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04 non-IAS officers empanelled as Secretary (GoI): Is it 'Sabka-saath, Sabka vikas' version for bureaucracy?

By Indian Mandarins- 04 Dec 2019
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The NaMo administration on Wednesday announced the empanelment of 04 non-IAS officers for holding Secretary/Secretary-equivalent level posts in Govt of India; a rare phenomenon in Indian Bureaucracy. It has been a practice to that only IAS officers are empanelled to hold Secretary level post in Govt of India though officers from other Group A services are also given Apex Scale posts in their own cadres and core areas like Bio-Tech, Space, Legal etc.

Through this notification the NaMo administration appears to have passed on a message loud and clear that in addition to its social-economic perspective Modi Govt is equally keen to live its slogan ‘Sabka-saath, Sabka vikas’ in bureaucracy as well. Else, what would define that NaMo administration's move which on Wednesday empanelled four non-IAS officers to hold Secretary/Secretary-equivalent level posts in Govt of India which is as follows;

  1. Prem Kumar Kataria (IA&AS:1985)
  2. Prashant Kumar (IFS:1985:MP)
  3. Sanjay Kumar Mishra (IRS IT:1984)
  4. Shefali Shah (IRS IT:1985)

Presently, Sanjay Kumar Mishra is heading the Enforcement Directorate; Ms Shah is working as Additional Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs; Prashant Kumar is Additional Secretary, Rural Development whereas P K Kataria is Additional Secretary, Ministry of Textiles.

P K Kataria, S K Mishra and Prashant Kumar were empanelled for holding Additional Secretary level post 09 November 2018.

The empanelment notification issued today may and may not have immediate implication when several Secretary level posts are lying vacant for weeks and months but for now NaMo administration’s has some message which may be interpreted and analysed again in the days to come.

Simultaneously, it would be worth underlined that long back T S Krishnamurthy became the first Indian Revenue Service officer to become a Secretary to the Government of India as well as the Chief Election Commissioner of India  during February 2004 - May 2005. 

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Indianmandarins.com, an initiative of New Media Network, is a multi-media initiative for the fast and real-time dissemination of news and information related to civil services, central PSUs and other institutions that play a critical role in governance, administration, corporate governance, and public life in India. We aspire to provide our esteemed readers with news breaks and situation analysis in the above-mentioned domain of operations. Currently, we are available at www.indianmandarins.com. We are now planning to branch off into print publication and few other related business initiatives.