Thursday, October 01, 2009

PM continues to retain key officers to bring in continuity; now joint secretaries in PMO get extension

IT SEEMS India’s Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has made it very clear that continuity of key officers in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is indispensable to effectively execute government’s major action plans during the second innings of the current UPA government. If joint secretary in PMO R Gopalakrishnan’s extension of tenure till June 30, 2011 after the extension of tenure of joint secretary Ms Vini Mahajan and secretary in PMO M N Prasad is any indication, the continuity of key civil servants seems to be a norm in South Block which houses India’s Prime Minister’s Office. Mr Gopalakrishnan, who was overseeing the Bharat Nirman programme in the PMO from the time of its inception, is a 1979 batch Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS. He first got an extension upto September 30 before the term was further extended till June, 2011. Recently, another joint secretary and 1987 batch Punjab cadre IAS Vini Mahajan’s tenure was extended till April 29, 2011. Earlier, Prime Minister decided to retain secretary in PMO and 1972 batch Bihar cadre IAS M N Prasad on a contract basis even after his retirement. No wonder, after Dr Singh assumed office for the second time in May this year, he retained national security adviser MK Narayanan and principal secretary TKA Nair in the same posts with a rank of a minister of state. Also, cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar who would have retired in June, 2009, was also given one year’s extension.

Babus In Demand The ministry of home affairs (MHA) in its report card for September said that newly set up National Investigative Agency continues to recruit more officers to strengthen it. In order to fill Group A and Group B posts immediately, a one-time special recruitment process was approved in consultation with the UPSC. A 1975 batch IPS, Radha Vinod Raju, heads the Agency as its Director General.

Action & Appointments a) Air Marshal Ajay Shriniwas Karnik would take over as Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO), of one of the senior most operational commands of the Indian Air Force on October 1, 2009. A Fighter Combat Leader and a Qualified Flying Instructor, he is an alumni of Air War College, University of USAF, Montgomery, USA. b) Lt Gen AS Lamba took over as GOC-in-C Army Training Command, Shimla. The Officer has a vast experience of conventional warfare and unconventional Counter Insurgency operations and had participated in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War and served in Nagaland, Manipur, and also in Sri Lanka with the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF). c) The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the placement of Anil Bhushan Prasad, a 1976 batch Bihar cadre IAS on compulsory wait in the department of administrative reforms & public grievances in the rank and pay of additional secretary during the period from June1, 2009 to July 23, 2009.

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