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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: With the high-level IPS reshuffle having been undertaken by the Odisha government recently, a hunt for the next DGP of Odisha has already begun.

"Since the incumbent DGP Abhay is due for retirement in June this year, his succession plan is already underway at the highest level. The Chief Secretary will be meeting soon to give approval to the list of 7 senior IPS officers of DG rank that will be sent to the UPSC for consideration," informed a top State Home department official while requesting anonymity since he is not authorised to speak to the media directly.

As per the standing SC directives, the State government has to send a list of prospective senior IPS officers of DG rank to the UPSC. The apex institution then empanels three names after considering the all-important criteria of whether the IPS officials have clear two years of service tenure left. In addition, it will also give weightage to merit (no vigilance case, distinguished services rendered at the State level and during the Central deputation).

WHO CAN CROSS THE BAR?

As per top sources, the State government will send a list of senior IPS officers from the batches of 1986, 1987 and 1988 to the UPSC. Because IPS officials from that batches are currently holding the DG-level posts in the State police hierarchy.

But it's all not that easy for the Government.

Though Odisha has 7 senior IPS of DG rank, the Department of Personnel and Training has empanelled only two in the rank of DGP (Director General Of Police) and one in the rank of DGE (DG equivalent). And while two senior-most IPS officials have only a little over 1-year of the tenure of their service left, the DGE rank IPS will retire this August.

"The UPSC will give top weightage to 2-years of service tenure while empanelling three names for the rank of DGP to the State government. Simultaneously, it also cannot ignore the senior-most criteria, more so when over 1-year of their services are left," explained a senior police official.

ODISHA'S BIG DILEMMA IN DGP SELECTION

As per sources, only two senior-most IPS officials - Pradeep Kapur (1986 batch), Sunil Kumar Bansal (1987) - have been empanelled by the DoPT in the DG rank - means only these two officials have the eligibility to become the DGP of Odisha.

The DoPT has empanelled Senior IPS Surendra Panwar, who is due to retire in August this year, in the DGE (DG equivalent) rank.

Significantly, the three senior-most IPS officers are currently on central deputation. And of the three empanelled DG level officers, only two can pass the UPSC's DGP criteria, said sources.

Moreover, of the other 4-IPS officers currently in the DG rank in the State police hierarchy, only two - Manoj Kumar Chabra (Spl DG Special Armed Police, Odisha) and Santosh Kumar Upadhyaya (DG Prisons) can meet the UPSC bar of over two years of remaining tenure.

"As per the norms, the three senior-most IPS officers, who are currently on Central deputation, will be first empanelled. If during the consultation they submit in writing their unwillingness to return to the State, then the UPSC will send the names of IPS officer below them in the seniority ladder," explained a former DGP.

The senior-most IPS officers in recognition for the DGP of Odisha are:

  • IPS Pradeep Kapur is currently on a Central deputation and is the Director of the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO). He is on central deputation since 2015. As he is in DG rank, there is no fixed tenure of the Central deputation.
  • Sunil Kumar Bansal was last year appointed as Special Director IB. He is unlikely to come back to the parent cadre because his tenure in IB will continue till 2024.

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