IN January this year, babusofindia.com (BoI) presented the rise of 1972 batch officers with a tagline of “Numerological Influence” after bureaucrats of that batch continuously scripted success stories in grabbing key government posts including national security adviser (NSA), RBI Governor, home and defence secretaries and Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) just to name a few.
Now, with Sudha Pillai (In Picture) of 1972 batch becoming Member Secretary of Planning Commission with a rank of a Minister of State post retirement, and urban development secretary and her batch-mate M Ramachandran emerging as the top contender for the cabinet secretary’s post that will be vacant next month, it may not just be numerological influence, but sheer indispensability of some bureaucrats for whom retirement age of 60 is strictly not applicable.
But the bigger question here is what makes some officers so indispensable in the government that Prime Minister and his spin doctors don’t want them to lose whereas hundreds of other bureaucrats simply retire and go into oblivion. Ms Pillai, who has already made a mark in social sectors, first as labour secretary and then as Planning Commission secretary, there is no surprise in the decision of the top brass of the government to keep her engaged even after retirement.
Or for that matter, RBI Governor and the topper of 1972 batch Duvvuri Subbarao is unlikely to be out of action even after his tenure in the central bank ends. If the earlier trends continue, GK Pillai who is now on a two-year fixed term as home secretary, could emerge as strong contenders for gubernatorial positions in any North-East state!
Wish to see a photograph of five young and stylish IAS officers of 1972 batch during their Army attachment period? Just click at this PUBLICLY AVAILABLE LINK, then scroll it down to the eighth black and white picture. One in the middle with spectacles and tight trouser is home secretary GK Pillai (husband of Sudha Pillai) who is flanked by former agriculture secretary T Nanda Kumar, urban development secretary M Ramachandran, and former
Maharashtra chief secretary Johny Joseph.