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No more ‘Jung’ as Anil Baijal becomes Delhi’s L-G

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former IAS official, Anil Baijal on Wednesday replaced Najeeb Jung as Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor. Jung resigned from the post last week.Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that the decision was taken by President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday after he accepted Jung’s resignation.External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj took to Twitter to congratulate Baijal. “I welcome Shri #AnilBaijal as the Lt.Governor of Delhi, (SIC)” Swaraj tweeted.Baijal, a 1969 batch IAS officer, had previously served as Union Home Secretary under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and has held the several key positions in other ministries.Officials said that while Baijal’s name was recommended by the MHA, the papers reached the President’s office on Tuesday evening.Baijal had retired from service in 2006 as Secretary, Urban Development Ministry and has served as the former Vice-Chairman of Delhi Development Authority.He is also credited with the designing and roll-out of the Rs 60,000 crore Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) which was launched by the UPA government.Jung’s sudden resignation had come as a surprise to many including Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. “I spoke to Najeeb Jung over the phone and he said that he has resigned for personal reasons. We wish him all the best for future and look forward to working with the new L-G,” media reports quoted Kejriwal as saying.Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain, who was at loggerheads with Jung over a host of issues — including the foreign visits by AAP ministers, also met the outgoing LG on Wednesday.Jung became Delhi LG in July 2013, replacing Tajender Khanna, another IAS officer. A former IAS official of 1973 batch, he was initially posted in Madhya Pradesh and was last associated with Jamia Millia Islamia, where he was the vice-chancellor from 2009-2013.The former L-G had constantly been in the news for the past two years for his confrontation with the AAP’s Delhi Government and Chief Minister Kejriwal. He had also formed the committee chaired by VK Shunglu on August 30, to examine 400 files on decisions taken by the Kejriwal regime.

5 things you need to know about new Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu Girija Vaidyanathan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior IAS officer Girija Vaidyanathan was appointed Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu on Thursday, replacing P Rama Mohana Rao whose residence and office was raided by the Income Tax department on Wednesday. “Dr Girija Vaidyanathan IAS, Additional Chief Secretary/ Commissioner of Land Administration, is transferred and posted as Chief Secretary to Government, vice Dr P Ramamohana Rao,” a Public (Special A) Department order dated December 22 said. Vaidyanathan shall also hold full additional charge of the post of Vigilance Commissioner and Commissioner for Administrative Reforms, previously held by Rao, it said. ​But, who is Girija Vaidyanathan who will be the 45th ​Chief Secretary of the state?1. A PhD holder from Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, ​Girija Vaidyanathan is 1981 batch IAS officer. She started her career as a Sub-Collector in 1983 and is currently the Commissioner of Land Administration.
ALSO READ Tamil Nadu: Girija Vaidyanathan replaces Rama Mohana Rao as Chief Secretary2. She was the principal secretary of the Health and Family Welfare Department in the Government of Tamil Nadu, Mission Director of National Rural Health Mission (NHRM) and has also worked in health, education, agriculture, transportation and state planning departments over her 34 year long career.3. Though she has been closer to DMK, rather than AIADMK, she was the brain behind public health and education projects during Jayalalithaa’s first regime. 4. She was the Mission Director of the State Health Society when Tamil Nadu won the award for best performance among the non-empowered action group States.5. Her father S Venkitaramanan, was the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor from 1990 to 1992.(With PTI inputs)

From Kejriwal to Maken: Politicians react to Najeeb Jung’s resignation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a sudden move, Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung resigned on Thursday, ending a nearly three-and-half- year-long eventful tenure, mostly marked by bitter confrontation with AAP government on a range of issues that virtually brought governance to a halt on many occasions. Without citing reasons for the decision, 65-year-old Jung, who had taken charge in July 2013, thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his help and cooperation and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for his “association”.In a brief statement, Jung’s office said he has submitted his resignation to the Government of India and that he would be returning back to academics, “his first love”. Sources close to him said that his resignation has nothing to do with his acrimonious relationship with the AAP government and he was contemplating to quit for last few months. “His decision to quit was not at all related to his relationship with the AAP government. It was purely a personal decision which he was mulling over for quite some time,” they said.Reacting to Jung’s resignation, Kejriwal said the decision surprised him. “Sh Jung’s resignation is a surprise to me. My best wishes in all his future endeavours,” he tweeted. While BJP was guarded in its reaction, Congress said the Centre must explain why Jung was “unceremoniously removed and whether it was done to bring someone to the top administrative post who is ideologically close to the RSS.” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said despite several “bitter-sweet experiences, I can say that we have worked very well for Delhi with Jung. Good wishes for his future.” A 1973-batch IAS officer, Jung had assumed charge as 20th Lt Governor of Delhi on July 9, 2013, five months before the Delhi Assembly elections.The then Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had played a role in appointing Jung, who was serving as Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia University, to the top post in the city administration. He had run the city for nearly one year after the AAP government had quit on February 14, 2014 after a short stint of 49 days.In the statement, his office also said “Jung also thanks the people of Delhi for all their support and affection, especially during the one year of President’s Rule in Delhi, when he got unstinted support from them and which in turn helped run the administration in Delhi smoothly and effortlessly.” Normally governors are appointed for a five-year term but there is no fixed tenure for the Lt Governors.Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said he came to know about Jung’s resignation from the media. “The LG met me day before yesterday but he did not give any indication of submitting his resignation. Another meeting of mine with the LG is scheduled for tomorrow…I have come to know about his resignation only from the media,” he said.Born on January 18, 1951 Jung has done his post graduation in History from Delhi University and later did MA in Social Policy and Planning from London School of Economics, UK. He had joined Indian Administrative Services (IAS) in 1973 and served in Madhya Pradesh government and at several key positions, including as joint secretary in the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, in the central government.A literary enthusiast, Jung had also worked with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies of Oxford University on Energy related issues. BJP leader RPN Singh said, “He did a good job and was performing on ground. He must have thought of something.” Delhi Congress Chief Ajay Maken alleged that Jung was unceremoniously removed and demanded that the Centre make public reasons behind the decision. “Was he removed to bring someone who is close to RSS? Was it done considering the upcoming municipal polls? Jung is an able administrator,” he said.Congress leader PC Chacko said BJP’s attitude towards Governors and LGs may be the reason behind Jung’s decision. “BJP never takes independent stand as per as the offices of Governors and LGs are concerned. BJP wants the Governors and LGs to act as per their political thinking. This is putting many Governors and LGs in difficulties. May be this is behind the resignation,” he said.The AAP alleged Jung worked under the “influence” of Modi dispensation and questioned whether the power tussle between the Centre and Delhi government will continue even after the appointment of a new LG. “Modi government promotes its people. We hope he gets a better posting after this. I am unhappy that his tenure was disgraceful. Now that he has gone, good luck to him. “Najeeb Jung’s behavior was not his. He was under the influence of someone. We hope the next LG gives priority to issues concerning people and does not work under anyone’s influence,” AAP’s Kumar Vishwas said.

Tamil Nadu: Girija Vaidyanathan replaces Rama Mohana Rao as Chief Secretary

Thu, 22 Dec 2016-05:29pm , Chennai , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior IAS officer Girija Vaidyanathan was appointed Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu on Thursday, replacing P Rama Mohana Rao whose residence and office was raided by the Income Tax department on Wednesday. “Dr Girija Vaidyanathan IAS, Additional Chief Secretary/ Commissioner of Land Administration, is transferred and posted as Chief Secretary to Government, vice Dr P Ramamohana Rao,” a Public (Special A) Department order dated December 22 said.The fate of Mohana Rao was not immediately known. Vaidyanathan shall also hold full additional charge of the post of Vigilance Commissioner and Commissioner for Administrative Reforms, previously held by Rao, it said. The Income Tax Department had carried out searches at over a dozen places in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh against the son and some relatives of Rao, including at the latter’s Anna Nagar residence in Chennai, during which they claimed to have seized Rs 18 lakh cash and gold bars.

