By ranking bureaucrats as " Most Powerful", are we not taking the entire bureaucracy for a ride? I would like to treat them as the "most manipulative, pliable,compromising" who are always eager to please the political class for their career progression.

They have always been holding coveted positions in the GOI by pulling the right strings at right time. 

They never seem to retire.They are fit to be addressed as the 'Field Marshals" of bureaucracy,ending up as MPs , Members UPSC, CEC or even Governors.

This way, the mediocrity is perpetuated,the merit takes the back seat. There are examples galore.I would not like to name anyone


Rahul Gandhi was at his worst while answering questions in Times Now interview. Even despite months of intensive tutoring by his mentors, the guy looked frightened, out of focus, dodging questions on serial scams ,inflation and corruption, invoking sympathy by citing successive killings in family. He memorized answers to questions framed by his mentors, not Arnab Goswami, Rahul Gandhi responded to questions that wer never asked. These were like RTI, Women empowerment, system, fundamentals. The Times Now gave extra-ordinary prior publicity  to Rahul’s interview as though something spectacular would emerge.But,it turned out to be a ” KHODA PAHAAD NIKLAA CHUHA”. A damp squib. The viewers were disillusioned. The Congress mentors must be cursing Ra Ga privately.


And all this lacklustre performance by Rahul Baba   after intensive tutoring, pre-recoding followed by editing .by  Congress chaatukaars. The grapevine has it that there  was  also a tele-prompter  also to assist him? Arnab Goswami merely succeeded in getting  the worst out of  Ra Ga..God save the country. One thing is clear that the TIMES NOW’s TRP got hit in the process.


The Supreme Court’s verdict on commuting death sentences of 15 murder convicts on ground of “inordinate delay in deciding their mercy pleas” (by the Executive) merits deep appreciation . These had earlier  been rejected by the President of India. The Court does not question the power of the President to reject mercy petitions. But, it can  go into the issue of whether the Executive violated the rights of the death row convicts due to the inordinate delay. The capital punishment has been on the Statute book for over 150 years.  The   terror-related cases like : 26/11 convict Ajmal Kasab and Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru ,were processed expeditiously and as per law of the land and  executions took place in 2012 and 2013 respectively. The Supreme Court concluded that those sentenced to death for terror offences could not invoke the argument about inordinate delay in disposing of mercy petitions. Former President Pratibha Patil  during her five year tenure , commuted  sentences of 35 death row convicts to life imprisonment. The execution rate in India has declined considerably during the past few decades.

In these circumstances, the moot point is : Whether  capital punishment should continue ? It has been there on the Statute for a number of serious offences for over 150 years. It is high time the Law makers had a re-think on whether to retain death penalty or abolish it save in terror-related cases. While,98 countries have abolished death penalty, 58 are retaining it.The  inordinate delay in  executing death penalty ( except in terror  related cases) amounts to  double Jeopardy. Waiting for death verdict  for long , is also a punishment. The extent of political pressures and those of  business houses exerted on GOI while processing  mercy petitions, is beyond  one’s imagination.GOI’s decision to seek a review of decision by SC, is misplaced.


After the UPSC aspirants staged a protest outside Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's residence for demanding new UPSC exam pattern, Rahul Gandhi agreeing with the protestors said that the pattern of the UPSC civil services exam is wrong and he will take up the issue.

DOP&T headed by PM had approved the new pattern.Rahul Gandhi is the boss now.

I  served as Joint Secretary in UPSC and am familiar with ts functioning.

 it is learnt from a source claiming anonymity  that the situation is not hunky dory. 

The Commission is vertically divided against itself.There has been a face-off  between groups of former bureaucrats and academicians, both now now Members of UPSC.

Changes made by UPSC effective from  2013  Civil Services(Main) exam had excluded foreign languages from its course.The aspirants  alleged that they were left with little time to prepare and also the changes are discriminatory against students from the rural background.The charge is not without a basis.

Charges of arrogance,arbitrariness,extravagance and nepotism are flying thick and fast against the top echelons.The CBI is reportedly aware about this. 

The situation could reach the flash point any time.

This is the wake-up call for our good-for-nothing PM.It is due to his and MOS (DOP&T)'S non-application of minds that the IAS aspirants were forced to approach the political class for redressal of their grievances.


 India is presently ruled by the dispensation  of “ a ceremonial head”(President) , a de jure head of government     ( PM) and the de facto CEO ( Congress Supremo).Ministers are invariably appointed on political considerations irrespective of criminal charges slapped against them. Key positions are filled on extraneous considerations:  political loyalty, pliability, pecuniary etc. The problem of “dynasticism” has subverted inner-party democracy in the mainstream and regional  parties. 

