First woman Chief Secretary of AP Neelam Sawhney got another 3 months extension


The first woman Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh, Neelam Sawhney, IAS got three months extension of her service till December 31st on the request placed by the state government before the central govenrment. An order to this effect was issued by secretary (political) Praveen Prakash late on Friday evening. The order follows the approval given by the Union ministry of personnel and training in the morning.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking extension of AP Chief Secretary (CS) Nilam Sawhney’s tenure for a period of six months. The CS will be retiring from her position by June 30, 2020 and in this context, the Chief Minister wrote a letter to the Central Government seeking her extension as her services are required in the state in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. And the centre obliged his request without raising any objections.

It is rare for any chief secretary to get extension twice. And Neelam was lucky enough to get the chance. She is a 1984 batch IAS officer of AP cadre. Sawhney is the first woman Chief Secretary of bifurcated Andhra Pradesh. She took charge as the Chief Secretary to the Government of Andhra Pradesh on November 13, 2019. Before Sawhney’s appointment, Senior IAS officer LV Subrahmanyam served as the chief secretary of the state. He was later, given the post of Director General of AP Human Resources Development Institute at Bapatla.

The CS had to go through some tough times in the issue related to the confrontation between the state election commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar and the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government when the former postponed local body elections in March this year. She wrote open letters to SEC questioning the veracity of SEC’s decision and the government removed him through an ordinance a month later.

Sawheny had to personally attend the court in this case in subsequent developments that followed petitions by the removed SEC and others. In another case related to painting of YSR Congress Party colors on government buildings, the Supreme Court dismissed the state government’s appeal against an earlier order of the high court that directed the government to remove the colors. The Supreme Court held the CS and the panchayat raj secretary responsible for retaining the colors even after the high court orders and it amounts to contempt of court.

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