Yuva Sai Sagar

An online news channel

Tag: ias

Kejriwal, Sisodia take battle to PMO after civil servants go on one-day token strike

(function (d) {
var js, s = d.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0];
js = d.createElement(‘script’);
js.async = true;
js.src = ‘//cdn.teads.tv/media/format.js’;
s.parentNode.insertBefore(js, s);
})(window.document);
<!– FP CRONTAB –>

Delhi: Angry over colleagues’ suspension, 200 IAS officers threaten to go on mass leave

(function (d) {
var js, s = d.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0];
js = d.createElement(‘script’);
js.async = true;
js.src = ‘//cdn.teads.tv/media/format.js’;
s.parentNode.insertBefore(js, s);
})(window.document);
<!– FP CRONTAB –>

Babus need to declare clear dealings with NGOs before taking: Govt

“);
}
$(‘.social-sticky’).addClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
}else{
$(‘.social-sticky’).removeClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
$(‘.social-sticky’).html(shtml);
}
});
}

The new rules, which are applicable to officers of Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), among others, also cut the period to one year from two years for seeking prior permission from the government for taking up any commercial job.

Babus need to declare clear service records particularly with respect to integrity and dealings with non-government organisations before taking up commercial employment post their retirement, as per new rules formed by the government. Besides, they need to mention that the proposed emoluments and pecuniary benefits being offered to them are in conformity with the industry standards.The new rules, which are applicable to officers of Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), among others, also cut the period to one year from two years for seeking prior permission from the government for taking up any commercial job. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The move assumes significance as government has been taking action against thousands of NGOs for violating norms. Few among them have been charged for carrying out activities which allegedly hampered country’s economic growth.”The organisation in which I am seeking employment is not involved in activities which are in conflict with or prejudicial to India’s foreign relations, national security and domestic harmony. The organisation is not undertaking any activity for intelligence gathering. The employment, which I propose to take up also will not entail activities which are in conflict with or involve activities prejudicial to India’s foreign relations, national security and domestic harmony,” the officers need to declare in a revised application.Pensioners need to affirm that they have not been privy to sensitive or strategic information in the last three years of service, which is directly related to the areas of interest or work of the organisation that they propose to join or to the areas in which they propose to practise or consult.”My service record is clear, particularly with respect to integrity and dealings with non-government organisations (NGOs). The proposed emoluments and pecuniary benefits are in conformity with the industry standards,” reads the declaration to be done by an applicant mandatorily, while seeking the nod.The application form carrying new declaration has been recently revised by Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.

Create atmosphere for us to work in free, neutral manner: IAS officers to Delhi CM

“);
}
$(‘.social-sticky’).addClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
}else{
$(‘.social-sticky’).removeClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
$(‘.social-sticky’).html(shtml);
}
});
}

The officers demanded an “institutional mechanism” for dealing with bona fide policy decisions and administrative actions.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
In the wake of a CBI raid at the office of the Delhi chief minister’s secretary and the lodging of two FIRs against the Vigilance Secretary, an IAS officers’ body on Saturday met Arvind Kejriwal seeking a “conducive atmosphere” that would allow them to work in a “free and neutral manner”. The babus demanded an “institutional mechanism” for dealing with bona fide policy decisions and administrative actions. The association also sought an appointment with Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and the Union Home Secretary to take up issues concerning bureaucrats.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There has to be an institutional mechanism… The Chief Minister has assured us that he will create a conducive atmosphere for officers to work in a free and neutral manner,” said A Anbarasu, secretary of the AGMUT cadre IAS Officers’ Association.According to the association, the chief minister assured them that he would do all that is required to strengthen the institutional mechanisms. The officers claimed they were being victimised due to the tussle between the Centre and AAP government in Delhi. They added that they want to work in a free, fair and neutral manner.On December 17, Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain had tweeted, “Centre now demoralised many Delhi government officials, many of whom fear they might be targeted just for working with the Kejriwal govt (sic).”On Wednesday, the IAS officers had also convened a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary KK Sharma at Delhi Secretariat, a few days after CBI raids at the office of Kejriwal’s secretary Rajendra Kumar and the registration of two FIRs against Vigilance Secretary Chetan B Sanghi in an alleged corruption case.Following the CBI raids, Kejriwal had slammed the Centre for targeting him and said that the investigation against Kumar was just an excuse. The Centre and Delhi government have been at loggerheads over several issues, including the transfer and posting of bureaucrats, Commission of Inquiry in alleged CNG fitness Scam, control of the Anti-Corruption Branch.

CBI raids: AAP defends Rajender Kumar; cites his ‘clean’ service record

Kumar, a 1989-batch IAS officer of AGMUT cadre, is facing probe for purportedly favouring a software firm in his capacity as a senior bureucrat in the Sheila Dikshit dispensation.

Rajender Kumar

PTI
The Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday sprang to the defence of senior bureaucrat Rajender Kumar, who is facing a CBI probe over allegations of corruption, and virtually gave him a clean chit.AAP leader Sanjay Singh said Kumar, who serves as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s principal secretary, has a clean service record that spans over 27 years, in which allegations of corruption were never made against him.”You are asking why Kejriwal kept a corrupt official like Rajendra Kumar. Kumar has served for 27 years. Has there ever been a probe over allegations of corruption against him? “In the last 27 years, there has not been a single allegation of corruption against Rajendra Kumar. The media should not distort facts. It is also showing that Rs 28 lakh was recovered from his salary account. Does a salary account contain unaccounted money?” Singh asked.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Singh made the comments during a highly charged press conference, where the AAP attacked Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for alleged financial bunglings in DDCA. Kumar, a 1989-batch IAS officer of AGMUT cadre, is facing probe for purportedly favouring a software firm in his capacity as a senior bureucrat in the Sheila Dikshit dispensation.

UPSC says no paper admit cards for civil services main exam

About 15,000 candidates have qualified in this year’s civil services preliminary examination, results of which were declared on October 12.

UPSC building

No paper admit card will be issued for this year’s civil services main examination, scheduled to begin from Friday, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has said. The candidates will have to download their e-admit cards and take a printout thereof. UPSC will be conducting the main examination at 23 centres from December 18 to 23. The civil services examination is conducted annually in three stages — preliminary, main and interview — to select officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS), among others.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Commission has uploaded the e-admit cards on its website at www.upsc.gov.in. The candidates are advised to download their e-admit cards and take a printout thereof. The candidates will have to produce the printout of their e-admit cards at the allotted venue for appearing in the examination,” a press release issued by the UPSC said.”No paper admit card will be issued for this examination by the Commission,” it said. In case the photograph is not visible or available on the e-admit cards, candidates are advised to carry identical photograph for each session along with proof of identity such as valid identity card, Aadhar card, voter identity card, driving license, passport etc. to the venue of the examination.About 15,000 candidates have qualified in this year’s civil services preliminary examination, results of which were declared on October 12.As against a record number of 9,45,908 candidates who had applied for the exam, about 4.63 lakh wrote the test on August 23, which is about 49% of the total applicants.

Chennai rains: Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa to undertake aerial survey of flood-hit areas tomorrow

She also disclosed that various ministers, including O Paneerselvam, have been deputed to take charge of the relief works in different districts.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa will undertake an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas of Chennai city and its suburbs in Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur districts tomorrow.A late-night statement issued here by the state government said she wanted to undertake the exercise today but could not do so because of the bad weather and the inability expressed by the pilots. In the statement, she detailed the various steps taken by the government to tackle the situation in Chennai and other two districts and the relief and rescue operations being conducted.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She also disclosed that various ministers, including O Paneerselvam, have been deputed to take charge of the relief works in different districts. Senior IAS officials have also been tasked to ensure that relief reaches the people in the worst-affected Chennai and other districts.

Seventh pay panel questions sole right of IAS over top posts, says 11 other services to be empanelled

The Seventh Pay Commission has handed a financial bonanza to Central government employees and sent a strong message to dismantle the present hierarchy that is heavily loaded on the side of seniority over performance.

The report says “Civil servants today need to be focused on outcomes, not processes, and have to be more accountable for delivery. They have to be agents of change and to this end need to be more agile, more technically savvy and to be able to ensure the economic and public service reforms that are essential.”

A peon’s starting salary has gone up by 2.54 times to Rs 18,000 per month and topmost bureaucrat, the cabinet secretary would now draw Rs 2.5 lakh per month plus other perks costing a total of Rs 1,02,000 crore to the exchequer. But there are reasons for the most coveted of the All India Services, officers from Indian Administrative Services (IAS) to read the report carefully because it recommends a tectonic shift in the way the higher bureaucracy functioned.

The Chairman of the Seventh Pay Commission, Justice A.K. Mathur submitted its report to the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information & Broadcasting, Shri Arun Jaitley, in New Delhi on 19 November 2015. Image courtesy PIBThe Chairman of the Seventh Pay Commission, Justice A.K. Mathur submitted its report to the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information & Broadcasting, Shri Arun Jaitley, in New Delhi on 19 November 2015. Image courtesy PIB

The Chairman of the Seventh Pay Commission, Justice A.K. Mathur submitted its report to the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information & Broadcasting, Shri Arun Jaitley, in New Delhi on 19 November 2015. Image courtesy PIB

Dismantling of superiority in the officialdom has form long been demand of officers drawn from non-IAS officers. The pay panel though does not say that in as many words but talks about need for a paradigm shift.

The report says “Civil servants today need to be focused on outcomes, not processes, and have to be more accountable for delivery. They have to be agents of change and to this end need to be more agile, more technically savvy and to be able to ensure the economic and public service reforms that are essential.”

The chairman of Seventh Pay Commission justice Ashok Mathur and member Rathin Roy suggest that in the present scenario, it is keenly felt that there needs to be a paradigm shift and the methodology that has been adopted in the past, namely of a seniority driven approach within the various services, has to be revisited. With the role of government in development and in making the country a market driven, investor friendly economy, key functionaries who should be evolving policy and driving the development process should be ones who have the requisite domain knowledge and sufficient experience in the departments and areas that they are required to head.

“In this context, that the service related claims for any top position are not relevant anymore, and what is important is that the right person is selected for every job. The analysis and the recommendations in the paragraphs that follow reflect this approach,” they say.

The approach suggested by this committee was that the skills and background of officers be carefully matched to the requirements of particular positions, while not confining individual officers to narrowly defined tasks or sectors. It was recommended that eleven domains (other than IAS) be identified and as part of the empanelment process at joint secretary and additional secretary levels each officer’s domain expertise be specifically identified.

Given the complexities of modern day governance, the existing system of generalists (read IAS) manning senior policy making positions and shifting from one field to another in short spans of time, is considered not just outmoded but inimical to effective policy making.

Justice Mathur writes in his concluding note “that the main cause for resentment among services is that over a period of time IAS has arrogated to itself all power of governance and relegated all other services to secondary position. All posts covering majority of domains are today manned by IAS, be it a technical or administrative which is the main cause of grievance. It is time that government take a call that subject domain should be the criteria to man the posts and not a generalist. If fair and equitable treatment is not given to all Services, then the gap between IAS and other services will widen and it may lead to a chaotic situation and it will not be good for the governance and country.”

In the present bureaucratic set up of a total of 91 secretaries, IAS officers occupy 73, scientists 10, Indian Police Service 1, Indian Legal Service 2, Indian Information Service 1. At Additional Secretary and joint secretary level posts, the IAS virtually monopolise. The Pay Commission recommends dismantling of existing system to be more inclusive and more transparent in selection process.

A member, Vivek Rae a former IAS officer, however, disagrees with chairman and economist Member. Rae argues for continuance of IAS officers unflinching superiority in the babudom.

Rae is of the view that “the observations made by the panel’s Chairman call for a paradigm shift from a cadre based Civil Service structure to a post based structure including induction of lateral entrants from outside government. While this issue can be debated (and has been debated), it falls well beyond the mandate of this Commission.”

He extensively quotes Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to underline his argument to have IAS’s generalist superiority and then adds by himself: “It is only the IAS which has a much wider remit, cutting across various domains which figure in the Central List, State List and Concurrent List under Schedule VII of the Constitution. The IAS comprise a general management cadre, constituted to provide leadership spanning the entire spectrum of functional responsibilities and administrative boundaries of government at Central, State and Local level. It is this broad spectrum job profile which equips IAS officers to occupy senior positions under the Central Staffing Scheme. Their pivotal role in servicing Parliamentary democracy, both at the Central and State level, and keeping the wheels of the Indian Federal structure well lubricated, is also crucial.”

Govt to form mechanism to monitor implementation of PM Modi’s package

The Reconstruction Plan covers sectors like humanitarian relief, crisis management, social infrastructure, development projects and economic infrastructure, he said.
File Photo
PTI
The Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday said that a mechanism would be worked out to monitor the implementation of the over Rs 80,000 crore reconstruction package announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the state.The Cabinet which met in Jammu under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed discussed the Reconstruction Plan amounting to Rs 80068 Crore announced by the PM on November 7.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Cabinet decided that a mechanism would be worked out to monitor and implement the Reconstruction Plan effectively”, an official spokesman said.The Reconstruction Plan covers sectors like humanitarian relief, crisis management, social infrastructure, development projects and economic infrastructure, he said. It aimed at expanding the economic infrastructure and basic services, providing thrust to employment and income generation and providing relief and rehabilitation to the victims of September 2014 floods and to strengthen the Disaster Management framework of the state.He said that the reconstruction Plan also seeks to strengthen the economic and social infrastructure and provide for the balanced development of the three regions of the state.Meanwhile, the cabinet also approved the promotion of Joint secretary (union Ministry of Culture) Pramod Jain to the fixed scale of IAS (Rs 80,000) from the date he returns to the cadre and promotion of Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, B B Vyas to the fixed scale of IAS (Rs 80,000) from January 1 next year.The Cabinet also accorded sanction to the temporary upgradation of 17 posts of deputy superintendents of police as Superintendents of Police.

PM Modi to interact with 169 Assistant Secretaries tomorrow

These officers have been assigned important desks related with policy and flagship programmes of the concerned ministries and departments

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold an interactive session on Thursday with 169 IAS officers who for the first time started their career as Assistant Secretaries in New Delhi.These officers have been assigned important desks related with policy and flagship programmes of the concerned ministries and departments. They are being groomed by principal mentors at the level of Secretary and divided into four clusters, namely infrastructure, social sector, regulatory, enabling or support sector and economic or commerce related, as assigned by the Cabinet Secretary.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Apart from the desk work, the young officers have been visiting the attached offices besides undertaking field visits. “All the Assistant Secretaries were given individual topics on concept or project paper by their respective ministry or department. A selection of these presentations will be made before the Prime Minister tomorrow,” a press release issued on Wednesday by Personnel Ministry said.

Kejriwal government begins proceedings for imposing penalty on ACB chief Meena

Retired IAS officer B S Banerjee will probe the charges against Meena, who is also a Joint Commissioner in Delhi Police.

MK Meena

The Arvind Kejriwal government has initiated proceedings for imposing penalty on Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) chief Mukesh Kumar Meena for “not working in accordance with law”.Retired IAS officer B S Banerjee will probe the charges against Meena, who is also a Joint Commissioner in Delhi Police. “There were several instances in which Meena did not work in accordance with the law, which include not replying to the CM’s memorandum for intimidating his juniors, alleged scam, and issuing false statement about government’s anti-corruption helpline 1031,” a government source said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sources said that as the AAP dispensation is not the cadre controlling authority of Meena, Delhi Government is only concerned with the ACB work. “In view of several rule violations by the ACB Chief, Delhi Government can impose penalty for not working in accordance with law,” the government source said.Last month, Kejriwal had issued a memorandum to Meena seeking his reply within 10 days over allegations of negligence in performing his duty and “intimidating” his juniors. Meena, however, had challenged the Chief Minister’s note to him and threatened “appropriate action” if it was not withdrawn immediately. Despite several attempts, ACB chief Meena could not be contacted for his comment.

UPSC’s civil services main exam to begin from December 18

The main examination will start from December 18 and end on 23, according to the time table finalised by the UPSC.

The civil services main examination will be conducted in December this year.The civil services examination is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission annually in three stages — preliminary, main and interview — to select officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS), among others.The main examination will start from December 18 and end on 23, according to the time table finalised by the UPSC.The examination will be conducted in forenoon and afternoon sessions during these days. There will be no exam on December 20.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A total of 15,008 candidates have qualified in this year’s civil services preliminary examination, results of which were declared on October 12.As against a record number of 9,45,908 candidates who had applied for the exam, about 4.63 lakh had sat in the test on August 23, which is about 49 per cent of the total applicants.

