According to the NSSO 68th Round of survey , poorest of the poor in India survive on barely Rs.17 per day in villages and Rs.23 a day in cities.

Two years ago, the Planning Commission drew flak for setting the poverty line at Rs.26 per capita per day in rural areas and Rs.32 per capita per day in urban areas.

Seems to be true. Members of Parliament survive on a THALI in Parliament House costing Rs 10.The UPA-II ensures food security for MPs

Who cares for declining GDP and galloping inflation and record-breaking corruption ?Every thing is hunky dory.

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The Chairperson and Members UPSC enjoy the status and privileges equivalent to that of Cabinet Secretary. The Chairperson is first among equals.Member UPSC A P Singh’s (IPS 74, Jharkhand) visit to union Home Secretary (IAS 75,Bihar ) was Constitutionally inappropriate. Raising suspicion was natural as he had served as  Director,CBI for two years  till relinquishment of  charge on Nov 30,2012. Prior to becoming Member UPSC in Feb 2013,Singh handled several high profile  sensitive cases.He must be often meeting the Home Secretary to take instructions  as  Director CBI. Old habits die hard.He ,surely, did not visit the Home Secretary for a chat or courtesy call.One wonders whether views on sensitive cases were shared between them. But, he did certainly compromise his position as Member UPSC. Ironically, both officers were selected by the UPSC. Are we to blame the Commission for selecting such brilliant officers? Ignorance of protocol cannot be an alibi for violating the oath of secrecy and upholding the dignity of UPSC.Having served in UPSC as Joint Secretary in early nineties,I have some knowledge of its internal functioning.I did not hear of any Chairperson and Members having visited any one except the President or the Prime Minister. I trust the same practice continues till date. I feel that calling on the Prime Minister should be considered inappropriate as he could influence the UPSC. In this context, I would share an actual episode narrated by a civil servant  in his autobiography.Sh R N Banerjee ICS who served as Chairperson UPSC from 1949 to 1955, was summoned by Pt Nehru for recommending a candidate for selection by interview into IAS. Banerjee’s outright refusal carried the desired message to the then PM. Such officers are an extinct specie.

Would the Commission take the call to avoid recurrence of similar faux pas in future, overtly or covertly ?

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The Supreme Court  while hearing the case of alleged irregularities in coal blocks   allocation had indicted the premier investigating agency for being a "caged parrot" of its political masters and directed it to make an effort to come out with a law to insulate CBI from external influence. As per newspaper report (IE, June 25), the GOI now proposes to constitute an  “Accountability Committee” of retired Judges to oversee CBI’s investigations. GOM’s report,it is understood, will be submitted to  Cabinet on June 27 and the affidavit to Supreme court on July 6. It is to be seen whether the govt’s proposal would stand the judicial scrutiny of the Apex Court  on July 10,2013,the date of next hearing.

The CrPC confers sufficient autonomy for unfettered investigation to the CBI. It is a different thing that successive Directors of CBI chose to  kowtow to politicians instead of exercising their legitimate authority. There is no systemic fault. A serving IPS officer who,as a deputationist, had investigated several high profile cases in CBI ,confided in me that there was no institutional or legal hindrance in conducting fair investigations provided the top echelons in CBI did not succumb to extraneous pressures. The need for reinforcement is now felt due to persistent misuse of investigating  agency by successive ruling dispensations. Situation has now reached a flashpoint.

All things considered, the ongoing autonomy exercise will prove futile unless: (a) the issue of CBI Director’s initial appointment is taken out of clutches of GOI and (b) the deputation policy  for induction of  IPS officers into CBI at the level of SP and above, is reviewed-lock,stock and barrel- to improve better promotional avenues  of home grown, in –house cadred officers of CBI. This is a frustrated lot.The deputationists from the States could be susceptible to political pressures and that of  MHA as their Cadre Controlling Authority.

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Discrimination based on  castes is an electoral fraud. While, atrocities against SC/ST is common in rural areas, there is  reverse discrimination against Non-SC/ST employees in urban areas.

