RS Sharma and Amitabh Kant: two preferred bureaucrats Modi government cannot do without

Senior government officials describe the longevity of these two bureaucrats as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s insistence on “policy continuity” in key government bodies.

Amitabh Kant a 1980-batch IAS officer who got retired five years ago. Ram S Sharma, his senior in the service from  1978-batch, retired even earlier in 2015. But these are two men Modi government cannot seem to do without, especially in handling key and priority jobs.

Kant apprehend his third consecutive position as the CEO of NITI Aayog on June 29. He was appointed at this position for two years after his retirement in 2016. He got a year’s extension in 2018, a two-year extension in 2019 and a year’s extension now.

Besides this, Kant could complete over six-and-a-half years  by June 2022, which is longer than the maximum tenure of four years that  Cabinet Secretary typically gets.

Kant’s senior, Ram S Sharma, is due with even longer run since retirement. He was appointed the chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India in 2015 for three years and then given an extension of two years until September 2020.

In January 2021, he was first appointed as the chairperson for an empowered committee for the administration of vaccination and then as the CEO of the National Health Authority for two years.

At the age of 65, Kant and Sharma kept a punishing schedule. That in many ways measure up to the high expectations and heavy workload demands of the Modi government.

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