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POLICE 46-47









Centre plans to parachute 9 IAS officers to Yogi office

Sources said that of the nine, two had expressed their inability to move back to the state due to personal reasons.

Written by Amitav Ranjan 
In a strong signal of its intent to keep a close tab on the administration of Uttar Pradesh, the Centre plans to paradrop senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers from here for Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s secretariat.
Sources said that a formal proposal for repatriation of nine officers, handpicked by the Prime Minister’s Office, was sent by the Department of Personnel & Training on April 12 to the Cabinet Secretariat but the approval was taking time as the shortlisted officers have to give their consent.
Sources said that of the nine, two had expressed their inability to move back to the state due to personal reasons.
The shortlisted officers are from the Uttar Pradesh cadre. They are mainly of the Joint Secretary rank at the Centre, implying that they could be appointed as Secretaries or Principal Secretaries of various departments in the state. They are, at present, posted in Cabinet Secretariat, Ministries of Commerce, Human Resource Development, Food, Textiles, Health and Ayush. One is at UIDAI and one at MMTC Ltd.
Despite three large bureaucratic reshuffles in the state, Adityanath has appointed just four officers to the state secretariat. The rest are still being handled by officers from the Akhilesh Yadav regime.
Adityanath’s third rejig — the biggest so far — came yesterday but it mainly involved the appointment and transfers of district magistrates. The second one, a week ago, comprised divisional commissioners and DMs.
HINDU, APR 25, 2017

Cabinet Secretary Sinha gets extension

UPDATED: APRIL 25, 2017 04:21 IST

The Central government on Monday granted one-year extension to Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha whose two-year term is scheduled to end on June 12. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cleared Mr Sinha’s extension.

ASIAN AGE, APR 27, 2017

Bureaucrats defy Yogi Adityanath diktat, yet to declare assets


The chief minister had asked bureaucrats on March 20 to submit details of their assets on the prescribed format within 15 days.

Lucknow: Despite strict instructions and reminders by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, some 150 IAS officers in the state have not submitted complete details of their moveable and immovable assets.

The chief minister, according to sources, is keen to identify and segregate the “black sheep” in the cadre in order to refurbish the image of his government and prevent scams and scandals in the coming months.

The chief minister had asked bureaucrats on March 20 to submit details of their assets on the prescribed format within 15 days.

It is now over a month and 120 IAS officers have not given details of their movable assets while 30 have not disclosed their immovable assets.

A large number of officers belonging to the Provincial Civil Services have also not furnished their property details.

The chief secretary has summoned all departmental chiefs on May 3 to discuss the issue. Principal secretary of personnel and appointment Kamran Rizvi has also informed the bureaucrats that non-compliance of the chief minister’s directives would lead to “unhappy consequences”.

According to sources, most of the bureaucrats are shying away from furnishing their property details mainly because of the format they have been provided.

A senior official said that the format offers no leeway for the officials since everyone is required to give details of the movable and immovable property of their immediate and extended families and also the income of these members of the family.

“This implies that property bought in the name of father-in-law and sister-in-law will be under the scanner,” a retired IAS officer said.
TRIBUNE, APR 24, 2017

Rust in the Iron Frame

The abiding fear of the 3 Cs
PRIME Minister Narendra Modi was at his katha vachak best on the Civil Services Day. His audience was practically the entire civil services. Those who couldn't make it to hear the PM in person were linked via teleconferencing. Besides the usual exhortations made by every PM on April 21, Narendra Modi also touched on three Cs — the CAG, the CBI and the CVC - which he identified as stumbling blocks in decision-making, ultimately resulting in policy paralysis. No one has a bone to pick with that line of argument.
Babudom in India has been stereotyped as timid, overcautious and frequently prone to indecision. Although this broad brush view is more due to the prevailing politics of indignation than a reasoned analysis. The bureaucrat usually sits over a file or passes the buck in order to save his own skin from future tribulations. The latest victim of overzealousness or petty mindedness of the 3 Cs was former Coal Secretary H C Gupta, widely reputed as an above broad bureaucrat. Gupta was reduced to asking the court probing the Coal-Gate scandal to sentence him to prison as he did not have the resources to contest the bogus uprightness of the investigating agencies.
But ever since the culture of accusation entered out body-politic, starting with the Bofors scandal in the late 80s, bureaucrats have realised that it is always better to be safe than sorry after retirement. The virus has made further inroads after many bureaucrats decided to cast their lot with one political party in state after state. The PM is right in demanding quicker decisions and exhorting officials not to be afraid of the consequences. While any public servant found with his hand in the till must be given exemplary punishment, the onus is on PM to remove the fear of misplaced missionary zeal among investigating agencies that has blighted many upright officials with the right drive and energy. A regime that continues to define itself by its slogan of ``brashtachar-mukta'' (corruption-free) will find its bureaucratic instruments blunted by the 3 Cs.

