CABINET SECRETARY

pmo:-appointments-of-pks-with-a-little-twist

PMO: Appointments of PKs with a little twist

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.

11 Sep 2019
signals-from-the-latest-secretaries'-reshuffle;-reading-between-the-lines

Signals from the latest secretaries' reshuffle; Reading between the lines

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 government’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.

25 Jul 2019
pmo:-appointments-of-pks-with-a-little-twist

PMO: Appointments of PKs with a little twist

By IndianMandarins 11 Sep 2019

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.

signals-from-the-latest-secretaries'-reshuffle;-reading-between-the-lines

Signals from the latest secretaries' reshuffle; Reading between the lines

By IndianMandarins 25 Jul 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 government’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.

senior-management-pool-and-merger-of-services-may-open-sea-of-opportunities:-nfu-expert-committee-makes-striking-recommendations

Senior Management Pool and merger of services may open sea of opportunities: NFU expert committee makes striking recommendations

By IndianMandarins 18 Jul 2019

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:

  • A Senior Management Pool (SAG and above) comprising all services may be created under the supervision of UPSC only to ensure competence.
  • The Senior Management Pool (SMP) may replace the prevailing Central Staffing Scheme (CSS) genesis of which lies in the Central Pool which was conceptualized and recommended in 1966.
  • Senior Management Pool would further facilitate Reverse deputation which will further widen the career opportunity. Until now All India Service (AIS) and Central Services (Group A & Group B) officers come from respective cadres to Centre on deputation for a specified period but reverse deputation framework will allow central ministries and state governments to pick them on deputation irrespective of cadre and services. Further, AIS officers may get the opportunity to serve in other states which is now possible only after a cumbersome process of inter-cadre deputation.
  • For appointment up to Joint Secretary (SAG) level posts, it may not require ACC approval. Rather, concerned administrative ministries may issue posting orders as it happens in the case of IA&AS, Indian Foreign Service and few others.
  • It emphasises on integration. Indian Trade Service (ITS) may be merged with other similarly mandated services. Accounts services like IRAS, ICAS, PT&TA&FS, IA&AS, and IDAS may be merged together to bring uniformity as anti-dote to career stagnation.
  • A time-bound cadre review every five year would not allow choking of empanelment and promotion.
  • Vigilance clearance may be streamlined and made fast to streamline the cadre review
  • Subjudiced matters relating to cadre review and promotion may be resolved as soon as possible.

 

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 it’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)

cabinet-secretary-given-extension-in-service

Cabinet Secretary given extension in service

By IndianMandarins 07 Jun 2019

As Indianmandarins had reported first on 29 May 2019 (see weblink) NaMo administration 2.0 extended the tenure of service of Union Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha (IAS:1977:UP) for a period of three months beyond 12 June 2019. (see weblink)

what-if-cabinet-secretary-gets-another-extension?

What if Cabinet Secretary gets another extension?

By IndianMandarins 06 Jun 2019

If some top sources are to be believed several surprises appear to be in the store for top bureaucracy. And these are related to personnel and appointments policy to be followed through the initial days in the second term of NaMO administration. The outgoing and 31st Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha (IAS:1977:UP) may well be given another three months extension. Ahead of LS Polls his term was extended for six months. Thus, it has been slated to end on 12 June 2019. 

 

In case he gets further extension, as being assumed or at least not being ruled out now, a few aspirants for the top job would be out of the race. They include the outgoing Telecom Secretary Ms Aruna Sundararajan (IAS:1982:KL) and Ramesh Abhishek (IAS:1982:BH) the outgoing Secretary, DIPP. This is so because both of them are retiring on 31 July 2019.

 

Furthermore, if Sinha’s term is extended it would be an indication from the NaMo administration that Rajiv Gauba (IAS:1982:JH), the incumbent Union Home Secretary, may be ruled out for the top job despite the fact that till few days back Gauba was considered as the fittest candidate to become Sinha’s successor. Though there are several senior officers who still believe that Gauba should remain hopeful as Sinha’s term (in case of its being extended) would end on 12 September 2019 and Gauba may be appointed OSD to Cabinet Secretary in August itself. Gauba will be retiring on 31 August 2019.

