EXCLUSIVE NEWS ON BUREAUCRACY

intelligence-nothing-may-happen-to-mumbai-police-commissioner

Intelligence: Nothing may happen to Mumbai police commissioner

Analysis of Open-source intelligence (OSINT) reports suggests that the ruling BJP may not find it convenient or useful to focus its ire on Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh in its battle against the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government of Maharashtra. The bottom line is he may not face the music like former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajiv Kumar.

Once an administrative issue is caught in the quagmire of politics, leaders prefer to let it sort out itself in due course. The same may be the preferred option in the case of Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh's involvement in cooked or uncooked controversies that emanated from a host of unfortunate incidents (Ajit Pawar’s oath as CM and clean chit, SSR death case, Rhea, Bollywood, Drugs, TRP tampering) in quick succession.  

While Singh may or may not have followed the path of neutrality in his conduct as an IPS officer, he has been known as the 'most obedient public servant' of every political dispensation of the state. During the previous BJP-Shiv Sena government, for example, he followed the political direction or inclination of the regime to implicate and neutralize individuals and organizations opposed to the Fadnavis administration.

Similarly, when the NCP-Congress government ruled the state from 2005-09, he, as a distinguished member of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), which proved its "professional competence" in its despicable failure to deal with the 26/11/2008 terrorist strike on Mumbai, was, however, very good at promoting the 'saffron terror conspiracy" implicating and torturing counter-terrorism Operations expert, Col. Prasad Purohit, and present Bhopal MP Sadhvi Pragya Thakur.

More instances could be cited from Singh's career records to show his great survival instinct, not a condemnable thing at all in view of the quality of the elected representatives all over the country.

Further, OSINT reports point to his 'deep and intimate' connection with the BJP - deeper and more intimate than those of Republic TV Arnab Goswami and actress Kangana Ranaut who are seen as the spearheads of the BJP's double pincer maneuver to discredit and destroy Uddhav Thackerey, Sharad Pawar, Sonia Gandhi axis founded on the tried and tested primordial principle of dynastic alliances.

The Mumbai police commissioner, through his son Rohan and his wife Radhika Meghe, is related to a prominent BJP family of Nagpur with deep political connections, friends, and associates across the spectrum.  In brief, it's a highly networked family.

Radhika is the daughter of businessman Sagar Meghe who is the son of Datta Meghe, a highly-skilled politician who, having spent a lifetime in Congress Party and being its MP, MLA, and MLC for a long time, decided to cross the 'Vaitarni' by tagging himself with the BJP in 2014. Sagar's brother, Sameer, is a BJP MLA.  The family business includes a lot of educational institutions and commercial organizations.

So, from whichever angle you may look on the basis of OSINT reports, it is clear that Singh is well protected by his web of alliances and patronage given and received. Moreover, his reputation to save and protect his subordinates in every given situation, an admirable true leadership quality, stands him in good stead.

In the given situation, it is not seen as convenient or beneficial for the BJP to get directly involved in the scramble for power among its different constituents. To limit the strife, however, it has been balancing forces to save its spearheads like Arnab and Kangana. In the case of the former, a TRP case was filed in Lucknow and transferred to CBI; in the case of the latter, Y-category security was provided for safety against any physical assault from Sena hoodlums. 

(By M K Shukla and Rakesh Ranjan)

8 hours ago
nbcc-caught-in-a-quagmire-sc-amrapali-and-a-curious-extension-case-of-ed

NBCC caught in a quagmire: SC, Amrapali and a curious extension case of ED

NBCC India Limited, a state-owned construction giant, is a house divided on the issue of extending the services of its Executive Director (Engineering) R K Aggarwal beyond his scheduled retirement on 30 November 2020.  

While a section of the top management team favors the idea of Aggarwal's extension on the plea that such a move may help uninterrupted and expeditious implementation of the Supreme Court direction on completing the 44,000 stalled flats under Amrapali housing projects where a huge amount of investors' money is locked, a large number of officers are opposed to the idea and they have made their angst and reservation known to the management in a letter from their union. 

