The NaMo Administration on Friday assigned the additional
charge of the post of Secretary (Security) Cabinet Secretariat to Rajesh
Bhushan (IAS:1987:BH) who is presently working as Secretary (Coordination) in
The post of Secretary (Security) Cabinet Secretariat fell vacant after S K Sinha (IPS:1983:BH) retired on 31.10.2019.
The NaMo administration on Tuesday extended the tenure of Ms Arti Bhatnagar (IDAS:1990) for a period of three months beyond the date of completion of her Central deputation tenure. She is Joint Secretary (Security) in Cabinet Secretariat.
As many as four secretaries of Govt of India are retiring this month clearing the deck for those waiting for their own turn to become Secretaries.
Among senior most IAS officers are one each from 1984 and 1986 batch and two from 1983 batch namely; Mrs Seema Bahuguna (IAS:1983:RJ), Secretary, Department of Public Enterprise (DPE); Rahul Prasad Bhatnagar (IAS:1983:UP) Secretary, M/o Youth Affairs & Sports; K V Eapen (IAS:1984:AM), Secretary Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (ARPG) and Alok Vardhan Chaturvedi (IAS:1986:BH) Director General, Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) serving in the rank of Secretary (GoI).
Further, West Bengal Chief Secretary Malay Kumar De (IAS:1985:WB) and Sikkim Chief Secretary Dr Alok Kumar Srivastava (IAS:1984:SK) will be hanging their boots this month. Sikkim Govt already announced Suresh Chandra Gupta (IAS:1986:SK) as its new Chief Secretary. Further, Uttar Pradesh is still awaiting for a regular Chief Secretary as Rajendra Kumar Tiwari (IAS:1985:UP) is working as an interim CS.
As usual the NaMo
administration on Wednesday made announcements of appointment of Dr P K Mishra
and P K Sinha as Principal Secretary to PM and Principal Adviser to PM
respectively but with a little twist.
Contrary to the ongoing speculations former Additional PS to PM Dr P K Mishra was drafted as successor to Nripendra Mishra whereas former Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha was appointed as Senior Adviser to PM and not as successor to Dr P K Mishra as Additional PS to PM. Keen observors say that the appointment orders are defined curiously and hence race is on.
Both the appointments were made coterminous with the term of Prime Minister w.e.f 11.09.2019.
The appointment of cheerful,
straightforward Ajay Bhalla (IAS:1984:AM) as OSD in MHA, almost five weeks before the
completion of the term of Rajiv Gauba (the outgoing Home Secretary), is open to
interesting interpretations. A section of officials believe that Gauba may be
moved as OSD in Cabinet Secretary - maybe immediately after the Independence
Day if not before. The reasoning is that the extended tenure of P K Sinha as
Cabinet Secretary will end on September 12, 2019. And the government is looking
for his replacement. So will Gauba replace Sinha? In case he misses the bus then certainly its all for 1983 batch IAS. Then who else?
Speculations about Gauba replacing Sinha have also gathered strength because if Bhalla's appointment as MHA OSD was only a matter of preplanning, it should have been done also in the case of the Defense Ministry where secretary Mitra will complete his term on August 23, 2019, a week before Gauba.
It is pointed out that Bhalla if promoted as Home Secretary, may be the ideal choice for the post. He has been an integral part of the NDA governmentâ€™s plan to supply round-the-clock power to all. Having worked under the former Union Home Secretary like Raj Kumar Singh has helped Bhalla evolve certain traits to tackle critically-important issues in a mission mode. He may add to the strength of Amit Shah in handling issues in conflict areas, including J&K, and Naxal-hit Chhattisgarh. He may have a fixed two-year tenure as home secretary.
Further, following the exit of S C Garg (IAS:1983:RJ) from the FinMin to the Ministry of Power, speculations have triggered off as to who will be designated the next Finance Secretary. Rajiv Kumar ((DFS) or Ajay Bhushan Pandey (Dept of Revenue)? Of four secretaries in the FinMin, two each are from 1984 and 1985 batch respectively. Certainly it will follow seniority list of the batch.
One of the most striking features of the latest reshuffle is by far the appointment of Mrs. Anuradha Mitra (IP&TA&FS:1982) as Secretary, Department of Official Language. Its importance lies in its future implication. Following this precedent, non-IAS officers may be drafted as Secretaries in Govt of India - a common fortress of IAS officers.
Of twelve appointments, Gujarat and West Bengal have something to cheer about in terms of representation in Govt of India.
The NaMo administration appears to have also sent out strong signals about rewarding efficient officers by appointing Atanu Chakraborty (IAS:1985: GJ) as Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs vice S C Garg. Garg who is shifted to the Ministry of Power to work under the seasoned former bureaucrat and former Union Home Secretary R K Singh may not only enjoy the conducive work atmosphere under Singh but will have ample opportunity to resolve the challenged facing the electricity sector.
The latest reshuffle has also brought five IAS officers from states as Secretary in Govt of India. They are Anil Kumar Khachi (IAS:1986: HP) as Secretary DIPAM; R S Shukla (IAS:1986:WB) as Secretary Parliamentary Affairs; G V Venugopala Sarma (IAS:1986:OR) as Member Secretary, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA); Ravi Capoor (IAS:1986:AM) as Secretary, Ministry of Textiles; and P D Vaghela (IAS:1986:GJ) as Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals.
The High-Level Expert Committee
headed by Dr Ratan P Watal (Retd IAS:1979:AP) to examine various aspects of Non
Functional Upgradation (NFU) submitted its report to DoPT last week. Its
members were K V Eapen (IAS:1984:AM); Rajnikant Mishra (IAS:1984:UP); S N
Agarwal (Member- Staff, Railway Board); Anthony Lianzuala (ICAS:1982),
Controller General of Accounts; R K Chaturvedi (IAS:1987:MP) Member (Convenor);
and Ms. Annie George Mathew (IA&AS:1988), Jt Secretary (Pers),
Representative of Secretary, Expenditure.
Indianmandarins has reliably learnt that in addition to examining the administrative issues pertaining to the OGAS and NFU, the Committee has made various recommendations which, once considered and implemented, may transform the prevalent provisions in terms of deputation, integration, promotion, career progression.
In addition to NFU (presently admissible to IPS/IFoS and other organised group A services) it had to suggest a clear definition of OGAS (Organised Group A Service) to make clear distinction in the process of cadre review and the procedure for grant of OGAS.
In fact, many services are ailing as empanelment and promotion becomes choked after a certain period. The career graph goes smooth as Junior Time Scale, Super Time Scale, Junior Administrative Grade, and Non-Functional Senior Grade are all time-bound promotions.
The moment it enters 16th year of service forming the cutting edge (SAG) the career prospects are shrunk. SAG (JS level) posts have been subject to vacancy, APAR, DPC, CVC, and ACC approval which are quite cumbersome and time consuming process. Further, court cases pertaining to seniority and promotion adds to apathy. For example, for years IRS (C&CE) cadre are given SAG scale on an ad-hoc basis, hundreds of CSS cadre officers too are given promotion on an ad-hoc basis.
To counter these issues, the Expert Committee recommendations aim at breaking the barriers and opening up wide avenues for all Group A, Group B Central Services.
Significant recommendations may be summarised as follows:
It is also understood that the intent of the OGAS may be to create entry barriers for IPS officers in CPMFs but actually, it may not. However, CPMF cadres may get a fair share in DIG and above posts.
Reportedly, NFU is to be removed finally but itâ€™ll remain an interim arrangement until a robust framework comes in existence. NFU paves way for pay protection when officers come from their cadre and state on central deputation.
(By Rakesh Ranjan)