Spy vs Spy
By all indications, the race for the post of Chairman of the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) is a tough one. NTRO may not be as well-known as RAW or IB, but the intelligence community is agog with rumours about who will succeed current Chairman P.V. Kumar who retires next month. While there is a school of thought that believes Kumar is likely to get another year in the post, several top spooks have reportedly already thrown their hat in the ring!
Among the contenders, it is being said, are even a former RAW Chief, Sanjeev Tripathi, the head of the Aviation Research Centre Amitabh Mathur, and some senior IB officers. Sources claim that Tripathi faces no competition from the IB officers who have already been placed as Secretaries (security and internal security, respectively). But the government, understandably, is keeping everything hush-hush.
Is Nitish slipping up?
The last few months have not been easy on Bihar’s Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who has impressed many with his governance skills. But of late his efforts to make Bihar a corruption-free State have not been as effective. Senior IPS officers in the State have been in the news for alleged corruption, a serious setback to Nitish’s image. Recently senior IPS officer and DIG Saran range Alok Kumar was suspended for allegedly demanding Rs. 10 crore from a liquor merchant. Last year, a young IPS officer and Superintendent of Police, Ansuiya Ransingh Sahu was suspended for collecting money from bootleggers and allowing gambling dens to operate in her jurisdiction. In another instance, Nitish had to order the transfer of Babu Ram, the SP of Sheikhpura, after the cop allegedly beat up a liquor shop worker. But clearly, the Chief Minister needs to be seen to be doing more to curb rampant corruption in his administration.
Out of Favour
Life is always interesting if you are an IAS officer in Mamata-ruled West Bengal! Though there have been several bureaucratic shuffles since the Trinamool Congress came to power, babus in Kolkata are pondering the fate of 1994-batch IAS officer Nandini Chakravorty, who has been transferred for the second time in three months. Until last November, Ms Chakravorty, considered close to the Chief Minister, was not only Managing Director of the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) but also Secretary of Information and Cultural affairs. Notably, Mamata holds the Information and Culture portfolio.
But clearly Ms Chakravorty has mysteriously fallen out of favour. She has been packed off as Editor of the West Bengal StateGazetteers, a rather ordinary position so far held by State-level bureaucrats, certainly not for high-flying IAS officers. Getting back into the thick of things may not be easy from here.