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Odisha’s Chief Secretary Suresh Mohapatra Likely To Get Second Service Extension

Post his six-month extension, Chief Secretary of the Odisha government Suresh Chandra Mohapatra is due to retire at the end of August 2022. Sources say he may get another service extension. Retaining Mohapatra is a distinct possibility because the Odisha government could not finalise candidates for the top job, though several names were doing rounds including that of Pradeep Kumar Jena, Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Sources say the Odisha government has sent a request letter to the Department of Personnel and Training seeking extension of services of Mohapatra, a 1986 batch IAS Officer. In all probability the Centre would accede to Odisha Government’s request. It is not unusual for capable IAS officers to get a couple of service extensions and there has been past precedence. For instance, RN Das who was Chief Secretary of Odisha between 1992 and 1995 got 3 extensions of six months each when Biju Patnaik was the Chief Minister.  Mohapatra, one of the three candidates whose names was short-listed to be appointed as the Chairman of OERC, may be out of the fray, once he gets another six months extension. This means the Odisha government will have to decide between the other two short-listed candidates, Arun Panda (retired former secretary in the Ministry of MSME) and Union Territory cadre retired IAS officer Manoj Parida.