Dilli Ka Babu: Rajan's sound advice

There were rumours that the government is planning to remove Dr Rajan.

Rajan’s sound advice

When Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan speaks, the government listens. Even with news trickling in that Dr Rajan may now be staring at the exit door, he’s listened to, though he has stirred controversy with his remarks, which are at variance with the views of the ministry of finance. It’s well known that the difference of opinion is on the extent of power vested with the RBI governor and who has the final word on matters of monetary policy.

Occasionally, there were rumours that the government is planning to remove Dr Rajan, but he survived, perhaps because the government doesn’t have a more capable person than the plain-speaking Dr Rajan to helm the RBI and front India globally. Delivering the annual Y.B. Chavan Memorial Lecture, Dr Raghuram Rajan had some suggestions for babus to help them discharge their duties better. He urged them to work for one day without assistants, to sensitise themselves to what the aam aadmi experiences while interacting with babus.

Apparently, Dr Rajan is already mulling a plan to introduce a similar system within the RBI where even senior officials will have to do simple tasks to reacquaint themselves with how to serve the public better. Sound stuff. But it remains to be seen whether babus are as enthusiastic as Dr Rajan about doing lowly work!

A few good men

Apart from battling anti-incumbency in a state headed for polls next year, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has also been countering criticism of his administration with the help of a group of IAS officers. Sources say that he is heavily dependent on 1988-batch IAS officer Navneet Sehgal, his principal secretary for information and public relations. Other officers in Mr Yadav’s charmed circle are Sanjay Agarwal, principal secretary of power, Raj Shekhar, P.S. Sharma, Kinjal Singh (DM Faizabad), as well as IPS officers Shalabh Mathur and Kamal Saxena who are trying to make an impact.

The young chief minister is also dogged by the deeds of corrupt officials like former principal secretary (appointments) Rajiv Kumar who was sent to jail recently after conviction by a CBI court for his involvement in a land allotment scandal. Another IAS officer, Akhand Pratap Singh, who was named chief secretary by the party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav also had to quit following corruption charges. Will the good work of these “few good men” help Akhilesh Yadav prevail at the hustings?

Transfer blues

GThe Karnataka government does not seem to believe in its own policies. Though beleaguered chief minister Siddaramaiah had once announced that senior babus will not be transferred for at least two years in a post, his government has been merrily flouting this rule, transferring babus, and, in some cases, repeatedly. Naturally, this is creating resentment among the babus. Apparently, the average tenure of babus in the state is around 16 months or even less.

The recent transfer of two senior IAS officers, T.M. Vijay Bhaskar and G. Kumar Naik, has once again exposed the government’s vague transfer policy. Sources say that Mr Naik has been transferred within less than a year of becoming commissioner of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, while for Mr Bhaskar, who was in charge of urban development, it’s his third transfer within a year!

Other senior babus who have faced the ignominy of frequent transfers include Rashmi V. Mahesh, Shalini Rajneesh, Mahendra Jain, Harsha Gupta and Maheshwar Rao, among others. Now babus, sources say, are planning to pressure the government to form a special body for transfers, as suggested by the Supreme Court back in 2013.

( Source : Columnist )
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