Officers have argued that the SC has in no way mandated the continuation of services of Aggarwal even after retirement, that its direction was limited to entrusting the NBCC with the task to complete the pending and stalled projects and so, the NBCC was free to appoint a successor to Aggarwal on retirement by sticking to the due process of selection and by notifying the SC about its succession plan.

 It is pointed out that the policy of extension or reappointment is bad in principle and worst in execution. It's bad in principle because it is based on the premise that the person being given extension or reappointment is irreplaceable. In real life, this is an untenable proposition. The execution of this fallacious principle leads to favoritism and denial of the well-deserved opportunities to competent persons down the hierarchical ladder. It also degrades work culture and demoralization.

NBCC officers say the extant government guidelines on the extension/reappointment issue are crystal clear and don't support this pernicious practice except in critical and exigent situations.

Yet Aggarwal's extension/reappointment is being pushed by influence peddlers for the last couple of months as reported in this section on September 07, 2020. 

In any case; SC judgment and NBCC's involvement has sparked off rays of hope for poor Amrapali homebuyers and that should achieve its goal.  

(By Rakesh Ranjan)

26 Oct 2020
intelligence-nothing-may-happen-to-mumbai-police-commissioner

Intelligence: Nothing may happen to Mumbai police commissioner

By M K Shukla and Rakesh Ranjan 8 hours ago

Analysis of Open-source intelligence (OSINT) reports suggests that the ruling BJP may not find it convenient or useful to focus its ire on Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh in its battle against the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government of Maharashtra. The bottom line is he may not face the music like former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajiv Kumar.

Once an administrative issue is caught in the quagmire of politics, leaders prefer to let it sort out itself in due course. The same may be the preferred option in the case of Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh's involvement in cooked or uncooked controversies that emanated from a host of unfortunate incidents (Ajit Pawar’s oath as CM and clean chit, SSR death case, Rhea, Bollywood, Drugs, TRP tampering) in quick succession.  

While Singh may or may not have followed the path of neutrality in his conduct as an IPS officer, he has been known as the 'most obedient public servant' of every political dispensation of the state. During the previous BJP-Shiv Sena government, for example, he followed the political direction or inclination of the regime to implicate and neutralize individuals and organizations opposed to the Fadnavis administration.

Similarly, when the NCP-Congress government ruled the state from 2005-09, he, as a distinguished member of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), which proved its "professional competence" in its despicable failure to deal with the 26/11/2008 terrorist strike on Mumbai, was, however, very good at promoting the 'saffron terror conspiracy" implicating and torturing counter-terrorism Operations expert, Col. Prasad Purohit, and present Bhopal MP Sadhvi Pragya Thakur.

More instances could be cited from Singh's career records to show his great survival instinct, not a condemnable thing at all in view of the quality of the elected representatives all over the country.

Further, OSINT reports point to his 'deep and intimate' connection with the BJP - deeper and more intimate than those of Republic TV Arnab Goswami and actress Kangana Ranaut who are seen as the spearheads of the BJP's double pincer maneuver to discredit and destroy Uddhav Thackerey, Sharad Pawar, Sonia Gandhi axis founded on the tried and tested primordial principle of dynastic alliances.

The Mumbai police commissioner, through his son Rohan and his wife Radhika Meghe, is related to a prominent BJP family of Nagpur with deep political connections, friends, and associates across the spectrum.  In brief, it's a highly networked family.

Radhika is the daughter of businessman Sagar Meghe who is the son of Datta Meghe, a highly-skilled politician who, having spent a lifetime in Congress Party and being its MP, MLA, and MLC for a long time, decided to cross the 'Vaitarni' by tagging himself with the BJP in 2014. Sagar's brother, Sameer, is a BJP MLA.  The family business includes a lot of educational institutions and commercial organizations.

So, from whichever angle you may look on the basis of OSINT reports, it is clear that Singh is well protected by his web of alliances and patronage given and received. Moreover, his reputation to save and protect his subordinates in every given situation, an admirable true leadership quality, stands him in good stead.