Consider the flip side.Coteries of SC/ST  employees have sprouted in  govt. offices,hospitals, teaching institutions in full view of  authorities. By misusing the “Brahmaastra”  of caste card, the coteries, at times,slap fabricated charges against others, supported by fake witnesses. The authorities have turned a blind eye to resultant frustration simmering across the board. The GOI has fuelled mistrust among different communities .For instance,  DOP&T’s guidelines on Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) envisage the mandatory presence of an SC/ST officer to participate in DPC’s meetings.The doubting Thomas acts as a watchdog on DPC’s decision making and forces his/her subjective opinions on the outcome.Reservation is an electoral fraud for political parties. Mayavati is desperately trying to woo the “Brahmins” while demanding at the same time reservations in promotions. What extraordinary paradoxes.Baba Bheem Rao Ambedkar would never have approved of  the present condescending approach towards SC/ST that makes them dependent on the government. It is high time the law makers rose above vote bank politics and  took legislative measures to stop further division of Indian society

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After Union Home Minister’s  googly on Bastar carnage, comes a bouncer from his Home Secretary whose missive is a serious indictment of DG CRPF. This is a case of : “Passing the Buck”. True to his genre, R K Singh  enjoys making thoughtless statements without application of mind. His fault-finding outburst must have  demotivated the CRPF officers.The federal States police forces are ill-equipped,ill-trained to take on the Maoists.That explains why the MHA decided to deploy CRPF that is beleaguered by its own problems of  “performance anxiety”.If the CRPF troops are killed in the maoist violence,they are proceeded against departmentally for disciplinary actions.This robbed them of initiative in carrying out anti-insurgency operations for fear of losing its troops.R K Singh is being unfair in setting the agenda for his successor.The motive is clear: To cover his own failures . His accolades to Delhi’s Police Commissioner in the wake of infamous Delhi bus gang rape was unjust,unfair  and undeserved. He is a loose cannon, who does not make sense. Why did he fail to address the problems and take remedial steps instead of playing blame game at the fag end of his career? Whom is he trying to please by his senseless statements? Why did he fail to plug the supply lines to the Maoists who are reportedly receiving funds and weapons from China and the ISI?

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Sushil Kumar Shinde,the union Home Minister is incapable of  making a statement without putting his foot into the mouth. His casual approach to work is considered an asset  by his political class that renders him subservient to the Congress supremo. The guy has the audacity  to justify his overstay in the US for consulting his “eye specialist” far beyond  the Maoists’carnage  in Chhattisgarh.Who ran the home ministry,in his absence? The State does not learn lessons from history and the same ,therefore, is repeated. Salva Judum has failed to controle the maoists’ threat. To say that the Naxalism has been wiped out from Andhra Pradesh by the Greyhound forces, is  misplaced perception. The naxalites were not liquidated by the Greyhound forces bur were forced out to adjoining States.The threat is now  returning to AP with vengeance.Against this background, HM’s suggestion of launching  joint action by the Central and State’s Police forces ,will further fuel the crisis in Chhattisgarh.It might lead to a backlash across the country.IB’s input is not based on intelligence gathering but common sense.One wonders why no attempt has been made so far by the Home ministry and State administration ,to target the supply lines of arsenals and terror funds to the Maoists?The ISI and China are sending funds and weapons to Maoists spread all over the country. One theory,though sounding incredible, is that the huge funds earmarked in the Central and States’ budgets for fighting the maoists’, is a permanent  industry being exploited by the   unscrupulous politico- police-bureaucratic nexus. Some people might lose their jobs,if the Maoists.

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THE NAC,ON ITS LAST LEG,WILL BE SCRAPPED BEFORE THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTIONS.


THE OUTCOME OF ELECTIONS IS WRIT LARGE ON THE WALLS OF 10-JANPATH.SOME PROMINENT CONGRESS POLITICIANS WILL BE BITING THE DUST IN THE COMING ASSEMBLY AND GENERAL ELECTIONS

 

SOME MAY FLEE THE COUNTRY WITH TONS OF DOLLARS STASHED IN FOREIGN TAX HEAVENS.WATCH MY WORDS.


