BJP leader urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to choose a woman senior IAS officer as the Cabinet Secretary, this time around. In his letter, he pointed out that for the past 70 years; the Government has not considered a woman IAS officer for the post of Cabinet Secretary, the country’s topmost post in bureaucracy.
“The International Women’s Day is being celebrated the World over on March 8. This is in keeping with the United Nations Women’s Rights for International Peace. I write this letter to make a suggestion for your consideration, namely, that the next Cabinet Secretary should be a woman who has sufficient seniority in the IAS and is presently occupying a Secretary level post in the Government.
“This will send a big message from India that in the history of 70 years of India’s Independence there had never been a woman appointed as a Cabinet Secretary. The name to be chosen is your prerogative, and I am sure that you will be able to accept a member of the IAS who is sufficiently senior for the post of Cabinet Secretary,” said Swamy in his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The current Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha who served for three years including a year of extension is to leave the post on May 10 and it is a convention that new Cabinet Secretary will be decided one month before his retirement. The newly selected person will be posted as an Officer on Special Duty ( OSD) in the Cabinet Secretariat for a month to familiarise the biggest office in the Union Government. Currently, IAS officers holding Secretary Level posts in Centre from 1980 and 1981 batch is to be considered for the top job. There are around three lady IAS officers eligible for this top post in the country. Cabinet Secretaries are appointed for a fixed period of two years and it usually got extended several times.
The top post – Cabinet Secretary – is always the choice of Prime Ministers from the senior-most IAS officials. Till date, no Prime Minister has selected a lady for this coveted post in bureaucracy, though there were senior most ladies available. In short, in India, Cabinet Secretary’s post is meant for IAS’ Boys’ Club. Will Prime Minister Narendra Modi break the glass ceiling of the Boys’ Club?
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