80 govt officials found absent from work during surprise check in Punjab

A team led by Special Secretary Protocol conducted a surprise check in Punjab Civil Secretariat in Chandigarh and found as many as 80 officers or officials absent from their offices, said a spokesman.

As many as eighty government officials including two IAS officers were found absent from their offices on Tuesday during a surprise check conducted on the directions of Punjab Chief Secretary Sarvesh Kaushal in children.A team led by Special Secretary Protocol conducted a surprise check in Punjab Civil Secretariat in Chandigarh and found as many as 80 officers or officials absent from their offices, said a spokesman.IAS officers Praveen Thind and Rahul Tiwari were found absent amongst 80 officers from their offices located in the Civil Secretariat, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>During the surprise check, a total 38 branches were checked at 9.10 AM, he said. Strict departmental administrative action will be initiated against officials who were found absent, he said.

Multiple power centres make bureaucratic transfers a game of musical chairs in Akhilesh’s UP

by Vivek Avashthi

Lucknow: It was a comedy of errors of sorts when it came to transfers and postings of IAS and IPS officials in Uttar Pradesh this time around. On 20 September, the Akhilesh Yadav government effected a major reshuffle involving over 60 IAS and IPS officers, just ahead of the notification for Panchayat election in the state.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. AP

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. AP

The same list also mentioned the transfer of SSP Noida Dr Preetinder Singh as the new SSP of Agra. On receipt of the transfer order, Singh promptly moved to Agra to take up his new posting. But on reaching Agra, he found that the incumbent SSP, Modak Rajesh D Rao, was unwilling to relinquish charge. A confused Dr Singh called up the offices of the DGP and Home Secretary. He was told to wait.

Modak is said to be close to a relative of a Samajwadi Party bigwig in Lucknow. As he had got some assurance from his political godfathers that he would not be moved, he stayed put. The former’s case was also allegedly vigorously pursued by an influential builder from the NCR with interest in land in Agra.

It was after officials of the CM’s secretariat convinced the bigwigs that the transfer could not be revoked since the model code of conduct had come into force that Singh took charge.

Somewhat reverse was the case in Kushi Nagar. Atul Sharma, the Superintendent of Police, was transferred to 15th Battalion of PAC in Agra and Shiv Prasad Upadhyay was posted in his place. One lobby of the ruling party in Kushi Nagar was in Sharma’s support while the rival faction wanted a promotee (non-IPS) officer to be posted there as such an officer is ‘easy to handle’. Hectic parleys and lobbying ended in cancellation of Sharma’s transfer. This was conveyed by an official order dated 21 September.

Similar cases abound in a state known to have multiple power centres, each exerting pressure to get their men in the right places.

The State Election Commission (SEC) has raised questions over the timing of the transfers and asked the Principal Secretary (Home) and Principal Secretary (Appointments) to issue an explanation. Additional State Election Commissioner JP Singh said that it has come to notice of the commission that senior officers were transferred after the notification for Panchayat elections was issued on 21 September, 2015.

The chaos around the latest round of reshuffle makes it evident that a majority of top administrative and police officials in the state are more than well-connected to one power centre or the other, making it extremely difficult for the administration to make them fall in one single line. It also lends credence to the long-standing allegations of opposition parties that Uttar Pradesh is not being run by one chief minister.

Transfer and posting policy of the government has invited criticism since many years now. The two parties which have ruled the state for the major part of the last 15-odd years are the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party. When in power, both parties have indulged in arbitrary transfers from administrative and police circles.

There are two sets of officers in the state, one owing allegiance to the Samajwadi Party and the other to the BSP. Whichever party forms the government, its blue-eyed boys get plum postings; the others lie in wait in insignificant ones.

Some senior and powerful officials of the erstwhile Mayawati government had to face the music after the change in government. All powerful Principal Secretary (Home) and Principal Secretary (Appointments) of the previous government Kunwar Fateh Bahadur was shunted to Religious Affairs Department as Principal Secretary. Another favourite officer of Mayawati was the DGP of the state, Brij Lal. Just before assembly elections, he was posted as DG PAC by the Election Commission. The Samajwadi Party government made him further irrelevant by posting him as Director General of Bhim Rao Ambedkar Academy, Muradabad from where he retired.

In Uttar Pradesh, this is part of the game that does not surprise anyone. But of late, a third class of smarter bureaucrats has emerged. It all started with Panna Lal Punia, a 1970 Batch IAS officer. He was Principal Secretary to Mulayam Singh Yadav in 1993. It surprised many when Mayawati became the chief minister in 1995 and retained him in the same position. She reposed faith in Punia by appointing him to the same post in 1997 and 2002.

Another example is the 1988 batch IAS officer Navneet Sehgal, who was supposed to be very close to Mayawati. He was then not only secretary to the chief minister but also held multiple other crucial charges. In 2012, when Akhilesh Yadav came into power, Sehgal was posted in Revenue Board and later made Principal Secretary of Religious Affairs department, both supposed to be punishment postings. But in February 2014, she was back in favour. She was given the crucial post of Principal Secretary (Information).

Questions have been raised every now and then on the erratic transfer policy of the UP government. The state government has vehemently opposed a rule for a minimum tenure of two years in a particular posting for IAS and IPS officers. On an average, an officer serving in the state is transferred at least two to three times a year, though there are certain obvious exceptions.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) had in January 2015 notified the amendments in IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Service (IFoS) cadre rules, providing a minimum of two years’ tenure in each posting. It has been a long standing demand of bureaucrats too. But in UP it is hardly adhered to.

The issue was hotly debated after the suspension of IAS Durga Shakti Nagpal in 2013. She had been placed under suspension reportedly after she had taken on the sand mafia operating illegally in Greater Noida. Nothing has changed ever since.

Yoga, 99 orders and problem-solving: Newbie IAS officials being put through the grind

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is known to be a workaholic, and since his coming to power, government employees who have had to keep up with him haven’t been finding it easy.

Even the newest batch of IAS officers (2013 batch), who are still undergoing training, haven’t been spared. The Economic Times reports that they have been asked to come up with ideas to simplify at least two government processes before 30 November when they meet the PM after their three-month training session.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The report says that the training programme with the Centre has been keeping these new IAS officers on their toes. Apart from dealing with files and meeting officers, they also compulsorily have to do yoga at 6.30 am.

The Economic Times reports that the Department of Personnel and Training has issued as many as 99 orders over a month on how they should work, including a detailed 13-week work calendar.

These diktats don’t come as a surprise. Gone are the days when government employees could take it easy. Since Narendra Modi, they have been working hard, and as we pointed out earlier this year, they aren’t happy about it.

From accepting gifts to enjoying holidays, the privileges once taken for granted have been curbed.

On 21 June,  the International Day of Yoga, the government had made it compulsory for all officials to attend and perform yoga asanas at designated places despite it being a Sunday.

But that was not the first time they were made to give up a holiday. On 2 October, 2014, they were made to go out and sweep roads as the PM launched his pet project Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

After that was the re-branding of Christmas vacation with Good Governance Day , effectively ending another confirmed holiday. This was part of Modi’s plan to link 25 December with good governance in honour of BJP leader and former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, whose birthday falls on the day.

Foreign trips for IAS officers too have been curbed under the governments cost cutting measures. On top of that they have to submit an “outcome report” when they return. Foreign junkets are also being discouraged by the Prime Minister.

Maggi effect? FSSAI chief moved to newly-created post in Niti Aayog

New Delhi: Food safety watchdog FSSAI’s CEO Yudhvir Singh Malik, the man behind the ban of global giant Nestle’s popular noodle brand Maggi, was today moved out and shifted as Additional Secretary in Niti Aayog.

Malik, a 1983 batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre, was appointed to the post of Chief Executive Officer in Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) under Health and Family Welfare Ministry, only in September last year.

ReutersReuters

Reuters

The Appointments Committee of Cabinet(ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the appointment of Malik as Additional Secretary in the Niti Aayog, an order issued by Personnel Ministry said.

He has been appointed in the newly created post by cancelling the appointment of Keshni Anand Arora, his batch mate from the same cadre.

It was during Malik’s tenure that samples of Maggi noodle samples were subjected to lab tests which found that it contained added Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and lead in excess of the permissible limit.

FSSAI had on 5 June banned the instant snack that has had a level of global resonance that’s unprecedented for the Indian food regulator.

However, the ban was later lifted by the Bombay High Court with the condition that manufacturing and selling would be allowed only after fresh tests.

The ACC also approved appointments of Kavita Gupta and Kiran Soni Gupta as Textile Commissioner and Additional Secretary and Financial Adviser in Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports respectively.

PTI

Delhi babu falls into manhole, makes headlines: He merely got a taste of what Indians face daily

Gopal Dukhande was a kindly old man who could make fiery speeches against any mischief that was perceived as being against public good. A socialist, he could often be found at the Janata Dal office near Nariman Point in Mumbai. He hardly ever had any personal grievances or an axe to grind, though one day he was furious. He had stumbled on a Mumbai footpath because it was badly maintained, as if it was meant to cause harm to its users.

That day, the good man stormed into the office of the Municipal Commissioner and asked, “Did you ever travel overseas and walk on a sidewalk, which you don’t do in India?”

The bewildered city official said he had; to which Dukhande shot back: “Then why don’t you ensure our footpaths are like those there?”

The official did not know what to say, except dish out a load of jargon.

Dukhande, who retired to his Sawantwadi home towards the dusk of his life stormed into my consciousness when reading an item in the Delhi edition of The Indian Express on Friday. It reported that an IAS official fell into a manhole while he was out on a morning walk.

ReutersReuters

Representational image. Reuters

After fracturing his leg, he wrote to chief minister Arvind Kejriwal about the “negligent attitude towards the general public”. The fact that it took place near Raj Niwas, the official residence of the Lt Governor, only raised questions about conditions elsewhere in the city.

The official, The Pioneer said, has demanded “strict action against erring officials of PWD, TPDDL and North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC)”. It added, the incident was a “telling commentary on the poor conditions of roads in the national Capital”.

The newspaper, however, erred, because it was not “a commentary”, but a daily experience for residents of any town or city. It could be worse in a village, which has not yet developed. If a village gets a road, it makes news.

The point is newspapers and we do not pay much attention to such incidents when it involves the common man. Had it not been an IAS official, in this case a Secretary of Culture in the Delhi Government, but an ordinary Delhiwallah the incident may not have been noticed at all. The common denizen of any city has learnt to adapt to such conditions because he knows that his complaint would not be heard, or acted upon.

The Delhi bureaucrat pointed out how he had to go to Ambedkar Hospital for proper treatment.

The Pioneer quoted him as saying:

“When I visited Hindu Rao Hospital, the doctor available in casualty ward injected ATS and suggested to contract CMO Orthopaedic at first floor. When I somehow climbed to the first floor, I found no doctor there and returned back (sic) and got the dressing done from a chemist shop.”

His story brings to mind the plight of two children, who died of dengue after being taken from one hospital to another. They  succumbed to neglect laced with insolence, a fact which set ablaze the television news channels.

Unlike the bureaucrat’s, theirs was a common occurrence.  Not just in medicare but in every other aspect of life where they have, or are supposed to have, support from the public institutions.

Striving to secure one’s rights is an uphill task. Ask Kanthi Kannan of Hyderbad who campaigns for the right to walk. At one point she appealed to AP Human Rights Commission, citing how the right to life  included the security of a safe footpath.

In Mumbai, because sidewalks are encroached upon, people walk on the carriageways of roads. They find it quicker and would rather risk life and limb than negotiate a footpath, where despite Supreme Court orders, the occupation by hawkers has not been resolved.

So, the Delhi incident will be seen as an one-off and some activity seen. But then somewhere an open manhole, an open gutter, a poorly functioning public hospital or a badly run government school will claim another victim, unseen and unheard by us.

IAS officer Ashok Singhvi and two others suspended after arrest in bribery case

Rajasthan government on Thursday night suspended senior IAS officer Ashok Singhvi and two other officers of the Mines Department who were arrested and remanded to police custody in a case of alleged bribery involving Rs 2.55 crore. The suspension orders were issued by the Department of Personnel of the state government.

Ashok Singhvi

PTI photo
Rajasthan government on Thursday night suspended senior IAS officer Ashok Singhvi and two other officers of the Mines Department who were arrested and remanded to police custody in a case of alleged bribery involving Rs 2.55 crore. The suspension orders were issued by the Department of Personnel of the state government.The order states that Singhvi was suspended as “prima facie” he was found allegedly involved in a case of corruption by Anti-Corruption Bureau.Additional Director, Mines (HQ), Udaipur Pankaj Gehlot and Senior Mining Engineer of Bhilwara P R Ameta were also suspended on the same ground. Meanwhile, Principal Secretary, Cooperative Department Deepak Upreti was given the additional charge of the Mines Department.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A separate order was issued to this effect by the DOP.

Transport scam: Retired IAS officer abused position, claims ACB

The ACB filed its charge sheet before Special Judge Poonam Chaudhry naming nine persons, including two IAS officers, as accused in the case. The court has fixed September 26 for consideration of the charge sheet.

The Anti-Corruption Branch has alleged that former Transport Commissioner R K Verma and other officials of the department had abused their position to cause illegal gain of several crore of rupees to a private firm in the Rs 100 crore transport scam.In its charge sheet filed before a Delhi court, the ACB has alleged that Verma, a retired IAS officer, and other officials had favoured private company M/s ESP India Pvt Ltd by misleading the facts to the Transport Department.”During investigation, it is clearly proved that by the consent of R K Verma, the concerned transport officials made notings in favour of M/s ESP India Pvt Ltd by violating all the rules and regulations and no tender was called to explore other companies so that a healthy competition could come in picture which could be beneficial for public and government. Hence for the personal gain R K Verma colluded with other officials and accused persons had favoured the accused company by misleading the facts to the Department,” it said. It also alleged that Verma “by abusing his official position and power facilitated ESP India Pvt Ltd to earn several crores of rupees illegally”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ACB filed its charge sheet before Special Judge Poonam Chaudhry naming nine persons, including two IAS officers, as accused in the case. The court has fixed September 26 for consideration of the charge sheet.Besides Verma, ACB chargesheeted another IAS officer and former transport commissioner R Chandramohan and J P Sharma, the then Deputy Commissioner in Transport Department. It has also named as accused in the charge sheet ESP India’s director Nitin Manawat, CEO of M/s Tambros India Ltd Puran Chand Tamta, an alliance partner of ESP India, Joginder Sharma, M A Usmani and Ashok Gupta, former Deputy Commissioners posted at Vehicle Inspection Unit at Burari, and then joint commissioner in Transport Department V K Gupta.All accused were arrested by the ACB in 2013 and are now out on bail. They have already denied the charges.Except J P Sharma, the other government officials have retired from service and the LG has accorded sanction to prosecute Sharma in the case, the charge sheet said. The charge sheet was filed for offences punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the IPC, including sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 420 (cheating), 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.

Jammu and Kashmir govt accepts Chief Secy Iqbal Khandey’s voluntary retirement request

Khandey had sought voluntary retirement citing differences with the government over the frequent transfers and postings of senior officers.

He was miffed with Mufti govt’s frequent transfers and postings of senior officers and refusal of his request to postpone a Cabinet meeting last month

Jammu and Kashmir government on Wednesday accepted the request of Chief Secretary Mohammad Iqbal Khandey for voluntary retirement from service, three months ahead of his scheduled superannuation. “In pursuance to Sub Rule 2 of Rule 16 of All India Service (death and retirement benefits Rule 1958) read with IINd Proviso to this rule, sanction is hereby accorded to voluntary retirement of Mohammad Iqbal Khandey (IAS) with effect from August 31, 2015,” an order issued by the state government stated.Khandey had sought voluntary retirement citing differences with the government over the frequent transfers and postings of senior officers and refusal of his request to postpone a Cabinet meeting last month in view of a death of his relative as the reasons. The outgoing chief secretary did not attend office yesterday and today.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four senior IAS officers — Sonali Kumar, Khurshid Ganai, Arun Kumar and B R Sharma — are in contention for the post vacated by Khandey, with Sharma reportedly emerging as the front runner as he functioned as Cabinet Secretary during the Cabinet meeting held on August 21. While Ganai is retiring in October, Sonali Kumar’s superannuation is in November. Arun Kumar has more than one year service left but he reportedly seems to be out of favour in the present dispensation.

ED Director Rajan S Katoch removed from service

The Enforcement Directorate Director Rajan S Katoch was removed from service on Wednesday, according to reports.

Rajan S Katoch. Image courtesy: egov.eletsonline.com

Rajan S Katoch. Image courtesy: egov.eletsonline.com

CNN-IBN reported that Katoch was sacked after he chose to close the National Herald case.

