New Gujarat Chief Secretary Anil Mukim has a tough task cut out

Gandhinagar: Though the senior IAS officer of 1985 batch Anil Mukim has just taken over as the new Chief Secretary of Gujarat, he may face an uphill task of running the State administration in the days to come.

The reason: as many as 22 IAS babus will be retiring by December 2020, while over two dozen senior IAS officers of Gujarat cadre are already serving on Central deputation. These include S Aparna (1988 batch) and T Natarajan (1996 batch) serving in the World Bank in the USA. Also, at least three IAS officers – L Chuaungo, Alok Pandey and Ranjit Kumar Singh – are away on inter-cadre deputation in their respective home States.

The apparent shortage of senior hands has compelled the Rupani Government to hand over additional charge to babus in the various departments in the Sachivalaya. As many 11 IAS officers are holding additional charges, besides the regular charge.

Sources in General Administration Department (GAD) told First India on Monday,” As against the total strength of 313 IAS officers sanctioned by the DoPT for Gujarat, only 260 have been recruited, leaving the gap of 53 officers. We propose to send a requisition request to the DoPT for at least 10 IAS officers next year.”

The sources said that among the senior IAS babus retiring next year include CS Anil Mukim (31-08-2020), ACS (Fianance) Arvind Agrawal (30-04-2020), Atanu Chakraborty (30-04-2020), P K Parmar (31-07-2020), P D Vaghela (30-09-2020) and Sangeeta Singh (31-10-2020). In fact, of these as many as eight babus are retiring in the first half of the next year.

“Though the new CS is a very competent and experienced officer, he may find it a bit difficult to get the government policies and schemes implemented effectively in the current scenario (of shortage of senior hands in the Sachivalaya,” asserted a top source in the CMO. The source, however, hastily added, exuding confidence, “With the backing of the CMO, especially CM Vijay Rupani, Anil Mukim will be able to maintain the momentum one could see during the tenure of J N Singh who retired as CS on Saturday last.”