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  Opinion   Oped  22 Oct 2017  Dilli Ka Babu: Head-less in Rajasthan

Dilli Ka Babu: Head-less in Rajasthan

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Published : Oct 22, 2017, 1:06 am IST
Updated : Oct 22, 2017, 1:06 am IST

The JCA is also supposed to discuss similar requests from the states of Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.

Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha
 Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha

Rajasthan Public Service Commission (RPSC) chairman S.S. Sharma retired last month but the government is yet to announce his successor. The panel is also without two members. The commission is entrusted with the task of recruiting government employees. But it has often run into legal trouble for mismanagement and inefficiency in conducting recruitment exams.

According to sources, there is no indication that the state government has any plans to name a new chairman soon. Among the frontrunners for the post are current chief secretary Ashok Jain and DGP A.S. Shekhawat, both are due to retire this year-end. It is believed that at least three members of the commission R.D. Saini, Surjeet Lal Meena and K.R. Bagaria are Congress appointees and they are not likely to be promoted to the post of chairperson by the BJP government, while the remaining two are too inexperienced.

Of course, the government might go with a retired bureaucrat to fill up this post of chairman considering that administrative inexperience is a major problem plaguing premier recruiting agency of the state government. But its silence merely adds to the mystery.

Centre nods for Lateral entry
Although there are a few precedents of lateral entry, babus were surprised by the appointment of an Ayurveda expert as secretary to the Ayush ministry. Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, who was named special secretary in the ministry earlier this year, will enjoy a three-year tenure. Mr Kotecha’s appointment is part of the latest reshuffle of secretary-level officials in which environment secretary Ajay Narayan Jha will succeed Ashok Lavasa as the secretary in finance ministry’s expenditure department. Meanwhile, Mr Kotecha’s predecessor C.K. Mishra has been named new environment secretary.

Last year the Modi sarkar had appointed former IAS officer Parameswaran Iyer and World Bank expert as secretary of the department of drinking water and sanitation. He is leading Narendra Modi’s Swachchh Bharat initiative. Mr Iyer’s appointment had set off a debate on lateral entry, which continues to divide the bureaucracy. On its part, the Modi sarkar seems quite clear that it is in favour of inducting specialists into the bureaucracy to strengthen it.

Call for separate cadre
Goa is eagerly awaiting the meeting of the Joint Cadre Authority (JCA), chaired by home secretary Rajiv Gauba, next month, when the state’s long-pending demand for a separate cadre is at the top of the agenda. Goa had sent a proposal of creating separate cadre in 2011 to the ministry of home affairs but due to shortage of officers in the state, the ministry did not take a decision.

The JCA is also supposed to discuss similar requests from the states of Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram. Earlier this year, Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu wrote to the Centre requesting to create separate Indian Administrative Service and Indian Police Service cadres for the state. According to sources, if the request for separate cadre is accepted, then Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union territory (AGMUT) officers will no longer be transferred to these states, enabling them to stay in Union territories for longer tenures than the current three years.

Obviously, the impending meeting of the JCA holds a lot of interest for babus, given the significance of the agenda, and its potential impact on the bureaucracy.

Tags: pema khandu, vaidya rajesh kotecha, s.s. sharma