The ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution and the National Cooperatives Consumers Federation, the apex consumer co-op body, differ on who has the authority to appoint the managing director of the apex consumer cooperative body.
Their differences came to the fore when the ministry appointed a joint secretary Anil Bahuguna as the MD. However, the NCCF board of directors headed by the veteran cooperator and former MLA Bijender Singh refused to accept him or for that matter anybody appointed by the ministry without the approval of the board.
Sources say that the NCCF’s bylaws authorise only the board to appoint an MD and the board has already appointed the officiating MD Shaukat Ali as the new MD after Kamal Chaudhary.
The NCCF chairman has reportedly stated that the board has indeed not ratified the appointment of Mr Bahuguna and instead promoted Mr Ali — the officiating MD as a regular MD. The suspense continues.
UPSC may lose shine
Will the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which conducts the civil service examination, lose its shine? The Centre is considering a major change in the allocation of services to successful candidates of the civil services examination. In an unprecedented move, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) issued a circular which suggests that the rank of Civil Services Examination (CSE), on the basis of which All India Services (AIS) are allocated to CSE aspirants, should not be the only criteria of selection for prestigious services like IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS, etc.
The circular signed by joint secretary Vijoy Kumar Singh states that the government is considering the feasibility of giving due weightage to the performance in the foundation course, and making service allocation as well as cadre allocation to all India service officers based on the combined score obtained in the CSE and the foundation course.
Several IAS officers feel that the move is a clear attempt to attack the autonomy of UPSC which conducts the examination. The view is that the move decreases the role of merit. The government, however, is insisting that this is merely a proposal and not a directive. But babus have every reason to be nervous!
With the fast approaching retirement of Abhay Sinha, director-general Central Public Works Department (CPWD), the government seems to be in a fix about his successor. The dilemma seems to be due to the seniority of a special DG, which makes him a natural claimant for the post of director general. He comes from architectural engineering cadre, which has never headed the organisation so far. Sources say that he cannot be denied the top post straightaway due to his seniority.
Traditionally, the top post usually goes to the civil engineering cadre, though on occasion, the electrical and mechanical engineering cadre too have got the opportunity to head the organisation. Currently, there are six special DG rank posts, of which four are held by civil engineering cadre and one each by electrical/mechanical cadre and architectural engineering cadre.
Sources say that keeping in view CPWD’s professional mandate and job description, it appears unlikely that the CPWD chief’s post would be given to the architecture engineering cadre.
The ministry of housing and urban affairs has recently got one more DG rank post approved so that the senior most special DG (architecture engineer) could be given DG rank. The government may take some more time to announce the next DG for CPWD, but one thing is clear that this would be for the first time that CPWD would have two DGs together.