Former official in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Arvind Kumar Sharma on Friday took oath as a Minister in the CM Yogi Adityanath led Uttar Pradesh Cabinet.
Sharma in January 2021 had taken retirement, one-and-a-half years before his retirement, to join active politics.
He has worked with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for 18 years, and he is also referred to as 'Modi's Man' in political circles.
Sharma was sent to Uttar Pradesh during the second wave of COVID-19 to manage the relief work in Varanasi, PM Modi's Parliamentary constituency.
Later, he was appointed vice president of the UP unit of the BJP. Currently, he is a member of the legislative council of the state.
He joined BJP on January 14 this year, days after seeking voluntary retirement.
Sharma is an IAS officer from the 1988 batch and has worked closely with PM Modi since he became Gujarat's chief minister in 2001.
Sharma served as Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's secretary before joining the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) as a joint secretary after 2014.
A K Sharma was born in the Mau district of Uttar Pradesh in 1962 and attended school there before attending Allahabad University. Before joining the civil service in 1988, he earned a master's degree in political science.
His first posting as an IAS officer in the Gujarat cadre was as a Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM). He became the district magistrate of Mehsana in 1995. Sharma began working as a secretary in Gujarat Chief Minister's office in 2001 and remained there till 2014, when he moved to the Centre.
Sharma is known to have been a low-profile officer. He is said to have organised the 'Vibrant Gujarat' investor event, which was instrumental in attracting foreign investment to Gujarat.
Sharma is also credited to have been instrumental in the relocation of the Tata Nano facility from Singur in West Bengal to Sanand in Gujarat, in 2008.
In 2014, Sharma joined the PMO as a joint secretary and was later elevated to the additional secretary rank in 2017. In May 2020, Sharma was given the charge of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) ministry, the sector affected badly due to the COVID-19.