There is growing disconnect between the Centre and the J&K government on several issues.
In Madhya Pradesh, which is in the throes of elections, the state government has denied the request of an anti-corruption activist and refused to share details of meetings of the state civil services board because they are “confidential” and barred under the RTI Act.
Activist Ajay Dubey had filed an RTI application with the state government to know the details of proceedings of the board during the months of July, August and September last year.
The civil services board is meant to be headed by the chief secretary state and has seniormost additional chief secretary or chairman, board of revenue, financial commissioner or an officer of equivalent rank and status as member. In addition, it has principal secretary or secretary, department of personnel, in the state government as member secretary.
Back in 2013, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre and the states to set up a civil services board to consider transfers and postings of babus, among other things. The aim was to insulate the bureaucracy from political interference and to put an end to frequent transfers of civil servants by instead political bosses. But, clearly, some states don’t think much before flouting even the Supreme Court's order.
The officer everyone covets
The unexpected repatriation of B. Chandrakala, a 2008-batch IAS officer, to her state cadre of Uttar Pradesh has baffled babu-watchers. Less than a year after she was appointed deputy secretary in the ministry of drinking water & sanitation (DWS), the UP government has wrested her back. Those in the know say that initially there was a proposal to appoint her as a personal secretary (PS) to Sadhwi Niranjan Jyoti, minister of state for food processing, but the scenario suddenly changed and her batchmate from Bihar cadre, Ashima Jain, was appointed PS to Ms Jyoti. Ms Chandrakala was lauded by none other than DWS secretary P. Parameshwaran Iyer, the retired IAS officer who was handpicked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lead the Swachchh Bharat Mission, when she made Bijnor an “open-defecation free” district. She was brought to the capital in recognition of her efforts. Sources say that Mr Iyer made serious efforts to retain her in the ministry, but UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath prevailed.
Seeds of discord in J&K
There is growing disconnect between the Centre and the J&K government on several issues. Now a senior cop's promotion seems to have deepened the fissures. Even as the Mehbooba Mufti-led state government promoted a 2000-cadre IPS officer B.S. Rath to the rank of inspector general of police (IGP), the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) has questioned the state government’s decision. Rather, it has called for action against the cop for alleged violation of service rules. Mr Rath is no stranger to controversy. He has been the subject of an inquiry by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) for his articles in the media and his “flamboyant” style of functioning. But MHA’s concerns seem to have left the state government unmoved. The J&K government has chosen to remain silent over the MHA’s view; it has not just elevated the cop to IGP rank, but also and named him chief of the state traffic police. The ministry is now seeking an explanation from the J&K government as to why instead of taking action against the IPS officer, it has promoted him.