PM Modi’s decision to haul up top Railway officers for negligence in UP rail accident, is praise-worthy.

Ironically,the Railway services officers have benefited the most from cadre reviews (CR).Accelerated promotions without raising accountability standards, increase the comfort zone of bureaucracy.

Let us take the cadre review debate furthe.

GOI is mulling over 25% job cuts in its strength, screams one prominent daily. Whispersinthecorridors.com regularly monitors progress of cadre review ( CR) proposals of organised Gr A Services.

What about various Gr B services that face the brunt of the cuts. The country needs a slim, trim and bureaucracy, fully committed to work instead of idling away time due to lack of work.  The job cut plan of GOI, If, inspired by the objective of curtailing bludgeoning government office expenditure , it deserves appreciation.

What is the ground reality?

The reality check will uncover the covert plan of top bureaucracy. DOP&T along with cadre controlling authorities increase number of top posts through the charade of Cadre review,which is a a tool to fulfil the expansionist designs . This results in an inverted pyramid of top bureaucracy with bulging middle standing on effete bottom.

Some mathematical formulation and checklist are used by the CR div of DOP&T,to justify creation of top rung posts. A simple clerical check. No application of mind.

The trick employed by smart cadre controlling authorities to make the cadre review proposals “budget-neutral “, is to abolish posts at  lower rungs and show savings matching savings, at times notional.

Career progression of top officers involves creation of additional posts without reference to workload requirement.The role of Staff Inspection Unit (SIU) in MoF was gradually diluted by UPA govt before finally scrapping it. Thanks to the wisdom of the then successive Finance ministers Pranab Mukherjee and P Chidambaram. Worse, in the anxiety for quick promotions at par with the IAS, in cases, where eligible candidates were not available due to non-fulfilment of conditions contained in Rectt Rules, promotions were made on ad hoc basis.

Situation in some ministries has become topsy turvy . Jobs earlier performed by Director-level functionaries are now handled by ADG and DG level officers.This is how bureaucrats create work for each other.

Instead of addressing the public concerns relating to cutting down on bureaucratic obesity , the GOI, as a ritual, announces its decision, year after year, to inject fresh blood by hiring private sector professionals for top management positions in PSUs and government  bureaucracy. 

This is one way to impress business houses. The induction experiment,one may recall, has already failed due to differences in work-cultures in private and government sector. Imprudent decision.

Though, PM Modi has attention for details, but, he cannot be expected to devote time on micro- details.Top bureaucracy,instead of briefing him truthfully, grabs the opportunity to suppress details of negative implications of carrying out cadre reviews in organised services. 

Elevated incumbents in several ministries are searching for work; others are prompt in demanding additional facilities (as per new entitlements) like  fully-furnished bigger rooms, independent chauffeur- driven cars, new furnitures, TV sets, additional back-up manpower supports etc. This adds to office expenses.

Did the GOI in MoF ever think of quantifying the financial implications of such seemingly innocuous cadre review exercises and increase in concomitant expenses ?

The Indian Economic Service, cadre-controlled by MoF,is the biggest beneficiary. Both IES and the ISS,its sister service ,got immense benefits by creating top posts in respective cadres,without assessment of workload justifying creation of new posts by abolishing posts at lower rungs.

Other organised Services particularly the IPS, IRS (IT), IRS ( Custom & Excise), Telecom, Railways etc have grown top heavy by virtue of cadre reviews.

More officers, more corruption.Some elevated officers without adequate workload serve as devils’ advocates.

Disciplinary action is often cited to do away with dead wood,the non-performing human assets

The CVC has hit the roadblock as government deptts are withholding sanctions to prosecute 84 corrupt officers . These 84 officers are reportedly involved in 45 cases of alleged wrongdoing. Some cases have been pending sanction for up to five years despite the political leadership pushing for strict action against corrupt government officers. Horrible state of affairs.

A word about non-performing officers. PM Modi has been persistently stressing upon the importance of finalising disciplinary proceedings against Group A officers.One wonders whether the CVOs in ministries, PSUs, Banks ,are taking their jobs  seriously. Investigations move at snails’ pace. PMO must reprimand the laggards.

