SRINAGAR: The premature repatriation of senior IAS officer, Atal Dulloo indicates that he would likely be the new Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir. The berth of the top officer in the Jammu and Kashmir administration becomes vacant later this month when the incumbent, AK Mehta retires on November 30, 2023.
“The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved repatriation of Shri Atal Dulloo, IAS (UT:89) Secretary, Department of Border Management to his parent cadre on the request of Ministry of Home Affairs,” an order issued by the Government of India said. The order was issued Monday late afternoon.
Atal Dulloo, 57, who was the Financial Commissioner (Additional Chief Secretary) Agriculture Production Department at the time of being sent to the central deputation for the second time, a is 1989 batch officer of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir cadre. His central deputation had started on July 1, 2023.
Sources told Kashmir Life that Dulloo’s repatriation was made on the recommendations of some individuals in the policy-making circuit on the basis of the fact that he is the only local officer of the rank who is in the race for the top job. Besides, he is one of the few officers who knows almost everybody in Jammu and Kashmir as he has served in various districts before moving to the civil secretariat. Barring five years, he has spent his entire career in Jammu and Kashmir and performed in all positions starting from a sub-divisional magistrate in Ladakh.
It was on August 24, 2018, when the Appointment Committee of Cabinet (ACC) cleared the return of three senior IAS officers of the Jammu and Kashmir cadre to the erstwhile state from the Central deputation. These included Atal Dulloo, Joint Secretary, Department of Rural Development, Government of India and Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Commerce. Mehta, who was then Joint Secretary in the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change, was also sent to Jammu and Kashmir on December 31, 2018. Dulloo spent five years on central deputation in Rural Development as Joint Secretary.