IAS, DANICS officers meet Rajnath over resolution against ‘misbehaviour’ by Delhi govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>IAS and DANICS Officer associations, which passed a resolution last week against “misbehaviour” by Delhi government political executives, has met Union Minister Rajnath Singh and handed over the resolution to him.”We met the Union Home Minister yesterday and handed over our resolution passed last week against ‘misbehaviour’ by political executives in the Delhi government and other issues,” a member of the associations claimed. Both the associations had expressed “anguish and pain” at the alleged “misbehaviour by political executives” and appealed to the Kejriwal government not to resort to “misdemeanour, unfounded allegations, mis-information” campaign against officers, under any circumstance, according to the resolution which was adopted jointly by the Associations of AGMUT cadre IAS and DANICS officers. Ministry of Home Affairs is the cadre-controlling authority of AGMUT cadre IAS and DANICS officers.In the resolution, IAS officer Association and DANICS (Delhi, Andaman Nicobar Island Civil Services) officer Association had allegedly voiced against “injustices” of any kind by the political executives of Delhi government meted out to the officers working under it. Following the Associations’ move, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had alleged that IAS officers working in the Delhi government were being “threatened” and “provoked” by PMO and Lt Governor to revolt against him.In January, all DANICS officers’ association had gone on a one-day mass leave after the city administration had suspended two of their colleagues.

Bureaucrats provoked by PMO, LG to revolt against Delhi govt: CM Arvind Kejriwal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged that IAS officers in the city were being “threatened” and “provoked” by PMO and Lt Governor to revolt against him, even as he asked the bureaucrats to “fall in line”.He told a press conference that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was using Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and the bureaucrats as “pawns” to take revenge against the AAP government. The AAP leader also took on the IAS Officers Association, which had recently passed a resolution against “misbehaviour” by political executives in the Delhi government, saying “it has turned into a forum that only shields the corrupt and the inefficient.” “They (IAS officers) are being threatened with ACB, police and CBI. They are being provoked to revolt against me. I know who all are taking money. IAS officers are being forced to meet and speak out against the Delhi government. LG is getting it done on the prodding of Prime Minister’s Office (PMO),” he said. When asked what action he would take against the ‘erring’ officers, Kejriwal said they will “fall in line” once the Supreme Court gives power to the elected government or the Anti-Corruption Branch comes under its jurisdiction.The Aam Aadmi Party chief accused the Prime Minister of shooting off from the shoulders of the LG and the bureaucrats, saying, “Modiji does not do politics directly”.Accusing the Health Secretary of not showing up during a recent inspection in LNJP hospital despite the orders, Kejriwal said strong action should be taken against him, so that no officer shows such “insensitivity” in the future.The IAS association has put a blot on the entire IAS service by shielding corrupt and inefficient officers. Have they ever discussed the hurdles put up by the LG on mohalla clinics or unorganised colonies? Have they discussed any issue concerning public interest? “They have nothing to do with the public. They are content with their cars and bungalows. When I had joined the service, it was about serving the country. Stealing and defending it audaciously won’t be tolerated,” Kejriwal, a former IRS officer, said.The AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa- Mizoram and Union Territory)-cadre IAS Officers Association and DANICS Officers Association had jointly passed a resolution on December 13 against “misbehaviour” by political executives in the Delhi government.

Delhi govt procures 125 new ventilators after Kejriwal’s Twitter intervention

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi government has procured 125 new ventilators to add to the existing 80 following reports that Ambu-bags, manual hand-held devices which support breathing, were being used to resuscitate patients due to shortage of ventilators at its hospitals. “Procured 125 new ventilators against existing 80. Installation likely in 15 -20 days,” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote on Twitter today. Kejriwal had yesterday pulled up Health Minister Satyendar Jain over shortage of ventilators in hospitals who in turn sought to shift the blame to Lt Governor Najeeb Jung accusing the Health Secretary “appointed by him” of not reaching hospital to deal with a case of medical negligence.”Satinder, this is unacceptable (sic),” Kejriwal had tweeted.Later, Jain wrote on Twitter, “There is a death in LNH due to negligence. I requested Sec health to reach Hospital with me. He refused to come saying unavailability of car(sic).”According to sources in the Delhi government’s Health Department, Jain had received information about death of a patient on Saturday in Lok Nayak Hospital allegedly because he was not provided with ventilator support.Jain was going to the hospital to check ground reality. He had also asked the Health Secretary to accompany him but the officer had refused saying his car was not available, they said. Jain blamed the L-G, saying he has appointed the “most incompetent” IAS officer as the health secretary. “Shameful. The L-G has appointed the most incompetent, useless n insensitive IAS officer as health secy(Sic),” Jain tweeted.However, the secretary later reached the spot in an auto, sources said.

Maharashtra: Retirement age of govt employees to be raised to 60, committee formed

Fri, 25 Nov 2016-12:07am , Mumbai , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra government set up a committee on Thursday to look into the demand of raising the retirement age of its employees to 60 years from the current 58. Central government employees retire at the age of 60 years, while Maharashtra government staff retire at the age of 58. This has prompted the state government staff to demand increase of their retirement age.In this backdrop, the state government has set up a six-member committee to look into the demand. The panel, headed by retired IAS officer BC Khatua, will have principal secretaries of general administration and finance department. The two other members will be the Directors of Records and Treasury, while Deputy Secretary of the Services section will be its Member-Secretary, a Government Resolution (GR) issued here said.The committee has been asked to submit its report within the next six months, the GR added. There are around 15 lakh employees in more than 35 government departments across the state.

Vigilance conducts raids against senior Kerala IAS officer

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kerala Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau on Friday conducted searches at the residential premises of senior IAS officer Tom Jose here and in Kochi in connection with a disproportionate assets case.Besides two flats owned by Jose, the searches were being conducted at his wife’s house in Irinjalakudu also, Vigilance sources said, adding the action was being taken after obtaining a search warrant. The action was initiated this morning following registration of an FIR against Jose, who is the Principal Labour Secretary, on a complaint by one Payichira Nawaz filed in the Vigilance Special Court at Muvattupuzha in Kochi, they said.Dubbing the searches as a ‘deliberate attempt to humiliate me,” Jose said the allegations, being raised now, were inquired and closed much earlier.All these issues were examined by the Home Secretary much earlier. “I had given my property statement from 2010. There is nothing new.”The Vigilance sources said the ‘house search’ was conducted after it was found that the official had “amassed” assets about 62% more than his income. Vigilance had last month decided to conduct a confidential verification into the allegations raised by the complainant about various assets of Jose, including the purchase of a rubber estate at a cost of about Rs 1.23 crore at Sindudurg in Maharashtra. Jose, who had met Chief Secretary S M Vijayanand yesterday, said, “we had discussed all these issues.” Jose, who is also the President of the Kerala IAS Officers’ Association, said the searches were being conducted as a ‘retaliatory action’ to ‘malign’ him.”The (earlier) enquiry against me was conducted by State Home Secretary, who is a very responsible officer,” he said. Jose said there was nothing “unanatural” in the deal.The searches against Jose come a day after Finance Secretary and Additional Chief Secretary K M Abraham lodged a complaint with Chief Minister Pinaravyi Vijayan that Vigilance carried out an ‘inspection’ at his home here. Abraham has alleged that state Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau Director Jacob Thomas was acting “vengefully” against him.

Shock for retired Babus: Centre decides to withdraw their perks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The lifestyle of over 200 retired bureaucrats is all set to take a tumble and resemble that of a commoner very soon. The Centre has cracked the whip, ordering the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) director generals to withdraw post-retirement perks — such as vehicles, drivers and attendants — of all retired IAS and IPS officers.Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi conveyed the decision in a meeting with the DGs of all CAPFs that he called for on Wednesday to specifically discuss this issue.Sources said that the decision is in sync with the direction from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to cut frills and bring down wasteful expenditure. They, however, refused to name the retired bureaucrats who are availing these perks, saying that they hope that the retired bureaucrats would themselves give it up before the order reaches them.“The numbers of vehicles, drivers and attendants is apparently pretty high as they are being used by over 200 retired bureaucrats. It is making a huge dent on the exchequer at the cost of taxpayers money. It is a dead investment and a vestige of the British era,” said sources.

