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Rising call drop complaints: Reason why telecom secy was shunted out

india Updated: Jan 29, 2016 17:55 IST
HT Correspondent
Bureaucratic reshuffle

There have been rising complaints of call drops which has drawn the attention of PM Modi as well.(File photo)

The telecom secretary Rakesh Garg on Friday was shunted out of the ministry for his inability to manage call drop, delay in rolling out broadband network, Bharat net, and lack of clarity on net neutrality.

The issue of call drop had attracted attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and reference was made twice in his meeting with Garg. Communications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad was not “satisfied with his pace of action on important issues,” said a senior official in Sanchar Bhawan that houses the telecom ministry.

Despite repeated assurances by the minister of faster roll out of government’s ambitious broadband network project-Bharat Net, Garg was unable to meet the weekly targets, sources said. Despite several attempts Garg could not be reached for comments. He did not respond to the calls at the time of going to print.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday carried out a bureaucratic reshuffle to bring in new officers to head crucial departments such as agriculture, telecom and information technology and moved out others who were unable to match the government’s expectations.

A government official suggested the reshuffle, originally necessitated due to some retirements, reflected the government’s commitment to closely watch the performance of civil servants too and take corrective steps.

“You will also notice that the intention is to post the best man for the job in crucial sectors, even if he or she is not amongst the senior most,” the official added.

Read | Perform or perish: Modi government reshuffles top-level bureaucracy

Earlier this week, the Prime Minister told senior officers to act against officers indulging in corruption and those who did not bother to redress public grievances. This action, he added, could include sacking them.

In all, 10 officers were appointed on Friday.

Uttar Pradesh cadre IAS officer JS Deepak has been appointed as the telecom secretary and replaced Rakesh Garg who will now head the minority affairs department.

Garg, who is two years senior to 1982-batch Deepak, was one of the first few officers to be appointed by the NDA government soon after Modi took charge. Sources said Garg had been asking for a change.

Deepak, who earlier was the IT secretary, will still be reporting to Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who holds the charge of both the IT and the telecom departments. He shall hand over the reins of the IT department to Aruna Sharma, who is also a 1980 batch officer from the Madhya Pradesh cadre.