In the given situation, it is not seen as convenient or beneficial for the BJP to get directly involved in the scramble for power among its different constituents. To limit the strife, however, it has been balancing forces to save its spearheads like Arnab and Kangana. In the case of the former, a TRP case was filed in Lucknow and transferred to CBI; in the case of the latter, Y-category security was provided for safety against any physical assault from Sena hoodlums. 

(By M K Shukla and Rakesh Ranjan)

nbcc-caught-in-a-quagmire-sc-amrapali-and-a-curious-extension-case-of-ed

NBCC caught in a quagmire: SC, Amrapali and a curious extension case of ED

By Rakesh Ranjan 26 Oct 2020

NBCC India Limited, a state-owned construction giant, is a house divided on the issue of extending the services of its Executive Director (Engineering) R K Aggarwal beyond his scheduled retirement on 30 November 2020.  

While a section of the top management team favors the idea of Aggarwal's extension on the plea that such a move may help uninterrupted and expeditious implementation of the Supreme Court direction on completing the 44,000 stalled flats under Amrapali housing projects where a huge amount of investors' money is locked, a large number of officers are opposed to the idea and they have made their angst and reservation known to the management in a letter from their union. 

Officers have argued that the SC has in no way mandated the continuation of services of Aggarwal even after retirement, that its direction was limited to entrusting the NBCC with the task to complete the pending and stalled projects and so, the NBCC was free to appoint a successor to Aggarwal on retirement by sticking to the due process of selection and by notifying the SC about its succession plan.

 It is pointed out that the policy of extension or reappointment is bad in principle and worst in execution. It's bad in principle because it is based on the premise that the person being given extension or reappointment is irreplaceable. In real life, this is an untenable proposition. The execution of this fallacious principle leads to favoritism and denial of the well-deserved opportunities to competent persons down the hierarchical ladder. It also degrades work culture and demoralization.

NBCC officers say the extant government guidelines on the extension/reappointment issue are crystal clear and don't support this pernicious practice except in critical and exigent situations.

Yet Aggarwal's extension/reappointment is being pushed by influence peddlers for the last couple of months as reported in this section on September 07, 2020. 

In any case; SC judgment and NBCC's involvement has sparked off rays of hope for poor Amrapali homebuyers and that should achieve its goal.  

(By Rakesh Ranjan)

lng-petronet-top-post-iocl-candidate-leads-the-race-

LNG Petronet top post: IOCL candidate leads the race?

By IndianMandarins 22 Oct 2020

Indianmandarins has learned that the selection committee may interview 11 candidates on 31 October for the post of MD & CEO of LNG Petronet that fell vacant after Prabhat Singh completed his term. However, invisible hands are feared to be working to push the candidature of one particular candidate.

The eleven candidates shortlisted for the interview are S N Pandey (CPCL), Subhash Kumar (ONGC), Vivekanand (OVL), A K Garg (IGL), A K Tiwari (GAIL), ES Ranganathan (GAIL), A K Singh (IOCL), A K Jana (IGL), V K Mishra (PLL), B Roy (OIL), and Gurmeet Singh (IOCL).

Sources say that the IOCL candidate may be leading the trail as one former Chairman of IOCL is said to have put his weight behind him.

rera-unscrupulous-developers-poor-homebuyers-high-on-hype-low-on-substance-

RERA, unscrupulous Developers & poor-homebuyers: High on hype, low on substance?

By Vishal Duggal 18 Oct 2020

The second-largest employment generator in India after agriculture, the real estate sector has a vital role to play in the growth of the Indian economy as it contributes around 6 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) each year. The sector embarked upon the journey of rapid transformation by embracing professional standards and evolving into an organized mode thanks to the implementation of RERA – Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016.

RERA aims to usher in ethical practices in the real estate sector, bringing immense relief to millions of property buyers who are largely taken for a ride by unscrupulous developers. It can be described as a crucial reform measure in the hitherto unorganized real estate sector as it establishes a Real Estate Regulatory Authority that has jurisdiction over both residential and commercial real estate transactions.