Zakir Naik’s NGO case: Suspended IAS officer reinstated by govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Senior IAS officer G K Dwivedi, who was suspended after the licence of an NGO of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik to receive foreign grant was renewed by a Home Ministry’s division headed by him, was today reinstated by the government, nearly 50 days after the action. The competent authority has approved for placing the services of Dwivedi, a 1993 batch IAS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs on “compulsory wait” in the Department of Personnel and Training, from October 17, 2016, said an official order.Dwivedi, along with three of his junior officers in Home Ministry, was suspended on September 1 for allegedly facilitating renewal of the license given under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) to Naik’s NGO — Islamic Research Foundation. A departmental inquiry was also instituted by the Home Ministry into the issue. Those suspended included two deputy secretaries and one section officer, official sources said. Today’s action comes after representatives of IAS officers’ association and senior bureaucrats working in the Home Ministry had vouched for his “integrity and hard work” and asked the government to revoke his suspension.The action against Dwivedi was taken after the Home Ministry found that Naik NGO’s licence was renewed by the Ministry’s Foreigners Division headed by him despite several ongoing probes, including one by it. Upset over suspension, 15 Joint Secretaries in Home Ministry conveyed to Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi that action against Dwivedi was “demoralising” and “harsh on an honest officer”. Naik is under probe for allegedly radicalising youths and attracting them towards extremism, the sources said.The central IAS officers’ association had last month also asked the Centre to revoke the suspension of Dwivedi, saying it has led to “demoralisation” in the rank and file of the officers working in the central secretariat. “Dwivedi is known for his integrity and hard work. In his last two years of his tenure he has implemented about 17 important initiatives of the government,” the association had said. There are 4,926 IAS officers working across the country.

Former CEC SY Quraishi set to tie knot with Nepalese poll commissioner Ila Sharma

A year after meeting each other at a conference in Mexico, former chief election commissioner of India, SY Quraishi (69) and current election commissioner of Nepal, Ila Sharma (49), are reportedly set to tie the knot.

Ila Sharma and SY Quraishi. Twitter

Ila Sharma and SY Quraishi. Twitter

Was it a love at first sight? We can’t say for sure, but according to a news report published in The Telegraph, it was nothing sort of a “boy-meets-girl” episode, one where a veteran election officer found more than just politics to share with an election commissioner from a neighbouring country.

An author of several articles and books, including the popular, Social Marketing for Social Change, Quraishi is a popular face in Delhi’s social circle. A 1971-batch IAS officer and alumnus of St Stephen’s College, Quraishi was earlier married to journalist and columnist Humra Quraishi.

Sharma, on the other hand, has been a champion of election reforms in Nepal for decades. According to her LinkedIn profile, the former journalist holds degrees in law, bio-science as well as Sanskrit. According to The Telegraph, Sharma’s husband “Nawaraj Poudel, a police inspector, was killed by Maoists in Western Nepal, 15 years ago, and has two daughters”.

“This is a personal bond between us,” Quraishi told The Telegraph. Though “reluctant” to speak on the subject, according to the Kolkata-based daily there may be the “possibility of a wedding this week”. The report also says that both the bride and groom had faced “mild resistance” from their families about their union.

IAS, IPS, IFoS can now opt for seven year foreign posting, instead of five if permitted by ministers

IAS and IPS officers can now stay on foreign posting for seven-years at a stretch from existing five years with due permission from the ministers concerned.The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has relaxed rules to allow any ministry to further extend the tenure of an officer beyond seven years provided “recruitment rules for such deputation post” are amended accordingly. The move comes after various ministries approached the DoPT for relaxation of the five-year deputation tenure condition citing exigencies, officials said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It has now been decided with the approval of the competent authority that if the administrative ministries or departments and other borrowing organisations wish to retain an officer beyond five years, they may extend the tenure of deputation where absolutely necessary in the public interest, upto a period not exceeding seven years at a stretch, the new rules said.”This shall be done with the approval of the Minister of the borrowing ministry or department concerned and in respect of other organisations with the approval of the Minister of the borrowing ministry or department with which they are administratively concerned, keeping in view the exigencies and subject to fulfilment of all other requirements,” it said.In a directive to all state governments and central government ministries, the DoPT has said that no case of extension shall be referred to it. “In cases where the necessity to have deputation tenures longer than seven years is felt, the concerned administrative ministries, departments or borrowing organisations may amend the relevant recruitment rules of such deputation post accordingly, after following the requisite procedure.”No extension of deputation beyond 7 years is to be allowed unless provided in the relevant recruitment rules of such deputation post. It is reiterated that no case for extension beyond five years shall referred to DoPT,” the communique said.The new rules are applicable to the officers of all India services only–Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS).

Prove you are ‘Indian’: MHA to RTI seeking details of Ishrat Jahan’s probe panel

New Delhi: In a rare instance, the Home Ministry has asked an RTI applicant to prove he is an Indian before disclosing details about the one-member panel looking into the missing files related to the alleged fake encounter case of Ishrat Jahan.

Senior IAS officer BK Prasad, Additional Secretary in the Home Ministry, heads the inquiry panel. The RTI application was filed with the Ministry seeking copies of reports submitted by the panel besides file notings related to the extension in service given to Prasad.

File image of Ishrat Jahan. IBN

File image of Ishrat Jahan. IBN

“In this connection, it is requested that a proof of your Indian citizenship may please be provided,” the Home Ministry said in its reply.

As per Right to Information Act, 2005, only Indian citizens can seek information. Usually, a proof of citizenship is not required to file an application under the transparency law. In rare cases, a public information officer can seek proof of nationality in case he has doubt over citizenship of an applicant.

“It is a way to block free flow of information and transparency by the government. Seeking proof of Indian citizenship must be discouraged. The Home Ministry appears to delay the information sought from it,” said RTI activist Ajay Dubey.

Prasad, who heads the probe panel, is a 1983 batch IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre and was due to retire on 31 May. He has been given two months extension in service till 31 July.

Following an uproar in Parliament in March this year, the Home Ministry had asked Prasad to inquire into the whole matter of missing papers. The panel is yet to submit its report.

19-year-old Ishrat Jahan and three others were killed in an alleged fake encounter in Gujarat in 2004. The Gujarat Police had then said those killed were LeT terrorists and had come to Gujarat to assassinate the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

The probe panel has recently found a copy of a letter written by the then Home Secretary GK Pillai to the then Attorney General late GE Vahanvati from the hard disk of a computer of the Home Ministry, official sources said.

The papers, which disappeared from the Home Ministry, include the copy of an affidavit vetted by the then Attorney General and submitted in the Gujarat High Court in 2009 and the draft of the second affidavit vetted by the AG on which changes were made.

Two letters written by Pillai to Vahanvati and the copy of the draft affidavit have also so far remained untraceable.

Kejriwal seeks information on Modi govt’s consultants and officials

New Delhi: In a fresh salvo against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday urged Home Minister Rajnath Singh to name consultants hired by the Modi government since 2014.

In a hard-hitting response after the home ministry sought information about officials and consultants with the Delhi government, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader hoped similar facts were also being sought from other states.

File image of Arvind Kejriwal. PTI

File image of Arvind Kejriwal. PTI

“You have sought to know the number of IAS posts now held by other officers. As per my knowledge, there won’t be more than two or three such officers.

“I am confident that the central government would have also asked for this information from N Chandrababu Naidu, Vasundhara Raje, Devendra Fadnavis and Shivraj Singh Chouhan as well,” Kejriwal wrote in a letter.

