This is only the second such instance in State
The race for the post of Chief Secretary to the State government has abruptly ended with the incumbent, S.V. Ranganath, who took charge in September 2009, expected to remain in office for four more months.
The State government is all set to submit a recommendation to the Prime Minister on Monday to obtain the concurrence of the Union government, which is mandatory.
As such, Mr. Ranganath has had one of the longest stints as Chief Secretary, similar to that of T.R. Satishchandran who served as Chief Secretary between 1983 and 1987.
An officer of the 1975 batch of the Indian Administrative Service, Mr. Ranganath has been on extension of service for the past two months, which period will end on June 30, and with the fresh extension, he will retire on October 31.
While the Jagadish Shettar government had sought an extension of his service by two months since the Assembly elections were due in the State at that point of time, Mr. Siddaramaiah is understood to have told Mr. Ranganath that “we need your services at this point of time”.
The new government will be presenting a fresh budget next month and preparations for it have begun. “Yes, we have decided to seek an extension of his service. The Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms will be writing to the Union government and we are confident of obtaining the necessary approval,” the Chief Minister told The Hindu.
After taking charge as Chief Secretary, Mr. Ranganath has served under four Chief Ministers — B.S. Yeddyurappa, D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Jagadish Shettar and Siddaramaiah.
For most part of his service in the IAS, he has been in the Chief Minister’s secretariat having served six Chief Ministers — late Ramakrishna Hegde, M. Veerappa Moily, H.D. Deve Gowda, S.M. Krishna, N. Dharam Singh and H.D. Kumaraswamy.
It is the second time in Karnataka that the services of a Chief Secretary have been extended, the maximum permissible under the All India Civil Services Rules being six months.
The services of late T.R. Satishchandran was extended by six months by Ramakrishna Hegde and the officer who was to have retired in April 1987 was given an extension until October.
Sources in the government said that several senior Ministers, including R.V. Deshpande and H.C. Mahadevappa, had impressed on the Chief Minister that the service of Mr. Ranganath should be extended for a further period of four months.
List of officers
Incidentally, in the last meeting of the State Cabinet on Thursday (June 13), a list of 14 IAS officers eligible for appointment as Chief Secretary was prepared and it included these three — Arvind Jadhav and Kaushik Mukherjee of the 1978 batch of the IAS and L.V. Nagarajan of the 1979 batch.
On his appointment as Chief Secretary, Mr. Ranganath had superseded eight of his seniors — Brahm Dutt, Shantanu Consul, N. Gokulram, Neeraja Rajkumar, Dilip Rau, Vatsala Watsa, Ramaswamy and A.K.M. Nayak.