Between the lines
Belying the older stereotype of the Indian Babu, the literary muse runs strong in many younger civil servants. Some of them are tempted to write analysis but most are enticed by fiction. Former IFS Pavan Varma, diplomat and ambassador Navtej Sarna, and IAS officer Upamanyu Chatterjee have an equally glittering career as novelists and writers. Erudite and almost always interesting, they are not controversial. But a Maharashtra IAS officer-turned-novelist Sumit Mullick has created a storm of controversy with his debut novel. The controversy, it appears, is not about the literary merits of the work in question but it is rumoured that the plot is a thinly veiled account of a story of a 1999 batch IAS officer Deepak Pandey who was suspended after his wife accused him of assault for dowry. Though Mullick asserts that his is a work of fiction, the resemblance to the Pandey episode, some babus say, is too uncanny.
They are different! Or aren’t they?
The Union Home Ministry is toying with the idea of having a separate recruitment for Indian Police Service (IPS) officers, a move which reportedly has not gone down well with the IPS cadre. Apparently the suggestion first emerged during a meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee last year when some members expressed concern that the IPS was not the “first choice” of civil service aspirants, who chose the IAS cadre over the khaki. Since then, the idea has gained enough traction for Home Secretary R.K. Singh to assure the Parliamentary Committee that the Ministry would examine the suggestion carefully. However IPS officers say that the IPS is the preferred choice of many officers, and if indeed the Government wishes to have a separate recruitment policy for them, it should also do the same to the 22 other services which are covered under the civil service examination. Clearly, this debate has only just begun.
Cops In Demand
An alert State Election Commission put some Ministers in poll-bound Karnataka in a fix. The mantris, for fairly obvious reasons, were keen to have their favourite babus and IPS officers in key positions. As a matter of fact, sources say, the State Government had planned this crucial reshuffle for some time, but the code of conduct for the urban local bodies’ elections came into play and all such moves were put on hold until March 11.
Though the Government managed to transfer three IPS officers, however the transfer of T. Suneel Kumar, Additional Commissioner of Police in Bangalore, attracted the attention of the State Election Commission’s (SEC) which has, naturally, demanded an explanation from the Government for flouting the ban on transfers.