A K Saxena (A retired civil servant)


The new CM of Delhi has turned all Delhiites into undercover agents to entrap corrupt govt. servants through sting operations. He has virtually crowd-sourced vigilance functions without ascertaining the legal admissibility of  evidences collected  through undercover operations. Consider other implications. What steps have been taken to: (a) Maintain the anonymity of sting operator; (b) Give protection to complainants; (c) Prevent blackmailing by complainants. How far would the populist scheme result in actual prosecution of corrupt officials is a million dollar question. Considering the scale of operations of undercover operations, one could see huge impact on  sale of hi-fi mobile phones. Covert operations by decoy officials of anti-corruption cell of NCT Delhi, would prove far more effective than entrusting the job to the poor, illiterate aggrieved who are non-professionals. The sting operation is  a complicated confidence game planned and executed with great care.


January 1417

CBFC Appointments

Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) ,a government funded 

autonomous body located at Mumbai, has become the refuge for civil 

servants.Former CEO ,one Pankaja Thakur was from the Customs Service and

the present ,one Ramesh Kumar from the Railway Accounts Service. 

To hell with this government.

Such positions should be reserved for eminent persons from the 

theatre/,Film world/ Writers/journalists fields.There will be many 


Selecting persons from the civil services ,is criminal.They merely follow orders from politicians. It is a man-made disaster.


Instead of simplifying the traditional tax structures, the GOI is imposing new taxes. Service tax was started with 1% with few services and now it is 10% in almost all services. Abolition of income tax is not feasible unless alternative sources of making up revenue deficit,are created. There are more income tax evaders than avoiders. The govt. will be well advised to demonetize 1000 rupee notes.But,this  will adversely impact  all political parties and builders mafia across the board. They will have to ferry the cash in trucks. This way, transparency will prevail.


Docks have not been cleared in higher Judiciary. After A K Ganguly, it is now Swatanter Kumar, former judge Supreme court in the dock. He has been charged with sexual felony by another intern. His offence is graver as the alleged  misconduct reportedly  took place while he was sitting judge of Supreme court.Strangely, several law interns have prepared affidavits discounting the possibility of such sexual misconduct by the accused. Is this character assassination or a reality?

The frequency of sexual innuendos against top judiciary has shaken  public faith . The LAWMAKERS  cannot mutely watch the paradigm shift from their comfortable cocoon of arrogance, insensitivity and know-all mindsets.

Eminent jurists must step in and assist the Supreme court in framing guidelines for sitting and retired judges.


Salman Khurshid’s chauvinistic remarks: “I will not return to Parliament, till I bring back Devyani”, was puerile, jejune and politically naive. While refusing to withdraw human exploitation charges,the USA has warned  that Devyani would be arrested on her return to US. Why should then MEA gloat over “conquering” the US ? While, the Indian and US media have locked horns on the issue , the Indo-US relations are reminiscent of cold war. Against this backdrop, could Devyani not be posted in AMS (Americas) Division in South Block that handles all matters relating to USA. A dose of retaliatory diplomacy is necessary.


Tarun Gogoi ‘s  recent demand for another time zone for Assam and other North-eastern states of India,is fallacious. Creating more time zones will rob the country of its psychological sense of identity. Having another time zone for North and North-east India, will result in chaos.  No wonder,Jammu&Kashmir could also revive its demand for an exclusive time zone. This could open a pandora’s box of demands from other regions. India’s neighbours: Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangla Desh have all got single time zone. China, much larger geographically than India, follows a uniform standard time. Srilanka follows the IST as its standard time. 

In this nuclear age of supersonic ballistic missiles, having more than one time zone in India, could adversely impact military operations by hampering receiving unified commands at same point of time during war.  A standard time for the armed forces across the country, is of the essence for strategic and efficiency reasons.Against this backdrop,the existing practice of ‘advancing the clock’, synchronizing with IST indicated by the Akashwani and Doordarshan, must continue. One hopes the Central government takes a holistic view in the matter by keeping the Indian Armed Forces, MOD,defence strategists , DoNER, DST,MEA in the loop.


This is not to defend recent terror attacks in France.. It is the most reprehensible and dastardly act by terrorists. No religion permits this. The present generation of european muslims has not been able to join the mainstream ,Their fast radicalisation could,inter alia, be attributed to intolerance in western democracies. Some attitudinal changes are called for on part of every one as the events could be game changer. Violence and backlash could escalate across continents and sub-continents. Sample some ground realities..Switzerland has banned construction of minarets; France has prohibited hijab and burqua in public places. This was upheld by the courts. Poland has forbidden export of halal meat. The Sikhs can't wear turbans in France and elsewhere,too. One wonders whether the CROSS is allowed to be worn by the christians in public..


After A K Ganguly's nightmarish experience , one cannot discount the possibility of a vindictive or career- ambitious  woman at the work place or elsewhere to make these allegations about sexual misconduct for multiple reasons leaving the accused to go through a terrible ordeal. 

I am not commenting on the authenticity of allegations against AKG in the face of Supreme court panel's  opinion of "prima facie" case to be taken forward.There was no judgement about AKG being found guilty of sexual misconduct,as a section of Media had misconstrued.

