an autonomous institution under the health ministry that sets standards for all drugs manufactured, sold and consumed in India.
According to his LinkedIn profile, he also worked for Ranbaxy Research Laboratories till 2010 and had a stint with Dr Reddy's Laboratories between 2010 and 2021. At DRL, Raghuvanshi led an R&D team that developed innovative formulations for Indian and global markets. He was involved in development of oral, modified release NDDS drugs, nasal formulations, depot injections, nanotechnology and other challenging projects.
He replaces V G Somani, who was appointed in August 2019. The Union Health Ministry had appointed P B N Prasad as interim DCGI on February 16 till February 28 as Somani was not given more extension beyond the two he received last August and November.
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The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) held interviews for the appointment of the DCGI in January. The top contenders for the post were Somani himself, Raghuvanshi and Jai Prakash. On January 30, the UPSC communicated its decision to the Health Ministry and recommended Raghuvanshi for the post of the country's apex drug regulator.