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Bird flu scare in Capital: Delhi govt issues advisory
At least six more birds died here on Monday due to bird flu, taking the total deaths of migratory birds from the disease to 64, Delhi Animal Husbandry Minister Gopal Rai said.
10,210 chikungunya cases in city, 38% rise over last week
Woman kills self; husband, in-laws named in note
Mastermind of Karkardooma court firing arrested
Five arrested in connection to bridal make-up artist’s abduction
Soon, waterless urinals in North MCD areas
Five-year-old girl sexually assaulted by neighbour
HC stays non-bailable warrants against Unitech top officials
17 Delhi roads to be resurfaced
NGT directs surprise checks of polluting industries
BSF jawan, 6-year-old boy killed in Pak firing in J&K
The boy was killed as Pakistani forces resorted to unprovoked firing in a “complete bizarre manner” towards civilian areas at Laliyal village in R S Pura, official sources said.
Terror emanating from Pakistan serious concern for India: Rajnath
Top Naxal leaders among 24 killed in encounter
Come out of SP-BSP trap, BJP will make UP ‘Uttam’ Pradesh: PM
Women get access to sanctum sanctorum of Haji Ali shrine
Don’t get provoked by those playing communal card: Mamata Banerjee
Private sector mess: Govt to rope in PSU talent
To clean private sector-created mess, Govt to rope in public sector talent
PM Modi breaks silence, denounces triple talaq
North-East woman stabbed 10 times by stalker, dies
Domestic industry at a standstill
Time for strong action to move it forward.
Lt Gen Kamal Davar
Why gloat over moderate tactical success
Oslo sets the bar for other cities
Shiv Sena and MNS failing to adapt to times
How a Syrian boy became propaganda icon
New model of tracking TB patients
Put an end to tales of betrayal
No shine on development agenda
Managing the mega irrigation beast
Frank van Steebergen
Determined to dominate B'desh
China warns US against meddling after envoy’s Arunachal trip
Says US interference in the Sino-India boundary row will disturb peace at border; China considers Arunachal as part of southern Tibet.
IS steps up counter-attacks as Mosul offensive enters second week
13 dead, 31 hurt as tour bus rams into truck in California
China’s ruling Communist Party to unleash big data app for anti-graft monitoring
With email dumps, WikiLeaks tests power of full transparency
US woman pours cleaner into coffee-maker, poisons co-workers
Man charged with hate crime for throwing drink at Sikh in USA
5 dead as French craft crashes in Malta
May rules out special deals for devolved units
‘Indian on holiday assaulted teen on flight’
Why must you withhold info on banks’ giant defaulters, asks SC
57 top borrowers owe banks a total Rs 85,000 cr, says RBI in report to Supreme Court.
China group to buy US insurance giant Genworth for $2.7 billion
PM takes 1st step to making India a gas-based economy
Air India Engineering Services set to fly into defence MRO biz
Salaried tax payers to get SMS alerts on TDS deductions
80 lakh assessees may start migration process to GSTN portal from Nov 8
Proposal energises shares by 5%
Raising liquidity: ONGC to talk bonus issue on Thursday
Idea Cellular’s second quarter profit crashes by 88% to Rs 91.46 crore
CCL powers skill development, placement fairs to create jobs
Laughs and Chuckles
Stand-up comedians Abijit Ganguly and Jeevashu share their inspiration and best gig prior to their performance today.
Experience a multifarious Diwali shopping
Morning Ragas’ Enthralling ‘jugalbandi’
Evolution of Bapu’s Khadi
Lighting up the world of underprivileged
Pleasure of eating makes people choose smaller portions: Study
Being the catalyst for change
Celebrating five years of special dim sums
Men now open to various aspects of grooming
EXPLORING PUSHKAR THE TOWN OF FAIRS AND FESTIVITIES
Kohli took the game away from us: Jimmy Neesham
New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neesham feels his team was simply outdone by the brilliance of Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the third One-day International here.
Lodha Panel to BCCI: Need more clarity on Tender Rights Period
‘Sharapova will be back in WTA rankings after 3 tournaments next year’
Kerala come from behind to beat Goa 2-1 in Fatorda
Kolkata gears up to welcome ‘King Henry’
Sandeep Tomar, Amit Dhankar, Ritu Phogat bag gold at National C’ship
Aditi moves one more step closer to global aspirations
BCCI retains same squad for remaining NZ ODIs
SC directive on BCCI fund freeze not to affect Rajkot Test: SCA
Ronaldo, Bale, Aguero nominated for 2016 Ballon d’Or award
‘Want my daughter to be proud of me’
‘I have been in a relationship with actresses. It’s not like I had an issue with it’.
I was mesmerised by Aishwarya’s persona: Anushka
My films have never made money: Vishal
Golmaal Returns’ was a crap film: Rohit Shetty
‘Feels lucky’ Reacher sequel has strong female role: Cruise
Amal Clooney sparks pregnancy rumours
Tilda Swinton wants her own Marvel movie
Miranda Kerr to marry next year
Mughal-e-Azam can’t be remade, says Randhir Kapoor
Shaan to pay tribute to Kishore on ‘The Voice India Kids’
Draped in colours
Behind the glitz and glamour of the recently held third India Africa forum summit lies a simple fact that India is still as clueless about its intentions and policy towards Africa as it has always been, reports Kriti Upadhyaya.
