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Centre yet to reply on Rajasthan chief secretary Rajeeva Swaroop’s extension

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Rajasthan’s chief secretary Rajeeva Swaroop, who will retire on October 29 this year, is eagerly awaiting the approval of the Union home ministry on his extension. The Rajasthan government has urged the Centre to grant an extension to Swaroop for a period of three months from the date of his retirement to enable him to help the state government in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

But, even after Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about Swaroop’s extension, the state government is yet to hear from the Centre.

A 1985 batch officer, Swaroop’s batchmate K Shanmugham, who is the chief secretary of the Tamil Nadu government, was granted the second three-month extension on October 14. But Swaroop’s file has not been cleared.

Notably, Shanmugham was granted a three-month extension from August 1 to October 31 at the Tamil Nadu government’s request. Tamil Nadu government sought the extension as Shanmugham’s services were required to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Rajasthan government also cited similar reasons while seeking Swaroop’s extension, but it did not work.

The Union home ministry’s department of personnel and training will have to give approval for the extension. The Rajasthan government sent a note for Swaroop’s extension in September.

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Swaroop was made the chief secretary by removing DB Gupta barely three months before his retirement in a dramatic reshuffle of the bureaucracy by Ashok Gehlot. Gupta was made the adviser to the chief minister and now he is tipped to become chief information commissioner, after his retirement in September. Gupta is continuing as the chief minister’s adviser now.

Twist in the tale

Meanwhile, there is a sudden twist to the story on the proposed appointment of the director general of police (DGP). The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has asked the Rajasthan government to send the name of 1987 batch IPS AK Mishra in the panel for selection of the DGP. Mishra, who was an additional director in the Intelligence Bureau (IB) in Delhi, has been promoted as the special director now.

The UPSC recommends two names from which the state government can select one to head the police force. The Rajasthan government had sent the names of the acting DGP ML Lather, Rajiv Dasot and BL Soni and made Lather acting DGP after the retirement of Bhupendra Yadav.

Notably, Yadav was made the chairman of the Rajasthan Public Service Commission. All three officers, as well as Mishra, are from the 1987 batch.

But, since Mishra’s name has been asked to be sent, the UPSC’s choice has become wide now and he may spring a surprise to the disappointment of Lather, an officer from the Jat community and favoured by the chief minister.

 

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