NEW DELHI/Jammu, May 17 The Centre has amended a rule to provide a longer tenure to the chief secretary of Jammu and Kashmir, a move that allowed a further extension to incumbent B B Vyas . Till the new rule came into force, the state chief secretary superannuated on attaining the age of 60. However, the political leaders, employees of various government departments and babus (administrative officers) have hailed the decision terming it as a welcome step by the Centre to give extension to Vyas. With regard to other states, a chief secretary may get an extension in service, beyond the superannuating age, for a period not exceeding six months. The retirement age of a chief secretary varies in the states. According to the new rule made by the Ministry of Personnel yesterday, an officer holding the post of chief secretary in Jammu and Kashmir may be given an extension of service, under exceptional circumstances, for a period beyond six months. But the total term of the state chief secretary shall not exceed three years or up to the age of 62, it said. The amendment has allowed Vyas, who was due to superannuate in November last year but was given two extensions of three months each till this month-end, to remain the chief secretary till November next year. An IAS officer of 1986 batch, Vyas was appointed to the position by the present government in April 2017. He had replaced BR Sharma, a 1984 batch IAS officer, who was appointed chief secretary in 2015 after his predecessor Muhammad Iqbal Khandey sought voluntary retirement from service amid growing differences with the government. Vyas in his three decade career as an IAS officer, has held important positions including deputy commissioner Srinagar, DC Udhampur, divisional commissioner Kashmir, principal secretary Finance and financial commissioner, Planning.