Petroleum Secretary Girish Chandra Chaturvedi, who superannuated from service on Wednesday, is tipped for the plum post of the IRDA chairman when incumbent Hari Narayan completes his tenure in February.
If Chaturvedi, a UP-cadre IAS officer, were indeed to bag the coveted Regulator’s job, which seems increasingly likely at the moment, he would be the 100th IAS officer to get a post-retirement job since the Congress-led UPA came to power nearly a decade ago.
And the 43 Secretary-level officers who are set to retire this year -- seven of them superannuated on Wednesday -- have already started lobbying for their treasured jobs. Another top bureaucrat in the fray for the IRDA job, which carries a whopping monthly salary of `3.75 lakh plus perks, is outgoing IT Secretary R Chandrashekhar who retires in March. However, the orders for Chaturvedi’s appointment as IRDA chief may come before February 21.
The Central Administrative Tribunal(CAT) has already announced 12 vacancies for the post of the members, who can only be (Government of India(GOI) Secretaries or parallel pay scale officers.
Some of these posts will be filled by the recently retired officials. It also has 16 vice-chairman posts and four of them will soon fall vacant.
The Union Public Service Commission(UPSC) will have three vacancies later in the year. Hence, Department of Personnel and Training(DOPT) Secretary P K Mishra, who retires in June, need not have any worries on the superannuation front.
And two of Mishra’s immediate predecessors, both of whom belong to the IAS MP cadre, are CIC Satyanand Mishra and UPSC member Alka Sirohi.
Interestingly, there seems to be a ‘parochial shift’ in the post-retirement bonanza, with MP cadre IAS officers calling the shots. Earlier, the post-retirement turf used to be the domain of the UP cadre officers.
Traditionally, UP has had the largest representation at the Centre and UP politicians have had a grip on the national politics as well. Presently, of the nearly 680 IAS officers on Central deputation, about 80 are from UP, while another 63 belong to the MP cadre.
The virtual stranglehold of the MP cadre officers have increased as Congress politicians from the state have come to occupy prominent roles at the national level. And the “political chaperoning” coupled with the networking could help open the doors to post-retirement job prospects.
There are currently 12 Secretary-level officers and an equal number who have found suitable post-retirement jobs.
The penetration of GOI Secretaries in the political set-up runs so deep now that for the first time four ex-Secretaries are Governors in various states. These include N N Vohra, Tejindra Khanna, Shekhar Dutt and B K Singh.
Traditionally commissions like the Minorities and the SC/ST etc would have political heads, but that bastion has also been breached with Wajahat Habibullah heading the Minorities and P L Punia made the SC Commission chief.