On the direction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Union home ministry is on a cleanliness drive and, in less than a month, has destroyed nearly 1.5 lakh files that had gathered dust for years.
While going through the steel almirahs of North Block, officials also found some interesting
files which gave an insight to some historic moments.
One of these files was about the presidential sanction given to pay India's first Governor General Lord Mountbatten a princely sum of Rs. 64,000 as TA/DA allowance for moving back to his country.
In today's time, the amount will be equivalent to several crores of rupees, a ministry official said.
Another interesting snippet that came out was that after India's first President Rajendra Prasad refused to take any pension, it was eventually sent to the government's calamity fund.
Even the salary of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri was sent to the calamity fund after he refused it, the files showed.
Another file has details about the Cabinet meeting that was called before the death of Mahatma Gandhi was announced, an official said.
Asked if these files of historic value were saved or junked, an official expressed ignorance.
"It was only after the Prime Minister himself directed a clean-up and senior officials said so that this clean-up drive was undertaken," an official said.
Many ministries have junked old files and broken furniture that had piled up over the years.
The files are first shredded before being given out as junk.
According to the procedure, the files are divided into three categories. 'A' category is for files which are five years old. Category 'B' is for files that are 10-15 years old.
Category 'C' usually deals with files that are older than 15 years. Files of historic importance are to be sent to National Archives of India.
According to officials, though directives say that files have to be reviewed every six months and disposed of, this is hardly done.
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