GOVERNOR TV Rajeswar’s proposed address, frequent transfers, arbitrary suspensions, civil service reforms and challenges before the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in the unfolding political and economic scenario is likely to dominate the Uttar Pradesh IAS Association’s Civil Service Week commencing on Thursday.
As the week incidentally commences on December 14, 2006 when the association completes 10 years of first secret ballot held to identify three ‘most corrupt’ officers in the elite IAS cadre it would provide an occasion to officers to look back at past achievements and challenges for future. So when the officers assemble here for the week they not only have reason to smile in view of the exercise of introspection and the glorious past they also have reasons to ponder to find ways to confront challenges.
Under such a scenario questions over association’s subsequent decision to shelve the fight against corruption despite effective action against the three ‘most corrupt’ officers are bound to mar the celebrations. Although focus would mainly remain on Governor’s proposed address on December 16, 2006 Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav may set the tone and tenor for the discussions as he addresses the Senior Administrative Officers Conference on Friday.
As this would be for the first time that the Governor would address the IAS officers during the week all eyes are bound to remain on Raj Bhawan. The Governor has already summoned Chief Secretary Naveen Chandra Bajpai on Thursday to get feedback about status of service and its officers. The Governor obviously wants to seek some clarifications also about the frequent transfer and suspensions of IAS officers. His move to address IAS officers becomes significant in view of his earlier move asking the UP IAS Association to defer ‘civil service week’ to January 2007.
The Governor though decided to give his nod for the week later there are indications that he was concerned about the partisan role being played by a section of bureaucracy not only in the functioning of the government but also during the recently concluded elections to urban local bodies. The Governor had earlier expressed his views about the role of the Indian Police Service officers while speaking at the police parade during the Police Week last month.
Governor’s observations had intensified the Samajwadi Party’s attacks on the Governor with Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav taking the lead on the issue. Will the Governor express similar sentiments? This is the million dollar question being asked in corridors of power here? Association secretary Sanjay Bhus Reddy, however, remained tight-lipped about the agenda for the Annual General Meeting to be held on December 16, 2006. Other officers, however, insisted that frequent transfers and arbitrary suspensions are bound to dominate the AGM’s agenda.
At the same time the civil service reforms being carried out by the Centre would also come up for discussion at the AGM, said a senior officer. There are also indications that the unfolding trend among IAS officers of some states to quit the service and look for options in private sector would also be discussed during the week. At least 12 IAS officers have reportedly resigned in the past one year or so to join the private sector, said another officer. As senior IAS officer Anil Kumar-II has tendered his resignation at this point of time it would provide sufficient reasons to discuss the issue, he added.