The AAP leader said legal experts had told him the central government had no authority to seek this information from him.

Kejriwal remarked sarcastically that he was happy Modi was taking so much interest in the affairs of the Delhi government.

“The prime minister spends much of his time abroad. But when he is in India, much of his time is consumed on matters related to the Delhi government.”

Kejriwal then sought information about the number of consultants hired by the Modi government in the last two years.

He asked Rajnath Singh to tell him how many officers not from the IAS held posts meant for IAS officers in Uttar Pradesh when he (Rajnath Singh) was its chief minister.

Kejriwal’s letter came in response to a home ministry letter of May seeking details from the Delhi government about officers on deputation.

Kejriwal also asked Rajnath Singh to detail the steps taken by the central government to contain what he said was the deteriorating law and order situation in Delhi.

He said he was “worried” over rising incidents of crime in the capital.

“Day-by-day, incidents of rape are increasing. The law and order situation has been badly hit… There is jungle raj… As Chief Minister, I am worried.

“I request you to tell me what steps have been taken by the central government and the Lt. Governor to contain the situation.”

He asked Rajnath Singh to dedicate at least an hour every day on issues related to law and order in Delhi – till such time Delhi Police was made accountable to the elected government.

Earlier in the day, AAP leader Sanjay Singh accused Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung of “spying for the PMO” and alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wanted to destabilize the Delhi government.

Kejriwal also reiterated the claims made by Sanjay Singh.

“Shocking! LG snooping on CM (and) Ministers,” Kejriwal tweeted.

The remarks by the AAP leaders came after a published report said that Jung had complained to Nripendra Misra, Principal Secretary to Modi, that a railway officer was found working with the Delhi government while on study leave from his department.

Because of the national capital’s unique status, Delhi Police reports to the central government, not to the government headed by Kejriwal.

Kejriwal and his government have been feuding with the central government since taking power in February 2015 over issues of governance.

Kejriwal is pushing for full statehood for Delhi.

Madhya Pradesh IAS officer gets show cause notice over FB comment against PM Modi

IAS officer Ajay Singh Gangwar, shunted out as district collector after he praised Jawaharlal Nehru on Facebook, has been issued a show cause notice by Madhya Pradesh government for allegedly advocating a ‘jankranti’ (people’s revolution) against Prime Minister Narendra Modi through another post.The state government slapped the notice on Gangwar through an e-mail to him yesterday for allegedly ‘liking’ a post against the Prime Minister in January and commenting, “Modi ke khilaf jankranti honi chaia (sic)”, a charge refuted by the 55-year-old IAS officer.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gangwar, who was transferred as deputy secretary, contested the charge stating he had neither posted nor ‘liked’ anything against Modi on his Facebook account on January 23, 2016, for which he had been issued the show cause notice.”If I had posted or ‘liked’ anything on the Facebook on January 23, why so much time was taken to serve show cause notice to me now. I have been asked to reply to the show cause notice in a week. I am going to ask in my reply that my timeline on Facebook doesn’t have any post or ‘like’ against Modi,” Gangwar told PTI today.Before Gangwar was shunted out from Barwani last week, he had posted on Facebook on the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in Hindi, saying “Let me know the mistakes that Nehru should not have committed. Is it his mistake that he prevented all of us from becoming Hindu Talibani Rashtra in 1947?””Is it his mistake to open IIT, ISRO, BARC, IISB, IIM, BHEL steel plant, dams, thermal power? Is it his mistake that he honoured Sarabhai, Homi Jehangir in place of intellectuals like Asaram and Ramdev?,” he allegedly posted on the social networking site.Gangwar maintained that he was transferred over his “Facebook post”.”I have been transferred primarily due to my post on former Prime Minister Nehru,” he claimed.He said the post was his personal opinion and nothing more should be read into it.

Missing files in Ishrat case: senior IAS officers depose

Three key officers handling files in the Home Ministry related to the alleged fake encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan have deposed before an one-man inquiry committee probing the missing documents of the case. The panel of B K Prasad, Additional Secretary in the Home Ministry, recorded the statements of retired IAS officer Deverakonda Diptivilasa and serving senior IAS officers Dhamendra Sharma and Rakesh Singh in the last few days. All the three were handling the key Internal Security-I division in the Home Ministry as Joint Secretary in different periods. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While Diptivilasa is currently serving as non-official Director of public sector Corporation Bank, Sharma is at present with Delhi government. Singh is serving in Karnataka government. Sources said Diptivilasa, Sharma and Singh explained their respective position and reportedly pleaded their ignorance about the missing documents related to the Ishrat Jahan case. The inquiry panel has so far not been able to trace the missing files related to alleged fake encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan. The one-member panel was constituted after Home Minister Rajnath Singh had disclosed in Parliament on March 10 that the files were missing. Following an uproar in Parliament, the ministry had asked Prasad to inquire into the circumstances in which the files related to the case of Ishrat Jahan, who was killed in an alleged fake encounter in Gujarat in 2004, went missing. The papers, which disappeared from the Home Ministry, include the copy of an affidavit vetted by the then Attorney General and submitted in the Gujarat High Court in 2009 and the draft of the second affidavit vetted by the AG on which changes were made. Two letters written by the then Home Secretary G K Pillai to the then Attorney General late G E Vahanvati and the copy of the draft affidavit have also so far remained untraceable.

Common people can ‘kill’ those indulging in murder: Haryana DGP

Haryana DGP K P Singh has kicked up a controversy with his remarks that common people coming across any miscreant trying to outrage the modesty of a woman or indulging in acts of arson or murder have the right to “take his life”.Singh, who was recently made DGP after his predecessor Yashpal Singhal was removed in the wake of severe flak faced by the state police over handling of the Jat stir, said citizens are not aware that they can take action when they come across violations of law.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Common citizens are not aware that this is not just the right which the law gives to policemen only. If the common man is a witness to someone insulting a woman or indulging in acts of arson by burning someone’s property or trying to kill a person then the law gives the right to the common man that he can take the life of the person indulging in such acts,” DGP Singh said.The DGP expressed these views while taking part in a convention about the role of police in Panchayati Raj in Haryana’s Jind yesterday, where BJP MLA Prem Lata Singh who is wife of Union Minister Birender Singh, was among those present. He stressed that while it is the police’s role to maintain law and order, one needs to understand the role of a common man.”It is police’s job to maintain law and order but as common citizens you have to understand your role…,” he said.Notably, sections 96 to 106 of the Indian Penal Code pertain to the law relating to the right of private defence of person and property.The provisions contained in these sections give authority to a person to use necessary force against an assailant or wrong-doer for the purpose of protecting one’s own body and property as also another’s body and property when immediate aid from the state machinery is not readily available.With state police drawing flak over its handling of the Jat quota stir in February, DGP Singh said the Haryana Police will not be a mute spectator if any ruckus is created in the future and strict action will be taken against the culprits.In the backdrop of some Jat leaders renewing the threat to start the agitation afresh over their quota demand, the DGP said some people from outside the state are trying to disturb the peaceful atmosphere but it is the duty of locals to keep away from them.”Agitation is right of public but it is wrong when protesters damage the environment by cutting trees and cause damage to public and private property,” he said.Notably, the Prakash Singh Committee report which was submitted to the Haryana Chief Minister recently found “deliberate negligence” on the part of 90 officials, including IAS and IPS officers.On May 17, the Haryana government had shunted out Additional Chief Secretary (Home) P K Das who was replaced by senior IAS officer Ram Niwas. Prior to that, DGP Singhal was replaced by K P Singh. Thirty people were killed in violence and there was extensive damage to property during the stir whose epicentre was Rohtak district.

