Friday, June 01, 2012

Whispers In Corridors: Succession Planning for defence secretary begins

Sumit Bose
Shashi Kant Sharma, a 1976 batch Bihar cadre IAS, will retire as defence secretary in July next year, but many in the corridors have zeroed in who could be the next defence secretary, and why? The trend of appointing a finance person in defence ministry may continue as the priority of the top babu in the South Block now is to anchor procurement worth billions of dollars which needs high quality financial skills.
So, who is the next finance ministry bureaucrat who could be asked to move from North to South Block in July next year? He is none other than Madhya Pradesh cadre…
IAS and Shashi Kant Sharma’s batch-mate Sumit Bose. Here is the logic. Bose, an outstanding officer with impeccable records, would have been a key contender for the cabinet secretary’s post that lies vacant in May next year. But as cabinet secretary usually gets one extension if not two, and keeping in view current incumbent Ajit K Seth’s good working relations with principal secretary to PM Pulok Chatterji, it’s unlikely that the government would search for a new cabinet secretary next year. So, Bose who is now the expenditure secretary and will become finance secretary on the basis of seniority after RS Gujral retires, could be shifted to defence ministry instead. In a normal course, Bose retires in March 2014, but if he is made the defence secretary, Bose will retire only in July 2015 as defence secretary gets a fixed tenure of two years.
Bose, who is an MSc in social planning from London School of Economics, will however cease to be a contender for the cabinet secretary in May 2014, as he will by then turn 60 plus. Very likely, the next cabinet secretary will be determined only by the next government.

Action and Appointments

a) PK Pradhan, a 1977 batch West Bengal cadre IAS and secretary, department of health and family welfare will hold additional charge of the post of secretary, department of AYUSH during the absence on leave of Anil Kumar, a 1976 batch Nagaland cadre IAS.
b) N Muruganandam, a 1991 batch Tamil Nadu cadre IAS, presently working as joint secretary in the ministry of rural development, has been appointed as joint secretary in the ministry of shipping, on lateral shift basis.


  1. There is no end in discussing pros & cons. However,I.. officers should be given enough space(by big hearted political masters) do justice in their respective fields. This should be nurtured at the initial stage itself otherwise mediocrity,(bully factor) will continue forever.

  2. Plz tell me abt deputation of subhash sharma 84batch bihar cadre to centre.