By the Way

One for all

Secretaries in the Government of India are appointed on the basis of seniority. Every year, the officers are promoted to the rank of Secretary batch-wise. This year, the 1978 batch of IAS officers will be retired. The 1979 and 1980 batches of IAS officers will become Secretaries and will implement the programme and policies of the government. The entire process is akin to a well-oiled mechanism developed by the Department of Personnel and Training. It is a mix of officers from the states, from different backgrounds and creed. Many stories have been published when particular officers either born in a particular State or belonging to the cadre of the State have got prized postings. There are 94 Secretaries in the Government of India. This year, there are murmurs in the corridors of government offices that the present setup has approximately 17 top-ranking officers of one community, including those in the Prime Minister’s Office. Generally, the administrative setup keeps in mind the proper representation of States, merit and seniority. This is done so that a particular State’s officers don’t rule the roost (read rule the nation). In the given scenario, this year the government will have to work harder to ensure equilibrium of states, community and creed so it genuinely appears to be a government that not only advocates merit and seniority but implements it as well.

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