Govt of India has been consistently following the policy of Rotational transfer of its employees every 3 years. Reason : to disable them  from developing vested interests and stop from indulging in corrupt practices. The rule has stood the test of time. All State governments are following  same policy, which was laid down after careful consideration by several bodies including the Administrative Reforms Commissions , CVC, Standing / Select committees etc. DOP&T’s guidelines apply across the board to  bureaucracy.  Personal sections of ministers, considered as sensitive postings, come within the purview of the aforesaid guidelines.

Now comes the surprise move by the ruling dispensation.The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC)  headed by the PM ,has reversed the policy. The ACC  has fixed a tenure of 10 yrs for the personal staff of central ministers. No wonder,the policy will start covering the entire bureaucracy.The new rule of “ freezing” erstwhile  appointments for further five years at a stretch ,is fraught with serious implications on the role of Ethics in bureaucracy. It has hit the very basis of rotational transfer policy.

A little suspicion . Was the new rule prompted by considerations of legitimising extended tenures of personal staff of erstwhile Ministers who were cherry-picked to continue in the new council of ministers. Members in personal staff  are expected to ensure implementation of  unethical orders of ministers- by hook or by crook. Changes in transfer policy guidelines of all Cadres will  required. 

During the misrule of Nehru, Indira and Rajiv Gandhi, officers were continued ad infinitum in violation of rules. Position went berserk when Madam Sonia Gandhi remained as the de facto Prime Minister for ten years.

Public expects PM Modi to be different.Even, Principal Secretary and Addl Pr Secy in the PMO are continuing with elevated status. But,their cases stand on a different footing.Not comparable to ministers’ personal  staff. However, no one should be considered indispensable in bureaucracy. PM Modi is expected to learn lessons from  UPA scams instead of repeating same blunders.

If, lessons are not learnt, the history is bound to repeat itself.


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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.

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