Cabinet Secretary Current Affairs - 2019

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Rajiv Gauba appointed next Cabinet Secretary for two years

The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narrendra Modi has approved appointment of Rajiv Gauba, as India’s new Cabinet Secretary for a tenure of two years. His term will start from 30 August 2019 or until further orders, whichever is earlier.

Key Highlights

Rajiv Gauba will initially join the Cabinet Secretariat as Officer on Special Duty from date of his assumption of charge till he takes over as Cabinet Secretary- the most powerful position in country’s civil service.

He will take over charge of country’s top bureaucratic from incumbent Pradeep Kumar Sinha, a 1977 batch Uttar Pradesh-cadre IAS officer.

While the position of Cabinet Secretary is for 2 years period but under present rules of service, there is an enabling provision of an extension, granting 4 years of tenure.

About Rajiv Gauba

He is 1982 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Jharkhand cadre. He is currently serving as secretary in ministry of home affairs. He replaced Rajiv Mehrishi as the union home secretary.

He was born in Punjab in 1958, and is a physics graduate from Patna University.

Career: He was chief secretary of Jharkhand for 15 months before joining urban development ministry on 1 April 2016. He also served as collector and district magistrate of Nalanda, Muzaffarpur and Gaya districts in undivided state of Bihar.

He has been credited as being architect of labour reforms in Jharkhand and helping bring down violence in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected areas in mineral rich state.

He has also been credited by work done by him during his stint in ministry of environment and forests.

Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha given three months extension

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended service of Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha for a further period of three months.

This was third extension given to IAS officer Sinha, whose tenure was increased by one-year each in 2017 and 2018. This exceeds term of four year cap for total term of Cabinet Secretary mandated under All India Services (Death-Cum-Retirement-Benefits) Rules, 1958. However, to allow extension of PK Sinha’s beyond four year term Government has amended these rules.

New Rules

It has inserted subrule 1A under rule 16 of All India Services (Death-Cum-Retirement-Benefits) Rules, 1958. It provides that Central Government may in public interest give an extension in service for a further period, not exceeding three months, beyond the period of four years to the Cabinet Secretary.

About Cabinet Secretariat

  • It functions directly under the Prime Minister. It is allocated business under Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961. It provides Secretarial assistance to Cabinet and Cabinet Committees and Rules of Business. Cabinet Secretary is administrative head of Cabinet Secretariat.
  • Functions: (i) It is responsible for administration of Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 and Government of India (Transaction of Business) Rules, 1961. Thus, it facilitates smooth transaction of business in Ministries/ Departments. (ii) It also assists in decision-making in Government by ensuring Inter-ministerial coordination, irons out differences amongst Ministries/Departments and evolving consensus. (iii) It manages major crisis situations in the country.
  • Cabinet Secretary: He is administrative head of Cabinet Secretariat. He is also ex-officio Chairman of Civil Services Board. He is the top-most executive official and senior-most civil servant (mainly for IAS cadre) of the Government of India.
  • N R Pillai was the first cabinet secretary of independent India and served from February 6, 1950 to May 13, 1953.
  • Y N Sukthankar had served as cabinet secretary for longest duration from May 14, 1953 to July 31, 1957.