RERA claims to protect the interests of consumers by promoting transparency, fair play, and accountability in real estate transactions. With the targeted execution of projects and a uniform regulatory environment for speedy adjudication of disputes, it is supposed to pave the way for the sustained growth of the real estate sector.

Has RERA brought much-needed transparency or simply added to bureaucratic layers over the past four years?

What looks definite is the market sentiment and the faith of homebuyers is still tragically low. The introduction of the RERA, along with GST, did try to improve the situation. However, buying a property still turns out to be a nightmarish experience for consumers, given the ambiguities and complexities surrounding the real estate sector and ineffective implementation of the regulation. More often than not, it is found that a real estate consumer lands into trouble while buying a property, be it for end-use or investment purpose.

As the process of urbanization and industrial growth gains momentum necessitating the availability of real estate on a big scale, the very process of property purchase has become a highly contentious issue, involving development authorities, real estate companies, and property buyers in protracted legal battles.

Eventually, the end-users are taking the final hit because they invest their hard-earned money, apart from taking loans. They have to pay their current rental, besides the EMI against the loans borrowed, which add to their trauma. With the elusive promise of delivery, non-adherence of any time frame on completion of construction, insufficient details available on the track record of the developer, the real estate investment often turns into a non-performing asset.

Going by the increasing incidents in which home-buyers of real estate today have had no way out but to repeatedly knock on the doors of the judiciary, one can imagine the extent to which people have been exploited by developers.

Buyers put their life savings into buying a house but its possession turns out to be a distant dream. The allurement to make more on devious grounds has led us to the juncture wherein a majority of developers are looked upon with suspicion. A lot of effort will have to be put in to clear the pond which can commence only after RERA orders are implemented in letter and spirit, which, sadly, does not prevail on the ground. Clearly, as proof of the pudding lies in the eating, the real impact of RERA lies in its execution on which point it has not fared well across the country. RERA has, by and large, failed to ensure that malpractices in the sector are curbed and all processes are streamlined.

Though RERA was enacted by Parliament to bring cheer to homebuyers, and pave the way for protection from unscrupulous activities, the legal tussles between property buyers and developers due to delay and default in project completion have not come down but rather increased post-RERA establishment.

Despite punitive provisions against errant developers, the Act has largely failed to ensure ethical practices, adherence to quality control measures, timely completion of projects, clear titles, and transparent documentation, strengthening the trust and confidence of investors which in turn would have resulted in market buoyancy. The law is yet to forge a bond of trust between developers and consumers and instill confidence among investors. Against the backdrop of only a few focused and dedicated players following good practices, the regulation has not helped curb manipulations and abuse of law.

The implementation of RERA has definitely been a challenge given its inability to overcome bureaucratic hurdles. In fact, RERA has not led to an image makeover of the real estate sector on the back of much-needed transparency and professionalism. Currently, the delivery of real estate projects is a mirage in India, with RERA holding an abysmal record on the front of execution of its own orders and actual deliverance of justice to property buyers.

(By Vishal Duggal)

a-case-of-communication-gap-or-usual-sloppiness

A case of communication gap or usual sloppiness

By M K Shukla 18 Oct 2020

A crucial gap in communication has been nagging and disturbing senior government officials.

While it was decided in February/March to turn rotting cereals and grains in the state-owned stocks and godowns into biofuel for mixing with fossil fuels to reduce the country's dependence on the latter and save on huge imports bill, the implementation of the idea and plan has been inordinately delayed because the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoP&NG) could not sort out the issue of pricing of biofuels.

It is stated that this task of fixing the biofuel prices was not a difficult one. It merely required consultations between MoP&NG officials and oil marketing PSUs executives. A few rounds of consultations would have cleared the path for devising the price-mechanism and fixing biofuel prices at a profitable level for oil marketing PSUs. This would have also opened the path for FCI to dispose of off its rotten grains to distillers. In the process, both FCI and distillers, too, would have made profits, besides employing people in these hard days.

