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Kerala CM's direct involvement in appointing NGO Union leader as Kerala House Controller: Report

The Chief Minister's direct involvement has been revealed in the decision to appoint NGO union leader KM Prakash as the Kerala House Controller. KM Prakashan will be the first person in seniority to be considered for the post of controller from Kerala House.

Kerala CM's direct involvement in appointing NGO Union leader as Kerala House Controller: Report rkn
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First Published Dec 9, 2023, 11:43 AM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: The Chief Minister's direct involvement has been revealed in the decision to appoint NGO union leader KM Prakash as the Kerala House Controller. This move has stirred controversy, especially considering the opposition from the Public Administration Department. Despite objections, the decision aims to elevate KM Prakash from Kannur to a position with double promotion, surpassing the roles held by IAS officers and high-ranking officials in the Secretariat.

Furthermore, the Chief Minister has suggested amending the statute to support KM Prakash in this appointment. Asianet News has obtained files related to this contentious decision, shedding light on the Chief Minister's influence in the matter.

KM Prakashan, hailing from Kannur and serving as the Front Office Manager at Kerala House, is currently in the spotlight for a potential promotion to the position of Controller. Prakashan, an NGO union leader, is at the center of efforts, camouflaged as a petition advocating for the creation of promotional posts for Kerala House employees.

The process initiated with the Chief Minister receiving the petition and prompting an inspection by the Public Administration Department. The department's findings recommended promotions for Kerala House employees to the roles of Housekeeping Manager and Catering Manager only.

The Public Administration Department recommended that the employees of Kerala House be promoted to the post of Housekeeping Manager and Catering Manager only. The controller is an important post in Kerala House immediately below the Residence Commissioner. This post, which was previously held by IAS, is now occupied by an Additional Secretary from the Secretariat. The position of the Public Administration Department was that no promotion could be given to this post. 

The current rule stipulates that the Controller should be an officer not below the rank of Deputy Secretary from the Secretariat or the Central Government. However, the Chief Minister proposed, on June 21, 2023, to establish an officer committee tasked with amending the rules to facilitate the appointment of Kerala House employees through promotion to the position of Controller.

A committee, comprising senior officers, had convened and recommended that Kerala House staff could indeed be appointed to the Controller's position through promotion. Additionally, the committee proposed upgrading the non-guest post of Front Office Manager to a guest post ON July 29, 2023.

On October 6, 2023, the Chief Minister wrote in the file that apart from the front office manager, the housekeeping manager and catering manager can also be considered for the post of controller. To avoid the allegation that the amendment is being brought only for Prakashan, it was decided that apart from the front office manager, two other posts could be considered as controllers. The recommendation is now under the consideration of the Finance Department. If the finance department also approves the amendment, the cabinet will approve it and issue an order.

KM Prakashan will be the first person in seniority to be considered for the post of controller from Kerala House when the post of front office manager is elevated to a guested post. From there, there is a move for the NGO union leader to ascend to the control post of Deputy Secretary rank as the entry cadre of the AIS.
 

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