Pradeep Pattanayak

With the formation of the BJP government, the officers who have been serving in a particular department for a long period, to be precise eight to 10 years, are said to be in a state of hope and despair. 

One such officer is G Mathi Vathanan. He has been serving as the Principal Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development for 10 years and as the Additional Chief Secretary of the Parliamentary Affairs Department for 13 years. 
Not only he but also other officers of his team have been serving for a long period. 

Similarly, Rupa Roshan Sahu has been serving as the Special Secretary to the CMO since 2015. She has recently been given the additional charge of the SC/ST Department. R Vineel Krishna has been serving as Special Secretary to the CMO since 2018 and is additionally serving as the Secretary, the Sports and Youth Services Department. 

What The Rule Says 

Now questions are being raised as to how these officers have been in the same department for such a long period despite there being a rule that an officer can’t stay for more than three years in a single department. 

What Experts Say 

“There is a rule that a government officer can serve in a single department maximum of three years. They may be transferred earlier than three years. If an officer serves in a particular department for more than three years, there is a possibility that they may resort to unfair means including accepting bribes,” said Sahadev Sahoo, former administrator. 

Senior journalist Rabi Das said, “In the 24-year-long Naveen Patnaik-led government, the officers thought that Naveen Patnaik would be there and there would be no problem. They were virtually serving as party leaders.” 

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It is being discussed that these long-serving officers were the protégés of VK Pandian of the past government. 

No more freedom 

Meanwhile, newly-appointed Minister Rabi Naik said from now onwards the rein of these officers will be in the hands of Ministers. 

“The officers can’t act as per their whims. If the government functions perfectly, the officers will also perform accordingly. The rein is in our hand and the horse will gallop in the right direction,’ said Naik.

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