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IAS cut off from the mainstream

A J. PHILIP’s article, “In their own service: Pay and perks for the heaven-born” (May 14), was interesting. An IAS officer never gets the chance to live or know the life of a common man in remote villages or towns. Parents look after the needs of these lucky ones before they are selected and, once recruited, they will only sign the forms filled up by their PAs. A phone call will ensure the kid’s admission to the best school. Shortages and delays are a figment of imagination of the habitual complainants.

“Attempts to purge the system of corruption” have failed because there is, as per records, no corruption at administrative and political levels. Whenever a minister wishes to favour a person with a posting or an order for supply of materials to the government departments, the Secretary verbally conveys the minister’s wishes to the Head of Department who prepares and signs the proposals. The Secretary merely forwards the proposals for approval and returns the same for orders. No wonder, in the event of an inquiry, the field officers are proved corrupt while the IAS officers and the ministers move to greener pastures.


Ministers and Generals have been held responsible for the 1962 debacle and they have been praised for the 1971 victory; Defence Secretaries do not find mention anywhere. The post suddenly becomes important when pay and perks are under discussion.

Dr L.R. SHARMA, Jalandhar


By 1875 AD, the British Administration was firmly established in India and the system functioned with the active involvement of the native clerks, i.e. the Patwaris, Kanungos, Tehsildars and Thanedars aided by an efficient communication system. The first Census report (1881) for every province served as the base for revising the next edition (1904 and 1910). Without the aid of local officers, this would not have been accomplished.

Sadly, the process of regular settlement and compilation and writing of gazetteers has been made redundant by the new age district officers. For many decades, the British officers used to function from tents and used to hold field camps in the countryside in the winter months. The bungalows and masonry edifices that provided stability and comfort came much later.

Regrettably, in post-independent India, not many district officers penned down their experiences. The enthusiasm of the young and radiant IAS officers is killed in the bud and in the available milieu they only find themselves serving the cause of petty politicians.

One wonders what these officers are taught at the administrative academies at Mussoorie and Hyderabad. They are not even aware of the Manual of Office Procedure. The component of training of district officers for the field jobs and the employees serving under them is missing. The good old system of replying to every correspondence with a brilliant mind and keeping the official records in good shape has been dispensed with following the entry of corporate culture into the public administration domain.


Disqualify them

Following the Election Commission’s directive, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has admitted his lapse in using the official aircraft and vehicles for political purposes in the elections and subsequently deposited Rs 19 lakh towards the cost of the trips. The SAD candidate for Amritsar (South) Inderbir Singh Bularia is equally guilty of misusing the official machinery.

However, this is strictly not the question of money alone. The omission as admitted by Mr Badal himself could not have committed by a politician of his stature and rank. As it was a clear corrupt practice, the commission ought to have disqualified both Mr Badal and Mr Bularia to act as a strong deterrent.

S.K. KHOSLA, Chandigarh

Incorrect report

The news-item headlined “Tampering with promotion rules alleged” (May 14) says Mr Gurdev Singh and Mr Narinder Verma, co-conveners of the Joint Action Committee of PWSSB employees, have urged the minister concerned to order a high-level probe to find out why the state government’s promotion policy was not implemented in letter and spirit.

Promotions to any class or category of posts in the PWSSB are governed by the PWSSB (Services) Regulations, 1982, as amended from time to time. Amendment to service regulations is made as per requirements of the Board and government policy, instructions and guidelines are kept in view while doing so.

Nothing irregular or illegal has been done in the case referred to by the Joint Action Committee. There is no truth in the allegations and nothing arbitrary has been done by this office.

MANAGING DIRECTOR, Punjab Water Supply & Sewerage Board, Chandigarh

No mid-term transfers, please

The DPI (Schools), Chandigarh, is reportedly contemplating transfers of government school teachers. This is like changing horses in midstream. It will disturb the rapport between the teachers and the students and hence against academic norms.

As a matter of rule, transfers should be made only before the start of the session. Otherwise, it is like severance of the umbilical cord. I hope and pray the transfers are held back for the next academic year. The students form the warp and woof of our education. We must help them and not harm them through unhappy decisions.




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