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  Opinion   Columnists  03 Jan 2024  Dilip Cherian | Centre’s AGMUT Shakeup will Extend Beyond Delhi

Dilip Cherian | Centre’s AGMUT Shakeup will Extend Beyond Delhi

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Published : Jan 4, 2024, 12:00 am IST
Updated : Jan 4, 2024, 12:00 am IST

Insiders are branding this exercise as potentially the last blockbuster move before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections

The suspenseful build-up, supposedly orchestrated to sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appearance at the third national conference of chief secretaries (CS) adds an extra layer of intrigue to the impending reshuffle. (Image: Twitter: @NITIAayog)
 The suspenseful build-up, supposedly orchestrated to sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appearance at the third national conference of chief secretaries (CS) adds an extra layer of intrigue to the impending reshuffle. (Image: Twitter: @NITIAayog)

Word coming in is that the Centre is gearing up to unleash a seismic shake-up across key Delhi government departments, promising a dramatic remix of the administration. Insiders hint at a game-changing overhaul involving crucial appointments within the Delhi government and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), among other power hubs.

The suspenseful build-up, supposedly orchestrated to sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appearance at the third national conference of chief secretaries (CS) adds an extra layer of intrigue to the impending reshuffle. Rumour has it that the reshuffle will feature strategic relocation and elevation of several IAS officers within the AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory) or central cadre. Insiders are branding this exercise as potentially the last blockbuster move before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Apparently, it is a direct response to the retirement spree among top-tier IAS officers in the AGMUT cadre.

Sources have indicated to DKB that the reshuffle’s shockwaves will spill out of Delhi’s borders and are poised to rip through the Union territories of Puducherry and Chandigarh. Notably, the latter has been cruising without an adviser to the administrator since the departure of 1988-batch IAS officer Dharampal in late October.

The reshuffle will also tackle the imminent retirement of Delhi chief secretary Naresh Kumar and J&K chief secretary Arun Kumar Mehta, both from the same batch and cadre. While Mr Kumar dodged a bullet with a six-month extension following a legal showdown in the Supreme Court, the J&K handover saw 1989-batch AGMUT cadre IAS officer Atal Dulloo step into the limelight.

But it is the enigma surrounding Chandigarh adviser’s post, currently held by 2000-batch Haryana cadre IAS officer Nitin Yadav, that will undoubtedly add a dash of unpredictability to the remix.

Women SHOs initiative in Telangana loses momentum

The acclaimed initiative by the Telangana police department to appoint women as station house officers (SHOs) within the Hyderabad police commissionerate limits appears to have run out of steam, as several of them have been reassigned to different responsibilities.

Initially, five women were designated as SHOs in various police stations at the launch of the programme in early 2023. However, by the end of the year, only two stations are currently led by female officers. At the time of the launch of the initiative, C.V. Anand, the former commissioner of police in Hyderabad, appointed the first woman as SHO. Ms Madhulatha made history as the first woman SHO when she assumed charge of the Lalaguda police station on International Women’s Day in 2022, in the presence of Commissioner Anand.

By March of the same year, the count of women SHOs had increased to five. Yet, a booklet distributed during the Hyderabad city police’s annual news conference still listed all five as SHOs, even though three had been transferred.

Where did these trailblazing women go? Lakshmi Madhavi, stationed at the Bollarum police station, was later moved to the Central Crime Station (CCS). Madhavi Latha, the SHO of Langar House, was reassigned as a security officer at the Secretariat, while Chitti Burra, the former SHO of Afazalgunj, saw a transfer to the task force of the city police. A senior police officer says that numerous rural police stations are now headed by women. However, he attributed the transfer of the women SHOs to factors such as political pressure, track record, or requests stemming from work-related pressures.

Central police forces get new leadership

Just last week, this column pointed out the growing concern among babus about the delays in announcing top appointments in key central police organisations. The Centre seems to have heeded these concerns and made significant changes in the final days of 2023. Nina Singh, an IPS officer of the Rajasthan cadre, has been appointed as the full-fledged director-general of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). Notably, she is the first woman IPS to attain the DG rank in Rajasthan.

Similarly, Anish Dayal Singh has been appointed as director-general of the CRPF, and Rahul Rasgotra, currently the special director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), is the new director-general of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force. Additionally, Vivek Srivastava, who many observers consider a “hardcore” IB officer, has been named the DG of fire service, civil defence and home guards until June 2025, aligning with the date of his superannuation.

Though delayed, these appointments signal a strategic reshaping of leadership within these vital security forces. These officers bring a wealth of experience, indicating a focus on strengthening and adapting these forces to meet evolving national security demands.

Tags: crpf, intelligence bureau (ib), civil defence, fire service, central industrial security force (cisf), indian supreme court, delhi chief secretary, puducherry, chandigarh, delhi, prime minister narendra modi, 2024 lok sabha elections, delhi government, central police organisation, central crime station (ccs), station house officers (shos), hyderabad police commissionerate, telangana police department, j&k, municipal corporation of delhi (mcd), chief secretaries (cs), ias officers