Nripendra Misra, 1967-batch IAS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, and PK Mishra, a 1972-batch IAS officer of the Gujarat cadre, have been re-appointed as Principal Secretary and Additional Principal Secretary, respectively, to Prime Minister Narendra Modi with cabinet minister rank. Earlier, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval was given an extension along with an upgrade from minister of state rank to cabinet rank. Why cabinet rank to the officials of the Prime Minister’s Office? The idea to upgrade the PMO seems to have sprung from the induction of S Jaishanker as External Affairs Minister with cabinet rank. Moreover, RK Singh, former Home Secretary, Som Prakash, former IAS officer and Dalit leader from Punjab, Arjun Ram Meghwal, former IAS officer from Rajasthan, are the other senior civil servants who are ministers in the Modi cabinet. In a parliamentary democracy, elected leaders are the bosses of the civil administration machinery irrespective of their education and background. The idea to promote PMO officials must have come from the premise that the authority of officials should be maintained and it should be made loud and clear. Apart from status, cabinet rank gives officials the power to take decisions, recruit personal staff and travel. Protocol wise, it’s a message to the administration to provide due honour and respect to the officer with cabinet rank.