Amongst the first actions of Pranab Mukherjee after becoming the President was to appoint Omita Paul as his secretary in place of Christy Fernandes, who was the secretary to outgoing President Pratibha Patil.
Paul is a trusted confidante of Pranab and has worked with him in all his earlier ministerial assignments.
She is from the Indian Information Service and is now retired.
The convention has been to appoint a secretary from the civil services, but there is no bar on the President appointing anyone of his choice.
The cabinet committee on appointments cleared Paul's appointment on Wednesday.
Besides this, Pranab has appointed two private secretaries -- Rajnish and Pradeep Gupta -- both of
The new President has taken his cook Padam with him though so far his appointment has not been cleared.
Those who were working at Pranab's 13, Talkatora residence like Pradyut Guha, M K Banerjee and Hira Lal have so far not been officially appointed. That procedure will follow, it is learnt.
Rashtrapati Bhawan has a strength of 750 staff of which 245 are in the President's secretariat.
Sources say it will take Pranab time before he can focus on the finer details of these appointments.
The four key appointments were immediately made, as these posts are co-terminus with the tenure of the President and it was felt these should not be left vacant.