When Parameswaran Iyer (IAS:1981:UP) was appointed Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation (MoDW&S), on February 03, 2016 on a contractual basis for a period till February 2018, everyone in the administration was taken aback. For few weeks thereafter, the decision continued to be the talking point among insiders. What made the PM take this decision to appoint an officer who had taken VRS from IAS years ago to work for World Bank in the field of drinking water and sanitation was intensely debated, discussed and speculated upon.
But Iyer’s style of functioning, which has left his subordinates fazed and colleagues amazed, has made it amply clear why he was handpicked by the PM for one of his administration’s flagship programs. Like a true professionals, he has introduced a countdown system.
Iyer seldom forgets to mention and make his subordinates realize that time was flying to accomplish the mammoth task ahead. For example he informed his subordinates this week that 19 days were passed since he took over the charge and only 710 days were left for the ministry to accomplish the mission assigned to him. His normal office hours are 8.15 AM till 8.30 PM including Saturdays and holidays (except few ones). Staying far away from family, he is able to dedicate himself to the PM’s mission but it has made life difficult for his subordinates, who have to be around on holidays to assist the boss. Junior staff members are often seen calculating their CLs & Els because even 02 minutes delay in attendance invites cuts in their salary, Els & CLs.
Everybody was surprised when Vijaylaxmi Joshi’s VRS was abruptly accepted on November 21 and the charge was given to J K Mohapatra, Rural Dev Secretary who retired on February 29 this year. Quite clearly, NaMo has firmed up plan to harness Iyer for the work.