In the hot seat
Raghuraman Rajan, the new Chief Economic Advisor in the Finance Ministry says bureaucracy is not foreign to him. This is good, since he’ll be surrounded by it in his new job. It may help perhaps that his father was a civil servant. But it has been a sort of convention that this position is usually accorded to an academic rather than a babu. Sources say that Rajan’s name had been green-lighted quite some time back by Pranab Mukherjee when he was Finance Minister. Expectations are running high but so are the challenges, which he is candid enough to admit are “serious”. At a time when investments and growth in the Indian economy have faltered significantly, and economic reforms have been stalled due to lack of political consensus, the new Chief Economic Advisor has a lot on his plate already. Observers, however, are also keen to see how Raman will help his mantri P. Chidambaram help steer the floundering ship of India’s economy.
In a country where retirement is not the most welcome of events in a person’s life, babus in Bihar these days can’t seem to wait to get off the hook. The reason is that “post-retirement” life seems far more attractive, what with plum postings that await them, especially those who are close to the ruling dispensation. A former Bihar chief secretary. R.J.M. Pillai. secured his post-retirement job well in advance. He is now Chief Information Commissioner of the Bihar State Information Commission. His successor. Navin Kumar, similarly ensured that he would become the Director General of the newly-created Centre for Good Governance Society. According to sources senior police officials and bureaucrats have benefited immensely from Nitish’s reluctance to see some of his favourite babus ride into the sunset. Others who have joined this league are former Development Commissioners K.C. Saha and S. Vijayraghavan, former Home Secretary U.N. Panjiar and Shakil Ahmed, to name a few.
If rumours are to be believed the Union Home Ministry proposes to extend the tenure of CRPF Director General K. Vijay Kumar, slated to retire, by a year. If true, this move will impact several senior IPS officers who are vying for the position. Observers say that it would probably be a first, since no CRPF chief in the past has been given an extension. According to sources, the Ministry is of the view that appointing a new chief would impact anti-Maoist operations being undertaken by the CRPF. But the reported move has naturally dampened the enthusiasm of senior officers from the 1976 ad 1977 batches of the IPS. Still, all will be revealed soon as the matter is now with the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) which will take a decision shortly.