The National Security Advisor (NSA) is Advisor to PM and the Indian Cabinet. India’s Intelligence Agencies ,RAW and IB, report to NSA. The post of NSA, created in 1998, was initially headed by Brajesh Mishra (1998-2004) followed by J N Dixit (2004-2005), M K Narayanan ( 2005-10) and Shiv Shankar Menon (2010-till date). While M K Narayanan belonged to IPS, others were career diplomats . The IFS officers by virtue of their job profile do not have hands-on experience in matters of internal and external security. They rely excessively on candyfloss diplomacy. This explains why India is facing diplomatic setbacks in quick succession at the hands of China, Pakistan and even Maldives? China is brazenly staking audacious claims on Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Ladhak besides encircling India with its string of pearls.This calls for some institutional overhauling.Blindly relying on the NSA,is inadviseable.There is need for collective wisdom in such sensitive matters. The mandate of NSA should be entrusted to the triumvirate,a three member body consisting of officers from the IFS, IPS and the Armed forces. Handling rogue neighbours like Pakistan and China requires holistic approach based on aggressive foreign policy, coercive diplomacy, enhanced security threat perception and assessing implications of waging a limited or full-scale war or even psychological warfare on enemies.

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The language war controversy in the Civil Services (Main) Exam in Lok Sabha recently, reflected on UPSC's failure in advising GOI in carrying out radical changes in the format and syllabus of Civil Services (Main) Exam 2013 purportedly to make it mor e relevant with the present day, global as well as internal scenario. The changes were recommended by a committee constituted by UPSC under Prof Arun S Nigavekar, former chairman, UGC. It gave more weightage to the two General Studies papers and the English language by making it competitive. Regional languages were totally ignored. Neither did the Committee nor the UPSC nor the GOI visualise the repercussions of the proposed changes .This smacked of intellectual bankruptcy with complete disregard for regional languages included in Schedule VIII of Constitution. The inclusion of regional languages is an emotive issue and needed to be handled carefully. The UPSC's suggestions were approved by the Prime minister in Feb 2013,as Cabinet minister for DOP&T, before being put in public domain by UPSC on March 5,2013. This is clarified in fairness to UPSC as in Lok Sabha debate, both PM and MOS (Personnel) drew blank face feigning ignorance about their close involvement.The Chairman UPSC became the fall guy to face MPs attacks in Parliament. For diffusing the crisis,the PM had no option but to put the notification on the hold. The civil services aspirants suffered the suspense they had to pass through. The March 5 notification has been put on hold by UPSC on the basis of PM's assurance to Parliament. The notification will not impact CS (Main) Exam, 2013. But, as it has not been withdrawn, the GOI is free to operationalise it from CS (Main) 2014. The arguments adduced by the MPs of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha would be relevant for all times and the GOI must learn lessons from history. The author served in UPSC on a sensitive portfolio and had handled the issues in the past.

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 I  stay in a middle class colony of Delhi .My neighbours are a mix  of  different faiths.  I am not a pseudo –secularist like the Congresswala. But, I follow the hindu way of life with respects for other faiths.

 

My co-operative housing  society’s management  is usually  inactive. It is never co-operative.Come Holi, it turns pro-active. It is usually so,when it comes to spending from  Society’s funds. I urged them not to celebrate the occasion from out of society’s funds  which  was a public fund and its utilisation on religious celebrations was inappropriate . Earlier, the demand for constructing a temple in the complex was given up  only after  the matter was reported to Delhi Police. There were secret murmurs of protest from the majority community. I was targeted as I did not join their ‘Mutual Admiration Club!

 

If you do not  learn from history, the same is  repeated. The same happened  on the HOLI day. My protests turned more vehement  as  similar gestures were not shown during the  celebration of  Christmas and the  Eid.  The Management remained unconvinced, unconcerned and insensitive. The majority’s view prevailed in the ‘Number Game’. Celebrations started with fervour. The famous ‘Silsila’s  “Rang Barse”  song  was on the air  like the ‘National Song’ for HOLI ;  males dancing with their neighbours’ wives, leaving others flirting furtively.

 

The tagline  is : “Bura Na Maano, Holi Hai “. Does this  give  a licence to enjoy as you wish.

 

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My emotional quotient is high.My heart bleeds for Sanjay Dutt. I can empathise with him and feel the pain.But, my empathy would be misplaced as emotions have no place in the verdict of the highest court of Justice.But, I am amazed at the sharp reactions of the bleeding hearts in the world of politics and filmdom.Not to lag behind,even Mr Markanday Katju ,former judge of Supreme court who besides being a citizen of India, also wears the hat of  Chairman, Press Council of India. He is a public servant holding a statutary office.One wonders whether  he  is discharging his duties diligently? Is he being fair and just  by appealing to  the Constitutional head of Maharashtra to use his discretionary powers and grant gubernatorial  pardon to Sanjay Dutt ?Has he visualized the sweeping repercussions, such an action would have on other cases,that are similarly circumstanced ? 

Do you agree with me?

