Former chief secy Bijay Patnaik joins Vedanta

Bhubaneswar: In a development that may rekindle the debate over top bureaucrats taking up corporate assignments after retirement, former Odisha chief secretary Bijay Kumar Patnaik today joined Vedanta group as the president of its university project. Recently, Patnaik had resigned as a member of Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC).

According to sources, he will lead the company’s University-cum-Smart City initiative as part of Anil Agarwal Foundation and will be based out of Bhubaneswar. Moreover, Patnaik will also direct other initiatives on behalf of the foundation.

An IAS officer of 1976 batch, Patnaik had a distinguished career in civil services. He was principal secretary to the chief minister before becoming the chief secretary of Odisha in September 2010.

Post-superannuation, he was appointed as the chairman of Odisha Staff Selection Commission and subsequently an OHRC member in July 2014.

Nationwide debates have raged many times in the past over the issue of high-profile babus joining corporate houses after quitting the job or superannuation. Successive governments had even considered of putting a moratorium on its high level officials taking such steps. But such a measure never came by.