The concern among senior officials is that such a good idea and plan was stuck in the MoP&NG for no rhyme or reason till mid-October until the top authority on 13 October expressed displeasure over the inordinate delay.  

Officials aware of the nitty-gritty of the issue are not willing to accept the 'excuse' of change of guard at the secretary level in the Ministry of P&NG. It is pointed out that in the three-month period between March-June, the issue could have been easily resolved. "No rocket science was involved".

Officials have been, therefore, wondering whether the whole episode was one of 'communication gap' or 'usual sloppiness' that marks out Indians from others.

(By M K Shukla)

cost-of-endearment-turning-too-high-for-officials

Cost of endearment turning too high for officials

By M K Shukla and Rakesh Ranjan 15 Oct 2020

Every senior official is aware of the cost involved in endearing oneself to a particular political dispensation. And there is no reason to believe that Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh (IPS:1988:MH) has been unaware of it. He's smart. So he must have thought that he could manage the cost involved in his popularity with Congress-NCP leaders. And he did indeed succeed through his career and harvested a rich reward from his political benefactors by getting the current job at the cost of his more competent competitors. 

Everything was indeed working his ways till he stepped on the TRP landmine. And the consequent media blast has exposed his deep connection with NCP-Congress whom he gave a clean chit in the notorious Maharashtra irrigation scam involving Ajit Pawar and others and the favors conferred on his wife, Savita Singh, by famous corporate houses of Mumbai. Though she holds merely MA, LLB degree, which many millions may be holding in this country, she has done extraordinarily well for herself by being on the boards of various companies. 

In the given situation, even if the TRP investigation keeps rolling and may finally lead to nowhere as happen in most of the cases, the Mumbai Police Commissioner may be in for the harshest investigation into his personal and private domain and will face cyclonic political headwinds originating from the central government.

Will he be able to save himself is the question that must be haunting his mind now?

Precedents don't suggest that he will have smooth sailing henceforth.

One may recall how some time ago,  Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar (IPS:1991:WB) landed himself in an inextricable situation for months, had to appear before the CBI, and now finds himself languishing in some corner of West Bengal - just because of what he might have done and what he did to endear himself to the state TMC government and its pugnacious and mercurial CM Mamta Banerjee.

Rajeev Kumar's is not the sole example. Ex-Commissioner in the Central Election Commission Ashok Lavasa and Ex CBI Director Alok Varma, too, had to pay the cost when they thought that they could game the system. They were made to eat humble pie because there were too many chinks in their armor, of which they became too painfully aware when they were hit back. 

With temptations galore and lurking in every corner, officials have found it difficult to internalize the dictum that professional neutrality is the best path to an honorable career, if not a shining and enduring career that entails damage to self-respect and dignity. 

They have been aware of it since the late sixties-early seventies when the Indian polity started shedding off its proclivity for the single-party rule at the centre and the states and decisively moved towards multi-party systems in the states. While in the fifties, Kerala was the only state where a non-Congress Communist government ruled for a while, much of North India - with Bihar leading the example through Samyukta Vidhayak Dal government in the late sixties - slipped into the hands of the non-Congress formations.

As the political churning continued through the seventies, eighties, and nineties and thereafter, IAS and IPS officers found themselves overwhelmed by political realities. They found it rather difficult to stick to the path of their professional neutrality, and many of them set out into the path of endearing themselves both at their cadre states as well as at the centre. Some of them succeeded, but many found themselves left by the roadside of politics.

The advent of NDA 2.0 in 2014 and its continuity as 3.0 at the centre has made things more difficult for scavengers of the bureaucracy to eat the cake and have it too. Param Bir Singh may soon realize that he might have bitten more than he can chew by opening up the Pandora's box of TRP ratings and that no Pawar and his ilk could save him from the fallout of his past Karma - because he didn't stick to the path of professional neutrality in his career ever. 

