Dilip Cherian | CSS babus protest delayed promotions

The DoPT secretary P. K Tripathi has assured a delegation of CSS officers that the department is fast-tracking the issue of promotions

It was a rare sight in recent years — more than 1,000 babus protesting outside the department of personnel and training (DoPT) at North Block over caste-based reservations in promotions. The officers from the Central Secretariat Service (CSS), who are the functionary staff in ministries, the Central Secretariat and other government offices, claim that the reservation issue has been dragging on in the Supreme Court for six years, and several babus had retired from service without getting their last promotions. Others have seen their careers stall due to the prolonged litigation

The DoPT secretary P. K Tripathi however has assured a delegation of CSS officers that the department is fast-tracking the issue of promotions. Those in the know say that it is a departmental conflict in which one faction of CSS babus claiming that the Constitution gives states the right to give reservation in promotion. But now the department has reportedly urged the attorney general to pursue the case urgently in the apex court. Whichever way it goes, it will affect some 12,000 CSS officials.

Will Foreign Secy Shringla get an extension?

There is a growing buzz in the ministry of external affairs (MEA) that in view of the international situation the government could give an extension to foreign secretary Harsh Shringla and India’s permanent secretary to the UN, T.S. Tirumurti, both of whom are slated to retire in April. So even though the MEA officials are speculating about the likely successors to these diplomats, the view is growing that, for now, the government is quite likely to favour continuity in the current circumstances, than bring in new faces.

However, an extension to either or both diplomats would stymie the chances of at least half-a-dozen senior IFS officers who are in line for consideration to replace Shringla and Tirumurti. But with external affairs minister S. Jaishankar is keeping his cards close, it’s hard to say what course he will choose.

Meanwhile, the MEA has announced the elevation of Ausaf Sayeed, ambassador to Saudi Arabia, to the rank of secretary. He will now look after the consular, passport and visa division, besides handling West Asia and North Africa. He will replace Sanjay Bhattacharya who now heads to Switzerland as India’s new ambassador.

Mayors to have their say in Haryana babus’ ACRs IAS officers in Haryana are unlikely to be pleased with the new move in which mayors and zila parishad chiefs can now have a say in writing the annual confidential reports (ACRs) of IAS and HCS officers. It is certainly a major departure from the past.

Sources have informed DKB that reporting authorities for the CEOs of zila parishads and Commissioners of municipal corporations will consult mayors and zila parishad chairpersons for writing the ACRs of babus. Usually, junior IAS officers and mid-level and senior HCS officers are appointed commissioners of municipal corporations and CEOs of zila parishads.

Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, we are told, asserts that the new system of writing ACRs will lead to better accountability in the functioning of babus at the grassroots level. But knowing how sensitive babus are to any disruption in the way they function, such noble intentions may not have the desired outcome. Or will it?

Let us know your thoughts.

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