Senior IPS officer Karnal Singh was given additional charge as chief of ED, according to PTI.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved assigning the additional charge of the post of Enforcement Director to Singh, a 1984 batch IPS officer of union territories cadre, for a period of three months, an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training said.

Singh is now working as Special Director, Centre Region in ED, under the Department of Revenue.

On 3 August, ACC had extended the charge of ED Director, held by Heavy Industries Secretary Rajan S Katoch, for three months beyond 31 July but it has now been curtailed.

That was the third extension given to Katoch, a 1979-batch IAS officer.

Katoch was handling the top ED charge in an additional capacity since August 2014 after he was promoted and appointed as the Heavy Industries Secretary.

Upon his elevation, he was asked to hold ED Director’s charge till January, 2015 after which he was given an extension to continue in the post till 30 April.

ACC again issued an order and extended his stint in the agency till July, 2015.

An IAS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre, Katoch had been heading ED for about three and half years after he was first appointed in March 2012.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had recently written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking appointment of a full-time Director for the central probe agency.

ED is mandated to enforce two of the most stringent laws in the country – Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to check black money and hawala trade cases.

PTI

IAS probationers to start their career from the national capital

The Minister said this latest decision by the Personnel Ministry will provide an opportunity to the new incoming Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers to be groomed at the Centre before they move over to their respective state of posting.

In a first, IAS probationers will start their career from Delhi instead of cadre states they have been allocated, Union Minister Jitendra Singh has said.”From this year onwards, the new IAS probationers will start their career with a three-month stint at the Centre before going to their respective state of posting as per the cadre allocation,” he said.The Minister said this latest decision by the Personnel Ministry will provide an opportunity to the new incoming Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers to be groomed at the Centre before they move over to their respective state of posting.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”This will not only help in enriching their perspective, but would also acquaint them with the functioning of the Union government and enable them to get themselves introduced to various functionaries and officials in the central government hierarchy which may also, later on, make it easier for them to discharge their responsibilities more effectively when they take up bureaucratic, administrative or field assignments in the state,” he said.Referring to another recent decision to revisit and revise the pattern and syllabus of the civil services Examination, Singh said a committee of experts is being constituted for the purpose under the auspices of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which conducts the test.”The objective is to provide a level-playing field to civil services aspirants from diverse backgrounds so that the selected candidates are most appropriately suited to the requirements of governance in contemporary India,”, he was quoted as saying in a press statement issued today by his office.Singh, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi s emphasis to provide maximum and easy governance in an atmosphere which enables the bureaucrats to perform their best.”The bureaucrats of 21st century will be the torch bearers of India’s ascent as a global power and also the executors of PM s Independence Day call for ‘start up India, stand up India’,” the Minister said. Singh was speaking at a felicitation function held here yesterday attended by Ira Singhal, Nidhi Gupta and Vandana Rao, Delhi girls who topped civil services examination, 2014.

Uttar Pradesh govt Centre rule on transfer of IAS, IPS officers

The Uttar Pradesh government has opposed a rule on transfers of IAS and IPS officers before completion of two-year minimum tenure in a particular posting and sought changes in it from the Centre. The amendments in Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS) cadre rules, 1954, notified by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) in January last year, provides a minimum of two years’ tenure in each posting.

IAS officer Durga Sakthi Nagpal was suspended and frequently transfered

File Photo
The Uttar Pradesh government has opposed a rule on transfers of IAS and IPS officers before completion of two-year minimum tenure in a particular posting and sought changes in it from the Centre. The amendments in Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS) cadre rules, 1954, notified by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) in January last year, provides a minimum of two years’ tenure in each posting.However, the transfer and postings before two years can be done by a Civil Services Board (CSB) to be constituted by states under the rules. The move has come following a direction from Supreme Court in this regard. As per the rules, a CSB shall submit a quarterly report in a particular format to the central government clearly stating the details of officers recommended to be transferred before the minimum specified tenure and the reasons therefore.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The UP government has written to the Centre seeking changes in this rule. The Civil Services Board shall submit annual report on January 1, to the central government about the date of the CSB meetings in a prescribed form and also upload the same on the website of the concerned state government or union territory in public domain, as per the changes in the rule proposed by UP government. The form proposed by UP has field like dates of CSB meetings, number of officers transferred, whether rules of IAS and IPS transfers complies with and remarks, if any.The DoPT has sought comments on the changes proposed by Uttar Pradesh government from all states, union territories and Ministries of Home, and Environment and Forests by August 20.Many bureaucrats have been demanding ways to check arbitrary transfers, suspensions and postings of their colleagues by state governments. Cases of suspension and frequent transfers of IAS officers Durga Sakthi Nagpal (in Uttar Pradesh) and Ashok Khemka (in Haryana) have been the basis of their demand.The UP government had earlier also proposed changes in the DoPT’s rules. While the provisions say that “the competent authority may reject the recommendation of the Civil Services Board by recording the reasons thereof”, the UP government has proposed to amend this to add that “the competent authority may amend, modify or reject” the recommendations of the Board.

Jabalpur collector Roman Saini offers free coaching for IAS exams via YouTube

Unacademy has over 1 million subscribers on YouTube and same amount of video views are garnered by the portal.

Image creditL Facebook page.

Not everyone can afford expensive coaching classes to be able to crack the UPSC exams. For such individuals, Jabalpur collector Roman Saini has a different solution.After clearing his Std XII exam at the age of 16, Saini got into the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, clearing its entrance test in the first attempt. While studying for MBBS, he also got a degree in guitar from Trinity College, London. He became an IAS at the young age of 22 with the 18th rank. In the year 2013, with the help of his friend Gaurav Munjal, launched Unacademy portal, an online platform to give free coaching to poor students.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Unacademy has over one million subscribers on YouTube and the same amount of video views are garnered by the portal every month. The portal has about 400 videos covering subjects like history, geography, politics, art, environment, ecology, and biodiversity, reports an English daily.This year, 10 students of Unacademy realised their dream of becoming as IAS officer. This success has encouraged them to offer coaching for other competitive exams. Speaking to the daily Saini said, “We are sure of this model as 10 of our students, who were strictly with us and did not take any other coaching, cracked the civil service exam.”Here is a video of Roman Saini sharing his strategy which fetched him 309 mark in Prelims 2013:Also Read: IAS cracker passing on his know-how for free

IAS officer shares experience with judiciary in sexual harassment case; says prepare for struggle at every step

IAS officer recounts struggles of fighting against sexual harassment.

Image Credit – Riju Bafna’s Facebook page

IAS officer Riju Bafna, a trainee bureaucrat posted in Seoni, Madhya Pradesh, wrote on social media about her struggles she faced while fighting sexual harassment.The frustrated officer wrote a post on Facebook in which she said, “Idiots are lined up at every step and people are highly insensitive towards our sufferings. If you are born in this country, better prepare yourself for struggle at every step.”Bafna had filed a complaint against a member of Madhya Pradesh’s human rights commission for reportedly sending her indecent messages. The member was immediately removed from his post but that did not bring a satisfying end to the story.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When Bafna went to record her testimony in court, she requested privacy to do so because there was a lawyer present in the courtroom overhearing her statement. When she expressed her discomfort, the lawyer reportedly shouted at her saying, “You might be an officer in your office but not in the court.” The said individual eventually left the courtroom. Bafna also recounts that after she told the Judicial Magistrate about being careful with the presence of other people when a woman is giving statement for a sexual harassment case, he said that she was making such demands because she was young.Read her full post here:Hi everyone. I am posting this message to share my experience with judiciary on a sexual harassment case filed by…
Posted by Riju Bafna on Saturday, 1 August 2015In my previous post, there was a line about women not being born in the country. I wrote that line in the spur of moment…
Posted by Riju Bafna on Monday, 3 August 2015

Teachers’ recruitment scam: SC upholds jail term of OP Chautala, his son Ajay

Senior lawyers including Harish Salve, L Nageswara Rao, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Vikas Singh were representing various convicts in the case.

OP Chautala
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Former Haryana Chief Minister and INLD leader O P Chautala and his son Ajay Singh Chautala on Monday failed to get any relief from the Supreme Court which rejected their appeals against the Delhi High Court verdict upholding their conviction and 10-year jail term in the teachers’ recruitment scam case.”We are not inclined to entertain any of these appeals and they are dismissed,” a bench of Justices F M I Kalifulla and Shiva Kirti Singh said.The bench, which did not even issue notice to the CBI on the plea of 80-year-old Chautala and others, rejected their criminal appeals saying that the High Court verdict was “reasoned” one. Senior lawyers including Harish Salve, L Nageswara Rao, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Vikas Singh were representing various convicts in the case. Salve, appearing for the former Chief Minister, alleged that the trial court and the High Court erred in arriving at the conclusion to hold Chautala guilty of the offence. The Chief Minister, in the criminal law, cannot be held “vicariously” liable for the offence committed by others, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Referring to the sequence of events in the case, he said that so called whistle blower IAS officer, who had first moved the court alleging pressure from the Chief Minister was later “rightly” declared a “crook” by the CBI. No case was made out against Chautala, he added.After hearing Salve for almost an hour, the bench dismissed the plea. Other senior lawyers also tried to reason out with the bench that their cases were on different footing. However, the bench did not agree with the submission and dismissed eleven other petitions including the one filed by Ajay Chautala. The court, however, said that the convicts may move the high court with their pleas seeking relief like parole on health ground.Chautala, his son and three others are serving 10-year jail term in the case. The high court had on March 5 upheld the jail term awarded to Chautala, his son Ajay and three others, saying, “The overwhelming evidence showed the shocking and spine-chilling state of affairs in the country.”The father-son duo and 53 others, including two IAS officers, were convicted on January 16, 2013 by the trial court for illegally recruiting 3,206 junior basic trained (JBT) teachers in Haryana in 2000. Besides Chautalas and whistleblower IAS officer Sanjiv Kumar, the then Director of Primary Education, the high court had also awarded 10-year prison term to IAS officer Vidya Dhar, then Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the Chief Minister, and Sher Singh Badshami, then MLA and political adviser to Chautala senior.All the 55 convicts have been sentenced under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 418 (cheating), 467 (forgery), 471 (using forged documents as genuine) of IPC and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The high court had modified the trial court’s order on the quantum of sentence and awarded two-year jail term to 50 other convicts.Initially, there were 62 accused in the case. While two died before filing of the charge sheet, four died during the trial of the case and one was discharged by the trial court.

All you need to know about whistleblower and Magsaysay award winner Sanjeev Chaturvedi

Whistleblower and IAS officer Sanjeev Chaturvedi has been chosen for the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for 2015.

Sanjeev Chaturvedi

Whistleblower and IAS officer Sanjeev Chaturvedi has been chosen as one of the people to be awarded with the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for 2015.In its release, RMAF said,”Sanjeev Chaturvedi is being recognised for his exemplary integrity, courage and tenacity in uncompromisingly exposing and painstakingly investigating corruption in public office, and his resolute crafting of program and system improvements to ensure that government honourably serves the people of India.” Here is all you need to know about man of the hour:<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Sanjeev Chaturvedi has a degree in Electrical Engineering from Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (NIT Allahabad)2. He is an officer of the 2002 batch of the Indian Forest Service from Haryana cadre.3. Chaturvedi was ranked second in the IFS exam and won two medals for excellence as a trainee.4. At his first posting in Kurukshetra, he exposed a corrupt contractor involved in construction of the Hansi Butana canal.5. At his time with the forest department of Haryana, Chaturvedi accused MLA Prahlad Singh Gillakhera and his relatives of buying rare trees for their gardens from taxpayers’ money.6. Sanjeev Chaturvedi was named in the case where another Haryana forest range officer Sanjeev Tomar was found dead in 2009 after anti-corruption charges were initiated against him. But later, an SIT investigation gave Chaturvedi a clean chit.7. Currently the Deputy Director ​at AIIMS, Chaturvedi served as the Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) at AIIMS for the period of 2012-14​ where he unearthed various irregularities and initiated actions in around 200 cases. However, he was removed from the post of CVO by former Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.8. New Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had requested the Centre to appoint Chaturvedi as the chief of anti-corruption bureau and later to be posted to his office as Officer on Special Duty. 9. The beleaguered officer is currently locked in a struggle with the Centre, which has delayed approval of his transfer since he first filed for it on July 25, 2014. He alleges he has been “continuously targeted” ever since he exposed corruption in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, in which “powerful politicians and bureaucrats” were involved.

PDP unleashes coup to oust Farooq from scam hit JKCA

Farooq was replaced by the Jammu and Kashmir sports minister and PDP MLA from Pattan constituency Imran Raza Ansari as the president of JKCA in the elections that were stayed by the excise magistrate Jammu just hours after the results were out.

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) virtually unleashed a coup d’état to oust the former chief minister Farooq Abdullah from the last bastion of power as the president of scam-tainted Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) on Monday. Farooq was replaced by the Jammu and Kashmir sports minister and PDP MLA from Pattan constituency Imran Raza Ansari as the president of JKCA in the elections that were stayed by the excise magistrate Jammu just hours after the results were out. It is the second time in the last one year that Farooq had to taste a defeat. Farooq lost the elections for the first time in his political career last year when he was defeated by PDP leader Tariq Karra from Srinagar LoK Sabha constituency. Later in December 2014, his National Conference suffered a crushing defeat in the assembly polls.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Ansari was elected unopposed with 44 out of 64 members that form the electoral college, present in the elections which were held in the presence of senior IAS officers here on Monday morning. Farooq, who was the head of powerful JKCA since 1980 with a break of just one year in between, was not present when the polls were held. Farooq along with nine others are accused in Rs 113 crore cricket scam that rocked the JKCA some years ago. Investigators have proved prima facie involvement of Farooq in the murky dealings of the JKCA. Farooq along with nine office-bearers, are charged under Sections 406, 168 and 120-B of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) for making the sports body a lending agency and for operating many bogus accounts. A high drama unfolded after the elections with Ansari led new office bearers’ team rushing to take over the charge and opertionalizing the bank accounts of the JKCA despite the court’s stay. “Excise magistrate Jammu has stayed all the decisions taken by the working committee of JKCA today. Court has passed the order and unless it is vacated it is to be followed and obeyed. Farooq continues to be the president of JKCA”, Abhinav Sharma, counsel for Farooq Abdullah faction of JKCA told dna. A crisis of sort however hit the JKCA after both factions quoting rule books claimed that their nominee –Imran Raza Ansari and Farooq Abdullah – is the president of the sports body. Former IAS officer and PDP leader Mehboob Iqbal, who was elected chairman of JKCA, claimed Ansari has been duly elected as president of the JKCA given that Farooq’s one year term had already ended on May 11 this year under rule 8 of the Association. “Working committee comprised of 64 members. We have 34 affiliated clubs and each club has two members in the working committee. The rule 8 says elections are to be held every year. Rules can be altered. , but it has to be done in the extraordinary council meeting which has not been held before June 26”, Iqbal told dna. ML Nehru, general secretary of Farooq led JKCA, however said rule 8 has been amended on June 26 2011 by the general council and the term of president has been increased from one year to three years. “This is a dissident group which have pre-poned the elections. The elections are illegal because the rule says the notice has to be issued by general secretary and all working committee meeting has to be chaired by the president. We have the judgement of Justice Kirmani passed on July 2 2007 in this regard”, Nehru told dna. Crisis notwithstanding, Ansari remained unfazed saying the elections have been held and he has been duly elected the president. “Cricket is in mess and there is a lot of problem. Cricket Association has been sending letters to Farooq Sahab to hold elections. We have held the elections and the file will now go to BCCI”, he said. Farooq too was not in a mood to relent saying he would fight to the grave. “I am not a gunda like them. I am the son of Sher-e-Kashmir and will fight to the grave. PDP is adopting divide and rule policy. Instead of solving problems of the people, the PDP government is creating more”, he said

IPS officer Merin Joseph’s Facebook controversy shows society’s sexist stereotypes

When Merin Joesph uploaded a photograph of herself with Malayalam film star Nivin Pauly on Facebook, she probably didn’t expect it to snowball into a debate about protocol and sexism.

Merin Joseph. Image courtesy: FacebookMerin Joseph. Image courtesy: Facebook

Merin Joseph. Image courtesy: Facebook

The Assistant Superintendent of Police under training in Ernakulam Rural District, Kerala uploaded her photo, in full uniform along side the actor on 12 July and it soon went viral with 13,481 likes and 104 shares. The same photo was then made her profile photo and that notched up a further 8,494 likes and 92 shares.

Joseph and Pauly were guests at St Teresa’s College in Ernakulam at a programme to felicitate the students.

But apart from popularity, the photo got a lot of flak as well with certain news organisations calling it a breach of protocol and criticising her for posing in her uniform.

