On Special Duty
Next month, the Press Club is likely to host the launch of a book in which Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi has made a significant contribution. The book is meant to help civil services aspirants in cracking one of the most prestigious examinations in the country. Mehrishi had been approached by the publishers more than a year ago, when he was about to retire as Finance Secretary. He had then agreed to make a contribution post-retirement. However, just a day before his retirement, Mehrishi was appointed Home Secretary with a fixed tenure of two years, and thus had to take help from his wife, also an IAS officer, to complete the job.
This one’s not quite in the league of the Nuclear Suppliers Group but India recently made some headway in becoming a part of the international apex body of drug regulation. Drug Controller General of India was given observer status in the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH) after years in the wilderness. Although not a full-time member yet, the status alongside countries such as Mexico, Singapore and Brazil means the Indian regulator is now one of only a handful of regulators across the world which has been recognised as a “stringent” regulatory body.
After getting a new name “Gurugram”, Gurgaon is all set to get its own development authority. The Gurugram Development Authority will start functioning from November 1, the date on which Haryana was carved out as a separate state 50 years ago. V Umashankar, a 1993-batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre, is tipped to serve as the first chief of the authority. Umashankar was joint secretary in the National Security Council Secretariat before being recently repatriated to his state cadre.
With CBI Director Anil Sinha’s term coming to an end in December, names of his likely successor have started doing the rounds. The Home Ministry has prepared a list that contains names of all eligible officers. Chiefs of two paramilitary forces and a 1983-batch Gujarat cadre IPS officer are currently being considered the frontrunners.