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The sting operation by a online portal exposed the executives of three private banks indulging in money-laundering activities.The story does not end here. Not to lag behind, even some public sector banks are allegedly indulging in the luxury of obliging mainstream political parties by receiving huge sums of of cash from them and 

 

channelizing the same into investment schemes by creating   benami accounts-holders.The RBI’s anti-money-laundering laws are being violated with impunity,both by private and public sector banks. While in govt service, I came across a case of a prominent political party flooding a government bank( two or three times a week) 

 

with sacks of unaccounted cash running into hundreds of crores of rupees ( black money in common parlance) for money-laundering.The MOF was apprised of  the details with documentary evidences. But, the matter was conveniently suppressed.The evil continues with vengeance, across the board, right under the nose of the 

 

RBI. Names of political party and the psu bank, are being withheld for obvious reasons.

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Let  us not politicisize Pakistan PM’s  private pilgrimage  to Ajmer dargah. India’s foreign minister welcome to  the dignitary was in keeping with India’s age old traditions  and its conduct as a responsible Nation. This does not, however,take away India’s  right  to defend  its border and protect its sovereignty, if necessary, by 

 

carrying  hot pursuits into POK and demolish terrorists’ infrastructure. Why blame Pak’s PM who heads a sham democracy that merely complies with the orders of Pakistan army,particularly the ISI? Instead of serving  the interests of Pak’s army, let India issue orders to  its Army Chief to teach  a lesson to the former in the 

 

manner and language it deserves. Gen Bikram Singh’s statement  to lift the morale of our soldiers, alone ,does not suffice. Let  indian army  take action to defend country’s honour in the wake of beheading of two  Indian soldiers and  for merciless killing  of the Kargil martyr, Capt.Saurabh  Kalia.

 

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Whether to restore Afzal’s body,already buried, to his family, is purely an Executive function,not legislative.No purpose will be served in Parliamentary discussion.The PM could have convened an All-parties meeting to arrive at a consensus.Why politicize the matter? The suggestion by the Congress-led UPA-II for discussion is a mere subterfuge to confuse the public and deflect public attention from the corruption issue of Choppergate scam. It is shying away from decision making.The Cabinet committee on security headed by the PM is mandated to decide upon such matter after taking into consideration the security scenario in J&K. The furore in Kashmir has subsided,more or less. Why prolong the matter ? Just say a polite NO to Afzal’s family.Informing them about execution belatedly, through the ‘Speed Post’, shows GOI’s total lack of humanitarian feelings.This was totally inhuman, immoral and unethical. This has jolted the conscience of Aam Aadmi in India. How much out of sync the Congress is from ground realities?

 A K SAXENA (A retired civil servant)

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The Supreme court confirmed the death sentence on Afzal in 2004.Execution was carried out in 2013. The GOI has much to explain on delay.Can a chronological report be prepared and the responsibility fixed for delay in processing Afzal's mercy petition ?

Delhi's CM  (Sheila Dikshit)and the former President of India ( Pratibha Patil) must be held accountable for misusing their discretionary powers.

Let the Supreme court prescribe a specific time schedule for finalising the mercy petition so that the same is not misused  in future for cheap political ends by the ruling dispensation.

Do you agree ?

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Passed in April 1923 by the Legislative Council of Great Britain , the OSA was never notified in thGazette of India. The Act becomes a law only after it is notified in the Gazette of India.  Gazette notification of  OSA ( India) is not available in India or UK.   The OSA was amended twice, in 1951 and 1967. The amendments were notified in the ' Gazette Extraordinaire of India'. The OSA conflicts with the RTI Act. The second Administrative Reforms Commission  while recommending scrapping of  OSA suggested that safeguards for ‘State Security’  be included  in the National Security Act (NSA) instead of the OSA. The UK replaced OSA 1923(UK) by its 1989 Act

Will the GOI ( MHA and Law ) re-write the draconian OS Act 1923 after taking into consideration the sovereignty of modern India  (not the British India) and the Constitutional and statutary safeguards  available to citizens of  India like  ‘ Freedom of Speech and Expression’, ‘Right to Information’ etc?

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Jaipur Literature Festival (JFL) has a penchant for courting controversy. Ashis Nandy was ostensibly playing to the gallery when he remarked at a panel discussion that “Most corrupt people come from OBC, SC and ST communities”.. The eminent sociologist-turned-author was unprofessional when he failed to substantiate his thesis through empirical data..According to experts, no caste-based sociological study has ever been made. to support his sweeping generalization.. 

Corruption is endemic , un- related to castes or creeds.One knows of either small crooks or big crooks. Scams involving bureaucrats , big businessmen , the political class et al get suppressed irrespective of caste affiliations. Nandy’s naivete at JLF’s international forum has encouraged powerful sections to get political mileage out of the JLF’s imbroglio by ignoring their own credentials and track records.Ironically, the benefits of reservation instead of percolating to the deprived sections, are cornered by the high and mighty, 

Nandy has much to explain for his offensive remarks under cover of Freedom of Speech and Expression.He must be challenged intellectually and condemned unequivocally. Let the Jaipur Police not get trapped in political sloganeering.

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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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