Hunt begins for new CS

Madhav Lal To Demit Office By March 31; Khanday, Goswami, Jain Frontrunners


Srinagar, Jan 7: Hectic lobbying has begun for the coveted post of Jammu and Kashmir’s Chief Secretary with the incumbent Madhav Lal likely to get new posting in Union Health or Home Ministry by March 31 this year.
Three senior-most Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers – Iqbal Khanday, Anil Goswami and Pankaj Jain are in the queue for the state’s top administrative position.
“All three contenders for the post of Chief Secretary are of 1978 IAS batch, which makes all of them eligible for the post,” sources said. They said the present Chief Secretary has been intimated by the Government of India to remain ready for the next posting. “He will either land in Union Health or Home Ministry,” sources said.
A resident of Delhi, Lal has served J&K in various capacities that include Principal Secretary, Forest Department, Principal Secretary Planning and Development Department and OSD in the Resident Commission office, J&K Government, New Delhi. He has also served in the Government of India as Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Finance (Department of Economic Affairs) and as member (finance and administration) in the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
Sources in the Civil Secretariat told Greater Kashmir that Lal, a 1977 batch IAS officer, will complete his two year term in the office on January 31. “He will be back in Delhi by March 31 for central deputation. By then, the state government has to finalize the next candidate for the top slot,” sources said “What remains to be seen is who among the three, Khanday, Goswami and Jain wins the race.”
Khanday was recently promoted as Financial Commissioner while Goswami is Special Secretary in the Union Home Ministry. Jain is Special Secretary in the Union Ministry of Statistics and Project Implementation.
Sources said if Khanday is chosen for the top post, he will be third Kashmiri Chief Secretary after Sheikh Ghulam Rasool and Vijay Bakaya.
“It is the state government’s prerogative to select the senior person. But if the person is on central deputation, the government has to then consult the Government of India,” sources said. “Though it would be best to have a Kashmiri CS, but selection has to be made keeping in view the seniority as prescribed in the rules.”
Pertinently, the state administration is facing a serious crunch of IAS officers as a number of officers are presently on central deputation. “No selection of the IAS cadre has led to a vacuum in the state administration. Those who would finish the deputation and join in J&K won’t help as the dearth will continue. At present most of the principal secretaries are holding more than two charges,” said a top IAS officer, wishing not to be named. “The arrangement has to go on. Once a few offices return from the Central deputation, more from the J&K will go. This is an ongoing process.”

Lastupdate on : Mon, 7 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 7 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 8 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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