RS Sharma for chief secy

New Delhi/Ranchi, Jan. 21: The Centre is thinking of appointing Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) director general Ram Sevak Sharma as the next chief secretary, signalling Delhi's intention of toning up the bureaucracy in Jharkhand under President's Rule.

According to high-level sources, a notification on his appointment was likely to be issued by the Union government in two-three days. If that happens, Sharma could be expected to take charge immediately, that is soon after present incumbent S.K. Chaudhary retires from office on January 31.

Sharma, Jharkhand cadre IAS officer widely credited with building a solid infrastructure for the state's IT department, has close to three years of service left.

This was considered to be a major factor in his favour. Even former chief minister Arjun Munda is known to have been keen to bring him back to Jharkhand to oversee his e-governance and right to service initiatives.

Given the political uncertainty and the Congress's silence on supporting an alternative formation, Jharkhand seems to be headed for a longer stint of President's Rule.

Governor Syed Ahmed is already firmly in the saddle and the UPA seems to be indicating that it is keen on appointing officials with excellent track records as his advisers.

One of them, former CRPF DGP K. Vijay Kumar, called on him at Raj Bhavan today soon after arriving in Ranchi.

"They met for over half an hour. Apart from smooth execution of welfare and development schemes, taking effective measure to improve law and order and to curb Naxalite violence also figured prominently during their discussions," confirmed a senior Raj Bhavan official.

Kumar said before leaving for Ranchi, he met Union home minister Shushil Kumar Shinde, Union home secretary R.K. Singh and others in Delhi. "I had a 45-minute tete-a-tete with the governor in the evening. Tomorrow Gupta (Madhukar) is also slated to come to Ranchi and we will be holding a joint meeting with state authorities either tomorrow itself or the day after," he told The Telegraph.

Earlier in the day, the governor held meetings with chief secretary S.K. Choudhary and principal secretary in the rural works department S.K. Satpathy for a briefing on the status of ongoing schemes.

"The governor sought status reports, which we submitted. Several other issues also figured during the discussions," Satpathy, also in charge of the crucial water resources department, said.

Chief secretary S.K. Choudhary also convened a meeting with secretaries of all departments in the afternoon to discuss projects while making plans for the next fiscal.

He asked all secretaries to prepare detailed folders on their departments to be placed before the governor's advisers during their first meeting.

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