A normal day in the I&B ministry turned out be quite eventful, when minister Prakash Javadekar —who was on a surprise visit — asked all late comers to apply for a casual leave for the day.
Javadekar took a morning round of the ministry and the Press Information Bureau (PIB) at 9:15 am and found about 200 officials of the rank of section officer and below not in office.
“I took photographs of every room and left a message that I would like to meet the officials. When they came, I told them they should take casual leave for the day as they did not report to work on time. As it is the first day of my round, I didn’t take any action against anyone,” Javadekar said.
Those who had to take casual leave worked like on a normal working day. They also assured the minister that they would report to work on time from tomorrow onwards.
The minister also announced that biometric attendance system will be installed to ensure that officials report for work on time. Many other ministries such as home and planning have already installed such system.
After the inspection, secretary, I&B, Bimal Jhulka also spoke to senior officials to emphasise on the need for punctuality. A circular was also issued to officials in this regard stating the official time as 9 am to 5 pm, sources said.
Javadekar’s surprise visit comes in the wake of a clear message from the PMO to the bureaucracy to step up performance.