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Posting a junior officer to supervise seniors’ work create ripples

By IndianMandarins- 25 Jun 2020


It may be a good idea to post an Indian Trade Service officer as Deputy Chairman and CEO, Tea Board if one looks at the sector from export and export promotion perspective. But ignoring the convention of seniority casts a shadow over the administrative framework and overall efficiency. This is something that is apprehended in the Tea Board as well.

Utpal Acharya, a 2008 batch Indian Trade Service Officer, has been given six months' charge of Deputy Chairman and CEO, Tea Board. A 2008 batch officer has been drafted to replace a 1988 IPS officer Arun Ray who has reportedly decided to prematurely repatriate to cadre state of Assam/Meghalaya. Ray is supposed to have brought about remarkable changes to the auction process in Tea Board.

As ED Acharya would have the mandate of overseeing the work of several officers seniors to him namely; Sanjiv Kumar (IFS:1997:UP), PK Sahoo (IOFS:1997); M Balaji (IAS:2005); Soundararajan, Director (GoI).

Likewise in Coffee Board, even when there are two Director level officers already present, including N N Narendra (IOFS:2002) they will report to Naveen Kushalappa (ITS 2007) who is junior to them.

Also in Tobacco Board, there is existing Director level ED Sridhar Babu (IAS:2008) but his work will be supervised by Muthuraj ITS who is junior to him. Other plantations boards are next on radar to do the same.

Now since the charge is given is for 6 months, will their ACRs be written by junior officers?

Several officers are apprehensive that soon the same pattern may be exercised in other plantation Boards like Plantations Exports Development Authority (PEDA), Tobacco Board, Coffee Board etc. Contrary to these views there are several officers who believe that sometimes it becomes necessary for the administrative ministry to look beyond seniority.

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