Spooked by PMO
The Prime Minister’s Office’s reluctance to trust bureaucrats who worked for Ministers in the UPA dispensation has created consternation in babu circles. The Government put on hold reappointments of nine babus who were secretaries in the previous Government. Apparently a circular was issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) instructing that appointment of Minister’s private secretaries and officers on special duty should be cleared by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet. Obviously the babus are unhappy. But while not directly blaming the PMO, some babus have privately and some quite openly questioned the extension given to Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth by the new Government, and also the appointment of Modi’s Principal Secretary Nripendra Mishra through an ordinance. The PMO’s new policy is unlikely to be withdrawn because of such murmurs. So those babus who consider themselves “apolitical” are apparently now trying othe tactics, such as lobbying for their spouses to be appointed to work for the BJP ministers. Another sign that the rules of the game have changed, again!
The road to Lyon, France, was never going to be easy. Hopes were high but were belied ultimately. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief Ranjit Sinha lost out in the race for the coveted post of Interpol Secretary General. Presently the senior-most IPS officer in the country, Sinha was among six candidates vying for this post, including three from Europe. The Interpol Secretary General requires shortlisted candidates to appear before 13 executive committee members out of a total 190 member countries. The committee has to reach a consensus on a candidate and, if fails to do so, the voting route must be taken. Sinha, sources say, lost to the candidate from Germany. Still, he did become the first cop from India to be short-listed to head the world’s largest international police organisation.
Telangana has become a reality after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh was finalised recently, with K Chandrasekhar Rao becoming the first Chief Minister of the country’s latest State. However, the churning in the bureaucracy is expected to continue even as the new administration begins to settle down. In these early and unsettled days, the IAS officers allotted to Telangana are handling multiple responsibilities due to the paucity of officers. Sources say that 36 out of the 44 IAS officrs in Telangana are handing several departments. Even Chief Secretary Rajiv Sharma is handling the additional charge as Chief Commissioner of Land Administration. The prevailing chaos, it is hoped, will eventually end over the coming months. But even more than these changes, babus in Hyderabad are discussing the appointment of Smitha Sabharwal, former collector of Medak district, in the Chief Minister’s Office. Apparently she is the first woman IAS officer to be posted in the CMO in the history of Andhra Pradesh. Telengana may well create quite a few ‘firsts’ in the annals of babudom.