The photo may have gone viral for a couple of reasons, maybe it was the presence of the actor, maybe it was the fact that she was in uniform, maybe it was the media criticism, or maybe it is the fact that she is a woman.

Joseph responded to the criticism about her with a scathing Facebook post saying that she had not broken any rules; she was off-duty when the photo was clicked and that it was taken by an MLA himself, during a break in the function. She attacked the sensational media outlets and clarified her stand,calling it a non-issue.

Why didn’t I react so far to the so-called controversy caused over my photo with Mr. Nivin Pauly at the MLA function in…

Posted by Merin Joseph on Thursday, July 16, 2015

This is not the first time that Joseph has caused such a buzz on social media. Earlier in September 2014, Joseph had become an internet sensation for being an attractive woman in uniform. According to a report by IBTimes, her photos went viral on Facebook after a group named “Kochi pazhaya Kochiyalla” posted a photo of her on their page.

More than 500 people shared the photo, over 12,000 people liked it and around 300 users commented on it. Users even created Facebook pages dedicated to her and shared her personal photos. Many have also said that they would commit a crime just to be arrested by a woman as good-looking as her. Media picked up on this as well with one story even comparing Priyanka Chopra’s look in the Gangaajal 2,where she plays a cop, to Joseph. Her wedding was extensively covered too. 

While there are several reports on her ‘ good looks’, not much has been reported about her  impressive credentials. According to Hindu profile on the IPS officer, she cleared the exam in the first chance in 2012 and has a A and MA in History from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. She was even selected from the Sardar Vallabhai Patel National Police Academy to lead the Indian delegation for the Y20 summit, an official youth engagement programme of the G20 countries.

A few weeks back, another female civil servant was the victim of sexism in media. In a column in the Outlook  magazine called Deep Throat,  a write-up focused much word space on an IAS officer’s fashion statement and the fact that she was “eye candy”. Though the article doesn’t name any officer in particular, it alluded to Smita Sabharwal, the first female IAS officer to be appointed by the Telangana chief minister’s office. Sabharwal retaliated by saying that a few perverts didn’t demotivate her and she filed a case against the magazine.

While Joseph may have dismissed the ‘controversy’, what this whole issue reveals is a deep-rooted sexist stereotypes in society. A woman finds it hard to be accepted in roles that are not traditionally associated with the fairer sex. And Joseph’s Facebook fiasco proves just that—it’s tough being a stoic, articulate and successful woman in India without sexist stereotypes.

IAS officer Pradeep Sharma seeks pre-arrest bail in DA case

Sharma, who had been arrested by ACB in two cases in the past, says in the application that ACB had initiated a fresh `open inquiry’ against him regarding his assets and called him twice for questioning recently.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Suspended IAS officer Pradeep Sharma on Thursday filed a pre-arrest bail plea in Ahmedabad sessions court, apprehending arrest by Gujarat Anti-Corruption Bureau in a disproportionate assets case. Additional Sessions Judge H J Joshi is likely to hear the application on Friday.Sharma, who had been arrested by ACB in two cases in the past, says in the application that ACB had initiated a fresh `open inquiry’ against him regarding his assets and called him twice for questioning recently.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Since the petitioner has animosity with…political leaders, therefore, the petitioner will be arrested in connection with the present open inquiry,” the plea says.But it does not name any political leader. Sharma’s lawyer R J Goswami said ACB had not made anything clear about the case but it was likely to arrest Sharma.The IAS officer was called by ACB twice last week and therefore he feared that a fresh FIR will be filed against him in the assets case, Goswami said. Sharma had been arrested in 2010 in a scam related to land allotment for rehabilitation of earthquake-affected people in Bhuj where he was posted as Collector in 2001.It was alleged that some 400 persons who were given land were not eligible for help.Last year, Sharma was again arrested by ACB for allegedly accepting bribe/undue benefit of Rs 29 lakh from private firm Welspun.

Hope my feat inspires different perspective towards girls, says UPSC topper Ira Singhal

“I have been preparing for this since 2010. I think people will now have a different perspective when looking at girls, especially disabled girls,” Singhal told ANI. The UPSC results this year have seen four women grab the top five spots

Picture courtesy Ira Singhal’s Facebook page

Ira Singhal, an IRS officer who has topped the prestigious civil services examination, says she hopes that her feat will inspire people to have a different perspective when looking at girls, especially the differently-abled ones. “I have been preparing for this since 2010. I think people will now have a different perspective when looking at girls, especially disabled girls,” Singhal told ANI. The UPSC results this year have seen four women grab the top five spots. A total of 1,236 candidates have been recommended for appointment to IAS, IFS, IPS and central services in the results announced on Saturday afternoon. A total of 254 candidates have also been kept in a consolidated reserved list. While Singhal topped the examination, candidates Renu Raj and Nidhi Gupta stood second and third respectively. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Sexist and they know it: IAS officer to sue Outlook magazine for carrying ‘defamatory’ column

A complaint has been lodged in Hyderabad against English weekly magazine Outlook, accusing it of carrying defamatory and objectionable remarks against a woman IAS officer and allegedly damaging the reputation of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.

What are these objectionable remarks? In a small column in the magazine called Deep Throat, that focuses on insider news, a write-up focused much word space on the IAS officer’s fashion statement and the fact that she is “eye candy”.

smita3smita3

Smita Sabharwal. Image from Facebook.

“She makes a fas­h­ion sta­tement with her lovely saris and serves as “eye candy” at meetings, admit leading party politicians,” reads the column.

It ends with: “The lovely lady, known for her ethnic style, recen­tly stunned all by appearing in a trendy trouser and frilly top at a fashion show. And for once, she wasn’t sitting in an official meeting. But this appearance, too, made for a great photo op.”

Govardhan Reddy and Ravi Kumar, both advocates, have now lodged a complaint with Saroornagar Police Station, in Hyderabad, by submitting a paper clipping of the weekly that also carried a caricature, which they said is highly objectionable and damaged the reputation of the IAS officer.

Though the article doesn’t name any officer in particular, it alludes to Smita Sabharwal, the first female IAS officer to be appointed by the Telangana chief minister’s office.

“No case has been registered so far. We made General Diary (GD) entry of the complaint and are consulting legal authorities. Further action will be taken based on the legal opinion,” the inspector told PTI.

However, NDTV has reported that Sabharwal is suing Outlook for the column.

This particular column has become infamously popular on Twitter with journalists and activists lashing out at the magazine. Here are some tweets:

With Inputs from PTI

Why IAS officer Smita Sabharwal is about to sue Outlook magazine

A prominent news magazine in the country, Outlook, ran a blind piece about this young upcoming IAS officer in their gossip column, Deep Throat.

Picture courtesy Facebook

A young IAS officer is hailed by politicians and the masses alike for going great guns in professional and personal life. What can possibly go wrong? No, not the usual suspect. Not slimy politicians or greedy land sharks. For 38-year-old IAS officer Smita Sabharwal, currently working as Additional Secretary to Telengana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao, opposition came from an unlikely quarter.A prominent news magazine in the country, Outlook, ran a blind piece titled ‘No Boring Babu’ about the young, up and coming IAS officer in their regular gossip column, Deep Throat. The news piece stands out like sore thumb for casual sexism and insinuations. While the article doesn’t mention Smita by name, the clues were broad enough to easily guess the person it referred to. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As soon as the article was published, there was uproar on social media. Apart from the article, the cartoon associated with it also drew the ire of people. The cartoon showed the IAS officer walking down the ramp while a caricature of Telengana CM took a picture of her and other politicians leered in the background. The article describes the lady as serving as “eye candy at meetings” and castes aspersions at her presence in the CM’S office. The article states that there is no clarity about her role. It says that the ‘lovely lady’ has great ‘ethnic style’ and makes fashion statement in her appearance. It also quotes the dress she wore at a fashion ramp, where she wasn’t present in an official capacity. The controversial illustration which has been now taken down by OutlookNow Smita Sabharwal has decided to sue Outlook. In a five page legal document, published by The News Minute, which has been sent to the magazine by her lawyer, the article is described as “distasteful, cheap and titillating”. It says that Sabharwal was shocked and utterly taken aback by the article. Sabharwal has demanded a public apology from Outlook and has given them 15 days to comply with it failing which she has threatened to file civil and criminal suit against the magazine including defamation, damages and criminal action .In an interview to NDTV, Sabharwal further elaborated on the deep hurt and insult she felt after reading the article. She said that the write-up is an assault on the dignity of women in general and accused Outlook of resorting to yellow journalism. She said that it was a matter of professional pride and her hard work of 14 years was undermined by a frivolous news piece. She told the news channel that she had worked in districts for many years and had always been respected by people. She was also touched by the support for her in social media. 2001 batch IAS officer Sabharwal said that for every pervert, there are lakhs of sane people who respect women. She advised other women to not get demotivated by perverts. Sabharwal originally hails from West Bengal and stood 4th in the IAS exam. She joined the service at the age of 23 and has served with distinction in various roles assigned to her. Various projects she undertook were recognised with awards given by the Andhra Pradesh government. Under her service, Karimnagar district won the best district in PM’s 20 Point Programme for 2012-2013. A people’s officer, she is particularly known for using technology effectively to facilitate public work. This incident aptly shows that if a lady is good looking she will always be subjected to cheap insinuations no matter how credible her body of work is. The rot of misogyny runs deep and even media organisations touted as ‘liberal’ are not free from it.

Unacceptable: Dear Manohar Parrikar, your comments reveal a hunger for war and a disdain for the Army

Manohar Parrikar is fast squandering the equity he enjoyed at the time he was appointed the defence minister last year. An IIT alumnus and former Goa chief minister, his shift to Delhi was expected to provide administrative experience and intellectual heft to the Modi administration.

Not only has Parrikar belied these expectations, he is increasingly coming across as a war-monger, intemperate and irresponsible, whose public pronouncements reveal the chauvinist lurking in him.

His most recent provocative statement links the presumed lack of respect for the Indian Army to it not having fought a war for 40-50 years. As evidence, he cited the relatively less attention ‘an IAS or any other authority’ accords to a letter from a military commanding officer than before.

Manohar Parrikar. PTIManohar Parrikar. PTI

Manohar Parrikar. PTI

One reason for this, Parrikar said, is that for “40-50 years, we have not fought a war. I am not saying we should go to war. I am saying that because we haven’t fought a war, the importance of the army in our minds has dwindled.”

His cavalier attitude to matters of war and peace, so evident in his statement, springs from his own confusion. War is no picnic – it kills and maims soldiers, deprives families of those they love, magnifying their tragedy in case the dead was also their bread-winner, disrupts the nation’s life, and strains resources unduly. The consequences of war don’t end at the trumpeting of victory or ceasefire, but continue to unfold many years thereafter.

Obviously, Parrikar doesn’t want India to go to war, as he hastened to suggest in his statement. Yet he has, in his seven-month tenure as Defence Minister, created a militaristic ambience, as if charmed by the idea of bullets flying and bombs exploding.

For instance, not too long ago, Parrikar said India should neutralise terrorists through terrorists, invoking the phrase “kaante se kaanta nikaalte hain (you have to extract a thorn with a thorn) to justify this strategy. He then said, “Why can’t we do it? We should do it. Why my soldier has to do it all the time?”

His statement seemed a palpable endorsement of the culture of violence having echoes of extra-judicial killings and vigilantism.

But forget this, his statement also reveals him to be living in a time-warp. The policy Parrikar articulated through the kaante phrase had been executed in the Valley in 1990s. Then terrorists who surrendered were rehabilitated and armed and allowed to hunt those who were said to be on Pakistan’s payroll. Some of them were even fielded in the state elections which the people boycotted. A few consequently became MLAs.

But the oppression the surrendered militants perpetrated alienated the Kashmiris even further. The havoc this strategy wrought has been tellingly brought out in the recent film Haider and Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark’s masterly book, The Meadow.

Indeed, the morally hard-to-defend military strategies are implemented but rarely ever endorsed publicly, least by defence ministers. Through his impolitic remarks Parrikar managed to communicate that India, like Pakistan, distinguishes friendly terrorists from those implacably hostile to it. No wonder, in a misguided attempt to establish parity, Pakistan pounced on Parrikar’s statement to declare that India should be dubbed a state sponsor of terrorism.

Burly boys spoiling for a fight rarely restrain themselves. Likewise, when Parrikar was asked about the impact of his statement, at a seminar early June, he shot back, “I will not go into what Pakistan feels about that but mirchi, woh bhi Andhra ki, lagi hai (It has been stung by pungent Andhra chillies).”

Parrikar’s rough manner is typical of those who swagger in the belief of their superiority, certain it would frighten the weak. India’s military prowess is superior to Pakistan’s, but this disparity is offset because it too owns a nuclear arsenal. The flaunting of muscle could also evoke a testing response from China, which seems to have had a hand in the recent skirmishes in the Northeast.

Parrikar’s observation on the lack of respect for the Indian army is flawed on other counts as well. For one, nations respect their armies for maintaining peace, not for going to war. The presence of soldiers, suitably armed, is supposed to guarantee peace. It’s the imperialists who talk of war in a language that encourages the army to be proactive and provocative. Parrikar erroneously believes war-mongering is the best way of maintaining peace.

Analysts around the world feel the propensity of the ruling class to indulge in war-mongering arises from the fact that it has little to lose in bloody conflicts. It is not their children whose lives are imperilled. For instance, Parrikar’s two sons are in business, not in the army. If there’s one redeeming aspect of compulsory conscription, mostly looked upon as forced slavery to the state, it is the pressure it builds upon the ruling class to emphasise on peace. After all, war could claim the lives of their children as well.

Two, contrary to the defence minister’s perception, the Indian army enjoys respect countrywide, not only because of the harsh conditions in which soldiers live and work, but also because of the relief operations they have undertaken. From providing relief when national disasters strike, such as in Orissa, Uttarakhand and Kashmir, to restoring law and order in areas torn by strife, the army is perceived to have survived the all-round degeneration of institutions.

Three, Parrikar’s reference to IAS officers not paying due attention to letters from army commanders is symptomatic of the malaise afflicting India’s administrative structure. It is simply become too remote from people. If the absence of war is the reason behind the lack of respect for the army among civilian officers, then it can very well be argued that the administration’s callous indifference towards the proverbial common (wo)men arises from their not indulging in 24×7 agitation.

Four, the army could have lost respect also because of its own conduct. Over the two decades, we have had frontpage stories of senior officers implicated in corruption, ranging from defence purchases to land scams to procurement of rations supplied free to soldiers. There have been many instances of mistreatment of soldiers by officers, of subordinates disobeying and turning their guns on superiors.

Five, the army doesn’t operate independent of the country’s socio-political context. The failure of the political class to address the alienation of people from the Indian state has prompted them to take to arms, at times with more than a little help from across the border. Military operations for snuffing out armed rebellion in pockets of India are often messy and bloody, creating a cycle of violence and repression of the innocent. It isn’t hard to imagine why they wouldn’t respect the army.

For an educated person such as Parrikar, it does seem surprising his observations should be so analytically shallow. Or are these a natural outpouring of the mindset forged in the ideational foundry of RSS shakhas? To answer this question, here are statements he has recently made.

On India’s population problem: “He (Parrikar’s father) went to the extent that he used to tell everyone, his friends, “Idhar ek atom bomb girna chahiye, aur aadhe log jalke khaak. (An atom bomb should fall here, half the population will be burnt to ashes.)”

On the problems industrialists encounter: “When an industrialist wants a permission, he has to face 16 inspectors, but a rape victim has to face only one inspector. (italics mine)” (It had many women organisations gasp in disbelief at this comparison.)

On the issue of China invading the Indian market: “I found that nowadays the eyes (of Ganesha’s statue) are becoming smaller and smaller. One day, I finally turned around the statue and found Made in China written on it.”

On India as a Hindu nation: “India is a Hindu nation in the cultural sense. A Catholic in Goa is also Hindu culturally because his practices don’t match with Catholics in Brazil except in the religious aspect, a Goan Catholic’s way of thinking and practice matches a Hindu’s.”

Let us face it, Parrikar belongs to an all-boys’ club, where racist, anti-women remarks invite guffaws, not ridicule, and tough talk evokes admiration. This was precisely the response of the audience at a function of the Vivekanand International Foundation, a rightwing think-tank, where Parrikar made some of the statements quoted above.

Parrikar simply symbolises the time we live in and the political culture his party is drafting on India.

(Ajaz Ashraf is a journalist from Delhi. His novel, The Hour Before Dawn, published by HarperCollins, is available in bookstores. Email: [email protected])

Unacceptable: Manohar Parrikar’s comments reveal a hunger for war and a disdain for the Army

Manohar Parrikar is fast squandering the equity he enjoyed at the time he was appointed the defence minister last year. An IIT alumnus and former Goa chief minister, his shift to Delhi was expected to provide administrative experience and intellectual heft to the Modi administration.

