Bihari babus rule the roost at power centre
PATNA: In a first, Bihari babus are virtually dominating the corridors of power in New Delhi. Nine Bihar-cadre IAS officers are heading as many crucial ministries, including home, defence, road transport and highways and rural development. Six IAS officers are serving as additional secretaries, while 17 others are in the rank of joint secretaries.
On Thursday, Shashikant Sharma took over as the defence secretary. Sharma, a 1976-batch Bihar cadre IAS officer, had earlier served as DG in the defence ministry.
Raj Kumar Singh, a 1975-batch officer of Bihar cadre, recently joined as the Union home secretary. Singh has also served in key positions such as road construction department, disaster management and home secretary during his tenure in Bihar. Three other IAS officers of the 1975 batch heading crucial departments are B K Sinha (rural development), Navin Kumar (urban development) and A K Upadhyay (road transport& highways).
The senior most 1972-batch Bihar-cadre IAS officer, M N Prasad, is secretary in the PMO while 1974 batch officer A N P Sinha is heading Panchayati Raj department. Another officer, P K Basu (1976), is holding the charge of director, agriculture and cooperatives.
“Currently, Bihari babus are dominating the top level at the Centre after a long time. It is a matter of pride for Bihar,” said a senior IAS officer. Bihar cadre officers such as N K Sinha, B Bhamathi, B B Srivastava and Arbind Prasad are additional secretaries in various departments. Three officers — Arbind Prasad, S P Seth and Arunish Chawala — are posted in Planning Commission.
The list of Bihari officers serving as joint secretaries is long. As many as 17 IAS officers, including Arun Jha (pharmaceuticals), R K Mahajan (coal), Chaitanya Prasad (industrial policy), K K Pathak (home), Bhanu Pratap Sharma (minorities), Sunil K Singh (housing and urban poverty), Rashmi Verma and Subhash Sharma (both defence production) and Girish Shankar (food and public distribution) are at key decision-making positions.