Who will protect the innocent menfolks from frivolous  complaints in the face of outrage-specialist political bodies  like the  NCW and big bindiwalli ladies, who are fond of seeking cheap publicity on TV Channels ? Is there any safety mechanism for men in place ?


No point gloating over the successful launch of GSLV.

It took ISRO about 20 years to complete the first stage of the cryogenic engine programme, which was promised to be over within 3-5 years. 

The claim about indigenousness seems a farce. 

Some indigenous scientists believe that the drawings of cryogenic engines purchased from Russia, were used. 

This caused delay. Indegenous fabrication would have been faster.

Be that as it may,kudos to ISRO on its success after two successive failures.

It is common knowledge that the GOI ( Read as Congress)was pressing ISRO for immediate launch for getting political mileage.


Kejriwal has often proved by his utterances that those who are not with his party, are against him and must be fulminated upon --- My way or Highway attitude.Let the M-TV generation of today be not misguided by the false promises of the AAP party. We cannot provide water to places without laying pipelines and installing outlets. Kejriwal is reportedly not a team man.His holier-than-thou attitude made him unpopular with his former peers in the income tax deptt.He is impractical and politically ambitious.His post-election tie-up with the Congress confirms his insatiable thirst for power-by hook or by crook.Means are not important for him; goals are! Under a secret deal with with the Congress,in return for outside support,Kejriwal &Co will not act against Sheila Dikshit,her son and former ministers involved in several corruption scams in NCT,Delhi. The Congress is a past master in running coalition government.


Manmohan Singh  must take voluntary retirement to pave way for Rahul Gandhi to take over as the time-pass PM  till May .  Chances of the Congress returning to power are negligible.  Rahul will, however, secure his future even with a short prime ministerial stint – getting a rent- free bungalow, Z+ security and several other perks.

Slamming Modi’s election as PM  as being  disastrous for the country exposed MMS’ wretched mindset .He was in a press conference, not addressing a rally of captive audience.

Dodging  all questions on corruption , MMS  extolled the “outstanding  credentials” of Rahul Gandhi. What kind of performance benchmarking he has followed, one wonders.

 He had the temerity to appreciate the advisory role  ( Read  interference) of 10-Janpath and Rahul Gandhi in day-to-day governance. 

“I sincerely feel what Narendra Modi says, will not materialize”, was PM’s closing remark at the abruptly concluded press conference. Some journalists were tutored.


The hit lists are fabricated by our intelligence agencies based on misplaced threat perceptions. To be in the hit list is like wearing a badge of honour. The  level of threat perception  determines the category of security cover : X,Y and Z . 

Z(+) is the ultimate level made available 24x7 to Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and even its extended family including Robert Vadra, The security cover continues  despite his dubious credentials and a fabricated "clean chit" given by the remote-controlled  State govt of Haryana. Even Sajjan Singh ,the alleged perpetrator of 1984 riots,is availing of  benefit at the cost of public exchequer, running into hundreds of crores of rupees on recurring basis.

The hair-splitting difference between the ‘Z’ category and ‘Z plus’ category is distinguished only by the word ‘very.’  Whereas the ‘Z’ category security refers to "Very High threat", the ‘Z plus’ category security refers to "Very Very High threat."These relative terms were coined by intelligence agencies to please the political class. The threat perceptions are not reviewed periodically and the cover ,once given, continues life-long.

What a tragedy !


The NDTV celebrated its 25th birth anniversary on Dec 15,2013 by inviting  25 living legends of India for honour by  President  Pranab Mukherjee. 

In an abnormal departure from  usual practice, the celebration took place  at  Rashtrapati Bhavan.Vigyan Bhavan is the legitimate  and earmarked venue for  all such functions on usual payment basis.

Who allowed misuse of the President’s house by a private TV Channel ? Who paid the bill?  Will the President’s Sectt throw open Bhavan to other industrial houses for holding their wedding functions? 

 Mukesh Ambani was among the 25 living legends. He, reportedly holds majority stakes in 27 News channels. What were the criteria for selecting  the 25 living legends. Many of them might not have cleared their outstanding income tax dues. 

But ,who cares? 

Pranab Da’s proximity to the Ambanis is  legendry. And, the NDTV is considered pro-Congress Dignity of Rashtrapati Bhavan has been lowered besides laying a bad precedent.


About A.K.Saxena

A K SAXENA, an Indian national, is a retired civil servant from Government of India He is also a freelance journalist with several published investigative articles and columns in various fields to his credit. His writings are a reflection of his interest in writing on divergent themes and making the topics relevant to a wider audience. A post graduate in Chemistry from University of Delhi,he could not sustain his interest in pursuing research and instead chose to enter the government service through the IAS etc exam held by the UPSC. “KALASAVYA” that brought out several publications besides organizing cultural shows.

You can contact me at

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