Kerala IPS officer Merin Joseph slams article for ‘shameless’ objectification of women

IPS officer Merin Joseph, who is currently the Assistant Superintendent of Police of Munnar, has slammed the media for “shameless” objectification of women. On Sunday, she raised her voice against the propagation of patriarchal structures that reduced a woman’s worth to her face value.In a Facebook post, Merin spoke about an article published by a daily titled, ’10 most beautiful IAS and IPS officers in India’ that demeaned the “bold and brave officers working in the complex bureaucratic system in India”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Though the news article was later taken down, people on social media questioned the mindset wherein the merit of an individual was not taken into consideration.Merin also questioned as to why one would “never see a list of the most handsome males in the IAS and IPS”. Her post had already been shared 357 times and liked by around 2.5K people at last count.The IPS officer was in the news earlier last year when a picture of a junior officer holding an umbrella for her had gone viral on social media. Later in another controversy, she had asked an Ernakulam MLA to take a photograph of her with actor Nivin Pauly.

Major reshuffle in West Bengal ahead of Mamata Banerjee’s swearing-in

In a major reshuffle in West Bengal ahead of the swearing-in of Mamata Banerjee as Chief Minister for the second consecutive term, altogether 30 IAS and IPS officers in the state were transferred on Wednesday. Of the transferred 30 officials, 14 belonged to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and rest from the Indian Police Service (IPS).Some of these officials had been removed by the Election Commission (EC) during the recent Assembly election and now reinstated to their previous positions. Prior to today’s reshuffle, IPS officer Rajeev Kumar was reinstated as Kolkata Police Commissioner on May 21, two days after Banerjee returned to power with a huge mandate. He had been removed by the EC on April 12. Among the 14 IAS officials transferred today, Antara Acharya, who was District Magistrate of East Midnapore, has been made DM of North 24-Parganas district.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>PB Salim was reinstated as DM South 24-Parganas district, while Rashmi Kamal has been asked to take over as DM, East Midnapore district. Smita Pandey, who had been working as District Election Officer, Kolkata South, during the Assembly election, has been sent to compulsory waiting. Four IPS officers Dhrubajyoti Dey, Rashid Munir Khan, Santosh Pandey and Sumanjit Ray have also been sent on compulsory waiting.Surendra Gupta, working as Additional CEO, has been asked to take over as MD in WBIDC. Dibyendu Sarkar, posted as additional CEO, will take over as Commissioner of Panchayat and Rural Development department. Among the IPS officials, the new SPs will be Kunal Aggarwal in Burdwan district, Prasun Bandyopadhyay in Malda district, Arnab Ghosh in South Dinajpur district, Mukesh in Birbhum district, Tanmoy Roy Chowdhury in North 24-Parganas district and Bharati Ghosh in West Midnapore district. Bhaskar Mukherjee, Bandana Varun Chandrasekhar and Gourav Sharma has been appointed as new Deputy Commissioners of Police under Kolkata Police.

Jat agitation: Haryana govt shunts out Home Secretary after report finds ‘deliberate’ negligence on his part

Haryana government on Tuesday shunted out its Additional Chief Secretary (Home), four days after the Prakash Singh Committee report found “deliberate negligence” on part of 90 officials including IAS and IPS officers during the Jat quota agitation in February.Senior IAS officer and Additional Chief Secretary (Home) P K Das has been relieved of the charge and replaced by another senior IAS officer Ram Niwas, an official spokesman said. Niwas, who was ACS (Irrigation), has been posted as Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Jails, Criminal Investigation and Administration of Justice Departments, he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Around 90 officers including IAS and IPS officers were indicted for “deliberate negligence” during the Jat quota agitation by Prakash Singh Committee and adverse comments were made against them in its report submitted to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on May 13.The Committee was appointed on February 25 to inquire into the alleged acts of omission and commission on part of officials of both police and civil administration during the agitation From February 7 to 22.The committee had inquired into the role of officers starting from the rank of Sub-Inspector to SP in police and Naib Tehsildar or duty Magistrate to the rank of Deputy Commissioner in civil administration in the affected districts of Rohtak, Jhajjar, Jind, Hisar, Kaithal, Bhiwani, Sonepat and Panipat.After receiving the report, the Chief Minister had said the Government would examine it and take appropriate action at the earliest. Haryana government on Tuesday also issued transfer and posting orders of five other IAS officers with immediate effect.Shashi Bala Gulati, Additional Chief Secretary of Labour and Employment Department has been posted as Additional Chief Secretary of Women and Child Development Department in place of Dheera Khandelwal, who goes to Information, Public Relations and Languages Department relieving Sanjeev Kaushal of the charge. Mahavir Singh has been given the additional charge of Principal Secretary of Housing Department relieving P Raghavendra Rao of the charge.Anurag Rastogi, Principal Secretary, Environment Monitoring and Coordination Department, has been given additional charge of Principal Secretary, Irrigation Department and A K Singh, Principal Secretary of Technical Education Department and Inquiry Officer, Vigilance has also been given the additional charge of Principal Secretary, Labour and Employment Department in place of Shashi Bala Gulati, the spokesman saidHaryana government had faced strong criticism following the eruption of violence and arson during Jat quota stir in February this year and about a month back appointed K P Singh as the new DGP of Haryana, removing Yashpal Singal from the post.30 people were killed in violence and there was extensive damage to property during the stir.

Cash seizures in Tamil Nadu polls break all records

It has been just five days since the poll notification was issued in Tamil Nadu and the Election Commission has been unearthing stupendous amounts of cash and gold across the state. Since the notification was issued on April 22, Rs 55 crore in cash has been recovered in the state. This is more than the entire cash haul of Rs 38 crore by the EC during the 2011 assembly elections in the state.In addition to cash, gold coins, liquor, dhotis and sarees, meant for distribution to voters have been seized across the state.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Elections in Tamil Nadu are notorious for cash and other goodies being doled to people in a bid to buy their votes.One of the primary reasons for the unprecedented haul is the intensive measures put in place by the EC in Tamil Nadu.”All parties complained to us that cash was being used to buy votes. So we decided to use a two-pronged strategy to curb the menace. The first involves enforcement and the second awareness. For the first time we have Income Tax (IT) teams in each district to monitor cash movement,” said Rajesh Lakhoni, chief electoral officer (CEO) of Tamil Nadu.The enforcement has been strengthened by increasing the number of flying squads in each district and fortifying these squads by posting more officers from the central government in these squads. For the first time, probationary officers from the Indian Police Service (IPS) have been made part of the squads. In addition, special IT teams have been posted in each district. The flying squads and the IT teams are working in unison, which partially explains the exponential rise in seizures in just a few days in the state.”The flying squads actively scour for information about cash, liquor or any other inducement in their respective districts. On getting the information, the squad goes and surrounds the place. The IT team is then informed which then comes to search the place. If anything illegal or unaccounted for is found, it is immediately seized,” explains CEO Lakhoni.These measures seem to have worked wonders till now in a state where officials have in the past found it hard to stem the flow of cash to voters. Figures reveal raids and seizures on almost a daily basis.On April 25, Rs 3.40 crore in cash and 245 gold coins worth several crores were seized from the classroom of a private school in Krishanigiri district, some 300 kms from the state capital Chennai. On the same day officials had recovered Rs 4.8 crore from the house of an AIADMK functionary in the heart of Chennai city. Close to Rs 6 crore were recovered in raids in the western districts of the state like Coimbatore and Karur. The EC has said that its expenditure monitoring teams had further seized almost Rs 36 crore from across Tamil Nadu.While enforcement measures have borne results in curbing cash flows, the EC has also launched an advertising campaign asking Tamils to refrain from accepting cash or any other inducement for their votes. Billboards across Chennai and other cities in Tamil Nadu have been splashed with the message ‘Your vote not for sale’. The campaign has been launched by the EC in both English and Tamil. A similar campaign has also been started on social media.However, many believe that the EC’s measures will not help purge the culture of bribing people for votes in Tamil Nadu. Retired IAS officer MG Devasahayam says, “In Tamil Nadu, economic intelligence is a failure and the IT department is incapable. Even though the EC has the support of IAS, IPS and IRS officers, the information has to come from the lower rung. And most of the lower rung bureaucracy in the state is sold out.”

