In a much belated and commented upon move, Modi sarkar finally named K.V. Chowdhury as Central Vigilance Commissioner and Vijay Sharma as chief information commissioner. The vacant post of director-general of the Defence Research and Development Organisation has also now been filled with the appointment of S. Christopher. But, strangely, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is without a full-time head.
The hopefuls include information and broadcasting secretary Bimal Julka, culture secretary Ravindra Singh and several former secretaries. The government clearly has not been able to make up its mind and, instead, has given temporary charge of the NHAI to secretary road transport Vijay Chhibber. But, apparently, this does not help the NHAI since relations between the organisation and the ministry have not been particularly cordial in recent times. Sources say that though the competent Mr Chhibber is anchoring the organisation, stop-gap arrangements are not exactly the way forward for a key organisation like the NHAI.
OFF THE HOOK
Karnataka government has let five senior officials off the hook. The babus include three state administrative service (KAS) officers, Shashidhar Bagali, S.S. Somanal and Siddappa Kullolli, Indian Forest service Sudhanshu Shekhar and Indian Administrative Service officer K.R. Sundar, former secretary of the Karnataka Public Service Commission. The three KAS babus were accused of abetting illegal sand mining in their respective areas while Mr Sundar was indicted for irregularities in recruitment of officers. The action against them was recommended by the state Lokayukta and the state criminal investigation department (CID) after they faced departmental inquiries. Observers believe that the state’s fight against corruption in government will remain an uphill task....