 

The later view is endorsed by the fact that Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra (IAS:1982:WB) was given three months extension on 31 May 2019. It was assumed that this has been to ensure consistency and synergy as the new Defence Minister assisted by a new Defence Secretary might not have been a good idea. The same reason may apply to Gauba as well because new Union Home Minister assisted by a new Home Secretary would not be of much help. And this could be among the reasons for not announcing Gauba as OSD to Cabinet Secretary.

 

Yet, it may not be prudent to rush to any conclusion as unleashing one surprise after the other has been the hallmark of NaMo administration. This has been more so vis-à-vis matters related to personnel and postings in the past.

 

who-comes-next:-ib,-raw-chiefs,-niti-ceo-and-two-secretaries-to-retire-soon

Who comes next: IB, RAW Chiefs, NITI CEO and two secretaries to retire soon

By IndianMandarins 06 Jun 2019

Ahead of PMO’s decision on appointments to several top positions power corridors appear to be curious over the likely exit of several officers due for superannuation and completion of extended tenure by the end of this month. The decks thus poised to be clear will also bring several takers who may already be waiting in the queue. Among the retiring officials are Amitabh Kant, Rajeev Jain, A K Dhasmana and Raghavendra Singh.

 

Currently Amitabh Kant (IAS:1980:KL) is CEO of NITI Aayog but he is completing his extended tenure on 30 June 2019. He is widely expected to emerge as a dark horse for some coveted post again.

 

A K Dhasmana (IPS:1981:MP) is the Chief of R&AW. He is going to complete extended tenure on 28 June 2019. And so is the case of Rajeev Jain (IPS:1982:JH), Chief of Intelligence Bureau. He is set to complete the extended tenure on 29 June 2019. 


Raghavendra Singh (IAS:1983:WB), Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, will be retiring on 30 June 2019.

 

In addition, the terms of Nripendra Mishra (Principal Secretary to PM) and Dr P K Misra (Additional PS to PM) are (technically) over though it is expected that NaMo administration may redraft them into same positions or may be with some suitable alteration soon this week.

 

Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha (IAS:1977:UP) too is expected to complete his extended term next week. And, thus, with so many top slots falling vacant all eyes are upon the PMO that is believed to have set the process of crucial selections rolling.

team-pmo-in-namo-administration-2.0:-continuity-vs-disruption

Team PMO in NaMo administration 2.0: Continuity Vs Disruption

By IndianMandarins 29 May 2019

While addressing the Parliament the outgoing Prime Minister and Prime Minister­ designate Narendra Modi suggested the newly elected MPs and his partymen to abstain from speculations over portfolio allocation. But despite efforts to abstain; speculations keep circulating, in several formats by several means, about the prospects of who’s who.


Hours ahead of PM’s oath various speculations are gathering moment as who will continue and occupy top positions in crucial quarters and who all will be inducted in a fresh re-hashed ‘Team PMO’. When PM designate has mammoth task ahead of making India a 5 trillion dollor economy with investments of over 100 lakh crores for infrastructure development and over 25 lakh crores investment for rural sector it becomes imperative to explore the bandwidth capability of new ‘Team PMO’.  

 

Principal Secretary to PM: It is being considered as an open secret that Nripendra Mishra (Retd IAS:1967:UP), Principal Secretary to PM Modi, may be rewarded with gubernatorial assignments immediately after PM Modi’s oath on May 30. In all likelihood the PMO may be rehashed barring few officers allowed to continue with PMO. But replacement of Nripendra Mishra would be decided by Dr P K Mishra’s (Retd IAS:1972:GJ) next role in PMO. Power corridors are abuzz that Dr P K Mishra’s health issue constrains him from accepting further responsibilities. In case, Dr PK doesn’t chose to take rest his elevation as PM may elevate him as Principal Secretary to PM with the same role i.e. personnel matters.

 

Additional PS to PM:

You start talking to any senior civil servant, serving at Centre, about Dr P K Misra and you will get the same note; it would be too difficult for PM to find an alternative to Dr P K as he enjoyed unparalleled trust and comfort with PM Modi. Though, Mishra’s ageing too does rounds in crucial quarters. In case, Dr P K doesn’t chose to take rest PM may not look for his replacement though few names are often mentioned as his heir apparent namely;  K Kailashnathan (Retd IAS:1979:GJ), Ratan P Watal (Retd IAS:1978:AP). It is also said that initially Dr P K may be continued in his position but Rajiv Kumar (IAS:1984:JH) may become his replacement post his retirement next year.