ARUNA ROY, SENSING THE MOOD OF THE PEOPLE,HAS CONVENIENTLY, NOT GRACEFULLY, DECIDED TO LEAVE THE NAC.THE NAC  FUNCTIONS AS A PARALLEL GOVERNMENT HEADED BY SONIA GANDHI( WITH ZERO ACCOUNTABILITY) AND  WHOSE RECOMMENDATIONS ARE VIRTUALLY BINDING ON THE PLIABLE PM ,WHO MERELY HAS THE AUTHORITY TO DOT THE " Is" AND CROSS THE " Ts".


THE EXPENDITURE ON THE NAC ALL THESE YEARS WOULD BE PHENOMENAL. THIS IS MET OUT OF PUBLIC EXCHEQUER.

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Comparison is apt when there is a level playing field.Not so in case of new C&AG V/s his predecessor.A PIL has been filed in the Hon’le Supreme court questioning the selection criteria, rather their absence, in the Constitutional appointment. Did the GOI exercise due diligence and took into account the totality of circumstances,in the given situation.Let us come straight to the point.


Defence procurement deals have been under C&AG’s radar.Would it be possible for new C&AG as the National Auditor, to scrutinize his own decisions,fairly and independently, that he took during his long stay of ten years in MOD in different capacities as Joint Secretary /DG (Acquisitions)/ Addl Secretary and  Defence Secretary.His brilliance is not in question. But, will he be in position to uphold the highest standards of probity in public life.


Is this an example of Good Governance that the Congress-led  depleted UPA-II took pride of ,in its achievement report?


What could be  the interim advice to new C&AG till  the court’s verdict is delivered? Could he, on high moral ground, recuse himself from handling such  cases, due to involvement  of  “Conflict of Interest” so that his impartialit not undermined? This seems to be the only option.

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The Economic Advisory Council ( EAC)in the PMO headed by  C Rangarajan , was set up  to implement quid pro quo deals of the Congress with private sector giants. No doubt,  fixation of   existing gas price @$4.2/million British thermal units (mBtu), from the erstwhile price of $2.34  mBtu ,was steeped in controversy ab initio. It was allegedly linked to installation of a pre-selected private sector-turned public sector executive as CMD of a Maha Ratna PSU.The unit cost of gas from  KG Basin is reported to be around $0.6 per mBtu. Against this background, further reviewing the existing gas price of $4.2/million British thermal units (mBtu), causing a gain of $313 million to Reliance Industries Limited (  Read it as an equivalent loss to public exchequer) without any additional investment or value addition   by the private company, will stir up a hornet’s nest for the Congress . The appointment of a pliable C&AG,it seems,  has  emboldened the ruling dispensation to resort to misadventure without realising  the loss to public exchequer. All things considered, the EAC  seems to be a subterfuge to dupe the gullible public and loot the country. It must be scrapped forthwith. Let its recommendations be put in public domain for an open debate.

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Reservation policy is an electoral fraud due to its sociological implications. The benefits of reservation have been cornered, by the dalits belonging to affluent class. Instead of reviewing the reservation policy, the political class , under garb of “social re-engineering”, has created the sub-category of Maha-dalits” covering the poorest among the dalits. Worse still, under compulsions of vote bank politics, it created sub-castes of : “Normal”, “Hyper” and “Super” Maha-dalits depending on level of poverty. Creation of artificial silos has led to inter- and intra-castes conflicts. The Indian bureaucracy is also impacted adversely. For instance, the practice of giving out-of-turn promotion for superlative performance has been scrapped by government. There is no level playing field in appraising the performance of government bureaucrats and public sector executives. While,”Good” performance is considered “Good enough” for one category of candidates ,it is “Good for nothing” for others. Good and poor performers are treated at par. How could the govt achieve “Responsive Administration” and “Good Governance” in such a scenario? Against this background, extending reservation policy to promotion matters, as demanded by the BSP, will lead to a tsunami of administrative disasters as seniors will become junior to their juniors.

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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

aksaxena1947@gmail.com

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