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Chaturvedi's tenure as Cabinet Secy extended

His extension has put an end to speculation that Prime Minister was keen on another candidate for the nation's top civil servant's job.

india Updated: May 30, 2006 16:50 IST

Cabinet Secretary BK Chaturvedi has got a year's extension of service, putting to an end speculation that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was keen on another candidate for the nation's top civil servant's job.

"Yes, the extension is for a year," Chaturvedi said.

A fortnight ago, Manmohan Singh had interviewed prospective candidates to succeed Chaturvedi whose tenure was due to end June 10.

Among those who were interviewed for the job were Adarsh Kishore, a Rajasthan cadre officer, who was elevated as finance secretary only a couple of months ago, women development secretary Reva Nayyar and Dhanendra Kumar, currently an executive director at the World Bank.

Sources in the government said the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) was lobbying for commerce secretary Srikadath Narayan Menon, another officer of the 1969 batch, who served as secretary to then West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu.

Even Union Home Secretary Vinod Kumar Duggal, a 1968 batch Indian Administrative Service officer, was reported to be in the race. But Duggal, say government officials, just got an extension of two years in his current post, thus eliminating his chances.

With Chaturvedi staying on, Nayyar, who could have been the country's first woman cabinet secretary, is tipped to head the Women's Commission.

Though Nayyar was considered for the post, what went against her was that she never held any senior posting during her career, and also because she remained on a long leave of eight years after her husband, Vineet, was posted abroad.

She, said sources, had therefore missed the opportunity of being the deputy commissioner of a district, which is considered a key factor while appraising the career graph of a bureaucrat.

Other vacancies the government will need to fill are in the Central Vigilance Commission, the National Human Rights Commission, the proposed Sixth Pay Commission and the Statistical Commission.

First Published: May 30, 2006 16:50 IST