 

National Security Adviser: Post CBI faction-feud it appeared for a while that something had fallen out of sync. But increasingly assertive (counter terrorism) operations in J&K and affirmative action in Balakot (post Pulwama) dettered the apprehensions. Now it is widely believed that PM Modi may not look for alternatives to his trusted lieutenants; Amit Shah, Ajit Doval (Retd IPS:1968:KL) & Dr P K Mishra. It is widely believed that PM may chose to continue Doval in NSA role.

 

Private Secretary to PM:

Having played flawless role as Secretary to PM Rajiv Topno (IAS:1996:GJ) too is being seen as the one whom PM may like to continue him in his  proven role. Further, A K Sharma (IAS:1988:GJ), Additional Secretary, PMO, too may be retained in next team PMO.

 

Secretary, PMO:

Though Bhaskar Khulbe (IAS:1983:WB), the incumbent Secretary, PMO is scheduled to complete his extended tenure next month (30 June) it is believed that his term may be extended for another six months. In case, he does not get extension then it may open avenues for several takers.

 

Cabinet Secretary:

Though; the outgoing Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba (IAS:1982:JH)  has occupied the imagination of whos who is power corridors as the heir-apparent of P K Sinha (IAS:1977:UP) completing his extended tenure as Cabinet Secretary in June second week one may not rule out the possibility of another extension to Sinha. In fact the present rule, technically, does not stop the possibility. In case of extension to Sinha appointment of next Cabinet Secretary may become a tricky question drawing a line between 1982 and 1983 batch.

 

Home Secretary:

Amid loud speculations over Rajiv Gauba’s prospects as next Cabinet Secretary; DIPP Secretary Ramesh Abhishek (IAS:1982:BH), Rural Development Secretary Amarjit Sinha (IAS:1983:BH), Urban Development Secretary Durga Shankar Mishra (IAS:1984:UP) and Banking Secretary Rajiv Kumar (IAS:1984:JH) are being seen as prospective claimants. In case; P K Sinha is given another extension Gauba would continue as Home Secretary until his two years fixed tenure ending August this year.

 

Defence Secretary: The outgoing Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra (IAS:1982:WB) is set to retire this month end; the very next day after PM’s oath. It is believed that the top authorities may have identified Mitra’s successor. Power corridors are abuzz that Environment & Forests Secretary C K Mishra (IAS:1983:BH), Secretary Defence Production Ajay Kumar (IAS:1984:KL), Food & PD Secretary Ravi Kant (IAS:1984:BH) and Rajiv Kumar (IAS:1984:JH) would be among the officers in the reckoning. 

eci:-cabsec-directs-ministries-to-follow-norms

ECI: CabSec directs ministries to follow norms

By IndianMandarins 31 Jan 2019

Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, following the receipt of a letter from the Election Commission of India (ECI), the Cabinet Secretariat (CabSec) has urged Secretaries to all Ministries to ensure strict adherence with the norms in communications to the ECI and other Constitutional authorities.

 

Some Ministries, it pointed out, are still writing to the Commission in “a routine manner”, addressing demi-official letters to the CEC or EC, in spite of clear instructions regarding the form and procedure to be followed.


In a letter to Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha, the EC has indicated that it would turn down any requests made to it for grant of ‘No Objection’ for specific decisions if the Ministries’ communications to the Constitutional body did not follow the procedure. The letter was sent by Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena on December 18, 2018.

 

The letter pointed out that the Commission had returned such requests in several cases during the recent State Assembly elections and has cited some examples from the polls held in five States last year, and the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh polls of December 2017.

 

References to Constitutional and statutory bodies like the EC have to be done in the form of a letter to its Secretary, Principal Secretary or Deputy Election Commissioner (Deputy EC). Simply sending an office memorandum from junior officials to the EC is not acceptable, it said.

 

Writing to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) or the Election Commissioners (EC) is not permitted, except in rare “important cases” where the head of a department feels that something has to be brought to the personal notice of the CEC or ECs.

 

“During general election to the State Legislative Assemblies of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, references from the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Human Resource Development, for grant of No Objection under the Model Code of Conduct were received in the form of an office memorandum,” the letter said

 

The Commission decided not to consider the said references and returned them to the Ministries. Moreover, during the recent polls in five States, a Joint Secretary in the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry made a reference directly to the Chief Election Commissioner of India “by name”, the Deputy EC pointed out.

free stat counter

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.