Initially, 25 organisations have been selected for development of the integrity index.
In a decidedly first, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), the nation's probity watchdog, will now rank Central government organisations on anti-corruption measures being taken by them.
The CVC has decided to go in for development of the integrity index based on bench-marking of internal processes and controls within an organisation as well as the management of relationships and expectations of outside stakeholders. The index will bring out annual scores and rankings of public sector undertakings, banks and financial institutions, departments and ministries of the Government of India by linking the essential drivers of vigilance with long-term efficiency, profitability and sustainability of public organisations. According to Chief Vigilance Commissioner K.V. Chowdary, IIM-Ahmedabad has been engaged to develop the integrity index. Initially, 25 organisations have been selected for development of the integrity index. These include ONGC Ltd, NTPC Ltd, NHAI and Railways Ministry, among others. Subsequently, the integrity index will extend to all other organisations of the Government of India,
Hopefully, it will go a long way in ensuring further probity in public organisations.
Like a rolling stone
Haryana IAS officer and whistle-blower Ashok Khemka may well exemplify the English adage about a rolling stone. He is probably the most transferred IAS officer in the history of the civil service (transferred more than 46 times in his 20-plus years of service) despite a distinguished track record. Though transfers are routine these are done usually after the completion of a fixed tenure in a position. Transfers are also useful to remove babus inimical to the political dispensation. Mr Khemka seems to know all about the latter. The IAS officer has just been transferred again, and sources say, that this transfer happened because Mr Khemka asked a Haryana minister to return an official vehicle he was using. Obviously, his “temerity” to question his political master did not go down well and the government reacted in the way it knows best. Mr Khemka has been moved to the Sports and Youth Affairs Department from the Social Justice and Empowerment Department which he joined as principal secretary just three months back. How long will he remain here no one know.
Babus hit the road
When it comes to farmers, the Madhya Pradesh government is not taking any chances. The state’s Bhawantar Bhugtan Yojana seeks to compensate farmers when prices fall below the maximum selling price, and farmers are quite pleased about it. Twentyfive senior IAS officers have been directed to visit mandis across the state to assess the efficacy of this scheme within one week. These include officials of additional chief secretary to principal secretary rank and below. The officials have been asked to verify whether the produce of the farmers registered under BBY are being procured according to the rules; whether the BBY has been publicised properly by putting up hoardings and banners at the mandis and whether the district administration has cross-checked the crop-related statistics on the BBY portal. Con-cerned over negative reports regarding the scheme, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Cho-uhan will also hold “one-on-one” talks with these officials once they return. In a similar exercise during the drought two years back, the state government had dispatched IAS officials to all the districts to assess the ground realities and send recommendations.