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Chief Election Commissioner of India and former Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS officer OP Rawat among others during the celebration of national public relations day at NDIM campus on April 21.

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Monday, February 12, 2018

5 Civil Servants to Watch Out For, 2018: At No 2 is next cabinet secretary probable Kapil Dev Tripathi


WHO will be the 32nd cabinet secretary of India? As incumbent Pradeep Kumar Sinha’s extended term ends on June 13 this year (he was originally appointed for two years and then granted one year of extension), speculations begin on who could be the next top bureaucrat in India. And if the government decides not to extend Sinha’s tenure any longer, as was the case of the then foreign secretary S Jaishankar, it’s the present petroleum secretary and 1980 batch IAS Kapil Dev Tripathi who could be the frontrunner for the top bureaucrat's post. As on June 13, Tripathi will be the…
senior most civil servant of India. In BoI’s series of 5 Civil Servants to Watch Out For, 2018, petroleum secretary Kapil Dev Tripathi is No 2. The other three bureaucrats to watch out for in 2018 who BoI has already profiled are “incredible bureaucrat” Amitabh Kant (No 3), “strategist-in chief” in Chhattisgarh Aman Kumar Singh (No 4) and new foreign secretary and 1981 batch Indian Foreign Service officer Vijay Keshav Gokhale (No 5). Kant’s tenure as NITI Aayog CEO has been extended till June 2019, as was speculated by us. 
In case of Tripathi, the retirement date is June 30, 2018. But according to government rules, the officer needs to be a serving civil servant at the time of the appointment as the cabinet secretary. Once appointed, the officer will however get a tenure of two years which is extendable. KM Chandrasekhar and Ajit Kumar Seth got even four-year-long tenure. 
An MSc in physics from Allahabad University, Tripathi belongs to Uttar Pradesh. He is an Assam-Meghalaya cadre IAS.
At the Centre, he served as deputy secretary in rural development, private secretary to steel minister, director in tourism ministry, joint secretary and secretary in the department of public enterprises (DPE). Tripathi also briefly headed the Central Vigilance Commission when the then CVC Pradeep Kumar retired. He knows a number of languages: English, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali and also Sanskrit.
If Tripathi is chosen as the next cabinet secretary, he will first be appointed as the officer-in-charge in the cabinet secretariat, at least a month prior to his elevation as the top bureaucrat. But there's a catch. Despite being the senior most civil servant, Tripathi may still miss the bus to be the next cabinet secretary if incumbent Sinha gets even one-month-long extension. Will Tripathi then be accommodated in another key post? We will get the answer only in the month of June, or possibly later.
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