The decision of the Centre to grant one year’s extension to Cabinet secretary, K.M.Chandrasekhar has apparently ensured that no officer of three succeeding batches of IAS can aspire for the top bureaucratic assignment. Chandrasekhar is from the 1970 batch and once he was elevated to the top position, virtually all officers of his own batch and some of 1971 and 1972 batches got eliminated. His year’s extension will have the same impact on officers of even 1973 batch. Thus in all probability, the next Cabinet Secretary will be from the 1974 batch. In actual terms it means that decks have been virtually cleared for Pulok Chatterjee (1974 batch), a one time favourite of 10, Janpath to be the next Cabinet Secretary. Chatterjee who is on a three-year World Bank assignment returns back next year.
Environment ministry to be split in two
The environment ministry is heading for a split into two departments, one for wildlife and forests and other for the environment. The ministry is working on a formula to divide the existing officials into two different sections so that work of neither departments, to be created, suffer. the ministry is also looking at bringing in Indian Forest Service officials on deputation from outside Delhi to give special impetus to forest and wildlife issues, which is believed to be have suffered because of more importance given to environmental issues. Many IFS officers have also approached the ministry willing to join posts in the new forest and wildlife department.
Moily takes charge, settles infighting
Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily has settled a months long intra-departmental dispute within his ministry. The justice department, which deals with judiciary related matters was given the task of preparing a blueprint for the creation of a special purpose vehicle to bring down the huge number of pending cases in courts, but it lobbed the issue to the department of legal affairs, saying it did not have the requisite manpower to work on the project. The minister, however, finally prevailed by transferring the issue back to the Justice department, with directions for a time-bound decision.