City Reports

Rajasthan CS Usha Sharma receives 6-Month extension

The Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) has officially conveyed the extension to the state government's Department of Personnel.

pinkcitypost author img

July 2, 2023, 9:58 am

usha sharma meeting gehlot

IAS Usha Sharma. File photo

JAIPUR: The central government has approved a six-month extension for Chief Secretary Usha Sharma, allowing her to continue her role until December 31.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) has officially conveyed the extension to the state government’s Personnel Department.

The state government’s proposal for extension, sent on June 16, has been granted by the central government. The DOPT’s approval letter was issued on June 28.

Usha Sharma, a 1985 batch IAS officer, received the extension just before her retirement. She assumed the office of Chief Secretary on January 31, 2022, after serving on Central Deputation since 2012.

With the extension, Usha Sharma will oversee the upcoming assembly elections and remain in her post until the formation of a new government. This decision has temporarily halted the selection process for the new Chief Secretary.

Notably, the Chief Secretary usually receives an extension when the ruling party holds power at both the central and state levels. However, despite the Congress government in Rajasthan, Usha Sharma’s extension has sparked discussions regarding various interpretations and her extensive experience in the central government.

A new Chief Secretary will be appointed in the new year, on January 1, 2024, coinciding with the formation of the new government.

Previous Chief Secretaries have also received extensions in the state. For instance, during Bhairon Singh Shekhawat’s tenure as Chief Minister, Chief Secretary ML Mehta was granted a one-year extension.

The rules governing extensions have evolved, with a provision now limiting extensions to a maximum of six months.

The decision to extend the Chief Secretary’s tenure, especially in an election year, despite different party affiliations at the central and state levels, indicates improved coordination between the central and state governments.

Usha Sharma’s extensive experience and contacts during her central deputation from 2012 to January 2022 played a significant role in obtaining the extension. Additionally, her reputation for steering clear of controversies contributed to this decision.

First published: July 1, 2023