Barbora assumes charge as new vice chief of the Air staff Air Marshal Pranab Kumar Barbora assumed charge as the new vice chief of the Air staff at air headquarters on June 1, 2009. He was formerly the air officer commanding-in-chief of IAF’s western air command (WAC) and eastern air command (EAC), a defense ministry release said. Born on December 10, 1950 in Shillong, Mr Barbora was commissioned into the IAF as a fighter pilot on June 13, 1970. A highly experienced aviator with over 3500 hours to his credit, he took part in the 1971 war.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Chandrasekhar gets extension; Ramachandran & Chawla to be key contenders for cabinet secretary’s post next year
WITH the government’s decision to give one year extension to current cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar from June 13, 2009, the hope of a woman officer getting the top administrative post in India is over. Had the extension been not given, labour secretary Sudha Pillai, who currently tops the merit-cum-seniority list of IAS officers of 1972 batch, would have clinched the cabinet secretary’s post, which would have been in sync with President of the nation being a woman, and Lok Sabha speaker is all set to be a woman. While writing the piece “Pati, Patni and Post: It’s Sudha Pillai vs. G K Pillai for next cabinet secretary” on May 11, 2009, BoI (Babus of India) mentioned, “Babu Blogger spoke to a number of IAS officers to come to a conclusion that no government can afford to be so gender bias to deprive Ms Pillai though some said in private that no woman would eventually be given that key post….” Significantly, with the current battle being over, urban development secretary M Ramachandran of 1972 batch and finance secretary Ashok Chawla of 1973 batch will be the key contenders for cabinet secretary’s post next year. Mr Ramachandran will qualify to be a contender as he retires just a few days after Mr Chandrasekhar’s one-year-term comes to an end. Once he is selected as the cabinet secretary, he will get a fixed two years term. Finance secretary Chawla, who is known to be politically well connected, is currently ranked at 15 in the merit-cum-seniority list of 1973 batch IAS list, but by mid-June next year, all those above him barring four officers, would be retiring. Even those four officers would not qualify to be contenders for the highest administrative post in the country as they are either in states or are now holding only secretary-equivalent posts. So who are you betting for the next turn --- Mr Ramachandran or Mr Chawla?