Old babus don’t fade away. They go on forever. Petroleum Secretary Girish Chandra Chaturvedi who retired two days ago is likely to be the chairman of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) later this month when the incumbent Hari Narayan, another IAS officer, completes his tenure. Chaturvedi, a UP cadre IAS officer—if he does get the coveted regulator’s job—would not be the only one. Of the 43 secretaries retiring this year, 16 have literally been assured of jobs in various commissions, boards and authorities even before formally retiring.
Secretary, Road Transport, Anil Upadhyay (Bihar cadre), who also retired with Chaturvedi, is in all likelihood joining the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT). Another possibility there is Dhruv Vijay Singh of Tripura cadre who retired as Secretary, Water Resources. Those in the retirement list have already started lobbying for their treasured jobs. Strongest contenders among these are Sindhushree Khullar, secretary, Planning Commission, who retires in March, D K Mittal and P K Pradhan who retired in January.
Another one in the fray for IRDA job which pays Rs 3.75 lakh per month plus perks is IT secretary R Chandrashekhar who retires in March but it is likely that orders for Chaturvedi will come before February 21. Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will have three vacancies later in the year, so Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) Secretary P K Mishra who retires in June need not worry. DoPT secretaries always find suitable employment. Two of his immediate predecessors, both Madhya Pradesh (MP) cadre, are cosily placed—Satyanand Mishra is Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and Alka Sirohi is a member, UPSC.
High-profile Information & Broadcasting Secretary Uday Verma of MP cadre is also trying his best to get accommodated in UPSC or CAT before his term expires in June. The new feature of post-retirement jobs for our favoured babus is that most of them seem to apply for jobs months before they retire and some like Sirohi even received orders two weeks in advance. This makes the passage to retirement near perfect.
Another feature of the post retirement bonanza that is becoming prominent is the domination of MP cadre IAS officers. The post-retirement turf used to be the domain of Uttar Pradesh (UP) cadre officers. UP has traditionally had the largest representation at the Centre and UP politicians have had a grip on national politics as well. At the moment, of the nearly 680 IAS officers on Central deputation, about 80 are from UP and another 63 from the original MP cadre. The hold of MP cadre officers have increased as Congress politicians from the state have risen to prominent roles at the national level. There is always a connection which helps. Result is there are currently 12 officers at secretary level and an equal number who have found suitable post retirement jobs.
The Sunday Standard