Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Monday Mirchi : It is now Poonam vs Jawahar?

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When it comes to a race among equals or near equals, even a slender margin can determine the winner, but the losers cannot be deemed as also-rans. There are reports of a functional gap between Poonam Malakondaiah and Jawahar Reddy in the AP administration. Poonam, being Special Chief Secretary, has been calling the shots and is deemed to be more powerful than the Chief Secretary. However, Jawahar Reddy, who hails from Kadapa, is more like a family with Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy. So, the discussion in the corridors of power is centered on who among the two would eventually gain an upper hand in the government. For newbies, Poonam was among the front-runners in the race for the Chief Secretary post and was tipped to make it to the coveted position before Jagan sprang a surprise.

Sameer gets posting against norms?
Former AP CS Sameer Sharma, a 1985 batch officer who has been appointed as Chief Executive to Chief Minister (a post specially created in the rank of ex-officio Chief Secretary), may have got more than what he had expected when he was appointed simultaneously as Chairman of the AP Pollution Control Board — a quasi judicial post. Both the appointments were made effective from November 30 –the day Sharma retired at the end of his extended service. Murmurs are being heard now on whether he can hold both the offices with informed suggestions that he may have to give up either CE2CM post or PCB chairman post. The best part of CE2CM post is that Sameer will assist the Chief Minister in assessing the performance of AIS officers with their Annual Confidential Reports.

Getting the bigwigs to Osmania University
TS Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and prominent IAS officers attended an event at Osmania University recently. Their presence triggered whispers about Vice Chancellor Prof. D. Ravinder’s designs. Noticeably, Ravinder, since his appointment, has been more in contact with babus than his predecessors. Be it the launch of the Civil Services Academy, restoration of step well, or any of the launches at the University; things seem to be changing fast. The buzz is that the VC is keen to be in the good books of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. Lending credence to this view, the VC met K T Rama Rao and reportedly had an interaction with the Minister ostensibly on the restoration of the step well. People did not fail to notice that the Education Minister herself was hardly found.

Change of guard soon in Panchayati Raj Dept
Amidst uncertainty over the timing of the next bureaucratic reshuffle in Telangana, at least one thing seems to be clear. A little bird told us that the Panchayati Raj & Rural Development Dept will soon have a new secretary. The buzz is that the powers that be have almost decided on the replacement. As for Collectors awaiting transfers in the New Year, some have sent messages indicating their preferences, while others are reconciled to their fate.

NGOs understand change in Divya’s style
If a no-nonsense official suddenly starts paying more-than-usual attention to orders from above, people around them sense his or her predicament. NGOs working with the Women and Child Welfare Department do sense the change in the style of functioning of Commissioner Divya Devarajan. A little bird told us that the 2010 IAS officer had been stringent by choice in handling child marriages or POCSO cases. Of late, it has been noticed that cases are not being expedited for legal actions. The NGOs don’t blame the officer, but understand that she had been asked to focus on rehabilitation measures. For a dynamic officer like Divya, this could be a passing phase. People cannot forget that in Adilabad, a village has been named ‘Divyaguda’ in her honour.

Last chance for mid-career training
Several officers in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are facing the last chance for them to take the mandatory Mid-Career Training Programme (MCTP). The 14th round of MCTP Phase-V for lAS officers is scheduled from 10th April to 28th April, 2023 at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie. MCTPs are key to attain ‘next-level competencies’ and are mandatory for getting higher pay scale and central deputation. In the upcoming round, 251 officers are being given a last chance to attend the training. Srilakshmi Yeera (1988), G Anantha Ramu(1990), Ram Prakash Sisodia (1991), G Sai Prasad(1991), Ajay Jain(1991), Shamsheer Sinqh Rawat (1992), M. T. Krishna Babu(1993) and Anil Kumar Sinqhal (1993) are among the officers from Andhra Pradesh and Shashank Goel (1990), Arvind Kumar(1991), Jayesh Ranjan(1992), Vikas Raj(1992), Sanjay Jaju(1992), and Sabyasachi Ghose (1994) are among those from Telangana. This is the last chance for officers of 1994 batch, while a decision on the participation of residual officers from 1986 to 1993 batches who have availed three opportunities or more already will be taken based on the merits of each case by LBSNAA/DoPT.

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