Ratna Prabha may not get extension as chief secy

Ratna Prabha may not get extension as chief secy

K Ratna Prabha

Chief Secretary K Ratna Prabha is unlikely to get a second extension as the Karnataka government has written to the Centre withdrawing its earlier request to grant an extension for three more months.

The Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR) of the state government had written to the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) saying it was withdrawing its earlier communication seeking an extension to Ratna Prabha.

With the government withdrawing its letter, Ratna Prabha’s tenure will come to an end on June 30. The state government is likely to appoint a new chief secretary in a day or two, sources said.

Ratna Prabha, who became chief secretary on December 1, 2017 was to be superannuated on March 30, 2018.

However, considering the chief secretary’s service requirement during the Assembly elections in May, the Centre gave a three-month extension following the request from the state government.

However, in mid-June, the H D Kumaraswamy headed government again wrote to the DOPT requesting a second extension of three months.

In a sudden development, the Karnataka government, two days ago, wrote to the DOPT requesting withdrawal of its earlier letter.

The reason for the U-turn by the Karnataka government is not known, but it is learnt that several senior IAS officers from the state have lodged a protest with the chief minister saying giving an extension to any retiring officer would curtail the promotion opportunity of the serving officials.

It is not known whether the state government will follow seniority while appointing the next chief secretary or not. However, the chief minister has shortlisted four senior officers, sources in the state government said.

Union Agriculture Secretary S K Pattanayak, a 1982-batch IAS officer, is the next senior-most IAS officer who will be superannuated on September 2018.

The other three shortlisted senior officers are additional chief secretary in the state T M Vijay Bhaskar (1983 batch), secretary to the Union Ministry of Skill Development K P Krishnan (1983 batch), and additional chief secretary to Department of Heavy Industries D V Prasad (1984 batch).

However, sources said that Pattanayak and Krishnan are unlikely to come to the state service and the chief minister is likely to select one of the remaining two senior-most officers.  

Meanwhile, in Bengaluru, the state Cabinet on Thursday authorised Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy to appoint the new chief secretary, as the tenure of incumbent chief secretary Ratna Prabha is ending on June 30.