Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Vacancy in Sonia Gandhi-headed NAC; officer to work with Mrs Gandhi's team

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi-headed National Advisory Council (NAC) is looking for a desk officer indicating more work in coming days at the country’s most powerful think tank. The DoPT on Tuesday issued an office memorandum to all ministries and departments under the Central government asking for a suitable candidate. In fact, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on June 7, 2012 wrote a letter asking for applications for a desk officer’s post at NAC which has been lying vacant for sometime.
The rank of the desk officer was not specified, but here are the reasons why many officers are likely to apply…
After all, one needs not be an ordinary desk officer sitting at one corner of Nirman Bhawan or Krishi Bhawan. The selected officer will have a VVIP office address in New Delhi’s 2, Motilal Nehru Marg bungalow opposite of Sonia Gandhi’s official residence of 10 Janpath. Headed by former rural development secretary Rita Sharma, the administration is being handled by only three to four officers giving everyone a chance to demonstrate talents and come close to Mrs Gandhi. Mrs Sharma who is a 1974 batch retired officer does interact with Mrs Gandhi ahead of every monthly review meeting. Mrs Sharma is an IAS batch-mate principal secretary to PM Pulok Chatterji, who is also a close confidante of the UPA chairperson.
As Chatterji has reportedly shown interests in pushing NAC’s agenda in government, the selected desk officer’s good work, if any, will come to Chatterji’s notice as well. During the last eight years, this powerful think tank has been able to influence the government's policy-making. The RTI Act, for example, is one piece of legislation which was incubated at NAC. In UPA-II, the food security bill is a product of NAC’s brainstorming.

Action and Appointments

a) Ms Limatula Yaden, a 1996 batch Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) officer, has been appointed as director in the department of health and family welfare.
b) Prashant Kumar Sinha, a 1992 batch Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) officer, has been appointed as director in the department of food and public distribution.
c) Subash Chandra Khuntia, a 1981 batch Karnataka cadre IAS, presently in the cadre, has been appointed as additional secretary and financial adviser in the ministry of petroleum and natural gas.

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