Media reports that 138 graft cases attracting Prevention of Corruption Act,  have been pending in Supreme court due to delay in deciding appeals, some as old as 15 years

PM Modi, one trusts,is honest  and incorruptible.But,his blind reliance on bureaucracy ,is a matter of concern.He may guard against it .

PM is urged to take action on the following lines:-

(a) keep all cadre review proposals in abeyance ;

(b) Revive SIU or a similar professional body in MOF for scrutinising manpower demands of ministries and deptts of GOI ;

(c) Subject all cadre review proposals to scrutiny by SIU on workload basis.

Tags:

Recent Media reports opposing  creation of National Judicial Service (NJC ) by 9 high courts ( AP,Bombay, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, MP, Patna, Punjab &Haryana) make disturbing reading.While, Sikkim,Tripura  Jharkhand ,Rajasthan  are still to firm-up their stands,States like Kerala, Chhatisgarh, Allahabad,Manipur, HP, Meghalay, Orissa oppose Centre’s proposal.

Relying on provisions in the Constitution buttressed by advice/ recommendations of the Law Commission,  the Supreme Court and the Parliamentary Standing Committee on law and justice, the  ruling dispensation wrote to all States for seeking their views. It is not competent to create a new Service unilaterally.

As per proposed scheme of things ,the Centre will have no say in the recruitment and posting process. Top judiciary to have full authority in selection and appointment of  judicial officers. No executive interference. The merit order list to be prepared based on cut-offs and reservation policy as decided by top judiciary.

The States have their own judicial services; administrative control vesting with High courts. Unless the High courts and States agree to creation of NJS , the Centre cannot decide.Recruitments are presently made either by High courts or State PSCs. Attracting best talent becomes the casualty. Roles of some State PSCs have been dubious. Charges of nepotism, favouritism, flying thick and fast.Posts on sale by auction.Chairperson of UP-PSC is facing the heat for selecting candidates belonging to a particular community.All under former ruling dispensation.

Consider loop holes in the existing process of selection . No consistency, no uniformity in the conduct of exams by different States. Different syllabii and different difficulty levels of Question papers set by different examiners. And worse, different norms of valuation. Recruitments are presently made either by High courts or State PSCs. Attracting best talent becomes the casualty. 

It is strange that the unethical practices Take Subordinate Judiciary. Position far from hunky dory. Pathetic Charges of corruption, favouritism and arbitrariness abound. Zero accountability .

Poor qualities of judgements.Frequent adjournments on frivolous grounds cause undue harassments to litigants. Unholy nexus between the prosecution and the defence lawyers with blessings of willing judges. Tareekh pe tareekh; tareekh pe tareekh, a bollywood jumla, is a ground reality.

The judiciary habitually complains of large backlog of vacancies of sub-judges when questioned by higher courts about massive pendency of cases numbering about 3 crores.

Around 5,000 posts of sub-judges are reportedly lying vacant.Intake is low and quality poor.

This is admitted privately by members of the Bar.

The Supreme court is urged to put its foot down and give due consideration to ensure transparency in making  fool-proof selection of meritorious judges to subordinate judiciary.

Tags:

Indian army has 39 military farms, housing some 25,000 cattle, occupying 20,000 acres of land across the country. British legacy.Cows milk was utilised by British officers and their orderlies.No longer popular with indian army officers when shelf-stable, higienically manufactured canned milk is readily available.

Employing about 20 officers and 2,000 civilians, the annual cost of maintenance of infrastructure of military farms is reported to be Rs 300 crores.Not economically viable.

It is time to consider proper utilisation of land in public interest.

Let the Army auction the cattle and valuable land to get handsome revenue and divert the money to make India’s Armed forces battle ready.

The Gau rakshak goons must keep their hands off.

Besides military farms , there are large patches of vacant land owned by the Army spread all over the country. One is not sure whether these serve any purpose for the army.

If not in use, these could be meaningfully utilized by the central government for implementing social sector schemes.

Acquisition should, no doubt, be subject to  approval of the Armed forces and without jeopardising  national security.

Tags:

China is India's permanent enemy. We must talk tough with China and remain battle-ready. India’s candy-floss foreign policy emboldens China to wild gesticulation, over estimating its potential. India must keep enhancing its missile technology, naval quotient. All at fast pace.