African voices in India
Inspiring Kenyan warriors to save lions
Queen of the wild nurtures Indian wilderness
Indian eves lose to NZ in four-nation series opener
Africa talks to Africa Rising - Unprecedented and historic
Africa talks to Africa Rising - Of trade and technology
Africa talks to Africa Rising - Of India
Zambia @51 Message from Acting High Commissioner Sikapale Henry Chinzewe
Uniting india and africa with music
Kanika Mehta takes a look at the city’s woman detectives and their evolving methods for carrying out successful investigations.
All About Money
The art of craft
Adda: Pujo edition
Mouthwatering bhog- A delicate cocktail of blending cultures
Oh! Calcutta... My Calcutta!
AN OLD CHARM IN NEW TOWN
This Durga Puja, keep pace with a fading legacy
Perils of decision-making
16 August 2013, New Delhi, Mukesh Kacker
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Perils of decision-making
16 August 2013, New Delhi, Mukesh Kacker
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For a bureaucrat, taking a quick decision in good faith is fraught with risks.
The Durga Nagpal controversy has brought to the surface the issue of political interference impeding bureaucratic work. A few months ago, presumably in response to the mounting criticism from prominent Indian industrialists and businessmen about the total lack of decision-making in government, the prime minister exhorted the senior bureaucracy to take decisions fearlessly and expeditiously.
Case in point
X, a brilliant and extremely well-educated senior IAS officer, was posted as the managing director of the state industrial development corporation of a state. He had recently returned to India after acquiring a degree in management from a premier institution overseas as part of mid-career training and was bursting with energy and fresh ideas. The state industrial development corporation was responsible for a wide variety of activities, including development of enabling infrastructure for industries, tying up joint ventures with profitable ventures and giving financial support to industries. In addition, it also acted as the procurer of certain specified industrial products for use by the entire government.
X was delighted with his job because it challenged both his energy and education in management and finance. The chief minister, a wise and forward-looking politician, had hand-picked X for this job and they shared an excellent working relationship. X was also on good terms with most senior bureaucrats, barring the principal secretary (finance), a thoroughly incompetent and malicious officer who owed his position to flattery and licking the boots of the state finance minister, a heavyweight politician with direct links with the high-command of the ruling party at the Centre. The chief secretary, though a decent man otherwise, was a nondescript mediocre who had risen in service primarily because he had been non-controversial. X was not overtly concerned about sharing negative vibes with the principal secretary (finance) as he had limited direct dealings with him. In short, X had as good an environment to operate as can be possible in a real-life situation. The state was experiencing high industrial growth and X, as the central figure, had his hands full. There were bids to be finalised for specific industrial activities and for industrial infrastructure creation.
There were also joint ventures and financing proposals that consumed a lot of his energy and time.
Against this backdrop of intense activities came a subject matter which appeared not just routine but also mundane. As a one-stop procurer of water filters for a large number of government departments and programmes, the corporation had finalised a large tender for water filters just before X had joined. In fact X’s predecessor had approved the supply order in favour of a company that was based in the state just a week before X took over as managing director. At the time of the tender there was some controversy over the state government’s decision to restrict the selection only to those firms that had their manufacturing plants within the state and a few national-level companies had protested and even complained against this decision. The state government, however, had issued a direction to the corporation to select eligible bidders only from companies/firms domiciled in the state. However, all this had taken place before X had joined and he had no role in the entire tender process. X became aware of this case only when the first tranche of supply was ready for dispatch and had to be inspected by the engineers of the corporation at factory site.
The site inspection report brought out a deficiency in the body of the product and X immediately ordered a complete halt to the supply. A notice was also issued to the party, asking them to ‘show cause’ why their order should not be cancelled forthwith. At this point, the corporation received two letters. One was a detailed explanation from the party explaining the cause of the deficiency and promising to remove it and supply the first tranche of the improved product within a month. The second was a representation from the party which was L2 in the tender, asking for cancelling the order given to L1 and awarding it to them (L2) at the tender price. After examining these counter-claims, X found that the defect was a minor one and could be removed within a month as promised. He, therefore, decided that there was no plausible reason for cancelling the supply order and awarding it to L2.
Accordingly, a month’s extension was given to the party to supply the improved product, subject, of course, to another at-site product inspection. After one month, engineers of the corporation inspected the improved product at the site and found it to be compliant with all quality parameters. The supply was resumed and completed, albeit with a month’s delay. During all this, X was completely unaware of the quiet rumblings that would spell trouble for him.
The adverse turn
A national-level manufacturer who was also antagonistic to the state-level party, the supplier in the present case, sent a complaint to the chief minister protesting the decision to restrict eligible bidders to state-level parties and alleging favouritism in awarding the tender to the present supplier. The chief minister, who receives many such complaints every day, marked it to the principal secretary (finance). It was here that an otherwise innocuous piece of paper assumed capabilities of dangerous proportions.
The principal secretary (finance), a malicious and conspiring individual, realised the potential for serious harm to X that this paper held. Within the government, there was nothing to be inquired into, as the government itself had issued an order to the corporation for selecting eligible bidders from state-level parties. But sending it to an independent agency like the lokayukta, which functions independently of the government, could perhaps create trouble for X. So, the PS (finance) quietly forwarded the complaint to the state lokayukta. The case spun out of control from there, as the lokayukta marked the complaint to his police wing which received it with alacrity, always eager to make high-profile bureaucrats bite dust. Could there be anything more ridiculous than section 13(1)(d)(iii)? Can there be any contract where the party winning the bid does not obtain pecuniary gain? And which party’s interpretation of the term ‘public interest’ will be relevant?
On arrangement with Governance Now
For an India of many states
Young and free! Really?
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