Transparency and weeding out corruption is a big theme with the Modi sarkar, and it has doggedly pursued this goal despite pushback from the babus.
Last year, the government endorsed lists of dozens of officers of the IRS and IT services accused of corruption, sexual harassment and other charges.
The campaign continues
Now, as part of weeding out inefficient and corrupt babus, the Modi sarkar has again reiterated that Central ministries and departments must constantly update the list of officers who have completed 30 years of service.
Besides, the register of officers with “doubtful integrity” will be regularly reviewed and updated to help identify babus who can be prematurely retired from service. Sources say that the department of personnel and training (DoPT) issued a letter to this effect on August 28.
Apparently, the names of such officers will be forwarded to the respective review committees on a routine basis.
Cases about the IAS, IPS, IFS and Railway cadre babus will be considered by the respective secretary of DoPT, ministry of home affairs, ministry of external affairs and Central Railway Board, respectively.
Will corrupt babus get the message?
CBDT chief gets extension
The chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Pramod Chandra Mody, got his term extended by six months ending February 28, 2021.
A retired 1982-batch Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer, Mody was slated to retire on August 31. His predecessor Sushil Chandra (now Election Commissioner) too got an extension in May 2017, which was considered a rare exception at that time.
Now with Mody’s continued tenure, it seems to have become a norm.
The virtually last-minute announcement has finally ended the hectic speculation in babu circles about the government’s plans. Since the beginning of August, the Board has been led by two retired IRS officers, Mody and member Sushil Kumar Gupta.
According to sources, there was a keen tussle between the two seniormost babus for the top slot. Finally, it appears that the government decided to go with a tried and tested hand than opt for a new face.
Mody’s extension also puts paid to the hopes of Seema Khorana Patra and Prabhash Shankar who were next in line in seniority to have a go at the top post.
Return of the prodigal?
Shah Faesal’s brush with politics in Jammu & Kashmir turned out to be short-lived. The erstwhile IAS topper had made headlines last year when he announced he was quitting the civil service to protest the situation in Kashmir.
He founded a political party Jammu & Kashmir People’s Movement (JKPM). Now, more than a year later, he has left his own party and indicated that he might return to the service.
According to sources, the government has not accepted his resignation of January 2019, pending investigation into some of his posts on social media.
Apparently, before quitting politics Faesal contacted top officials in the home ministry, and if we believe the rumours, even national security advisor Ajit Doval, before announcing his decision.
Those in the know say that since the government has not accepted his resignation, the door is open for his re-entry into the IAS. However, he will have to withdraw his resignation first.
The website of the department of personnel and training (DoPT) still shows Faesal as a serving officer, even though he plunged into politics for a year and a half. Since his resignation has not been processed,
Faesal can still withdraw his resignation. But more likely the final say in this matter may be a political one than an administrative decision.
Babus must be ‘karmayogis’
The Modi sarkar has now added “Karmayogi” to the government’s expanding lexicon of buzzwords. The Union Cabinet has given its approval to “Mission Karmayogi”, a skill-building programme for civil servants.
It has been touted as the “biggest human resource development reform in the government”.
According to C. Chandramouli, secretary, Department of Personnel and Training, babus will have to be “imaginative and progressive, energetic and enabling, transparent and tech enabled, and constructive and creative” to face modern challenges.
But, all that it sounds like is a fancier word for good old “training”.
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