China’s mindless pestering through government-controlled daily the “Global Times “ and official  spokespersons deserve forceful reposte from India.

China threatens attacking India,if , it does not first withdraw troops from Doklam and stop “ interference “ in Bhutan.

India must set its own pre-conditions for settling border dispute with China on holistic basis. Aggression is the best form of defence.

Consider the following factors

China must be continuously warned about its continuous infringements of bilateral and multilateral treaties to satisfy its insatiable appetite for land

(a) China must vacate Tibet and restore its autonomy to pre- 7 October 1950 position when it was taken over by China . Guarantee of non- interference in future is a must ; 

(b) Must restore Aksai Chin to India. Forcibly occupied by China in 1958. Nehru’s historic blunder.

(c) Must demolish and stop further construction at Doklam. Recall how Aksai chin road  was constructed , not insidiously. But, missed out by IB. Pt Nehru broke the news to Parliament an year too late. Lot of fireworks was generated in Parliament.

(d) Must stop bullying India;

(e) Must stop poking Bhutan;

(f ) Must stop abetting indian Maoists ;

(g) Must stop incursions into India -- HP, AP, Sikkim, Uttranchal

(h)Chinese intelligence is hyper-active in inciting the north-eastern militant groups. In retaliation, the unrest among the Chinese Uyghur muslim population, must be addressed.

(i ) Declare Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist  and blocking India’s application  by misusing its Veto power.

China must be warned by World powers for continuous infringements of bilateral and multilateral treaties to satisfy its insatiable appetite for land that is increasing by the day.

Tags:

The case continues to have political significance as one of the accused was the late Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, who had close family links with the Sonia Gandhi . It was Quattrochhi who introduced Rajiv Gandhi to the Bofors. The corruption scandal was seen as a major factor in Congress's defeat in 1989 Lok Sabha elections. The current re-surfacing of the scam might see all culprits behind the bar.

The scam remained buried for over three decades under successive governments headed by V P Singh, Chandrashekhar, Deve Gowda, I K Gujral and Atal Behari Vajpayi and finally Manmohan Singh ( with Sonia Gandhi at the helm as de facto PM ) under UPA-II.

Even the Judiciary seemed helpless. A bona fide court-monitored investigation was not ordered by the Apex court to get the facts verified on priority so as to bring all those responsible to justice. Delay led to suppression of truth that shook people’s faith in democracy.

With a mass of unimpeachable documentary evidence, this was an Open-and-shut  case despite Rajiv Gandhi's persistent denials. In an interview with the BBC, Rajiv claimed that “to the best of my knowledge, there have been no payoffs to Indians.” He  pre-empted the sensitive investigation by expressing his “view” that “commissions” to neither the “middlemen” nor “Indians” were paid .

Recall some key events and names of bureaucrats, politicians, extra- Constitutional authorities, which were in circulation in those obscure and morally questionable days.

Bofors’ chief jurist had briefed an official team comprising S. K. Bhatnagar, the then Defence Secretary, P. K. Kartha, the then Law Secretary, Gopi Krishan Arora, the then Special Secretary to Rajiv Gandhi, and N. N. Vohra, then Addl Secy in MOD , later, Secy ( Defence Production ) and Ronen Sen, the then Joint Secy in PMO. The team was assisted by T. K. Bannerjee, the then Joint Secretary (Ordnance) in MOD.

Strangely, according to General K. Sundarji’s revelations published in India Today (September 15,1989), Mr. Morberg was due to come to New Delhi at the head of a Bofors delegation in July 1987 to give the information the Government of India “wanted,” before Rajiv Gandhi  who initially himself scuttled the idea (leading to resignation of Arun Singh, the then MOS, Defence).

Involvement of Hindujas brothers and Win Chadha was open secret.

How were charges and proceedings by the trial court quashed by the Delhi high court (M K Chawla) and bail granted to the accused when the Law did not provide for it?Hinduja brothers were given clean chit. Worse, appeal against  quashing of chargesheet against the Bofors , was not allowed by the UPA –II government to be challenged in the Supreme court?.

The Principal investigator ( of  Bofors  scam) Sweden's investigative agency , Sten Lindstrom , in an interview to  TV channel , has revealed it all by accusing the late Rajiv Gandhi as the alleged mastermind behind the Bofors cover-up in collusion with Olof Palme , the then Swedish PM. 