Not only has Parrikar belied these expectations, he is increasingly coming across as a war-monger, intemperate and irresponsible, whose public pronouncements reveal the chauvinist lurking in him.

His most recent provocative statement links the presumed lack of respect for the Indian Army to it not having fought a war for 40-50 years. As evidence, he cited the relatively less attention ‘an IAS or any other authority’ accords to a letter from a military commanding officer than before.

Manohar Parrikar. PTIManohar Parrikar. PTI

Manohar Parrikar. PTI

One reason for this, Parrikar said, is that for “40-50 years, we have not fought a war. I am not saying we should go to war. I am saying that because we haven’t fought a war, the importance of the army in our minds has dwindled.”

His cavalier attitude to matters of war and peace, so evident in his statement, springs from his own confusion. War is no picnic – it kills and maims soldiers, deprives families of those they love, magnifying their tragedy in case the dead was also their bread-winner, disrupts the nation’s life, and strains resources unduly. The consequences of war don’t end at the trumpeting of victory or ceasefire, but continue to unfold many years thereafter.

Obviously, Parrikar doesn’t want India to go to war, as he hastened to suggest in his statement. Yet he has, in his seven-month tenure as Defence Minister, created a militaristic ambience, as if charmed by the idea of bullets flying and bombs exploding.

For instance, not too long ago, Parrikar said India should neutralise terrorists through terrorists, invoking the phrase “kaante se kaanta nikaalte hain (you have to extract a thorn with a thorn) to justify this strategy. He then said, “Why can’t we do it? We should do it. Why my soldier has to do it all the time?”

His statement seemed a palpable endorsement of the culture of violence having echoes of extra-judicial killings and vigilantism.

But forget this, his statement also reveals him to be living in a time-warp. The policy Parrikar articulated through the kaante phrase had been executed in the Valley in 1990s. Then terrorists who surrendered were rehabilitated and armed and allowed to hunt those who were said to be on Pakistan’s payroll. Some of them were even fielded in the state elections which the people boycotted. A few consequently became MLAs.

But the oppression the surrendered militants perpetrated alienated the Kashmiris even further. The havoc this strategy wrought has been tellingly brought out in the recent film Haider and Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark’s masterly book, The Meadow.

Indeed, the morally hard-to-defend military strategies are implemented but rarely ever endorsed publicly, least by defence ministers. Through his impolitic remarks Parrikar managed to communicate that India, like Pakistan, distinguishes friendly terrorists from those implacably hostile to it. No wonder, in a misguided attempt to establish parity, Pakistan pounced on Parrikar’s statement to declare that India should be dubbed a state sponsor of terrorism.

Burly boys spoiling for a fight rarely restrain themselves. Likewise, when Parrikar was asked about the impact of his statement, at a seminar early June, he shot back, “I will not go into what Pakistan feels about that but mirchi, woh bhi Andhra ki, lagi hai (It has been stung by pungent Andhra chillies).”

Parrikar’s rough manner is typical of those who swagger in the belief of their superiority, certain it would frighten the weak. India’s military prowess is superior to Pakistan’s, but this disparity is offset because it too owns a nuclear arsenal. The flaunting of muscle could also evoke a testing response from China, which seems to have had a hand in the recent skirmishes in the Northeast.

Parrikar’s observation on the lack of respect for the Indian army is flawed on other counts as well. For one, nations respect their armies for maintaining peace, not for going to war. The presence of soldiers, suitably armed, is supposed to guarantee peace. It’s the imperialists who talk of war in a language that encourages the army to be proactive and provocative. Parrikar erroneously believes war-mongering is the best way of maintaining peace.

Analysts around the world feel the propensity of the ruling class to indulge in war-mongering arises from the fact that it has little to lose in bloody conflicts. It is not their children whose lives are imperilled. For instance, Parrikar’s two sons are in business, not in the army. If there’s one redeeming aspect of compulsory conscription, mostly looked upon as forced slavery to the state, it is the pressure it builds upon the ruling class to emphasise on peace. After all, war could claim the lives of their children as well.

Two, contrary to the defence minister’s perception, the Indian army enjoys respect countrywide, not only because of the harsh conditions in which soldiers live and work, but also because of the relief operations they have undertaken. From providing relief when national disasters strike, such as in Orissa, Uttarakhand and Kashmir, to restoring law and order in areas torn by strife, the army is perceived to have survived the all-round degeneration of institutions.

Three, Parrikar’s reference to IAS officers not paying due attention to letters from army commanders is symptomatic of the malaise afflicting India’s administrative structure. It is simply become too remote from people. If the absence of war is the reason behind the lack of respect for the army among civilian officers, then it can very well be argued that the administration’s callous indifference towards the proverbial common (wo)men arises from their not indulging in 24×7 agitation.

Four, the army could have lost respect also because of its own conduct. Over the two decades, we have had frontpage stories of senior officers implicated in corruption, ranging from defence purchases to land scams to procurement of rations supplied free to soldiers. There have been many instances of mistreatment of soldiers by officers, of subordinates disobeying and turning their guns on superiors.

Five, the army doesn’t operate independent of the country’s socio-political context. The failure of the political class to address the alienation of people from the Indian state has prompted them to take to arms, at times with more than a little help from across the border. Military operations for snuffing out armed rebellion in pockets of India are often messy and bloody, creating a cycle of violence and repression of the innocent. It isn’t hard to imagine why they wouldn’t respect the army.

For an educated person such as Parrikar, it does seem surprising his observations should be so analytically shallow. Or are these a natural outpouring of the mindset forged in the ideational foundry of RSS shakhas? To answer this question, here are statements he has recently made.

On India’s population problem: “He (Parrikar’s father) went to the extent that he used to tell everyone, his friends, “Idhar ek atom bomb girna chahiye, aur aadhe log jalke khaak. (An atom bomb should fall here, half the population will be burnt to ashes.)”

On the problems industrialists encounter: “When an industrialist wants a permission, he has to face 16 inspectors, but a rape victim has to face only one inspector. (italics mine)” (It had many women organisations gasp in disbelief at this comparison.)

On the issue of China invading the Indian market: “I found that nowadays the eyes (of Ganesha’s statue) are becoming smaller and smaller. One day, I finally turned around the statue and found Made in China written on it.”

On India as a Hindu nation: “India is a Hindu nation in the cultural sense. A Catholic in Goa is also Hindu culturally because his practices don’t match with Catholics in Brazil except in the religious aspect, a Goan Catholic’s way of thinking and practice matches a Hindu’s.”

Let us face it, Parrikar belongs to an all-boys’ club, where racist, anti-women remarks invite guffaws, not ridicule, and tough talk evokes admiration. This was precisely the response of the audience at a function of the Vivekanand International Foundation, a rightwing think-tank, where Parrikar made some of the statements quoted above.

Parrikar simply symbolises the time we live in and the political culture his party is drafting on India.

(Ajaz Ashraf is a journalist from Delhi. His novel, The Hour Before Dawn, published by HarperCollins, is available in bookstores. Email: [email protected])

IAS officer DK Ravi’s death confirmed as suicide: Karnataka officials slandered him, female batchmate, says CBI

Months after outrage over his death, the CBI has reportedly confirmed that IAS official DK Ravi’s death was a suicide. It has also found he did not, in fact, make multiple phone calls to a female batchmate before committing suicide, and such reports may have been leaked to the media purely to slander him.

Ravi was Joint Commissioner in State Commercial Taxes Department when he was found dead in his Bengaluru residence on 16 March after allegedly hanging himself. The probe into the death was initially conducted by the CID of the state police and was later transferred to central agency CBI under intense pressure from the deceased IAS official’s family, public and opposition parties.

PTI imagePTI image

PTI image

A lot of the outrage over Ravi’s death centred around the mysterious circumstances of his death given that a suicide note wasn’t found, and the fact that the IAS official was seen as an upright officer who had been taking on powerful corporate lobbies.

However, reports on Wednesday said that the CBI has found no evidence of foul play and is set to declare his death as a suicide.

According to an Ibnlive report,  the CBI has dismissed the theories of murder or abetment to suicide and the preliminary enquiry seems to have concluded that his suicide was sparked by a failed real estate venture.

The investigating agency found that Ravi and a friend called Hari had collected Rs 5.5 crore from various sources to purchase land in Chikkabalpur under a company called R and H properties. However, the venture fell through after it was discovered that the land was owned by scheduled castes and tribes, and he was under pressure from investors to return the money.

The Indian Express quoted unnamed sources as saying that in the days before his death Ravi had told his friend to withdraw Rs 2 crore from the company’s bank account and give it to his wife. The report also said that he had also received a deposit of Rs 10 lakh from the married female batchmate who became embroiled in the controversy surrounding his death.

However, the bigger problem for the Karnataka government is the fact that the CBI has reportedly revealed that the false leaks about Ravi making multiple calls to a married female batch mate may have been done purely with an intent to slander the dead IAS official.

Times of India article quoted an unnamed CBI official as saying that they had found no evidence that the IAS officer had made 44 calls to the woman batchmate on the day of his death as claimed by some anonymous Karnataka officials in earlier media reports. Even Whatsapp messages that he had exchanged with his batch mate had been leaked to the media in an attempt to paint Ravi as a lovelorn man who planned to take his own life since the woman wasn’t reciprocating.

The CBI has said it hasn’t found any reason for such information to be leaked to the media when there was no evidence to support it and may question Karnataka officials in the coming days over the leak.

But this isn’t even the first time that the Karnataka officials have been caught trying to deflect attention from the questions being raised about Ravi’s death. The Karnataka High Court had in March imposed a stay of the government making public its findings into Ravi’s death when the state government had suggested it would make unveil an interim report of the CID.

As Firstpost columnist Aravind Kamal had pointed out at the time, the effort to highlight Ravi’s personal relations were seen by many at the time as an attempt by the state government to distract from the threatening calls that the IAS official had been receiving from real estate interests.

The CBI’s findings in the case are yet to be made public, but if true, action should be taken against officials who attempted to malign the IAS official’s reputation — and of his batch mate — merely to deflect heat. While the Siddaramaiah government can breathe easy about the fact that the IAS official’s death has no real connection with any of corruption issues, it will face continued embarrassment if the CBI probe reveals wrongdoing on the part of its officials. As the saying goes, it’s not the crime, it’s the cover up that gets you in the end.

Mr Dabangg Collector: IAS officer gets warning for wearing glares while meeting Modi

Raipur: In a bizarre move, a Chhattisgarh IAS officer Amit Kataria, who wore a blue shirt and sunglasses while receiving Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, has got a stern warning from the state government for the supposed violation of dress code and protocol.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi withPrime Minister Narendra Modi with

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with IAS officer Kataria.

Interestingly, according to local media reports, the IAS officer was greeted by Modi with “Mr Dabangg Collector, how are you?”

In a warning letter issued to Kataria, a 2004 batch IAS officer who is Collector of Jagdalpur, the state government said while receiving the Prime Minister on 9 May  “it has come to notice that you were not wearing proper dress and had also put on sunglasses”.

The letter said that it was in violation of section 3(i) of All India Services (Conduct) Rules which asks every member of the Services shall at all times maintain absolute integrity and devotion to duty and shall do nothing which is unbecoming of a member of the service.

The letter, however, does not mention how wearing glares or a blue shirt makes it unbecoming of an officer.

The officer was expected to be dressed in ‘Bandhgala’ while receiving the Prime Minister as he was representing the state government in the district. The state government “warns you” that in future there should be no violation of laid down norms and protocol, the letter said.

While the order has received its fair share of criticism, the Chief Minister defended his government’s move pointing out that no action has been taken against him and another officer, who too has been issued notice for not following the dress code.

“The notice has been given as a warning that they must maintain protocol for the PM,” Singh said, adding, “All officers must maintain absolute integrity and do nothing unbecoming of a member of the service,” NDTV quoted him as saying.

While it is unclear if the Prime Minister’s Office could have been behind the ‘warning’, this is not the first time that such action was taken.

Last year, reports suggested that the Prime Minister’s Office had called up a certain Union minister who was on his way to the international airport to board a flight to Kenya. The minister, who was dressed casually in jeans and a t-shirt, was reportedly asked by the PMO to return to his residence and change into acceptable Indian attire. “Are you aware that you are a central minister?”

With PTI inputs

I never calculate how many hours I work: PM Modi tells students in Dantewada

Dantewada: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday advised students to remain focused on their goals and not to judge their life through the prism of success or failure.

PM Narendra Modi said he does not calculate how many hours he works. Reuters

PM Narendra Modi said he does not calculate how many hours he works. Reuters

Interacting with school students at Education City in the naxal hub, Modi told them that he saw 125 crore Indians as his family members and working for them never tires him.

While answering a student’s question on how he dealt with stress after working for 18 hours a day, he said he never counts the number of hours he works.

“I never calculate how many hours I work because the moment one does that, it is not so enjoyable. One can never get tired while working, what tires a person is not being able to work. The more one works the better it is. When you finish your homework, don’t you feel happy and satisfied?

“When we live for our own people one cannot get tired. The people of India are my own. Won’t I feel happy to work for them,” he told them while taking their questions.

Asking them not to judge their life through the prism of success and failure, he said, “What is most important how much you learn from your failures. If you are focused on your goal and working to achieve it, these things do not matter.”

On a visit to Chhattisgarh, Modi asked students to take interest in sports even if they want to be IAS officers or doctors and gave them example of tribal girls from Jharkhand who have done well in sports at the international level.

Asked what he would be if not a politician, he said he would like to be a child.

PTI

Amendment in anti-graft law: Babus relieved, experts skeptical

Members of the bureaucratic fraternity expressed a sigh of relief over the much-needed protection and welcomed the proposed amendment in anti-graft law for enhancing maximum punishment from five years to seven saying “some deterrent should be there so that no one dares to take the system for a ride.”

Representational Image

dna Research & Archives
Bureaucrats are relieved but legal experts are skeptical over the proposed amendment to shield babus from prosecution in graft cases after retirement.While the bureaucrats feel it will help overcome the “policy paralysis”, legal experts have questioned the move to provide a blanket protection from criminal action without sanction from competent authority.”A criminal is a criminal” even if he retires or resigns and the amendment could have been made more realistic and deterrent for those taking the system for a ride, was the view of those who were critical of the Cabinet’s approval to the amendment in the Prevention of Corruption Act.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Members of the bureaucratic fraternity expressed a sigh of relief over the much-needed protection and welcomed the proposed amendment in anti-graft law for enhancing maximum punishment from five years to seven saying “some deterrent should be there so that no one dares to take the system for a ride.”Sanjay Bhoosreddy, Secretary of Central IAS Association, differed with the view of legal experts on the issue of sanction, saying such a step was necessary to do away with “policy paralysis” in the administration.However, legal experts like retired judges SN Dhingra and RS Sodhi and senior lawyer Anil Divan expressed reservations over shielding of bureaucrats even after retirement saying the entire proposal does not seem to be on the right path.Bhoosreddy said bureaucrats are professionals and those doing their work honestly need to be protected.”We are all professionals and especially those doing their work honestly need to be protected. If we have to do away with the policy paralysis and if we want the bureaucrat or the highest decision making authority to take decisions in the right direction, then system has to provide appropriate environment to ensure investment in nation building,” he said.The IAS officer did not have any complains on the proposal to enhance the punishment for corrupt bureaucrats and said, “We would like the government to go after the corrupt elements in the system and nip them in the bud.” “We welcome the steps taken by the government as it is in the overall interest of the administration and governance of the country,” he said.Dhingra said there was no reason to shield a person if a probe agency finds he has committed a crime or is corrupt.”The CBI or any agency is engaged by the government. If an independent agency says a person has committed a crime and is corrupt, I find no reason why a person should be shielded,” he said.He further said that the approved amendment making it mandatory for CBI to seek prior sanction from Lokayukta or the Lokpal to prosecute a government servant was not necessary as “a criminal is a criminal” even if he retires or resigns.Diwan and Sodhi also questioned the Cabinet’s approval.”Receiving of a sanction was sacrosanct earlier and even now,” Sodhi said, adding, “Government servant has been assured that there would not be witch hunting merely because he took a decision. Unless a public servant is acting dishonestly, he will be protected.”The NDA government in it Cabinet meeting on April 29 cleared amendments in the anti-graft law which was envisaged by the previous UPA government in its last lap when it was grappling with several corruption charges allegedly involving top bureaucrats.The proposed amendments made it mandatory for the probe agency to take prior sanction for inquiry from Lokpal or Lokayuktas for probing “offences related to recommendations made or decision taken by a public servant in discharge of official functions or duties”.The NDA government, however, refrained from bringing in a fresh set of amendments to the Prevention of Corruption Act and made only a few changes to the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 that was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on August 19, 2013 by the previous UPA regime.The amendment, which is likely to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha soon, also provides for stringent punishment for bribe givers which was not there in the earlier Act.The sentence for corruption has been enhanced from minimum six months to three years and from maximum five years to seven years. Any sentence for seven years puts it in the heinous crime category.Taking note of delay in legal proceedings in corruption cases, the proposed changes in the Act make it mandatory for the courts to finish the trial in such cases within two years.

