|IAS officer from Karnataka cadre P Manivannan is all set to become a Lieutenant. Photo: Nagesh Polali|
By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: Territorial Army (TA) hopes to bolster its image with the commissioning of P Manivannan, an IAS officer from the Karnataka cadre, into its fold. Currently posted as the Chief Project Officer with the Karnataka State Highways Improvement Project, Manivannan will be soon commissioned into the rank and file of the Army as a Lieutenant. To be attached with the 106 Infantry Battalion (TA) Parachute Regiment, Bangalore, he is the first IAS officer from the Karnataka cadre to join the TA.
Manivannan has already completed a month-long training module with the Parachute Regiment. "I have come through the selection process like any other recruit. I have already undergone some basic weapon training. I was part of the NCC while in school and always wanted to join NDA. But my parents insisted that I join a professional course," Manivanna told Express. Hailing from Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu, he cleared the Civil Services exam in 1998 and has held various positions in Karnataka in the last 15 years.
He said he was inspired to join the TA by Capt Pradeep Arya, an IRS officer from the Karnataka cadre, now working as the Joint Commissioner, Income Tax in Belgaum. "Captain Pradeep has helped me to know more about Indian Army. He gave me the insights into TA and I couldn't wait for long before taking the plunge," says Manivannan.
He first cleared the written test by the Preliminary Interview Board in Pune and later the Staff Selection Board formalities in Bhopal. He says he had to wait for sometime before the Karnataka government finally agreed to grant him the mandatory No-Objection Certificate (NoC). "The government wanted to confirm first whether I was serious. It was in the third interview I was given the NoC by I S N Prasad, former Principal Secretary to the chief minister," says the 42-year-old officer.
Manivannan, post-commissioning, will head to Nasik for a three-month training and later to Agra for a one-month rigorous session in para-jumping. He is also likely to have a three-month tenure with the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun. "This one month has been a trailer of sort and I am looking for more tactical training. Being in the Army is a very serious business than I thought. My alertness has increased and after wearing the uniform, the 'country-first' feeling has increased by many folds," says Manivannan.
He said if more government officers joined the TA, then the Army-civil relationship will increase further. "I am aware that many IAS officers are preparing to join the TA in future," he adds.
Minister happy: Public Works Department Minister Dr H C Mahadevappa told Express that he is happy that an officer attached to his department is all set to join the ranks of Indian Army. "If any officer is willing to serve the nation, I am happy to extend all the support. It is the primary duty of every minister to back such initiatives. For me, it's a matter of great pride that Manivannan has taken an inspiring step," Mahadaeveppa said.
Copyright@The New Indian Express