The Congress has obfuscated discussions in Parliament. Sonia Gandhi terms it as a black day for democracy. Rahul Gandhi predicted that the GOI will not be able to prove anything even after investigating it for another 30 years. No further reaction by them  except throwing papers on Speaker (LS)

The country wants answers on the following questions :

(a)   How did Rajiv Gandhi enter into a secret understanding with Olof Palme, Swedish PM,who was later killed ? Who, in GOI, pressured the Bofors to give a clean chit to the Gandhis ?

(b)   How did the then ruling dispensation manipulate the escape of Quattrochhi by deliberately delaying the exit of CBI officers to London during Cong-led UPA-II?

(c)   What was the murky role of  steel-frame of bureaucracy of MOF and the Cabinet Sectt in making good the escape of Quattrochhi?

(d)  Who ordered de-freezing the Bofors payoffs in London, get the same transferred to Italy ? By the time the CBI reached London and then Argentina, Quattrochhi had crossed over to Italy ?CBI could not arrest him.

(e)  Why was the CBI not given permission by DOP&T ( in-charge of CBI) in 2005 to file the SLP in the Supreme court for quashing the judgement of Delhi High court ? Suresh Pachauri was MOS (Personnel) who took orders direct from the Congress supremo, which used to be later legitimised by the de jure PM Manmohan Singh. Interrogation of Principal Secy, Secy and Joint  Secy to PM and Suresh Pachauri will give a mine of sensational information?It may be recalled that V P Singh,the then Defence Minister ,resigned under protest.

(f) What are details of Bank Accounts held by late Rajiv Gandhi ( inherited from his mother,late Indira Gandhi) which are now being operated by the Congress supremo?

(g) What is the guarantee that relevant records kept in boxes, have not been tampered with? These boxes were brought from Sweden to India by a Joint Secy of MHA or MOF, without associating  the CBI. I am raising the  doubt as, certain Directors of the caged parrot had dubious credentials. A P Singh and Ranjit Singh,are in question.They might have helped the UPA-II in fiddling with documents.

(h) The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), while casting doubts on the Government's version of  selection of Bofors guns, did little to unravel the mystery of the kick-backs. What next ?

Against this background, it is high time that the boxes are opened in presence of CJI, CBI , forensic experts and the Media. All documents must be kept in public domain for public scrutiny. A court-monitored investigation by the SIT within a pre-determined time frame could be ordered by the Supreme court.

A K Saxena (A retd civil servant)

Tags:

Atyaachaar se kaapi insaaniyat, raj kar rahey Haiwan

Paap se dharati phati, adharma se aasmaan,

Fir bhi Sab bol rahey hain: Kashmiriyat; Insaaniyat;

Aaj wakht hai bolney kaa:  Israeliyat ... Israeliyat ... Israeliyat

No more rhetorics, sermons, speeches and assurances of mooh-tor jawaabs

Extra-ordinary situations demand extra-ordinary solutions

Go ahead, PM Modi, Desh aapkey saath hai.

Tags:

We live in an unequal society, full of disparities,anomalies. Consider Members of Parliament. Supremely arrogant. Their penchant for VIP status, hatred for parity with common man, is well known.They are Law makers; can frame rules for themselves. Austerity is no consideration. Though expected to lead by examples, their life-style is matchless. Have a look at their extravagant  lifestyles. Highly subsidised. All at taxpayers cost.

Consider the following scales of  salaries, perks, privileges, immunity, exemptions,admissible to MPs :

(a) Monthly salary of Rs 50,000;

(b)Free laundry services;

(c) heavily subsidised canteen food @ Rs 30 per thali(Veg) and Rs 90 (non-veg);

(d) Daily allowance @Rs 2000 per day for signing Parl register; 

(e) Monthly allowance @Rs 45,000 for constituency work;

(f) Monthly allowance @Rs 45,000 for office expenses (stationary, PA etc );

(g) MPLAD scheme worth Rs 5 crores per annum involving recommending development works to DMs- Rampant corruption, less said the better . Euphemistically called ATM scheme.