As politics turn more competitive and complex, because of an interplay between the differing and conflicting ideologies, officials may help their career by blindly following the path of professional neutrality. In this regard, they may be advised to take the Twitter advice of their senior and Ex-HRD Secretary Anil Swarup proffered in reference to the Hathras case. "Huge lesson for civil servants in the suspension of DM and SP Hathras. In case of crime and law and order go strictly by the law. Each officer should know that except ‘honourable’ exceptions overindulgence to please someone does not pay in the long run perhaps in the short-term as well”.

(By M K Shukla and Rakesh Ranjan)

apparently-acc-knocks-down-the-360-degree-panel-recommendation-rekindles-hope

Apparently, ACC knocks down the 360-degree panel recommendation, rekindles hope

By Rakesh Ranjan 13 Oct 2020

The 360-degree method of empanelment of officers, which opened the window for retired officers to influence the careers of some of the best serving officers, is once again in focus, thanks to the bold decision taken by the ACC to not necessarily act on the advice of the 360-degree committees, and going to the extent of rejecting their advice as and when required.

In this regard, UT cadre officers cite the case of G Narendra Kumar (IAS:1989:UT) whose name finally appeared in the list of the review empanelment order issued on 22.09.2020, though Kumar's name didn't figure in the first list (Empanelment for holding Additional Secretary level post in Govt of India)made public on 19.07.2018. It is pointed out that Kumar is known as a no-nonsense officer but suffers from the 'disability' to network and hence had to suffer the humiliation and trauma of not figuring in the first list.

Several UT cadre officers told Indianmandarins that Kumar was always considered among the best lot of officers. However, because of his honorable conduct, a web was created to discredit him and block his growth in administration. Subsequently, the web was discovered to be fabricated by a tissue of lies. But the damage to Kumar's career was already done. Though the NaMo administration sends a message, at least in this case, that fairness may be delayed for a while but may not be denied in perpetuity.

Look at the way Kumar was hounded.

In the third week of September 2017, the CBI booked G Narendra Kumar, then Chairman of the Puducherry Centralised Admission Committee, and 12 others in connection with the alleged irregularities in the admission procedure for postgraduate medical courses in private institutions. CM V Narayanasamy had then on 21.09.2017 told reporters in a veiled reference to the then Lt Governor that some people at the top were 'preoccupied with victimizing' officers of the UT of Puducherry. 

The CM had also asserted that the booked officers had not violated any rules or procedures as separate committees, appointed by the Madras High Court, were on job to fix fees, and monitor the admission process in the medical colleges and the Medical Council of India (MCI) supervised the admissions.

The bottom line is: Will the government continue to indulge retired officers, many of whom - as many as 140 -have formed a group and keep issuing unsolicited statements against the BJP governments because of their past association with the Congress-UPA governments as well as with some foreign-funded NGOs associated with "breaking India forces." Why not check the administrative and political antecedents of retired officers before soliciting their dated and expired advice on the performance records of serving officers? Why not indeed?

(By Rakesh Ranjan)

headless-departments-list-growing

Headless departments' list growing

By Rakesh Ranjan 13 Oct 2020

The list of headless departments/organizations has been expanding of late. One may call it a usual sloppiness in filling the vacancies or a deliberate decision but it can not be given a discount on the pretext of COVId impact.

By any means, this sort of drift is never conducive to governance or fostering quality administration, much less for the image of the government.

The Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) has been headless for more than a month; National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) for over seven months; Central Information Commissioner (CIC) for a long time; and DG (Investigation), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for over a month.

The Doordarshan (DD) has been headless after Ms. Supriya Sahu (IAS:1991:TN) repatriated to her cadre state in early this year. The same is the fate of All India Radio, Prasar Bharti, and Satyajeet Ray Film Institute.

At least six ministries & departments are awaiting regular secretaries. National Security Guard (NSG) fell vacant a few days back whereas the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is running headless for over a year. Dozens of Board level positions in various Central PSUs are lying vacant amid no signs of hope very soon. If some well-placed sources are to be believed over four hundred posts of the independent directors are lying vacant some of them do not have even a single Independent Director.

(By Rakesh Ranjan)


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