New Delhi, August 3
Hours after it tweaked rules to allow tenures exceeding four years, the Centre issued an order giving Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba a third extension — of one year beyond August 30, 2023.
At the completion of the third extension, Gauba will become the longest-serving Cabinet Secretary ever. BD Pande holds the record for being longest-serving Cabinet Secretary — from November 2, 1972, to March31, 1977. “The Appointments continued Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved extension in service to Rajiv Gauba as Cabinet Secretary for a further period of one year in relaxation of AIS (DCRB) Rules, 1958, and Rule 56(d) of the Fundamental Rules,” a government order said.
A 1982-batch IAS officer of the Jharkhand cadre and a former Union Home Secretary, Gauba became the country’s top bureaucrat on August 30, 2019, after the superannuation of PK Sinha. His tenure was initially set for two years, but he was given two extensions of one year each in 2021 and August 2022.
Incidentally, the latest extension will allow Gauba to stay in the post during the General Election next year. As the Union Home Secretary, he is considered the main architect of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which led to the division of the erstwhile state into two UTs — Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh — following the abrogation of Article 370, which accorded a special status accorded to it.
In 2015, he prepared a multi-pronged action plan to tackle left-wing extremism and steered its implementation, which resulted in significantly shrinking of the areas under the influence of the Naxals. Born in Punjab, Gauba had graduated in physics from Patna University.