Seth’s extension eliminates the chances of Sutanu Behuria, secretary, heavy industry department, who is due to retire on July 31. Water resources secretary Alok Rawat and corporate affairs secretary Naved Masood — who are next in the seniority list — will still be in the race six months later. Both of them are 1977 batch officers.
The cabinet secretary’s post was originally the first among equals and not a promotion post. Nearly two decades ago, the CS’ post was raised a notch higher. The government does retain the right to appoint any of the senior officers amongst the hierarchy-conscious IAS to the key post. But it needs to demonstrate that it had considered all officers according to seniority.
Seth’s six-month extension would bring Jawed Usmani, Saurabh Chandra in the zone of consideration for this post later.