Employees body puts government on notice, seeks pay hike dues
HYDERABAD: The Employees, Teachers' and Pensioners' Association on Sunday demanded that the state government immediately release pay hike arrears of 1.25 lakh employees pending for the past two years and also abolish the contributory pension scheme (CPS).

The association said that the employees were waiting for their arrears since 2015 and threatened to launch an agitation if the government failed to release the funds by the end of May.

"In 2015, Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao himself openly announced that an order will be issued regarding arrears shortly. However, till now nothing has come out and about 1.25 lakh employees and teachers' have been eagerly waiting to get that money," said Ravi Chavi, state general secretary, Telangana State United Teachers' Federation.

He added that an employee would get anything between Rs 30,000 and Rs 1.5 lakh, depending on their designation.

Commenting on the contributory pension scheme, B Kondal Reddy, state president of Telangana Progressive Teacher's Federation, said that if an employee with a salary of Rs 30,000 per month passes away, the family of that employee would get a mere Rs 850 under this scheme.

"Under the old pension scheme (OPS), a deceased employee's family would get Rs 18,000 if he earned Rs 30,000 per month.

"However, with contributory pension scheme, 60% of the money in employees accounts is given as gratuity and the interest over the remaining 40% is given as pension, which comes to a mere Rs 850," he said.

The associations also demanded that the government streamline health cards and set up wellness centers in all district headquarters and increase their number in Hyderabad by four.
Also, they asked the state to issue healthcards for aided, residential, model school, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya, public sector, municipalVaidya Vidhana Parishad employees.
They further demanded that the government initiate steps to promote and transfer employees and complete the process by May.
"Starting from May 4, we would conduct a round table conference in all districts. If the government fails to address our demands, we would launch a protest," said Ravi.

TRIBUNE, APR 24, 2017

We the people,’ the guards of democracy

Jagdeep S. Chhokar

As events unfold, B.R Ambedkar's prescience is uncanny. It reflects a very deep understanding of the Indian mind-set. The state of democracy in India is perilous. We continue to place creed above the country. But only the people can preserve democracy.
IT is not often that a newspaper writes both editorials on the same issue. The Tribune did that on April 11. (“Low turnout in Srinagar”, and “Vote buying”). Why would this happen?

Take a look at the following headlines: "Eight killed in Kashmir bypoll violence, Srinagar registers poor voter turnout of 7.14 per cent"; "EC cancels RK Nagar bypoll, cites voter bribery, corruption"; "After 7 per cent and 8 deaths, Anantnag bypoll is deferred". All these headlines pertain to elections and have appeared in major English dailies over the last couple of days.

There are more headlines in the same mode: "Sixteen parties urge EC to use paper ballots", citing "too deep and pervasive…trust deficit." And: "Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad attacks Air India staffer with slippers;" and "Government pressure forced Air India to withdraw Ravindra Gaikwad's flying ban." "BJP MLA threatens to behead those who try to stop Ram mandir construction." Finally, "Behead Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, get Rs 11-lakh: BJP youth leader."
To top it all, "Circumventing the Rajya Sabha" which, inter alia, said, "The Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Vice President Hamid Ansari and the Deputy Chairman, P.J. Kurien, reportedly expressed their concern recently on attempts being made to whittle away the legislative powers of the Rajya Sabha and make it a redundant legislative House."

