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More non-IAS officers being picked for Secretary-level posts


New Delhi: In another first for the Modi government, there has been a steady inflow of non-IAS officers in the list for empanelment of Secretaries.

A perusal of the compendium of circulars on empanelment of Secretaries shows that non-IAS officers are now being empaneled for becoming Secretaries since May 2014 when the Modi government came to power first.

However, after empanelment, one finds that the status quo hits back and the non-IAS never quite become Secretaries.

As per an analysis, there were no non-IAS officers empaneled from 2010 to 2014, with only IAS officers empaneled for the Secretary's post.

On December 4, 2019, the Appointments Committee of the Union Cabinet approved another tranche of non-IAS officers for empanelment. These include Prem Kumar Kataria of the Indian Audit & Accounts Service (IA&AS), Prashant Kumar of the Indian Forest Service (IFoS), both of the 1985 batch, Enforcement Directorate Director Sanjay Kumar Mishra, and Shefali Shah, both of the Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax) 1984 batch.

For the first time, after the Modi government came to power, non-IAS officers were empaneled. On August 21, 2014, two officers, A. Dayalan of the IA&AS and R.K. Chopra, of the Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES), both of the 1978 batch, were recommended for the panel.

Then after a gap of almost a year, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, on September 18, 2015, approved the empanelment of non-IAS officers for Secretary or Secretary equivalent posts at the Centre.

These included Shobhana Joshi of the Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS), 1979 batch, M.J. Joseph of the Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) and Annie Moraes, of the Indian Post & Telecommunication Accounts and Finance Service (IP&TAFS), also of the 1979 batch, were empaneled.

The same circular also mentioned that A.B. Joshi, of the Indian Postal Service (IPoS), also of the 1979 batch, has been empaneled for Secretary level positions at the Centre.

After a gap of another year, several non-IAS officers were empaneled again on August 19, 2016. Prasenjit Mukherjee of the IA&AS, Ananya Ray and Deepak Shetty, both of the IRS, and Ashwani Lohani of the Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers (IRSME), all of the 1980 batch, A.K. Goyal of the IFoS and 1981 batch, and Rakesh Jain and Hindupur Pradeep Rao, both of the IA&AS' 1981 batch, were approved for empanelment by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.

On December 27, 2017, a tranche of non-IAS officers was approved by the ACC for Secretary and Secretary level posts. These include Anuradha Mitra of the IP&TAFS, 1982 batch, and S.C. Pandey and Sudha Krishnan, both of the IA&AS 1983 batch.

On December 13, 2018, the ACC approved another tranche of non-IAS officers for holding Secretary and Secretary equivalent level posts. These include Gargi Kaul of the IA&AS, 1984 batch and Meenakshi Gupta, also of the IA&AS.

The officers approved for Secretary equivalent level posts were V.K. Yadav of the Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers (IRSEE), 1981 batch, Madhulika P. Sukul of the IDAS, 1982 batch, Bala Prasad of the IFoS, 1983 batch, and Sat Pal Chouhan of the Indian Engineering Services (IES), 1983 batch.

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