(h) MPs can avail 34 single air journeys during a year with his/her spouse. The MP's spouse/companion can also travel alone eight times in a year to meet the member. The amount is included in 34 journeys;

(i) The MP is entitled to a non-transferable first class AC train pass allowing him/her to travel in any train. The MP is also entitled to one first class and one second class fare each time the MP travels;

(j) Rent-free flat or hostel accommodation;  Licence fee for Lutyens bungalow;

(k) An MP can have three landline telephones. One each to be installed at MPs residence and office in Delhi and one at the MP's usual place of residence or any such place selected by the MP;Two mobile phone connections with 3G facilities Total number of free calls on landline and mobile phones is 1,50,000 local calls per year. The 3G data charge is also adjusted within this amount; (l) Age is no bar for MPs.

Conclusions :

MP'scost to country is among the highest. They, along with  muftkhor journalists , Parliament staff , security personnel and guests  visiting Parliament house, should  feel ashamed to ask for subsidized  canteen food. Do they come from the Mars ? Though a monthly pay packet of Rs 1.6 lakh might not be enough for an Indian MP, the perks they get can easily dwarf their salaries. MPs also get pensions for life irrespective of  years of service

Why target Senior citizens ?

Against this background, contrast MPs’ concessions with the plight of Senior citizens. The Railways has appealed to all Senior Citizens to exercise the option of foregoing subsidy on purchase of reserved class tickets. This reflects Finance ministry’s insensitivity, apathy and unconcern. Funds have not been allocated by MOF for such concessions in the current fiscal . The concessions, it is threatened, could even be done away with altogether for Senior citizens . Can the Finance Minister ask all ministers in present political dispensation to forego all kinds of subsidies, a drain on public exchequer ?

Tags:

Israel's plan to destroy Pak's Kahuta nuclear plant, in mid- eightees was scuttled by India's refusal to provide re-fuelling facilities to Israel's war planes from Jamnagar airfield in Gujarat.

Absence of pro-active foreign policy of India, changed the course of history in the entire sub-continent.

Formidable hatred for Israel embedded by Gandhi- Nehru in Congress psyche for vote-bank politics.

Go further down the memory lane.

Under Simla pact, post 1971 war, Indira Gandhi permitted return of 92,000 soldiers to Pakistan,without getting POK in return,as part of quid pro quo.

Field Marshall Maneckshaw had protested against the misplaced magnanimity on part of Indira sarkar.

And, India is continuing to pay the price for the dynastic follies, living under fear of terror attacks , border incursions, nuclear blackmail.

Tags:

WIC’s Newsline (Politics) dt July 5,2017, is thought provoking. Bureaucracy is perpetually and habitually committed , irrespective of ruling political dispensation. To be compliant to political masters has been a felt necessity of babucracy, though for different reasons.

For instance, under Indira Gandhi’s autocratic regime , fears of transfers to inconsequential postings ,undue harassment, blackmailing , slapping  cooked-up charges etc were common. This had immobilized the then “ Yes, Prime Minister “ bureaucracy. This dynastic  tradition was scrupulously followed by the Congress-led UPA. The then de jure PM was spineless and speechless. UPA ministers reported direct to the de facto PM ( Read as Congress supremo ). Top bureaucracy brazenly fell in line as the questions of their post-retirement bonanzas, were involved.

Now, consider NDA. it is PM Modi’s towering personality that ensures committed bureaucracy. Some Ministers are redundant, retained only to answer Parliament questions without contributing to Policy formulations. It is free-for-all in some ministries.Compulsions of coalition politics. True, merit and honesty are respected by PM Modi. But, not always. Sadly, subjective considerations do creep in, even now . Thanks to present committed bureaucracy. PM Modi’s reliance on a small coterie of elite bureaucrats, is not adviseable. But,who cares?

Tags:

A lady police officer, Shreshtha Thakur, of Bulandshahr was transferred to Bahraich for chiding a local BJP MLA.

Politics is considered more important than Polity by politicians.

Bureaucrats must never trust rogue politicians.

Why is UP Officers Association, speechless?

Existential Crisis.

" Qaida ye hai ki sarey - bazm rahein honth siley;

Huqm ye hai ki har ek baat  zubaani  kahiye

Are you not embarassed, Mr Chief Minister?

 

Tags:

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

Month List