Crucial UPSC meet today to select next police chief in Kerala; eight officers in fray 

The state has already forwarded to the UPSC a list of eight senior IPS officers as candidates to take over the reigns of the police from Anil Kant, who is set to retire on June 30.
Representative image | Express Illustrations
Representative image | Express Illustrations

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  In a pivotal moment in the procedure to select the next state police chief, the empanelment committee of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on Monday will hold a meeting to discuss the names of probables that have been forwarded by the state government.

UPSC chairman Manoj Soni or in his absence, a member will preside over the proceedings of the meeting. Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla or in his absence his nominee not below the rank of special secretary; chief secretary V P Joy; DGP Anil Kant and an officer who heads one of the central police forces or central para-military force will attend.

The state has already forwarded to the UPSC a list of eight senior IPS officers as candidates to take over the reins of the police from Anil Kant, who is set to retire on June 30. BSF director general Nitin Agrawal, Prisons director general K Padmakumar, Fire and Rescue Services director general Shaik Darvesh Saheb, Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau additional directors Harinath Mishra and Ravada A Chandrasekhar, Coastal Security ADGP Sanjeeb Kumar Patjoshi, Intelligence ADGP T K Vinod Kumar and Beverages Corporation MD Yogesh Gupta are the eight officers.

From this, the UPSC will shortlist three names to be sent to the state government. The state can select an officer of their choice from the list. Nitin is the senior-most of the officers, but his elevation as the BSF DG came last week. The post of the BSF DG is a much sought-after one and sources said it’s highly unlikely for Nitin to return to the state.

Padmakumar and Shaik are the two other names that are likely to be featured on the shortlist. If Nitin decides to stay away, then the next officer in line would be Harinath and after that, Ravada, based on their seniority. But, the Supreme Court and the UPSC have made it clear that the selection will be merit-based. 

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