The post of Private Secretary to the minister is considered so vital that whosoever sits in the seat is believed to virtually rule the said ministry. The Private Secretary works as the connect between ministry officials, the outside world and the minister. So there is a great rush to become PS to Minister, but the many ‘ifs and buts’ placed by the Prime Minister’s Office have spoilt the game for some officers, who have been running different ministries earlier in the UPA governments. Generally, vacancies for the PS post are filled by officers serving as Deputy Secretary or Director. The Central Government has around 2,000 Deputy Secretaries and Director-level officers. It is reported that the RSS is in the process of filtering the bad boys in the government. It is a tough task, as the government has to choose among the available officers. Though the minister had a choice of bringing in an outsider as his/her personal assistant that has been stopped as the political dispensation (i.e. BJP) of the minister will supply even the PAs. Some officers, though now moving higher up the ladder, have acclimatised so well to the corridors of power that they suggest the minister brings them back as Officer on Special Duty (OSD), generally a senior Joint Secretary or Additional Secretary. The real crisis in the new government is that every name has to be cleared by the PMO. Without a PS, files don’t move!
Vol. 8, issue 4 | JULY | 2014