When a senior-most official makes a tongue-in-cheek remark against a strong team of workforce that toil day in and day out to fight a calamity, the government is sure to find itself in an embarrassing situation. That is exactly what happened in Andhra Pradesh, when health and family commissioner Katamaneni Bhaskar made satirical remarks and showed an offensive attitude towards healthcare workers who are in the forefront of fighting Covid-19 pandemic.
When the caseload peaked during the second wave, putting a lot of pressure on healthcare workers from district level to paramedics and to ANMs and Asha workers, the official pulled them up, calling them useless and narrating the story of a dog and a donkey reversing their nature of work. In fact, a series of apps he introduced created a lot of confusion among health workers and some of those apps even failed to serve the very purpose.
Vexed with his vitriolic attitude, healthcare workers demanded transfer of the official from the health department.
Sensing trouble, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy himself intervened and directed the official to maintain decency and cajole the healthcare staff as everyone is working under immense pressure during the unprecedented Covid crisis. Hope the official learns a lesson or may face the axe!
Jobless youth now have a ray of hope
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao might have delayed filling up of vacant posts in the state, but when he finally picked up an efficient official - senior bureaucrat Janardhan Reddy – as chairman of the Public Service Commission, millions of jobless youths turned hopeful of a bright future.
A low-profile officer, Janardhan Reddy, who is currently heading the agriculture department, is a rare breed among babus with high integrity and down-to-earth approach. Public Service Commission plays a crucial role in holding examinations and interviews for aspirants of thousands of government posts. There were allegations of malpractices and bias in the past against some members of commission.
The Chief Minister who has grandiose plans of filling more than 50,000 government posts picked up Janardhan Reddy for the job. The bureaucrat served more in urban management in different posts and is known for reforms that helped improve public interface. His small idea of switching on and off streetlights right on time proved big help to power utilities and local bodies who could save hundreds of crores of rupees.
Wish the new chairman helps job aspirants in the state to realise their long-cherished dreams!
When social media sticks nose into CS’ snack
A popular jingle in a fruit jam commercial in the ‘90s shows middle-aged and old people expressing their love for fruit jam with their voices dubbed by kids. They fight among themselves, cry if someone takes it away and feel happy on returning it. Explaining the theme of the jingle, the director says people, irrespective of age, feel like a kid when they see food they like.
It could be such an irresistible temptation or deep hunger after having a marathon review on Covid containment operations, chief secretary Somesh Kumar for a moment put his entire focus on biting a biscuit and savouring its taste at a recent press conference.
The social media which made a hue and cry about the chief secretary taking pleasure in eating the cookies forgot or ignored some facts. It is not the chief secretary’s fault if the reporter is more concerned about increasing Covid deaths and bombarded him with questions without waiting for the former to finish his biscuit. Yet, the netizens felt that situation would have been much better, had the same focus was put on Covid containment.
Poor Somesh was trolled even for wiping biscuit powder from his mouth and nose unmindful of the press conference going live. The netizens and reporters questioned what message the chief secretary wanted to convey by making gestures like rubbing his nose at a time when the entire world of medical science attributed the spread of virus to touching nose, eyes or lips. What senseless nose-pokers!
One-upmanship in corridors of power
A top bureaucrat, also a close aide of a top politician, was very keen not only to protect the interests of his political bosses but also silence his colleagues. The bureaucrat gets severely offended if his subordinate posts any development in his respective department through any of the social media platforms. The official would just call for an emergency meeting early in the morning, make his colleague sit outside his office for at least five hours just to inform the bureaucrat to come on the next day at the same time. Many officers faced the ire of the bureaucrat and only through his secretary learnt that, "sir was very angry about your social media post pertaining to a development in your department". This made all bureaucrats in state to be very inactive in public platforms fearing the ire of the top official.