ny appointment in the all-powerful Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is viewed with great interest. So, when P. Amudha, who belongs to the 1994 batch IAS from Tamil Nadu cadre, was appointed to the PMO as Joint Secretary on a lateral shift basis for the remainder of her five-year central deputation period, observers are speculating about her talent that can meet the high standards of the PMO. Before this appointment, Amudha was serving as a professor at the Lal Bahadur Shashtri National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie.
Interestingly, minutes after the news of her appointment emerged, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Palaniswami congratulated the IAS officer in a tweet and said that she had earned the goodwill of the state government as well as the affection of the people through her honesty and efficiency. Amudha has earned her reputation as an effective field officer and for her ability to take swift decisions. Her peers recall her work during the Chennai floods in 2015 when she was Special Officer for monsoon relief in the state. It’s these qualities that may have impressed the PMO to bring her in for what could be the most rewarding and challenging of the assignments for an IAS officer.
New RBI deputy governor
A search committee headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba will interview candidates for the post of deputy governor of RBI on August 7. It was meant to be held on July 23 but was put off without any explanation. The post had fallen vacant after senior-most deputy governor NS Vishwanathan demitted office three months before the end of his tenure in March due to health reasons. Besides Gauba, the committee includes RBI Governor Shaktikant Das, financial services secretary Debasish Panda and two independent members.
The selected name from the interview will be sent to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister for final approval. Sources say the panel has shortlisted eight candidates for the posts.
The RBI Act mandates that the central bank should have four deputy governors — two from within the ranks, one commercial banker and another an economist to head the monetary policy department. At present, the RBI has three deputy governors – BP Kanungo, MK Jain and Michael Debabrata Patra.
J&K cadre change
The Centre stopped inducting new officers in the J&K cadre of the All India Services after the recategorisation of Jammu & Kashmir into two Union Territories, J&K and Ladakh, in August last. The process was recently reinitiated, but sources say it has been put on hold again after receiving feedback from officers that it would lead to confusion.
The J&K cadre of IAS, IPS and IoFS officers was to be merged into the AGMUT cadre. However, according to the regulations, officers already serving in the J&K cadre at the time would continue in the existing cadre. The cadre controlling authority for AGMUT is the Ministry of Home Affairs while the other cadres are controlled by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
Apparently, some officers approached the Centre saying that two officers of the same batch would end up under different controlling authorities which would lead to “confusion” and “create differences” between the officers. Seeing the resistance from the babus, the Centre has decided, for now, not to proceed with the proposed cadre merger. Some officers believe that any key decision on the merger will likely happen only after August 15.
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