Thursday, May 08, 2014

7 Days, 5 Extension: Is it routine, or should the pace be questioned?

IN THE first week of May, at least five IAS officers belonging to ministries such as Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), home, industries and defence have got extension. All those officers are currently on Central deputation. To be fair, getting extension beyond a five-year-tenure is not something illegal, but the pace in which extension orders have poured in ahead of a possible change of guard at the Centre, can’t be brushed aside as something routine either. First, here are the five officers some of whom got extension up to one and half years as well…
May 2 Order: The government approves extension of tenure of 1983 batch West Bengal cadre IAS and joint secretary in agriculture ministry, Atanu Purkayastha for a period of three months beyond May 1, 2014.
May 5 Order: Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approves extension of tenure 1993 batch Jammu and Kashmir cadre IAS Dheeraj Gupta up to July 31, 2015 "in relaxation of ceiling on tenure applicable under Central Staffing Scheme". Gupta, a joint secretary in PMO, has now been appointed as adviser (joint secretary level) in the Planning Commission.
May 6 Order: The ACC approves the proposal of the defence ministry for extension of deputation tenure of Ms Smita Nagaraj, 1984 batch Tamil Nadu cadre IAS, as joint secretary in that ministry for a period of three months beyond April 18, 2014 and up to July 18, 2014 on ground of continuity.
May 6 Order: The Central deputation tenure of DIPP joint secretary Shubhra Singh, 1989 batch Rajasthan cadre IAS, has been extended up to October 10, 2015.
May 7 Order: The Central deputation tenure of Bhagwan Shankar, 1988 batch Sikkim cadre IAS and joint secretary in home ministry, has been extended up to November 30, 2015.
Ahead of 2009 results, a number of PMO officers including the then joint secretary Pulok Chatterji left the hot-seats possibly expecting a change of guard. This time, PMO joint secretary Dheeraj Gupta who has already been on an extension since March 2013, gets yet another extension till July 31, 2015. Also, he will now move from the South Block to Yojana Bhawan that houses the Planning Commission.
It however remains to be seen what will be the next posting for inarguably the most powerful joint secretary in the PMO: BVR Subrahmanyam, 1987 batch Chhattisgarh cadre IAS.


  1. Officers in important places like PMO and Cabinet Secretariat use their position to benefit themselves, while at the same time using denying similar benefits to others whose cases are covered by rules.

  2. Any extension given beyond 10 th June 14 should be treated as null and void.

  3. This is why there is a deep systemic rot in the civil services.