IN THIS season of Christmas and New Year, at least six union secretaries have been on leave though getting off has become increasingly difficult for most senior bureaucrats, particularly those connected to the government’s fire-fight against the fallouts of demonetization. Those union secretaries who have currently been on leave include DIPP secretary and 1982 batch Bihar cadre IAS Ramesh Abhishek, commerce secretary and 1981 batch Gujarat cadre IAS Rita Teaotia, textile secretary and 1982 batch IAS Rashmi Verma, secretary in the ministry of…Development of North Eastern Region and 1982 batch Bihar cadre IAS Naveen Verma, secretary in the ministry of minority affairs and 1981 batch Manipur cadre IAS Ameising Luikham, and finally home secretary and 1978 batch Rajasthan cadre IAS Rajiv Mehrishi. The exact reasons of their leave are not known, as the competent authority while giving additional charge to other secretaries does not publish reasons for the officers' leaves — whether those are privileged leaves or sick leaves. Significantly, both the commerce and industry (DIPP) secretaries are currently on leave — which is why heavy industry secretary and 1982 batch Bihar cadre IAS Girish Shankar was assigned additional charge for both the posts. Both commerce secretary and the DIPP secretary sit in the same building — Udyog Bhawan, and their have the same minister.
Similarly, during Rashmi Verma’s absence on leave— between December 24, 2016 and January 15, 2017— the post of secretary of the ministry of textile will be handled by KK Jalan, a 1982 batch Haryana cadre IAS.
For minority affairs secretary Luikham, the leave is quite short -- between December 21 and December 26, 2016. And during this period, the additional charge of the post of the minority affairs secretary is being handled by Seema Bahuguna, a 1983 batch Rajasthan cadre IAS and secretary in the department of public enterprises (DPE).
Then, the government has assigned additional charge of the post of secretary of the ministry of development of North Eastern Region to Naini Jayaseelan, 1980 batch AGMUT cadre IAS and secretary, inter state council secretariat under the ministry of home affairs.
Meanwhile, the home secretary Mehrishi is also on leave between December 24, 2016 and January 1, 2017. And the additional charge of the home secretary's post is given to DoPT secretary BP Sharma.