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Telangana Chief Secretary Rajiv Sharma and his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Krishna Rao met in the capital recently to discuss the cadre allotment issue, after the list prepared by the Pratyush Sinha committee set up for the purpose was rejected by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Nearly six months into the creation of Telangana State, the distribution of cadres between the two States remains as contentious and convoluted as before. According to sources, the Prime Minister was unhappy with the list of IAS, IPS and forest service officers submitted by the panel. He reportedly questioned why the norms of cadre allotment were changed and has demanded an explanation from the States. Apparently, since its formation the panel has altered the norms repeatedly and its earlier list submitted to the Department of Personnel and Training had met a similar fate. So it’s back to the drawing board for now.
Tea And Policy
Meetings and discussions over tea don’t but arouse interest but ever since Narendra Modi introduced the “Chai Pe Charcha” concept in his election campaigning, the run-of-the-mill routine has evolved into a high ritual! In fact, some members of the Modi sarkar seem to be keen to take the concept further. Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian has, sources say, initiated the “North Block Policy Charcha” along the lines of “Chai Pe Charcha” in the Finance Ministry. The attempt is to use this concept to bring together economists, babus and academicians to discuss key policy issues. The first session will be addressed by a 1987-batch IAS officer and India’s director at the World Bank, T.V. Somanathan. Though no periodicity has been set, it is believed that the Ministry is keen to have regular interactive sessions over tea. Observers however note that this is not really a new initiative, since three years ago the then Chief Economic Advisor Kaushik Basu had started such sessions but which proved short-lived. But perhaps with Modi’s example, this Finance Ministry version of “Chai Pe Charcha” will enjoy a longer and more productive life.
Even as a new chief takes charge, the problems he inherits will be old ones that refuse to die. The papers seized by the Central Bureau of Investigation from a corporate broker, Subhankar Nayak. have created a treacherous trail, which has got many netas and babus in Orissa on tenterhooks. Apparently, the CBI has come across names of several bureaucrats prominent in the seized documents, which sources speculate, could lead to these officials being investigated by the agency. With the authorities obviously tight-lipped about revealing the names, speculation in babu circles is about two “high-profile” officials, one an IAS officer and the other a senior cop whose names have allegedly cropped up in several documents. There are other officials named too, but these seem to be the more “prominent” names, sources say. While the IAS officer is believed to be on Central deputation, the cop is reportedly a DIG-level officer serving in the State. But some observers insist that these names are probably just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, and that more skeletons will come tumbling out during the CBI’s inquiries.