Exclusive | Nepal Earthquake: Rescue operations underway at Everest base camp; 27 bodies recovered so far

Lukla is the gateway for the Everest region. It is now serving as the rescue base. All those rescued from the Everest are being brought here. Lukla has about 60-70 metre airstrip and thus known as the world’s most dangerous airstrip to land and take off.
Sai Manish
dna
A steady stream of private choppers descends on the helipad in Lukla, the first outpost before one heads deep into the Everest region. An avalanche has devastated the Everest base camp, five days trek from Lukla. With each chopper landing at the base, there come fresh tales of survival, escape, death and devastation at the base camp flattened by the avalanche.Some houses have been flattened on the route to the base camp at places like Namche Bazaar and Dingboche, but the damage to human life has been more at the base camp. “I flew there soon after sunrise a day after the quake. There were a lot of injured people parked inside their tents. I saw some bodies whose legs were protruding out from the snow. We did close to 50 sorties on that day with a single chopper to ferry back as many rescued as we could. There are no injured up there now. Only people waiting to be rescued and dead bodies” says Ashish Sherchan, a pilot with Simrik Air, one of the operators undertaking rescue missions from the Everest base camp to Lukla.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>(Image credit – Sai Manish dna)Lukla is considered one of the most dangerous airports in the world with a precipitous fall at the end of the runway. Yet everyday many single engine planes connect this gateway to the Everest region to the rest of the world. dna is the only Indian newspaper to have a correspondent in the Everest region close to the site of the tragedy at the Everest base camp.Around 19 bodies were recovered till Sunday from the camp. On Monday another 8 bodies were flown in. Among the dead was an Australian lady doctor, a Chinese national and many sherpas who accompanied trekking expeditions in droves as porters and guides. Most of the injured people have already been rescued. Accounts of those who have returned suggestthat, mountaineers above the base camp were unaffected by either the earthquake or the avalanche.Pooja Doke, 26, an automotive engineer from Australia was one of the lucky ones who survived and made it back to Lukla. “When I was hiking back from the base camp, the quake struck at Lobuche. I trekked back with my guide and we walked through numerous landslides along the way. I walked another seven hours at Periche” says Doke. It took another day to rescue Pooja. For the hours she spent at Periche, Pooja helped doctors treat those who were severely injured in the avalanche.(Image credit – Sai Manish dna)A group of 5 Indian Police Service (IPS), 3 Indian Administrative Service (IAS) & one Indian Forest Service officer camping at the base camp were also among the ones caught in the avalanche. Suhail Sharma, an IPS officer of the Maharashtra cadre was camping at the Everest base when the quake induced avalanche struck. Immediately after landing at the helipad in Lukla, Sharma heaves a sigh of relief after being told that he would be immediately ferried to Kathamandu and onwards to Delhi. Sharma recounts the ground shaking violently at the base camp and then something more than an avalanche striking the camp. “I felt like as if a part of the mountain fell down. My tent was gone and all I was left with were my sunglasses” recounts Sharma.He started walking down the gradient with his IAS colleague Saroj (second name not known). Along the way they encountered many dead bodies, some whose clothes were sticking out of the ice. “There was a Chinese girl staying next to us. She was dragged almost 50 meters with her tent. We found her with her head smashed on a rock. We weren’t rescued. We survived. It was a nightmare” says Sharma

CBI begins preliminary enquiry into IAS officer DK Ravi’s death

New Delhi: The CBI on Thursday started a preliminary enquiry into the “unnatural” death of Karnataka cadre IAS officer DK Ravi whose body was found hanging at his residence in Bengaluru a month ago.

CBI sources said the agency will examine all scenarios including any foul play into the mysterious death with a team of Special Crime Unit here and experts from CFSL likely to visit the crime scene soon.

DK Ravi in a file photo. PTIDK Ravi in a file photo. PTI

DK Ravi in a file photo. PTI

They said the agency has taken up the case registered by Karnataka Police which is normal practice in the probe of special crime cases referred by the state government.

“The agency takes up the FIR registered by the state police. Further investigation is carried out and final report is submitted to the court on the basis of available evidence. The findings of the agency may differ from the allegations levelled by the state police,” a CBI official clarified.

CBI team will also meet Bengaluru CID officials for collecting all the documents of the case.

“… The CBI has registered a preliminary enquiry for investigation of a case registered earlier… at Madiwala Police Station into the unnatural death of DK Ravi, IAS, who was working at Additional Commissioner of Commercial Tax (Enforcement) Bengaluru,” CBI spokesperson Kanchan Prasad said.

The sources said the agency received the notification from the DoPT today after which a preliminary enquiry was initiated. If prima facie evidence surfaces which require conversion into FIR, it will be done, they said.

Ravi, an IAS officer of 2009 batch, was found dead on 16 March at his residence in Bengaluru.

His death had snow-balled into a major controversy with Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah initially refusing to seek a CBI probe in the case. The case was handed over to Karnataka CID.

PTI

CBI begins enquiry into death of IAS officer DK Ravi

CBI on Thursday registered a preliminary inquiry for investigation into the case relating to the recent unnatural death of an upright IAS officer, which triggered a public outcry.

CBI on Thursday registered a preliminary inquiry for investigation into the case relating to the recent unnatural death of an upright IAS officer, which triggered a public outcry.”Pursuant to a request by Karnataka and central governments’ notification, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a preliminary inquiry for investigation…,” the agency said in a release.DK Ravi, who was working as Additional Commissioner of Commercial Tax Enforcement, Bengaluru, was found hanging from a ceiling fan in his apartment here on March 16.Police had said it was prima facie a case of suicide but the officer’s family did not accept the theory, suspecting foul play in the death of Ravi who had taken on the sand and land mafia.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bowing to public outcry, Karnataka government had ordered a CBI probe, asking the central agency to complete the probe in three months. The agency had rejected the timeline, forcing the state government to come out with a fresh notification without a deadline.On April 13, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) had issued a notification paving the way for a CBI inquiry into the case.

Ashok Khemka’s transfer: IAS officer becomes a pawn in BJP’s faction politics

Chandigarh: Controversial Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka may have just become a pawn in the game of one-upmanship among the BJP politicians now ruling the state. Differences have surfaced in the Haryana BJP over yet another transfer – now a record 45 times in 23 years of service – of the whistleblower officer to the inconsequential department of Archaeology and Museums from the important Transport department that he held for a mere 128 days.

The treatment meted out to Khemka has given a chance to Health Minister Anil Vij, who does not see eye to eye with the Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, to take a pot-shot at the latter. Vij who has cultivated an image of a strict and honest politicians (he makes frequent surprise visits to health department offices to check discrepancies) who spares no one, is trying to capture moral high ground on the issue.

While coming out in support of the controversial bureaucrat openly, Vij has said that he stands firmly by Khemka. “I am totally with Khemka. I am with him since he fought the battle against corruption. I will stand by him and comment about this after talking to the CM.”

Ashok Khemka. AFP.Ashok Khemka. AFP.

Ashok Khemka. IBN Live.

“It is the prerogative of the chief minister (transfer). But if Khemka is transferred to any of my department, he is welcome,” he tweeted.

Earlier answering a media question on the sudden transfer of Khemka, who has remained in limelight ever since he cancelled Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law, Robert Vadra’s land mutation deal with the DLF when the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress party was in power in Haryana, Khattar had said that he (Khemka) was a honest officer and his transfer was just routine “The transfer of any officer forms part of the administrative process. An officer is deputed wherever his services are required,” he had said while justifying the transfer that made media headlines.

Vij’s support for Khemka is not new though. On October 17, 2012, Vij had sat on a dharna outside the Haryana Raj Bhawan to protest against his transfer by the then previous government after he had questioned the land deals of Robert Vadra. Vij posted the file picture of that dharna in the social media. At that time the Haryana BJP was united in its support of Khemka. But now the partymen seem divided over support to the same officer.

It is not as if Vij has questioned the decision of the state government just over the transfer of an IAS officer. In the past also Vij has raised some very uncomfortable

queries that put the Khattar government to embarrassment. Though the Haryana government did not give any reason for the transfer of Khemka, it is widely believed that the influential transports’ lobby was behind it.

This lobby was reportedly furious with Khemka’s checking of trucks plying the inter-state route, especially between Rajasthan and Haryana as he had put a ban on all illegal activities. As Transport Commissioner, Khemka had refused to issue fitness certificates to over-sized trucks and trailers for carrying automobiles. This had led to a strike by the transporters of Haryana in January this year.

Khemka’s tweet in this regard had clearly hinted at this. It said: “tried hard to address corruption and bring reforms in transport despite severe limitations and entrenched interests. Moment is truly painful.”

But Transport Minister Ram Bilas Sharma was quick to deny any role of the tranaporters’ lobby behind the transfer of Khemka. “It’s a routine matter. I have still kept him in my department. The archaeology (department) is under me,” said Sharma.

Emboldened by the support in the media and a section of the BJP, Ashok Khemka on Friday met Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki to reportedly explain his position on the stand taken against corruption and the consequences faced by him now as well as in the past.

A Haryana government officer who does not want to be named, told Firstpost that Khemka’s rebellious nature and his temperament cause his downfall every time. “Khemka cannot get along well with anyone, certainly not his colleagues. He wants to change the system, but does not know how to carry along people. Vij is therefore backing a wrong horse. His own partymen will not support him on this issue,” he said.

But if his own partymen are not supporting Vij, it is the opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) party MP from Hisar, Dushyant Chautala who has questioned the timing of the transfer of Khemka. “Why has he been transferred before the finalisation of the new transport policy?” Dushyant Chautala asked. Chautala is not wrong in posing that question. People are wondering why the entire top brass dealing with transport department in the latest reshuffle of the IAS officers in the state.

IAS probationers come out in support of official accused of taking bribe from Ruby Chaudhary

The LBSNAA had in a statement on Friday said the allegations of false promise of job to Chaudhry were “baseless”, “malicious” and hence are “categorically denied”.

Photo courtesy: Wikipedia
Members of 2014 IAS probationers’ batch on Friday came out in support of Saurabh Jain, the officer in the Mussoorie training academy accused of taking bribe by woman who has been arrested for allegedly impersonating as a probationer to stay at the institution for six months.Expressing solidarity with Jain, the probationers at the prestigious Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) said they shall strive to assert the truth and preserve the integrity of the civil services in times to come.”Since past few days all of us have been in deep anguish over the alleged malicious, allegations levelled against you by Ruby Chaudhry (the woman concerned). It was unfortunate media chose to highlight her allegations without going into her credibility. However, after the press release by the Academy, we hope things are put in proper perspective and objective facts pertinent to the case brought into public discourse.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We hereby affirm the strong sense of solidarity with you Sir and the Academy, and reaffirm our respect and unflinching faith in the institution that puts ethics above everything else. We shall strive to assert the truth and preserve the integrity of the civil services in times to come, undeterred by the malicious campaigns by some vested interests,” the Phase I probationers said in a letter to Jain.
Chaudhry, who allegedly impersonated as an IAS probationer and spent six months at the Mussoorie academy, had accused Jain of issuing her a fake ID card to facilitate her stay there and taking Rs five lakh from her as part of the Rs 20 lakh deal to get her a job at the institute.Following a SIT probe in the matter after a complaint was registered in this regard on Tuesday, Chaudhry was arrested yesterday and sent to 14 days judicial custody today. The academy and Jain have rejected the allegations.The LBSNAA had in a statement on Friday said the allegations of false promise of job to Chaudhry were “baseless”, “malicious” and hence are “categorically denied”.According to an FIR lodged by local police against Chaudhry on Tuesday, the woman arrived at the Academy on September 20 last year and introduced herself as a trainee IAS officer and stayed there for a little over six months before mysteriously disappearing on March 27, official sources said. Following the case, Uttarakhand police formed a Special Investigation Team to probe the matter.

No respite for Ashok Khemka: BJP refuses to undo Cong’s actions against the IAS officer

Nothing seems to have changed for Ashok Khemka, the IAS officer who was transferred on Thursday for the 46th time in his 22-year career as a civil servant.

IAS officer Ashok Khemka was transferred for the 46th time in 22 years of service. PTI

IAS officer Ashok Khemka was transferred for the 46th time in 22 years of service. PTI

In spite of the change of regime in Haryana as well at the centre, the actions taken by the previous Congress government in Haryana against Khemka still remain active, according to Business Standard.

Earlier in 2012, when Khemka was posted as Director-General of Land Consolidation and Land Records-cum-Inspector General of Registration in Haryana, he had brought land deals of businessman Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi, under the scanner.

During the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government, Khemka had cancelled the mutation of the multi-crore land deal between Vadra’s company Skylight Hospitality Pvt Ltd and DLF, terming it as illegal. However, the previous Hooda government gave a clean chit to Vadra in the land deal.

The Haryana government had also chargesheeted Khemka for major penalties, which can lead to dismissal from services for a civil servant, according to Business Standard. He was charged with wrongly cancelling the Vadra land agreement and accused of speaking to the media against the government.

Khemka had also been labelled an officer of ‘doubtful integrity’ in his Annual Confidential Report (ACR) by the Hooda government in Haryana. A vigilance inquiry had also been ordered against him when he exposed another scam in the state.

Even though the Centre has the authority to quash any action taken by a state government against an IAS officer under the rules governing All India Service officers, the Modi government as well as the new Khattar government in Haryana have taken no measures against the action taken by the previous Congress government against Khemka.

Even when a CAG report in late March accused the previous Congress government in Haryana of showing undue favours to Vadra, the Centre took no action supporting Khemka.

The CAG report had said that the “possibility of extending undue benefit to particular applicant (Vadra’s company) cannot be ruled out.” It had also questioned the ‘distinction’ made by Hooda’s government for Vadra’s company in giving permissions.

Khemka had also reacted to the CAG report, saying that his action in the Vadra land deal stood vindicated.

The IAS officer, who had in November last year been posted as Transport Commissioner and Secretary has now been transferred and given the dual charge of Secretary and Director General, Archaeology and Museums department relieving RS Kharb of the charge, an official release said in Chandigarh.

According to reports, Khemka had a run-in with the Haryana transport minister over easing regulations for overloaded vehicles.

Meanwhile, Haryana’s Health Minister Anil Vij came out in Khemka’s support, saying he will talk to the Chief Minister regarding the officer “who had worked to weed out corruption during the previous Congress regime”.

However, Haryana’s Transport Minister Ram Bilas Sharma maintained that “transfer is not a punishment” and stressed that it was a “routine” matter.

“Transfer is not a punishment, a promotion or demotion. Transfer of senior officers is a routine matter. There is nothing special or extraordinary about it,” he said while replying to queries on the issue.

Notably, as Transport Commissioner, Khemka had refused to issue fitness certificates to over-sized trucks and trailers for carrying automobiles leading to a truckers’ strike in January.

The Transport Minister denied that the move to replace Khemka as Transport Commissioner was related to his decision regarding truckers.

(With inputs from PTI)

Imposter stays in Mussoorie academy for IAS officials for 6 months, SIT to probe

In a major security breach, an imposter pretending to be a trainee IAS official stayed at the prestigious Lal Bahadur Shastri Administrative Academy in Mussoorie, the training ground for the country’s civil service officers and a location that is supposed to have high security. What is perhaps more disturbing was the fact that she managed to stay on for six months without detection.

Lal_Bahadur_Shastri_National_Academy_of_Administration,_Mussoorie,_at_nightLal_Bahadur_Shastri_National_Academy_of_Administration,_Mussoorie,_at_night

Lal Bahadur Shastri Administrative Academy in Mussoorie. Image from PTI.

The woman’s fake identity card said her name was Ruby Choudhury, and that she held the post of sub-divisional magistrate.

The civil service recruits training academy learnt about the woman and her prolonged stay at the institute when she had already left on March 27, Dehradun SSP Pushpak Jyoti said.

“Police are investigating the matter and at the moment we are not in a position to comment on this matter,” said Jyoti, according to this HT report.

The matter came to light when administrative officer of the institute Satyavir Singh lodged an FIR in this connection at Mussoorie police station on Tuesday, the SSP said.

