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Problem of plenty: Whom to pick as next CS of Gujarat

By IndianMandarins- 18 Nov 2019


Gujarat Chief Secretary Jagdip Narayan Singh (IAS:1983:GJ) is completing his extended tenure this month. Contrary to the earlier rumours, the incumbent Union Secretary Guruprasad Mohapatra (IAS:1986:GJ) is unlikely to move back to state as the CS. It may be noted that there is no dearth of eligible claimants for the top job and a plenty appears to have been posing a challenge before the Gujarat government to pick Singh’s successor.


If some well-placed sources are to be believed, Union Pharmaceutical Secretary P D Vaghela (IAS:1986:GJ), Union Mines Secretary Anil Gopishankar Mukim (IAS:1985:GJ) and Union Economic Affairs Secretary Atanu Chakraborty (IAS:1985:GJ) too are unlikely to opt repatriation for the CS’ job. In all likelihood the Gujarat government would have to supersede several officers as 1986 batch appears to have advantage over seniors.  


With three names from 1986 batch IAS doing round, the Gujarat government may supersede several officers. Among the prospective claimants (all 1986 batch), Pankaj Kumar (ACS, Revenue), Vipul Mittra (ACS, Labour & employment) and Rajiv Gupta (ACS, Forest & Environment) are being seen as the front runner. Pankaj Kumar will be retiring in April next year whereas Rajiv Gupta and Mittra have advantage of having service till May 2022 and July 2023 respectively.  


Reportedly, the government will have to supersede many officers if one out of these three is chosen as the next CS. In the case of Pankaj Kumar (IAS:1986:GJ) the government will have to supersede Arvind Agrawal (ACS, Finance) retiring April next year; 1985 batch IAS Punamchand Parmar (ACS, Agriculture) and 1985 batch IAS Mrs Sangeeta Singh (ACS, Home. To consider Mittra’s name, the government will have to supersede all above officers and for Gupta, the government will have to supersede all of his seniors and even his batch mates.


Sometimes opulence too brings problems and Central leadership and Gujarat government this time may find it difficult to accommodate its favourites suitably. However, choice and preferences of officers hardly matters for the NaMo-Shah led government be it at Centre or at state.

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