What does all of the above say about the state of democracy in India? If we rephrase the above, all of it can be summarised as the following:

  • The electoral process, the bedrock of democracy, is becoming more and more fragile.

  • Parliament and its functioning are under a cloud, there seems to be a view that there is a deliberate attempt to undermine it.

  • Lawlessness seems to be on the increase, as evidenced by open and direct threats of violence. "Rule of law" never too strong, seems to be becoming weaker by the day.

There is, of course, a contrasting view which says that things are getting better, the country is on its way to fulfilling the ever-rising aspirations of people, and becoming great again. It is, however, hard to believe this alternate narrative when one is told that "anonymity" and "transparency" are mutually reinforcing concepts! On attaining Independence from colonial rule, India was designed to be a constitutional democracy. It may not be out of place to remember what the man who is sometimes referred to as the primary author of the Indian Constitution, B.R. Ambedkar, and whose birth anniversary the nation celebrated with great fanfare, going by the big advertisements in all newspaper, on April 14, felt like telling the nation 68 years ago. After making a substantial part of his speech, he said, “Here I could have ended. But my mind is so full of the future of our country that I feel I ought to take this occasion to give expression to some of my reflections thereon.” And then he went on to say some words of caution which today sound prophetic. This was the day the Constitution was adopted, November 25, 1949. Some of what he said is reproduced below:

“I feel, however good a Constitution may be, it is sure to turn out bad because those who are called to work it, happen to be a bad lot. However bad a Constitution may be, it may turn out to be good if those who are called to work it, happen to be a good lot. The working of a Constitution does not depend wholly upon the nature of the Constitution. The Constitution can provide only the organs of State such as the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary. The factors on which the working of those organs of the State depend are the people and the political parties they will set up as their instruments to carry out their wishes and their politics”. (Italics added).
"On January 26, 1950, India will be an independent country. What would happen to her independence? Will she maintain her independence or will she lose it again? This is the first thought that comes to my mind. It is not that India was never an independent country. The point is that she once lost the independence she had. Will she lose it a second time? It is this thought which makes me most anxious for the future. What perturbs me greatly is the fact that not only India has once before lost her independence, but she lost it by the infidelity and treachery of some of her own people.”
“Will history repeat itself? It is this thought which fills me with anxiety. This anxiety is deepened by the realisation of the fact that in addition to our old enemies in the form of castes and creeds we are going to have many political parties with diverse and opposing political creeds. Will Indians place the country above their creed or will they place creed above country? I do not know. But this much is certain that if the parties place creed above country, our independence will be put in jeopardy a second time and probably be lost for ever. This eventuality we must all resolutely guard against. We must be determined to defend our independence with the last drop of our blood.”
“It is not that India did not know what is democracy. There was a time when India was studded with republics, and even where there were monarchies, they were either elected or limited. They were never absolute.”
"The second thing we must do is to observe the caution which John Stuart Mill has given to all who are interested in the maintenance of democracy, namely, not ‘to lay their liberties at the feet of even a great man, or to trust him with power which enables him to subvert their institutions’. There is nothing wrong in being grateful to great men who have rendered life-long services to the country. There are limits to gratefulness. As has been said by the Irish Patriot Daniel O'Connel, no man can be grateful at the cost of his honour, no woman can be grateful at the cost of her chastity and no nation can be grateful at the cost of its liberty. This caution is far more necessary in the case of India than in the case of any other country. For in India, Bhakti or what may be called the path of devotion or hero-worship, plays a part in its politics unequalled in magnitude by the part it plays in the politics of any other country in the world. Bhakti in religion may be a road to the salvation of the soul. But in politics, Bhakti or hero-worship is a sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship.”
Ambedkar's prescience is either uncanny and scary, or it reflects a very deep understanding of the Indian mind-set. But whatever it is, the state of democracy in India is perilous. Yes, the final responsibility does rest with the people, and "We, the People", have allowed political parties to “place creed above country” and thus put “our independence … in jeopardy a second time (making the possibility of losing it) for ever” very real. Are we willing “to defend our independence with the last drop of our blood”? It is for each one of us to answer.

The writer is a former Professor, Dean  & Director in charge of the IIM, Ahmedabad.


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