Delhi HC rejects INLD leader Ajay Chautala’s parole plea

Delhi High Court today dismissed the plea by INLD leader Ajay Chautala, serving a 10-year jail term in teachers’ recruitment scam case, seeking 12 weeks’ parole for medical treatment.Justice Pratibha Rani declined the plea of Ajay whose appeal against the high court verdict convicting him and his father, Haryana’s former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, and sentencing them to 10 years in jail was dismissed by the Supreme Court on August 3 last year.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court which upheld their conviction, however, had said the convicts may move the high court with their pleas seeking relief like parole on health grounds. Advocate Amit Sahni, appearing for Ajay, had sought 12 weeks’ parole for enabling the convict “to get treatment and to maintain social ties”.The high court had on March 5, 2015, upheld the 10 year jail term awarded to Chautalas 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 two IAS officers, the high court had also awarded 10-year prison term to Sher Singh Badshami, then an MLA and political adviser to Chautala senior. The high court, however, had modified the trial court’s order on the quantum of sentence and awarded two-year jail term to 50 other convicts.All the 55 convicts were sentenced under sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 418 (cheating), 467 (forgery), 471 (using forged documents as genuine) of IPC and provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act. Initially, there were 62 accused in the case. While two had died before filing of the charge sheet, four passed away during the trial of the case and one was discharged by the trial court.

CIC turns down plea by Ashok Khemka seeking information on IAS officer’s suspension

New Delhi: The CIC has rejected a plea of whistle blower IAS officer Ashok Khemka seeking compensation from PMO and penalty on an official for delay in disclosing a letter from Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to the then Prime Minister on the suspension of IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal by the Uttar Pradesh government.

Khemka claimed that Prime Minister’s Office did not furnish him the letter from Gandhi to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Nagpal’s suspension within mandatory 30 days, hence the Central Public Information Officer should be penalised.

He claimed the letter was available with various TV channels but he was not furnished a copy.

The PMO stated that the inputs were sought from the office concerned for providing information to the appellant and on receiving inputs from the office a copy of the inputs/note was provided to the appellant.

Ashok Khemka. File photo. PTIAshok Khemka. File photo. PTI

Ashok Khemka. File photo. PTI

It said the matter was also discussed in the Cabinet for changes in the All India Service Rules and hence attracted exemption from the RTI Act.

Khemka said the PMO had never informed him whether the letter in question has ever been a part of the agenda item to be put up before the Cabinet. He stated that the sought-for information was wrongly treated by the respondent as a Cabinet paper and this may set a bad precedent.

Alleging that the delay has caused a loss to him in service matters, he demanded penalty on the CPIO along with a suitable compensation to be granted to him.

However, Chief Information Commissioner R K Mathur said citing High Court orders, “This Commission is of the considered view that the crux of the penalty provisions is that the PIO should have obstructed the supply of the information with intent or should have acted consciously and deliberately in a manner so as to block the provision of the information.”

He said in the instant matter it cannot be said that the PIO acted out of any malice or with intent to deny the information sought by the appellant.

“It would not be appropriate to impose any penalty upon the respondent and award any compensation to the appellant,” he said.

Haryana government transfers 7 IAS officers; Ashok Khemka gets new posting

Senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka on Friday got a new posting as Haryana government issued transfer and posting orders of seven IAS officers with immediate effect.Khemka, Principal Secretary and Director General of Archaeology and Museums has been posted as Principal Secretary of Science and Technology in place of Dhanpat Singh, an official release said hereCommenting on his transfer, Khemka said it has been done after a long delay. “Posting order in my rank of Principal Secretary after a 99-day delay,” Khemka tweeted. The 1991-batch IAS officer was promoted to the rank of Principal Secretary in January by the BJP-led Haryana government.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Ashok Khemka Senior IAS officer Awaiting posting on promotion for last 3 months. Holding a lower rank post is humiliating. Like a Lt Gen forced to hold post of Brigadier (sic).”More positive developmentsNew posting Dhanpat Singh,Anil Malik, Apoorva Kumar Singh, Abhilaksh Likhi, Neerja and A Sreenivas have been assigned new postings along with Ashok Khemka.Dhanpat Singh has been posted as Additional Chief Secretary of Medical Education and Research, relieving Krishna Kumar Khandelwal of the charge.Meanwhile, Anil Malik, Chief Administrator, Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board, has been posted as Principal Secretary, Fisheries, relieving Varinder Singh Kundu of the charge, and he has also been given the charge of Chief Administrator, Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board. Apoorva Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary, Personnel, Training Vigilance and Parliamentary Affairs, Director General, Training (Ex-officio) and Inquiry Officer, Vigilance has been posted as Principal Secretary, Technical Education, relieving Dheera Khandewal of the charge.
ALSO READ Ashok Khemka promoted to Principal Secy to Haryana GovtAbhilaksh Likhi, Director General and Principal Secretary, Information, Public Relations and Cultural Affairs, Languages and Grievances and Hospitality, has been posted as Principal Secretary, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, relieving Varinder Singh Kundu of the charge. In addition, he will also hold the charge of Director General and Principal Secretary, Information, Public Relations and Cultural Affairs, Languages and Grievances and Hospitality.Neerja, who had been awaiting orders of posting, has been posted as Secretary, Personnel, Training, Vigilance and Parliamentary Affairs. A Sreenivas has been posted as Managing Director, Haryana Electronics Development Corporation (HARTRON), relieving Vijayendra Kumar of the charge, and as Director, Supplies and Disposals, in addition, against a vacant post.

PM Modi’s nod needed to suspend IAS officers working with Centre

The approval of the Prime Minister is needed to suspend IAS officers working under central government, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Wednesday.In a written reply to Lok Sabha, he said IAS officers working under central government shall only be suspended on the recommendations of the Central Review Committee with the approval of Minister-in-Charge, Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). The Prime Minister is in charge of Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, under which DoPT comes.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As soon as an official of all-India services – IAS, IPS and IFoS – is placed under suspension or deemed to have been placed under suspension, information in this regard shall be communicated by the concerned state government to the Centre expeditiously and within 48 hours, Singh, who is the Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, said. The three-member Central Review Committee is at present, headed by Secretary in DoPT and has Establishment Officer and another Secretary of concerned ministry, as its members.

A tale of three ‘suicides’: Politicians, media needs to handle deaths with sensitivity

When 34-year-old DK Ravi, an additional commissioner of Commercial Tax (Enforcement) in Bengaluru was found hanging on 16 March, 2015 at his residence, the alleged suicide sparked off a political furore. It was the sand and real estate mafia which killed him, shrieked politicians in the opposition parties in Karnataka. The Chief Minister must resign, they demanded.

Barely a few days after the young life was snuffed out, rumours began to circulate of a love affair, at times one-sided and at times jilted, of DK Ravi with a batchmate, another IAS officer. Finally the case was handed over to the CBI on 23 March, as a raucous opposition and an even more strident media hollered for justice.

On the western coast, in 2010, a 26-year-old IAS officer Raja Murugan was found hanging from a tree outside his residence in Daman. He too was of the same 2009 batch as was DK Ravi. At the time, the Chief of Police of Daman had told reporters – “Primarily, it seems family problems may be the reason for the suicide,” stated RP Mina.

DK Ravi. File photo. PTIDK Ravi. File photo. PTI

DK Ravi. File photo. PTI

Almost a year after DK Ravi’s death, yet another young officer of the 2009 batch allegedly took his own life. N Harish, 32 years old, was found dead in his quarters at Egmore, Chennai on 18 February. Sources within the police department say that liquor bottles were strewn around, indicating that he was likely inebriated before his death.

