Logging in will submit your comments on articles instantly without administrator moderation.
* indicates mandatory.
Keep me logged in
Delhi Dialogue Commission is city’s new ‘think tank’
The Delhi government on Friday constituted a seven member Delhi Dialogue Commission in the chairmanship of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal with senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Ashish Khetan as its vice-chairman.
Alarm bells: Air quality violates prescribed norms, says CPCB
Resident doctors go off duty, patients suffer
30-year-old set ablaze over dowry
DM Spolia takes ill during farewell programme
Plan modifications pave way for hi-tech Sarai Kale Khan ISBT
22-year-old gym trainer molested
Kolkata lawyer loses baggage from IGI premises
DU, JNU students oppose CBCS
‘Should get back civic services and grants’
India plays down expectations from Foreign Secy’s Pak visit
India is not expecting any dramatic results from Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s visit to Pakistan on Tuesday, senior officials said on Friday emphasising that his visit was a “SAARC yatra and not a Pak yatra”.
Rape videos on WhatsApp; SC orders CBI probe, issues notice to Centre
Mamata lauds Amit Mitra’s ‘maa-mati-manush’ budget
Visited yacht ‘just to see it’, never took money from any entity: Nitin
Health budget likely to get 6% boost
Agri Ministry nod to e-sale of agro produce
Govt sanctions adjunct faculty positions in 39 Central varsities
India runs high risk of importing polio from Afghan, Pakistan: Govt
Court summons MD of Emaar MGF on IT dept’s complaint
Private member bill to ban forced conversions introduced in Lok Sabha
Agriculture, rural jobs, need boost
Will the drubbing it faced in Delhi assembly elections and the huge controversy over its land acquisition Bill make BJP reconsider its economic thrust areas?
C Uday Bhaskar
Defence allocation: Need for structural review
A model for greater financial inclusion
‘Every state must implement Food Security Act’
Modi takes U-turn on large hydro projects in Arunachal
Massive investment planned for railways
Pollution on the rise, shorter lives
K V Venkatasubramanian
Rush for LED bulbs upsets local makers
Political crisis in Madhya Pradesh takes new turn
L S Herdenia
Undermining our natural resources
Dismiss Pak govt: Musharraf to SC
Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the federal government, saying Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is incapable of running the affairs of the country.
Sri Lanka’s foreign policy ‘back to centre’: Mangala Samaraweera
France’s Hollande visits typhoon-hit Philippine town
Cameron defends British spies in ‘Jihadi John’ case
OZ PM Abbott bats away leadership speculation
Indian yoga guru accused of sex assault in US
Norway arrests preacher who praised Charlie Hebdo killers
Three Ukraine soldiers killed despite lull, UN to discuss truce
Nigeria’s prez visits massacre site, as 35 killed in bombings
9 dead after shootings in US
Rs 8.8 trillion projects stalled but scene improving: Survey
Unfavourable market conditions and delayed investments in last few years resulted in an “alarmingly high rate” of increase in stalled projects.
3,100 and growing, India now world’s 4th largest start-up hub
Govt acted to beat uncertainty after coal block cancellations
Cos raised RS 2.81 trillion in April-Dec 2014
Govt finishes cable laying in 5K villages, eyes 50K by March-end
Digital ads, gaming to drive media growth, says economic Survey
eCommerce space may grow 50% in 5 years
New GDP method portrays faster growth in bad year!
FIIs poured $33 bn in capital markets in first 3 quarters
Survey growth projection sends Sensex up 473 points, Nifty 161
Because language is no barrier
Celebrating the lyrical beauty and rich eloquence of Urdu, a two-day festival Jashn-e-Rekhta is being organised in the Capital. Over 60 renowned personalities from across the globe will be participating.
A season’s affair
Evolution of ceramic art
Faith and its colour elements
Eat, but in style
The Journey of a monk
Sensational AB steals show
Unbeaten 162 from just 66 deliveries by captain AB de Villiers powered South Africa to a 257-run win, now the joint biggest victory in World Cups.
Defeat to India factor behind my knock: AB
India aim to make it 3-in-a-row vs UAE
Besiktas land KO punch on Reds
K’taka need 4 wkts, Mumbai 168 runs
‘Sreesanth escaped murder bid in jail’
Lukaku brace takes Everton past Young Boys into last 16
Cracking contest on cards as co-hosts clash in Auckland
Tottenham hopes end after loss to Fiorentina
Mumbai fightback but still got a mountain to climb
Dum Laga Ke Haisha inspired by a sports poster!
Director Sharat Katariya opens up about where the idea for came from for the Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pednekar starrer that hit screens on Friday
AR Rahman’s band debuts, performs at GiMA
Robbie slapped Leo during ...Wall Street
Lady Gaga joins American Horror Story: Hotel
Katy Perry’s ‘heavy’ visit to Poland
Blake Lively bags All I See Is You
Go solo, but stay one: Cowell to One Direction
No Vogue cover for Kylie Jenner?
It’s Pak calling for Mahesh Bhatt’s DADDY
AR Rahman ventures into script-writing, production
Dan Smith, Secretary General of peacebuilding charity International Alert, tells Ruchi Ahuja how they are hopeful of bringing peace to Naivasha dialogue and awareness.
African spirit: To India and Beyond
On a bend in the river
There’s race and then there’s colour
Birds eye view
The Africa within
How black is Niger delta?
Oil prices tumble, USA's loss India's gain
A much awaited meet
No breakthroughs in foreign ministers’ meet on Ukraine
Spurred by apathy
Had Kamal, who ran a kirana store in Sikar, got tested for swine flu, he would have been saved by a timely dose of oseltamivi, better known as Tamiflu. Similarly, Kishor Chand of Jodhpur’s Shastri Nagar area would have continued to be with his happy family if he were prescribed Tamiflu medicine soon after he was tested positive for swine flu.
It's show time!
The nowhere people
Age and ageing
Politics of colonies
Chasing terror, courting trade
The acerbic scar
Food that empowers
Splinters of discontent
Perils of decision-making
16 August 2013, New Delhi, Mukesh Kacker
MAILING THE ARTICLE
You have decided to email the following article:
Perils of decision-making
16 August 2013, New Delhi, Mukesh Kacker
* indicates mandatory.
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?
This article has
to post your comment.
POST YOUR COMMENT
You may post as guest, or by
. If logged in, your comment will be posted instantly without moderation by administrator.
* indicates mandatory.
(will not be posted online)
Has the son of India’s richest man killed two persons?
As AICTE loses its case in SC, IIPM crosses 2 million fans on FB
British intelligence alert exposed former CBI chief’s dirty link with meat seller
How Ambani’s Reliance corrupted the system
Sex, security and videotapes: CCTV footage from Metro stations find its way to Net
© Millennium Post. All Rights Reserved.