According to the FIR, the woman hailing from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh arrived at the academy on 20 September and introduced herself as Ruby Choudhry, a trainee IAS officer and stayed there for a little over six months before mysteriously disappearing on 27 March, the official said.

The SSP said a special team headed by Mussoorie police inspector Chandan Singh Bisht has been constituted to find out how the woman gained entry into the high security academy and managed to stay there for so long without the knowledge of the authorities.

This TOI report also states that she had been living in the staff quarters that was originally allotted to a security guard, Dev Singh, who is a permanent employee of the academy and has been there for 20 years. The guard , incidentally, was served suspension orders on 29 March.

Documents seized from the room where she stayed are being closely investigated, police said adding that the team constituted by Uttarakhand police will first interrogate Satyavir Singh who lodged the FIR in this connection.

However, the “imposter” had been traced by today afternoon when she gave an interview to CNN-IBN stating that she is not at fault for her stay at the academy. She said, in the interview, that the deputy director Saurabh Jain should be blamed as he took a bribe of 5 Lakh to issue her a fake card. She also clarified that she was not absconding or evading the police.

No FIR has been registered against her so far.

With inputs from PTI

Imposter stays at Mussoorie academy for IAS officials for 6 months, blames deputy director

In a major security breach, an imposter pretending to be a trainee IAS official stayed at the prestigious Lal Bahadur Shastri Administrative Academy in Mussoorie, the training ground for the country’s civil service officers and a location that is supposed to have high security. What is perhaps more disturbing was the fact that she managed to stay on for six months without detection.

Lal_Bahadur_Shastri_National_Academy_of_Administration,_Mussoorie,_at_nightLal_Bahadur_Shastri_National_Academy_of_Administration,_Mussoorie,_at_night

Lal Bahadur Shastri Administrative Academy in Mussoorie. Image from PTI.

The woman’s fake identity card said her name was Ruby Choudhury, and that she held the post of sub-divisional magistrate.

The civil service recruits training academy learnt about the woman and her prolonged stay at the institute when she had already left on March 27, Dehradun SSP Pushpak Jyoti said.

“Police are investigating the matter and at the moment we are not in a position to comment on this matter,” said Jyoti, according to this HT report.

The matter came to light when administrative officer of the institute Satyavir Singh lodged an FIR in this connection at Mussoorie police station on Tuesday, the SSP said.

According to the FIR, the woman hailing from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh arrived at the academy on 20 September and introduced herself as Ruby Choudhry, a trainee IAS officer and stayed there for a little over six months before mysteriously disappearing on 27 March, the official said.

The SSP said a special team headed by Mussoorie police inspector Chandan Singh Bisht has been constituted to find out how the woman gained entry into the high security academy and managed to stay there for so long without the knowledge of the authorities.

This TOI report also states that she had been living in the staff quarters that was originally allotted to a security guard, Dev Singh, who is a permanent employee of the academy and has been there for 20 years. The guard , incidentally, was served suspension orders on 29 March.

Documents seized from the room where she stayed are being closely investigated, police said adding that the team constituted by Uttarakhand police will first interrogate Satyavir Singh who lodged the FIR in this connection.

However, the “imposter” had been traced by today afternoon when she gave an interview to CNN-IBN stating that she is not at fault for her stay at the academy. She said, in the interview, that the deputy director Saurabh Jain should be blamed as he took a bribe of 5 Lakh to issue her a fake card. She also clarified that she was not absconding or evading the police.

No FIR has been registered against her so far.

With inputs from PTI

Woman stays at Mussoorie academy for 6 months masquerading as IAS officer

According to the FIR, the woman hailing from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh arrived at the academy on September 20 and introduced herself as Ruby Chaudhry, a trainee IAS officer and stayed there for a little over six months before mysteriously disappearing on March 27, the official said.

Mussourie Academy (Wikipedia)

In a major security breach, a woman masquerading as a trainee IAS officer stayed at the prestigious Lal Bahadur Shastri Administrative Academy in Mussoorie, a place among top targets of terrorists, for over six months without the knowledge of the authorities.The civil service recruits training academy learnt about the woman and her prolonged stay at the institute when she had already left on March 27, said Dehradun SSP Pushpak Jyoti.The matter came to light when administrative officer of the institute Satyavir Singh lodged an FIR in this connection at Mussoorie police station yesterday, the SSP said.According to the FIR, the woman hailing from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh arrived at the academy on September 20 and introduced herself as Ruby Chaudhry, a trainee IAS officer and stayed there for a little over six months before mysteriously disappearing on March 27, the official said.The SSP said a special team headed by Mussoorie police inspector Chandan Singh Bisht has been constituted to find out how the woman gained entry into the high security academy and managed to stay there for so long without the knowledge of the authorities.During her stay at the academy she frequented the library.Documents seized from the room where she stayed are being closely investigated, police said adding that the team constituted by Uttarakhand police will first interrogate Satyavir Singh who lodged the FIR in this connection.

Whistleblower Ashok Khemka transferred again by Haryana government

Haryana Government issued transfer and posting orders of nine IAS officers including whistle blower Ashok Khemka and one Haryana Civil Service (HCS) officer with immediate effect.

Ashok Khemka
File Photo

Haryana Government on Wednesday issued transfer and posting orders of nine IAS officers including whistle blower Ashok Khemka and one Haryana Civil Service (HCS) officer with immediate effect. Ashok Khemka, who had in November last year been posted as Transport Commissioner and Secretary has now been transferred and given the dual charge of Secretary and Director General, Archaeology and Museums department relieving RS Kharb of the charge, an official release said. SS Dhillon, Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism and Archaeology and Museums Departments has been posted as Additional Chief Secretary, Transport and Civil Aviation Department in place of Avtar Singh who has been posted as Principal Secretary, Women and Child Development Department. Ram Niwas, Additional Chief Secretary, Health Department has been given the additional charge of Additional Chief Secretary, Medical Education and Research Department. Vijai Vardhan, Additional Chief Secretary, Higher Education, Archives and Cultural Affairs Departments will also look after the work of Additional Chief Secretary, Archaeology and Museums Department. Sumita Misra, Additional Principal Secretary-I to Chief Minister and Principal Secretary, Science and Technology Department has been posted as Principal Secretary, Tourism Department. She will also look after the work of Science and Technology Department. Chander Parkash, Director General, State Transport and Secretary, Transport Department has been posted as Transport Commissioner, Haryana and Secretary. Vinay Singh, Director, Supplies & Disposal, Haryana and Special Secretary, Home-I Department goes as Director General, State Transport, Haryana and Secretary, Transport Department.Also, he will look-after the work of Director, Supplies and Disposals. Ajay Singh Tomar, awaiting order of posting has been posted as Sub Divisional Officer (C), Ambala and Estate Officer, HUDA, Ambala. Among the HCS officer, Shakti Singh, Sub Divisional Officer (C)-cum-Additional Collector, Ambala and Estate Officer, HUDA, Ambala goes as Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Ambala relieving Mandip Singh Brar of the charge. Also Read: Order issued for CBI probe into unnatural death of IAS officer DK Ravi

DK Ravi’s death: Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah finally says yes to CBI probe into IAS officer’s case

Its been a week since IAS officer DK Ravi was found dead in his Bengaluru apartment under mysterious conditions and on Monday the Congress government in Karnataka finally bent to pressure from various quarters and said he would recommend a CBI probe in the case.

Speaking at the Karnataka Assembly, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah gave into the demands of Opposition, activists and the family members of the dead IAS officer and decided to handover the ongoing investigation of the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

IAS officer DK Ravi. PTI imageIAS officer DK Ravi. PTI image

IAS officer DK Ravi. PTI image

“I understand the feelings of Ravi’s parents…. We respect public sentiments..,” Siddaramaiah said, adding that the government was keen that the truth should be brought out and culprits punished.

He also asserted that the government never wanted to hush up the case nor did it intend to protect anyone.

“…We believe in people’s power. We believe in respecting public sentiments,” said the Chief Minister who was facing rising public anger and growing clamour for a CBI probe.

The death of DK Ravi, who took on land mafia and realtors, spiralled into a major controversy after Siddaramaiah refused to seek a CBI probe in the case. The case was being probed by Karnataka CID. Opposition parties and activists have maintained pressure on the state government and have been demanding that the investigation in the case should be carried out by the CBI.

Amid major uproar in the Karnataka Assembly on Monday, CM Siddaramaiah defended the Karnataka CID and said that he had nothing against the CBI.

He said in the Assembly that the government had faith in the police and they hadn’t criticised the CBI. Siddaramaiah also said that the CID had also been functioning independently, just like the CBI.

The decision to transfer the probe came after Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday wrote to Ravi’s wife promising a fair and transparent probe into the incident. This came after Ravi’s mother reportedly wrote an open letter to her seeking an impartial probe.

Siddaramaiah said he had planned to table the CID interim report but could not do so because of the High Court order.

Maintaining that his government never brought pressure on any officer and believed in providing a conducive working atmosphere for them, he said, “We believe in our system, judiciary and democracy… we will never show disrespect to
judiciary….we believe in the rule of law..”

Siddaramaiah also said there had never been a case where an incident had straightaway been referred to CBI immediately after its occurrence. With the federal set-up in the country, the Centre could not refer a case suo motu to CBI and could do so based on a state’s request, he said.

He taunted the BJP, saying it had not referred even a single case to the central agency during its five year rule in the state.

The Chief Minister said the state CID was also efficient and handing over the probe to another agency would affect their morale, which was why he had been saying that they should be allowed to carry out their investigation first.

He had also assured the parents of Ravi that after receiving the report of CID and post mortem, he would take a decision on handing over the case to CBI.

The CM said Ravi was an honest and efficient officer and that was the reason why he transferred him from Kolar to Bengaluru as Additional Commissioner of Commercial Taxes (Enforcement)based on the request of his father-in-law.

The government has maintained so far that Ravi’s death prima facie seemed to be a case of suicide, but the opposition parties and the family of the IAS officer have refused to accept the theory.

Ravi’s family raised doubts over the police’s claim that he committed suicide, saying that he was under “political pressure”.

“My son wouldn’t have committed suicide. He is not like that. He was strong hearted. My son was not a coward. I had not given birth to a son who could commit suicide,” Gowramma, the mother of DK Ravi, had told PTI earlier.

Won’t protect anyone: Siddaramaiah on IAS officer DK Ravi’s death

Bengaluru: Facing increasing heat over the demand for a CBI probe into the mysterious death of an IAS officer, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday asserted that his government was not protecting anybody nor hiding anything.

A day after Congress president Sonia Gandhi advised him to order a CBI probe into the case that has stirred strong public sentiments, he said, the government would make its stand known in the Assembly on Monday on the issue of giving the case to the central agency.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. PTIKarnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. PTI

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. PTI

Siddaramaiah said the CID, now investigating the case, was also an independent body like the CBI, and added, “We are not going to hide anything. We are not going to protect anybody. We are also particular that the truth should come out.”

As the Assembly session was on, he would spell out the government stand on the floor of the House, he said.

Launching a joint offensive against the Siddaramaiah government, BJP and JDS have stalled Assembly proceedings for three days and met the Governor seeking his intervention to advise the chief minister to order a CBI probe.

Siddaramaiah said he had informed the Congress president of the developments in the case, “But madam has not instructed me to do like this or that. She told us that it is for the government to take a decision and given free hand to the government.”

As protests gained momentum, Siddaramaiah said he understood the sentiments of the people and of the parents of 35-year-old D K Ravi, who had made a mark as an honest officer taking on the land and sand mafia and tax evaders.

“I am making it very clear that the government is not going to protect anybody. We are not going to hide anything,” Siddaramaiah said. “We are very transparent in this. We are also very particular that the truth comes out. People of Karnataka should know the truth.”

Ravi’s distraught wife Kusuma had been hospitalised in Bengaluru, her father Hanumantharayappa said.

Meanwhile, JDS on Saturday released an audio tape of a purported telephonic conversation between an MLA from Kolar district and an official working under Ravi, who was the Deputy Commissioner there, about his transfer to Bengaluru.

In the tape, the MLA is heard “putting pressure” on the official, “threatening” him to release four lorries of seized “illegal sand” and also speaking about the transfer of Ravi from Kolar district in the next two days.

The way in which the MLA threatened the lower official “it is anybody’s guess Ravi was transferred because of (sand) mafia,” Kumaraswamy alleged. On the contrary, the chief minister had claimed that the transfer was made on the request of Ravi’s father-in-law, he said.

Hanumanthrayappa said there were no personal problems between his family and Ravi’s and requested people not to spread falsehood.

“As the head of his family, at least I could have sensed something if anything is there. There is no personal problem between my family and his family. So it is a falsehood. Whoever is spreading falsehood, I request once again not to do it,” he added.

Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda also demanded a CBI probe into Ravi’s death and flayed attempts to “defame” the family of the deceased IAS officer.

“Someone is trying to divert the issue…They are cooking up stories….it hurts everyone…God will not forgive them…if they want to cook up the story…There is no doubt that a few powerful politicians are behind it and to get at the root of the truth, CBI inquiry is a must,” he said.

Siddaramaiah also lashed out at the Opposition parties, particularly JDS, accusing it of trying to derive political mileage out of the incident. The JDS charge that the government was not interested in bringing out the truth was “politically motivated,” he said.

He also dismissed as “childish, irresponsible and politically motivated” Kumaraswamy’s charge that his visit to the hospital during the post-mortem of the body of Ravi was to influence the case.

Siddaramaiah also dismissed Kumaraswamy’s charge that a woman IAS officer, who was a batchmate of Ravi, was being harassed. “The question of harassing does not arise at all. The charge is concocted and fabricated.”

PTI

Death of IAS officer DK Ravi: Karnataka Govt to hand over case to CBI

Bangalore: IAS officer DK Ravi, posted as Karnataka’s additional commissioner, commercial tax, was found dead in his official apartment on last Monday evening.

IAS officer DK Ravi. PTI/File imageIAS officer DK Ravi. PTI/File image

IAS officer DK Ravi. PTI/File image

A probe still has to ascertain whether the 36-year-old Ravi, of the 2009 batch, committed suicide or was murdered. The 2009 batch IAS officer was the Joint Commissioner in State Commercial Taxes Department and was found dead in the Madivala locality of Bengaluru on Monday. Prima facie police said that the case looks like suicide although no suicide note has been recovered as of now.

Stepping up the pressure, BJP MPs from Karnataka on Thursday protested outside the Parliament in Delhi, demanding a CBI probe into the death, and slammed the Congress government in the state over the issue.

Amidst outrage over his mysterious death, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and IAS officers Association also demanded CBI probe into the case.

In the latest development, the Karnataka government has decided to hand over the probe into the death to the CBI. A decision on the same was taken late Thursday night.

The state government had earlier ruled out a CBI inquiry and had ordered an investigation by the state police. Opposition parties have been protesting the state’s move to not hand the case over to the central agency.

(With inputs from PTI)

Cops to probe why IAS officer DK Ravi called woman batchmate 44 times the day he died

The death of Karnataka IAS officer DK Ravi, which occured earlier this week under mysterious circumstances, has snowballed into a major controversy.

While a probe still has to ascertain whether the 36-year-old Ravi, of the 2009 batch, committed suicide or was murdered, new information has come to light which could be crucial to the ongoing investigation.

According to a report in The Indian Express, Ravi called his 2009 batchmate 44 times in a span of an hour the day he died. The Karnataka police has approached the woman IAS officer for questioning as part of the investigation. According to the report, Ravi also sent a few text messages to the woman before his death.

PTI imagePTI image

PTI image

The woman IAS officer, who is posted in southern Karnataka and has a child, was friends with Ravi prior to his marriage to Congress politician Hanumantharayappa’s daughter Kusuma.  The Indian Express report further added that Ravi’s Facebook page had a few posts referring to the same woman.

Former Chief Minister and JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy slammed the ruling Congress for maligning the IAS officer’s reputation. The Indian Express quoted the leader as saying, “What is the intent of revealing this information? How can the state CID investigate when this information has already been revealed.”

The 36-year-old Ravi was the joint commissioner in the commercial tax department since November 2014 following his transfer from Kolar where he was the deputy commissioner.

Police Commissioner MN Reddi had ruled out any foul play from the circumstances under which Ravi’s body was found. However, the police had not found any suicide note, IANS had reported.

As public anger mounted over the mysterious death of the upright IAS officer, Ravi’s family raised doubts over police’s claim that he committed suicide, saying that he was under “political pressure”, and insisting on a CBI probe.

“My son wouldn’t have committed suicide. He is not like that. He was strong hearted. My son was not a coward. I had not given birth to a son who could commit suicide,” Gowramma, the mother of DK Ravi, told PTI.

