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Who would be Odisha’s next chief secretary?

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By Subrat Das

Bhubaneswar: Who will be at the top most echelon of the state administration after the incumbent chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi applied for voluntary retirement from the government service following his appointment as the State Election Commissioner? This is talk of the town today.

Padhi, a 1983 batch IAS officer, would have retired from government service in February, next year. But he has opted for the State Election Commissioner post, which he will hold for the next five years. The post assumes significance as the civic election is due any time in the state. The election body is responsible for holding rural polls in the state.

Next to Padhi, his batchmate Injeti Srinivas and 1984 batch officer Arun Kumar Panda are there in the gradation list. But the two officers are on central deputation and they have short tenure (Srinivas will retire in May and Panda in April next year).

Similarly, 1985 batch IAS officers UP Singh and SN Tripathy are currently heading Water Resources and Parliamentary Affairs ministry, respectively. Tripathy and his batchmate Gagan Kumar Dhal, who is state’s Agriculture Production Commissioner, are also going to retire from service shortly (In January next year).

The turn, therefore, comes for 1986 batch officer Asit Kumar Tripathy, who is holding all important office of Development Commissioner and Additional Chief Secretary in charge of the Home Department. He has also recently been given the additional charge of Chief Administrator, KBK region. So, he stands a good chance to be considered for chief secretary post.

Senior bureaucrat LN Gupta, who is the Additional Chief Secretary in charge of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Department, is going to retire this month. Therefore, 1986 batch officer SC Mohapatra, Additional Chief Secretary in charge of Forest and Environment Department, is also one of the front runners in the race, as is being discussed in the administrative circles of the state.

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