Chief Ministerial hopeful and the scion of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MK Stalin announced on his Facebook page that the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government was to be blamed for a string of what he called “mysterious deaths” of officials in the state. “When all his other batchmates had been promoted to the rank of SP, this 2009 batch officer Harish alone did not receive a promotion,” stated Stalin. “Other IPS officers themselves are wondering why Harish alone was not promoted.”

The Aftermath

While N Harish’s alleged suicide did not see the kind of national media and political frenzy as in DK Ravi’s case, accusations are inherent in the political rhetoric. Harish’s batchmates and colleagues though cast some light on what went on in his life for a number of years. “Harish had a lot of problems even during his NPA (National Police Academy) days,” said a police officer who took him under his wing in Tamil Nadu. “He was depressed, bordering on insubordination. Imagine a subordinate who doesn’t speak to you, doesn’t listen to orders and is absent most of the time,” said the officer. Even then, say his colleagues, he was not hassled by his seniors. One report was sent up the hierarchy about Harish’s erratic ways and chronic absenteeism. No action was taken on that either.

“Harish failed exams even at the NPA and recently failed his regional language paper, due to which he was not promoted,” said another friend of Harish’s. A departmental inquiry launched into a complaint of alleged misbehavior with a woman constable has been pending for a couple of years now.

As the news broke, media reports, based on anonymous WhatsApp forwards began to point the finger of accusation at a former Director General of Police, K Ramanujam, as being responsible for harassing the young officer and denying him a promotion. On 19 February, Ramanujam issued a response via WhatsApp questioning the allegations. “It is sad that Harish was not able to get promotion, but it was because he did not pass the test in Tamil language,” stated Ramanujam. “One has to clear the test for getting senior scale in this cadre. I had nothing against him personally. I retired more than a year back and I do not know whether he cleared the examination or not afterwards.” This response was subsequently not reported by the media which had reported the allegations in the anonymous WhatsApp forwards.

The tragic twist in this tale perhaps is that the initial postmortem reports now appear to show that Harish likely choked to death on food particles while in a drunken state.

“The media did not realize or maybe did not bother that unsubstantiated allegations like this will not just sully reputations of individuals but also cause legal issues for them,” said a senior journalist in Tamil Nadu who did not wish to be named. “It is the job of journalists to verify before making any information public. That was not done at all in this case,” he said.

Neither was this done in another “suicide or murder” case that hogged the headlines in September 2015. This case was that of young policewoman Vishnupriya who allegedly ended her life while in the midst of investigations of a high profile murder case. The CB-CID which is probing the suicide-murder theory confirms that the young officer in fact committed suicide. The reason, they say, is likely to be a combination of events – work pressure, stress and possibly a love affair gone wrong. In any case, it does not appear to be the state’s conspiracy that it was originally made out to be by political parties and the media alike, and the unwarranted baying for blood of Vishnupriya’s senior officers.

DK Ravi’s case was probably even more tragic. His batchmate, who was alleged to have rejected his displays of affection towards her, continues to be spoken of poorly. This, despite the facts of the case being that Ravi committed suicide due to his inability to repay loans taken for a real estate project that he was personally dabbling in. Even the tragic love theory has now been proven wrong.

“It is really very sad for the lady IAS officer,” said a senior journalist in Bangalore. “She is a fantastic worker and has a great track record. But now she is spoken of derogatorily by politicians and other bureaucrats. It is very unfair,” he said.

Politicians and the media would do well to focus on the lack of support for civil servants suffering from mental health issues. Tamil Nadu has been amongst the top three ranks in the list of states with highest suicide rates for the past four years. Chennai has topped the suicide charts for the past four years, amongst all metros in the country.

State governments must be prodded into implementing projects to address the issues of stress and mental health amongst civil servants and the police force. A pilot project conducted by the Tamil Nadu police in Madurai district in 2013 to provide counselling and techniques to cope with stress in policemen and their families showed that “56% of the police personnel, below the rank of sub-inspector, who participated in the five weeks training, suffered emotional disturbances. 46 per cent of them had disorders like insomania, hypertension or diabetes. 53 per cent of them experienced high level of stress,” according to the report. This report though recommended for implementation across the state, gathers dust in the seat of power, Fort St George.

In the heat and dust of elections round the corner, politicians too might be considerate in checking facts thoroughly before pronouncing statements and judgments at will. As for the media, truth must be the ultimate goal. Burying it under a cacophony of sensationalism is not an option.

Make in India week: Where are the foreign delegates?

As the Make in India week moved to the second day on Sunday, not many foreign delegates were visible.A few countries like Japan and Thailand are holding special exhibitions, but less than 1% of the total attendees are from abroad. This has left many in disappointment. “Even among Indian delegates, almost 70% hail from Maharashtra. I fail to understand why this event was publicised as an international one,” said a consultant.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Maharashtra government has earlier pegged the number of foreign firms at 1,000 from over 60 countries. However, those who attended the event on Saturday and Sunday said they could hardly spot any foreign delegate in exhibition stalls, discussion forums or even during lunch and dinner.”The government’s earlier claim has given us an impression that the week is mainly going to be a place to meet global investors. We were looking forward to have some international collaborations through this event. But there seems to be a lukewarm response from foreign firms. Even Vibrant Gujarat attracts more foreign firms,” said a textile industrialist who attends Vibrant Gujarat every year.Even heads of states were very few. Initially, the government expected heads of states from more than 25 countries, a figure which was lowered to 15 early this month. Finally, it came down to 4-5.While the state is eyeing investments of Rs4-5 lakh crore, big-ticket announcements are missing. Some memoranda of understandings (MoUs), like the one with Raymond, which were announced during the week, have been there for quite sometime, said an IAS official.A government official claimed that MoUs to the tune of Rs6,000 crore were signed in the textile sector ahead of the week.He even mentioned that 100 projects would come up across the state. However, textile minister Chandrakant Patil was clueless about it when this reporter sought his views on the ‘flooding’ proposals for his ministries.

Government may address armed force’s hardship allowance concerns on 7th pay commission

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday told reporters on the sidelines of the International Fleet review in Vishakapatnam that he had an interaction with the three service chiefs – of Army, Navy and the Air force- over the concerns on recommendations of the seventh pay commission. He said the ministry has sought a fresh analysis of those concerns raised by them.The prominent issues are of disparity in risk and hardship allowance recommended by the seventh pay commission and also the disability pension. Moreover, the death of 10 soldiers of the Indian Army at Siachen last week after their post was hit by an avalanche has brought the issue of armed force’s entitlement under the allowance to the fore.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Forces that find it discriminating to have lesser entitlements as against their civilian counterparts as recommended by the latest pay commission, have demanded re-evaluation of the prescribed ‘Hardship Matrix’ for deciding allowances.While Rs31,000 is the prescribed hardship allowance per month for officers and Rs 21,000 per month for jawans posted at Siachen, the pay commission recommended new salary slabs will work out the tough area allowance for IPS and IAS officers to be nearly Rs 55,000. The same for other civilian officer ranks will be Rs 30,000, even if their postings are in a lesser risky areas than Siachen.In a meeting with Parrikar last week, the service chiefs raised this issue besides the seventh pay commission’s report questioning the increase in the number of disability pension claims. A senior army official at the service’s headquarters here argued that no logic can justify lesser hardship allowances to armed forces posted at a glacier in comparison to a civilian officer posted in a place like Srinagar or Andaman Nicobar islands.

Boost for Swachh Bharat: Former bureaucrat appointed secretary MoDW and Sanitation

New Delhi: In a rare case, former IAS officer and well known sanitation specialist Parameswaran Iyer was on Wednesday appointed as secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, which plays a key role in the government’s ambitious Swachh Bharat initiative.

The Swachh Bharat logo. Screengrab from MoDWS websiteThe Swachh Bharat logo. Screengrab from MoDWS website

The Swachh Bharat logo. Screengrab from MoDWS website

It is probably for the first time that a former bureaucrat has been appointed to the post in the Ministry instead of a serving IAS officer.

