Who will be the new Cabinet Secretary of India on June 13? If sources are to be believed, the current incumbent, Ajit Kumar Seth, might get an extension for another year. The reason being given for the extension is that Seth is non-controversial and is an efficient officer with a clean image. Seth, a 1974 batch IAS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, joined as Cabinet Secretary on June 14, 2011, on a two-year tenure. So, as the new government will have little time to select the new Cabinet Secretary, it may choose to extend Seth’s term. But what if his term is not extended? There are many bright officers to choose from. In all probability, the selection will be from among the 1976 to 1978 batches of IAS officers. The senior-most officer is Sutanu Behuria, a 1976-batch IAS officer of the Himachal Pradesh cadre and Secretary, Heavy Industries. From the 1977 batch, a strong contender is Varesh Sinha, an IAS officer of the Gujarat cadre and currently Chief Secretary of Gujarat. Also in the running can be Madhav Lal, a 1977-batch IAS officer of the J&K cadre and Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises. He also got the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration in 2012. Lal has a competitor from his own State—Parvez Diwan, a 1977-batch officer and Secretary, J&K Tourism. Then there is Vishwapati Trivedi, a 1977-batch IAS officer from the Madhya Pradesh cadre and Secretary, Shipping.
Trivedi has vast experience of administration, at both State and Central levels. Other 1977-batch IAS officers who could be considered include Naved Masood, Secretary, Corporate Affairs (UP cadre); Pradeep Kumar Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Power (UP cadre); Bidhu Bhushan Mohanty, Chairman, Rajasthan Civil Service Appellate Tribunal (Rajasthan cadre); and Alemtemshi Jamir, Chief Secretary, Nagaland (Nagaland cadre).