Fallen in love with North Block

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North Block

On completion of prescribed tenure under the revised transfer policy (RTP), as many as 31 CSS cadre officers were transferred with immediate effect on May 27, 2015. The list included officers in JS (in-situ), Director, and Deputy Secretary ranks. Following the orders a few who had continued in North Block in the same department for more than a decade had to move to their new departments where they were transferred. The order spiked moves by many well-networked officers to prevent their exit from their decades old work place and ministry buildings. The DOPT Secretary wanted the transfer orders to be followed properly.

But Human ingenuity is unlimited. Some officers were still able to devise ways to continue in North Block. During a Holi-milan gathering, a director rank officer became the centre point of discussion as how she managed to stay firmly footed in North Block, the symbol of power, since 1995. Interestingly, the officer (then under secretary) got posted to Dept of Economic Affairs (housed in North Block) for approx two years but after that she again got back to MHA and continues there.

Earlier it was a practice that despite transfers many officers manipulated to get new postings within North Block which has its own charm as a symbol of power and might. The DOPT authorities this time took stringent moves and issued separate letters to ensure the compliance. Few officers considered close to country’s heavy-weights leaders had to move to their respective new postings.

The order dated May 27, 2015 had made it clear that “…the officers concerned can join the allocated ministry/department latest by June 01, 2015. If the Ministry/Dept concerned fails to issue relieving orders by 29 May 2015 the concerned officer shall be deemed to have been relieved w.e.f. the afternoon of that day.” Even though the lady officer was firm and continued in North Block since 1995.

The officer officer did not move from North Block to take up the allocated department housed in Udyog Bhawan. Paving way for the officer, an order was issued on October 29, 2015 which re-allotted the officer NDMA, the same ministry but housed out of North Block. The officer again did not take up the re-assigned department. Though she sent her joining letter through the peon but continued to serve in the North Block instead of NDCC Building. Subsequently another lady officer was assigned the job in NDMA Bhawan located in Sufderjung Enclave.

Further, another office order was issued on December 09, 2015 which was in partial modification of the order issued on October 29, 2015. This provided a safeguard against the frequently changing orders.
Coming back to the talking point at the Holi gathering, the discussion concluded on the note as to how the officer concerned is so much in love with North Block that she managed (on the level of middle management) to stay there since 1995 till date.

By Rakesh Ranjan 

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