The Appointments Committee of Cabinet has approved the appointment of Iyer, who had taken voluntary retirement from Indian Administrative Service, on contract for a period two years, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.

The mandate of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation is to provide technical and financial assistance to the states for accelerating rural sanitation coverage, among others.

The 56-year-old Iyer, a 1981 batch IAS officer hailing from Tamil Nadu had taken voluntary retirement in 2009. He worked as Senior Rural Water Sanitation Specialist at the United Nations between April 1998 and February 2006.

Iyer is known as leading water and sanitation specialist worldwide.

In another order, senior IAS officer Anil Kumar Agarwal has been appointed Secretary, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST). Agarwal, a 1981 batch IAS officer of West Bengal cadre, is currently Secretary in the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA).

The Centre had last month decided to merge the MOIA with the External Affairs Ministry.

Kamal Chowdhery has been appointed as Managing Director of National Cooperative Consumer’s Federation of India Limited (NCCF), apex body of consumer cooperative societies in the country, under the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Chowdhery, a 1991 batch officer of Indian Defence Accounts Service, has been appointed for a period of five years.

AK Poddar has been appointed Chief Vigilance Officer, who acts as a distant arm of Central Vigilance Commission, of Container Corporation of India Ltd (Concor).

Poddar, a 1987 batch officer of Indian Postal Service, has been appointed for two years.

The ACC has approved appointment of IPS officer Anand Kumar as Special Director in Intelligence Bureau.

PTI

IPS, IRS officers to be appointed as Secretary, Additional Secretary

In good news for non-IAS Group A bureaucrats, the Centre has set in motion the process of empanelling IPS and IRS officers for appointment as secretaries and additional secretaries in different ministries.The posts of secretaries and additional secretaries are usually occupied by IAS officers.Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha has written to secretaries of central government ministries and cadre- controlling authorities seeking nomination of officers for these posts.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It is proposed to draw up panels of IPS, IFoS and officers belonging to other Group A services for appointment at the level of Secretary and Additional Secretary in the government of India,” Sinha said in the letter.The move will bring some cheer to officers of Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Forest Service (IFoS), Indian Revenue Service (IRS) and Indian Information Service (IIS), among others. They have been objecting to service-related benefits enjoyed by those in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).A confederation representing these officers has also petitioned the Seventh Central Pay Commission seeking parity with IAS officers. The pay panel was divided on the issue of financial and career-related edge to IAS officers in its report submitted to the government in November.Sinha said those officers who have completed a minimum of 30 years of service are eligible for empanelment as secretary, whereas for additional secretary the requirement is a minimum 25 years of service.All concerned ministries and cadre-controlling authorities (like Finance Ministry for IRS, Home Ministry for IPS and Environment Ministry for IFoS) have been asked to send their recommendations by February 29 along with vigilance clearance from Central Vigilance Commission

UP education department boss prescribes his own book on values

Students of class 9 to 12 in UP’s government schools will now also learn about legal and constitutional rights, and values in the 2016-17 session. The addition of the book “Learning rights and values” to the secondary education curriculum can’t be welcomed enough in a state often in the news for the denial of the same. But for the fact that the author, IAS officer Jitendra Kumar, himself heads the secondary education department.The fact that he has been in the soup due to serious charges has only added fuel to fire in the controversy over the new book released recently by UP Governor Ram Naik. However, the UP Board for Secondary Education has now developed cold feet and put the book on hold. The book, in Hindi and English, has three co-authors including Luv Verma (also an IAS officer), Father Donald D’souza, and Sayyed Zulfi of Mindshare, the publishers.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For his part, Jitendra Kumar admits that the book is meant for students of class 9 to 12 but won’t be prescribed in schools. “I did not write it to earn money. In fact, I would not be taking any royalty from the publishers,” he said.”I am aware of the matter, and it has been settled now,” said UP chief secretary Alok Ranjan, adding: “Bureaucrats should maintain complete probity and transparency to avoid controversy or criticism.”Kumar has been a controversial officer ever since his posting in the transport department during the previous Mayawati regime when his name figured in the security-enabled vehicle number plate deal. There were allegations of favoritism in awarding the contract running into hundreds of crores, and Kumar got a severe lashing from the High Court during the hearing on a PIL on the matter. As principal secretary, education, too he was suspended for bungling the laptop distribution scheme of the Akhilesh Yadav government.The UP Secondary Education Board also seems to have developed cold feet now. “The book is not part of our syllabus,” says board director Amarnath Verma. “It was never prescribed for inclusion in the curriculum,” he insists.However, education department officers confirm that at the book release by the Governor, it was announced that it would be part of the syllabus in the 2016-17 session. The publishers, Mindshare, had also announced the same soon after the release function.The officer’s alleged attempt to foist his own book on students has been widely criticised by bureaucrats. “Jitendra Kumar is hardly qualified to teach values,” says IAS officer SP Singh, a former principal secretary, secondary education, who retired recently.

‘Hooliganism by bureaucrats will not be tolerated’: Kejriwal sends out stern message

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Kejri takes on bureaucrats, calls them B team of BJP

Are DANICS (Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service) and IAS officers’ associations B teams of BJP? So says Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who also took to Twitter to condemn officials’ mass-leave protest on Thursday as a ‘conspiracy’ to fail his government’s ambitious odd-even car formula.”People will be v happy if these officers go on long leave. Govt ready to give paid leave. Governance will become honest, smooth n efficient,” he tweeted.The statements have not gone down well with the officers, with insiders saying that the AAP government’s actions have disappointed them so much that they will strictly ‘work-to-rule’ from Friday, when they resume office.Around 200 DANICS-cadre officials had gone on a day-long mass leave on Thursday, and over 70 IAS officials kept off work from 9am to 2pm, to protest AAP government’s suspension orders on two special secretaries – Yashpal Garg and Subhash Chandra. The officials had refused to sign a file pertaining to the revision of pay scales of public prosecutors of the Delhi home department, saying the matter was under lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung.The ministry of home affairs (MHA), however, on Thursday, declared the orders as null and void.Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal warned agitating officers, saying the government is exploring all options against officers who went on leave on Thursday. “Time has come to replace bureaucrats wid professionals and sector experts. Infuse fresh energy n ideas in governance,” he tweeted.Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said, “The mass leave protest is part of a conspiracy so that we fail to implement the scheme. The PMO and the LG office were in direct contact with DANICS officials when they were holding a meeting yesterday.”Sisodia also said that the officers are not indispensable as he tweeted, “Why we need so many IAS & DANICS officers in govt when there is so much fresh dedicated professional talent available in Delhi? This govt is ready to work with handful of honest and dedicated officers,” adding that nothing will change even if the officers go on a six-month leave.”Professional & Dynamic youth can better develop Delhi. They should b given chance to work on posts which require professional expertise,” he tweeted.Sources from the bureaucracy told dna: “If the government alleges they are acting for the BJP, then let that be the case. “It was highly unfair on the government’s part to say that we are acting as team B of BJP. We are officers and do not belong to any party,” a senior bureaucrat told dna.”If they think that the mass-leave protest on Thursday was a conspiracy to derail the odd-even formula from January 1, then why did the home minister (Satyendra Jain) issue sudden suspension orders just now? Should he have not waited for the odd-even plan to get over on January 15 and then held a meeting with the LG to sort out the matter?” the official asked.The officials said the allegation of them working with the BJP will stay with them. “The two officers had acted as per the rules and the Delhi home secretary was bypassed in the process. If they don’t need us, why do they allege that we are conspiring?” an official said, adding that blaming the Delhi bureaucrats won’t help the cause and will only worsen the matter.Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS) are selected through civil service exams conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and the Union Home Ministry is their cadre-controlling authority.Meanwhile, Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay said the AAP government is harassing officials and sought home minister Satyendar Jain’s resignation over the issue. “The suspension of two special secretaries is completely a wrong administrative decision,” he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

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