The right stuff
Talk in Maharashtra’s babu corridors is that only a fresh-out-of-academy babu on his first-ever posting could do this – put up a list of his assets, including bank balance and provident fund details right outside his office – while his seniors in the service still look for ways to circumvent the Directive. But by doing so, Ashutosh Salil, who is a Sub-Divisional Magistrate and Tribal Development officer in Chandrapur district, has become far more widely known than he would have otherwise.
Though the public can access information about sarkari babus by logging on to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) website, Salil felt that many people in his district would not be able to access it, so he placed it where it can’t be missed. He also hopes to continue this practice in all future postings. Hopefully, his young babu’s enthusiasm for doing the right thing will not diminish in the years ahead.
Babus to the rescue
Guess how beleaguered national carrier Air-India hopes to emerge out of the red? In a bid to relieve the national carrier from its burgeoning debt, the Punjab Government has directed all State officials to travel by Air India. Sources say the circular was issued by the Finance Department after State Chief Secretary Rakesh Singh gave the go-ahead. Last year, it was neighbouring Haryana which had issued a similar Directive to its babus but it’s not clear how this has helped shore up Air-India’s bottomline!
Apparently, Air India has sent similar requests to the Himachal Pradesh government and to other States. For some it may seem like an innovative move, to others it’s just a sign of desperation in Air India.
In plain view
It’s no longer only the Right to Information (RTI) that bureaucrats in West Bengal have to worry about. The Government has decided to computerise the Home, Personnel and Administrative Reforms Department (PARD) which will make all information about all civil servants in the State, from Chief Secretary Sanjoy Mitra all down the line to block development officers, just a mouse-click away.
According to sources, Ajit Ranjan Bardhan, Secretary Department of Personnel and Training, has set in motion the process to select officials from Writers’ Building as well as from the 18 districts in the State for the requisite training by the National Informatics Centre in Delhi. The proposed computerisation will hopefully ensure that files no longer get ‘misplaced’ or ‘untraceable’. That indeed should be welcome news for the public, if not exactly for tardy babus. Just imagine, all the information you need, whenever you need it. Sounds unreal.