Not buying the police version, the Opposition had also demanded a CBI probe, instead of a CID inquiry as announced by the state government. After two days of protest, the Karnataka government said there was no need for a CBI investigation into the case and maintained that just a CID probe would be enough.

Speaking to reporters, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said, “This is not a case to be handed over to the CBI.”

Siddaramaiah, who is facing Opposition and public pressure to order a CBI probe into the case that has triggered outrage across the state, said the CID would conduct an impartial and speedy probe to bring out the truth.

But not happy with the government stand, Opposition BJP leader Jagadish Shettar alleged in the Assembly that “an attempt is being made to hush up this issue. Only CBI can do an honest investigation in this case.”

Like Aravind Kamal points out in this Firstpost article, the handling of Ravi’s case by the Karnataka police and the state government gives rise to a lot of questions. For example, even before Ravi’s body was sent for autopsy the police commissioner had announced that it was a suicide. Statements made by the state police also did not add up. The police also went public with their statement that Ravi committed suicide because of personal reasons even before they spoke to his parents or his wife.

Aravind further added that Karnataka Home Minister KJ George and Siddaramaiah’s reluctance to hand over the investigation to CBI opens more doors for speculation.

“Home Minister George came into the limelight because of the business tie-up his family concern (Kelachandra Group) had with real estate developer Embassy Group (which was allegedly being probed by Ravi). On Tuesday, with George facing the heat, he tried to distance himself from the Embassy Group. The minister went on to claim that his family concern had tied up with Embassy Group for a particular project – Embassy Golf Links – in Bengaluru. It is to be seen how many other ministers make such voluntary disclosures regarding their business interests in realty firms, which were being probed by the officer.”

Whether it was the land mafia or the realty firms or the “personal” reasons which led to Ravi’s death will be known only after a thorough investigation but Karnataka is not the best place for honest bureacrats, Aravind notes, adding such officers have been at the receiving end since Congress assumed power in Karnataka. Miscreants beat up IAS officer Rashmi Mahesh with footwear in Mysuru and the probe is still ongoing.

Speaking to Firstpost, Shettar said, “Ravi’s death has created a hostile environment for the rest of the bureaucrats. If this is the reward for honesty, bureaucrats will think twice before taking on the high and mighty. There are vested interests behind the mysterious death of Ravi.”

To make matters worse, Karnataka is one of the few states where CBI cannot voluntarily take up a case. The state government has to grant special permission to the CBI to probe cases in the state. With Siddaramaiah not allowing the central agency to investigate Ravi’s case however, the Chief Minister might be shooting himself in his foot, Aravind notes in his article.

Ravi was investigating into cases of tax evasion and was planning on raiding builders. In his capacity as an Additional Commissioner of Commercial Tax (Enforcement), Ravi had raided more than 20 firms, including builders, jewelers, exporters and a bank, and recovered about Rs 106 crore tax dues, this Times of India report said.

An RTI activist, Ganesh S Koundinya said Ravi had contacted him on Thursday last. “I had a conversation with Ravi on Thursday and Friday, if I remember. He told me that he had conducted raids on some developers and housing societies and recovered Rs 400 crore as income tax … Ravi was looking at raiding some big developers in Bangalore and he wanted to recover the evasion of taxes.”

Public anger over the unexplained death has still not ebbed. On Tuesday, hundreds spilled on to the streets of Karnataka outside Ravi’s residence to pay tributes and accompany the IAS officer’s body on his final journey.

Who wants to be a babu? IAS officer DK Ravi’s death reveals a risky career best avoided

Till it’s proven beyond reasonable doubt that Karnataka IAS officer DK Ravi had indeed committed suicide because of personal reasons as the government now claims, people in the state are justified in their suspicion of foul play because he had taken on the land and builder mafia.

For those who poured out into the streets in anger against his death, this is a typical story of an honest officer biting the dust taking on the mighty and the corrupt. No ordinary effort would convince them because they have heard such stories too often. That the people in Kolar, where he took on the mafia, didn’t want him to be transferred out, and his father’s disclosure that he was under pressure from builders, point to unusual circumstances.

IAS officer DK Ravi. PTIIAS officer DK Ravi. PTI

IAS officer DK Ravi. PTI

Although high paying corporate jobs have weaned away a lot of urban civil service aspirants, IAS still has its pride of place in the country. Compared to the past, it’s certainly not the money and perks that attract bright, young minds to the service, but the prestige, power and the possibility of serving the people of the country. After all, it’s the bureaucracy that runs the country. However, increasingly, what awaits them is the plight of Ravi.

The question is, is it really worth the hard work and trouble?

In 1994, the country was shocked when a district magistrate in Gopalganj, an IAS officer, was lynched by a mob participating in a funeral procession of a local gangster. The man who led the attack was an an ex-MP, Anand Mohan. It was little solace to the slain officer’s family that Mohan was convicted to life several years later. Two years earlier, a woman officer in Tamil Nadu, VS Chandralekha, was disfigured in an acid attack because she opposed a state government disinvestment plan. There have also been cases of senior officers facing public humiliation, and even physical threats, from politicians

Although such physical attacks are not very common, IAS officers are constantly under threat and harassment from the politicians they serve. While some have managed the art of ingratiating themselves with at least one political party so that they have a good time when the party is in power, the real upright ones get shunted whenever they try to do their job by the book. Ashok Khemka, the Haryana officer who took on Robert Vadra, has been transferred 45 time in his 20 year old career, while in Tamil Nadu, U Sagayam, who unearthed the Rs 16,000 crore granite scam has been transferred 24 times in 23 years. He also has the unique distinction of being transferred twice within a 48-hour period. In 2014, Rajasthan saw several bulk transfers in a single year.

It’s now public knowledge that these routine transfers are hardly routine, but are meant to shunt out inconvenient officers and to bring in pliant ones. Every state and every political party does it. Those who become heroes in the folklore of people, such as Ravi and Sagayam, end up in miserable lives because these transfers not only kill their spirit, but also disrupt their lives. Khemka, when he spoke out in frustration last year, had said how difficult was his life because of the constant transfers. They also come under direct threat from politicians and their criminal accomplices. For instance, DMK workers had burned the effigy of Sagayam twice because he thwarted distribution of cash for votes during elections.

There is certainly the other side of the story in which officers get cozy with politicians and enrich themselves. All the recent scams during the UPA regime allegedly had senior officers playing lynchpin roles in plundering national wealth. For instance, in the 2G scam, a secretary level IAS officer, who was otherwise known for his efficiency, went to jail with minister A Raja.

If not to share the loot with their masters, is there anything else left for the IAS officers? It takes months of preparation and single-minded pursuit to crack the civil services exam, but what awaits them are straightjackets and bludgeons. Most often, the candidates have to work in a different state, master its language and culture, and live there permanently. If it’s only to serve the interests of the political masters, is it really worth it?

With his engineering degree in computer science, when the discipline was still emerging, and a PhD from TIFR, Khemka could have become one of the top private sector honchos anywhere in the world. Instead, he is still struggling with the burden of 40 transfers and even some charge-sheets. Another IIT topper, Raju Narayanaswamy, has been languishing in minor posts in Kerala for years now whereas his less competent college-mates have made it really big in the private sector.

Reportedly, the service is now attracting more and more rural candidates, possibly because the city elites don’t find it alluring any more. It also makes for inspiring success stories for rural youth who come from challenging backgrounds. Apparently, Ravi also came from a humble family and had a clear vision as to what a civil servant meant for the people in his state. Unfortunately his dreams had to end prematurely.

Politicians and IAS officers may look like strange bedfellows, but in several cases, it works. Wherever it doesn’t work, the officers live a dog’s life. That’s where upright officers end up.

Who wants to be an IAS officer? DK Ravi’s death reveals a risky career best avoided

Till it’s proven beyond reasonable doubt that Karnataka IAS officer DK Ravi had indeed committed suicide because of personal reasons as the government now claims, people in the state are justified in their suspicion of foul play because he had taken on the land and builder mafia.

For those who poured out into the streets in anger against his death, this is a typical story of an honest officer biting the dust taking on the mighty and the corrupt. No ordinary effort would convince them because they have heard such stories too often. That the people in Kolar, where he took on the mafia, didn’t want him to be transferred out, and his father’s disclosure that he was under pressure from builders, point to unusual circumstances.

IAS officer DK Ravi. PTIIAS officer DK Ravi. PTI

IAS officer DK Ravi. PTI

Although high paying corporate jobs have weaned away a lot of urban civil service aspirants, IAS still has its pride of place in the country. Compared to the past, it’s certainly not the money and perks that attract bright, young minds to the service, but the prestige, power and the possibility of serving the people of the country. After all, it’s the bureaucracy that runs the country. However, increasingly, what awaits them is the plight of Ravi.

The question is, is it really worth the hard work and trouble?

In 1994, the country was shocked when a district magistrate in Gopalganj, an IAS officer, was lynched by a mob participating in a funeral procession of a local gangster. The man who led the attack was an an ex-MP, Anand Mohan. It was little solace to the slain officer’s family that Mohan was convicted to life several years later. Two years earlier, a woman officer in Tamil Nadu, VS Chandralekha, was disfigured in an acid attack because she opposed a state government disinvestment plan. There have also been cases of senior officers facing public humiliation, and even physical threats, from politicians

Although such physical attacks are not very common, IAS officers are constantly under threat and harassment from the politicians they serve. While some have managed the art of ingratiating themselves with at least one political party so that they have a good time when the party is in power, the real upright ones get shunted whenever they try to do their job by the book. Ashok Khemka, the Haryana officer who took on Robert Vadra, has been transferred 45 time in his 20 year old career, while in Tamil Nadu, U Sagayam, who unearthed the Rs 16,000 crore granite scam has been transferred 24 times in 23 years. He also has the unique distinction of being transferred twice within a 48-hour period. In 2014, Rajasthan saw several bulk transfers in a single year.

It’s now public knowledge that these routine transfers are hardly routine, but are meant to shunt out inconvenient officers and to bring in pliant ones. Every state and every political party does it. Those who become heroes in the folklore of people, such as Ravi and Sagayam, end up in miserable lives because these transfers not only kill their spirit, but also disrupt their lives. Khemka, when he spoke out in frustration last year, had said how difficult was his life because of the constant transfers. They also come under direct threat from politicians and their criminal accomplices. For instance, DMK workers had burned the effigy of Sagayam twice because he thwarted distribution of cash for votes during elections.

There is certainly the other side of the story in which officers get cozy with politicians and enrich themselves. All the recent scams during the UPA regime allegedly had senior officers playing lynchpin roles in plundering national wealth. For instance, in the 2G scam, a secretary level IAS officer, who was otherwise known for his efficiency, went to jail with minister A Raja.

If not to share the loot with their masters, is there anything else left for the IAS officers? It takes months of preparation and single-minded pursuit to crack the civil services exam, but what awaits them are straightjackets and bludgeons. Most often, the candidates have to work in a different state, master its language and culture, and live there permanently. If it’s only to serve the interests of the political masters, is it really worth it?

With his engineering degree in computer science, when the discipline was still emerging, and a PhD from TIFR, Khemka could have become one of the top private sector honchos anywhere in the world. Instead, he is still struggling with the burden of 40 transfers and even some charge-sheets. Another IIT topper, Raju Narayanaswamy, has been languishing in minor posts in Kerala for years now whereas his less competent college-mates have made it really big in the private sector.

Reportedly, the service is now attracting more and more rural candidates, possibly because the city elites don’t find it alluring any more. It also makes for inspiring success stories for rural youth who come from challenging backgrounds. Apparently, Ravi also came from a humble family and had a clear vision as to what a civil servant meant for the people in his state. Unfortunately his dreams had to end prematurely.

Politicians and IAS officers may look like strange bedfellows, but in several cases, it works. Wherever it doesn’t work, the officers live a dog’s life. That’s where upright officers end up.

Deceased IAS officer Ravi was planning raids on big developers: RTI activist

Bengaluru: Social activist and whistleblower Ganesh S Koundiny on Tuesday claimed that IAS officer DK Ravi, who died in mysterious circumstances, was planning raids on some big developers to unearth commercial tax evasion.

File photo of IAS officer DK RaviFile photo of IAS officer DK Ravi

File photo of IAS officer DK Ravi

Ravi, after taking over as Additional Commissioner of Commercial Taxes (Enforcement) in October, had recovered an income tax of Rs 400 crore from housing societies.

“I had a conversation with Ravi on Thursday and Friday, if I remember. He told me that he had conducted raids on some developers and housing societies and recovered Rs 400 crore as income tax … Ravi was looking at raiding some big developers in Bangalore and he wanted to recover the evasion of taxes,” Koudinhy told reporters here.

The activist said that the deceased officer was eager to meet him to get some documentary evidence in his possession so they both could work together to unearth commercial tax violations.

“Since Ravi wanted some documents from me, he got in touch with me so that we both could work together to see that commercial tax violation could be unearthed,” he added.

Koundiny also said he was planning to meet Ravi in a couple days. “Ravi told me to meet this week and I was contemplating to meet him today or tomorrow, but before that this incident happened,” he added.

He flayed the government for “concluding” in the Assembly that it was a suicide even before the investigation commenced. “What is annoying is that even before the investigation has commenced, the government has taken a stand that it is a suicide,” he said.

The 35-year-old IAS officer, who had taken on the sand mafia known in Kolar district of Karnataka was found hanging from a ceiling fan in his room at his official flat on Monday.

Bengaluru Police Commissioner M N Reddi said that forensically, medically and examination of the situation all point to “prima facie understanding of a suicide.”

PTI

Telangana govt forms panel to recommend on reservation for Muslims

Hyderabad: The Telangana government has constituted a Commission of Inquiry to prepare a comprehensive report on social, educational and economic status of Muslims in the state and give its recommendation on providing reservation to needy members of the community.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The panel has been asked to recommend steps to remove impediments in improvement of the overall social, educational and economic conditions of the Muslim community and to provide reservation in education and employment to the deserving poor among them, wherever necessary.

As per the terms of reference, the committee, chaired by retired IAS officer G Sudhir, would collate data, conduct intensive study/survey to report on the income and educational levels and percentage of Muslims in employment in government/quasi government/private sector, according to a government order.

The panel, which has been asked to submit report within six months, would also report on literacy rate, health indicators, availability of government welfare infrastructure and institutional mechanism in Muslim-dominated areas.

Meanwhile, the government has also constituted a Commission of Inquiry to study and prepare a comprehensive report on the relative increase in population of scheduled tribes in the state and their social and economic backwardness.

This panel has also been tasked to examine the representations of ‘Valmiki Boya’ and ‘Khaithi Lambada’ communities for their inclusion in ST category.

Chaired by retired IAS officer S Chellappa, the committee would report within six months on the social, educational and economic conditions of STs, their income, educational levels and health indicators.

PTI

Lokpal effect: Babus to file property returns twice for this financial year

<![CDATA[#bottom_popup{width:344px;background:url(http://s3.firstpost.in/wp-content/themes/firstpost2.0/images/promo/bottom_popup.gif) repeat-x;border:3px solid #6b6565;position:fixed;z-index:99;bottom:-130px;right:-350px}#bottom_popup .contbox{padding:5px 6px 25px 6px;position:relative}#bottom_popup .bptitle{border-bottom:1px solid #d3d3d3;font:19px/30px ‘FPfont’;color:#000;text-transform:uppercase;padding-bottom:5px}#bottom_popup .bptitle span{color:#F00}#bottom_popup .bptitle span.dot{color:#F00;font-size:30px}.f_flash_icon{background:url(http://s1.firstpost.in/wp-content/themes/firstpost2.0/images/promo/f_flash_icon.png) no-repeat 0 0;width:29px;height:29px;display:inline-block;vertical-align:bottom;margin-right:3px}.close_bottom_popup{background:url(http://s3.firstpost.in/wp-content/themes/firstpost2.0/images/promo/clost_bottom_popup.png) no-repeat 0 0;width:13px;height:13px;position:absolute;right:5px;top:5px}.bottom_infobox{font:14px Georgia, “Times New Roman”, Times, serif;color:#333;border-top:1px solid #FFF;padding-top:10px}.bottom_infobox a{color:#333}]]> <!– FP CRONTAB –>

Modi’s move to appoint Jaishankar as foreign secy recognition of hard work

Link:   Modi’s move to appoint Jaishankar as foreign secy recognition of hard work

Tyranny of seniority must end: PM right in appointing Jaishankar as foreign secy

Credit:  Tyranny of seniority must end: PM right in appointing Jaishankar as foreign secy

© 2018 Yuva Sai Sagar. Theme by Anders Norén.