Room At The Top
To the growing list of headless aviation agencies such as the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and Pavan Hans Helicopters Ltd one may also add the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Airport Authority of India (AAI). While the first two organisations have been without a top person for more than a year, the DGCA and AAI are going to lose their chiefs this month-end. DGCA chief Arun Mishra is likely to return to his West Bengal cadre or head out of the country on a foreign assignment. Meanwhile AAI chairman V.P. Aggarwal is, sources say, awaiting word on his extension after finishing his five-year term this month.
Interestingly among those vying for Mishra’s post is Air India’s CMD Rohit Nandan! Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh reiterates that all vacant positions will be filled at the earliest but so far it doesn’t seem so!
Netagiri Beckons .
Babus, it is said, are keen students of weather phenomenon, especially the winds of change. With elections looming on the horizon it is more than netas who are making the appropriate moves. Recently former Home Secretary R.K. Singh and former Petroleum Secretary R.S. Pandey joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a move which raised quite a few eyebrows in Delhi’s babu corridors. Sources say that they are likely to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Bihar. But apparently some more civil servants are expected to switch to netagiri. One name that is doing the rounds is that of former envoy to UK Jaimini Bhagwati. A 1976 batch IFS officer, Bhagwati has served in the Union Finance Ministry in India and World Bank in Washington. He has also been India’s ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and EU. Watch out this space for more updates.
Babus Won’t Budge
The UPA Government is finding it difficult to make central departments put information in the public domain under the Right to Information Act (RTI). The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), which had provided detailed guidelines to central departments, including the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), President’s Secretariat and the Cabinet Secretariat, has admitted that the response has been poor. Most Ministries and Departments have failed to send compliance reports back to DoPT. Sources say that Sandeep Jain, Director at DoPT, has written another memo to all central departments to detail how they have complied with the guidelines on implementing transparency under the Act. Apparently DoPT Secretary S.K. Sarkar has now drawn a rather detailed roadmap towards achieving this lofty goal. But will the response be any different? Don’t bet on it!