Will the next revenue secretary in the finance ministry be a non-IAS officer? While officers of the Indian Audit & Accounts Service have had a shy at this powerful North Block job, no technocrat has ever made it to this largely IAS preserve. The closest to come near that prospect was the former advisor to the Union finance minister, Parthasarathi Shome. Shome almost made it before he was pipped to the post by the current incumbent. With revenue secretary Pradip Bhide due to retire in January, speculation is rife that he will get a two-month extension till Budget day is over. Despite Shome’s unhappy experience, other economists don’t seem to be discouraged. The question is whether the IAS will allow its fortress to be breached!