INDIAN ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICE

lessons-from-the-past-may-add-a-new-dimension-to-fight-against-covid-19

Lessons from the past may add a new dimension to fight against COVID-19

COVID-19 pandemic has been giving nightmares to even super-powers of the world. Social distancing has been order of the day. Testing, tracking and treatment are tools to fight the pandemic whereas breaking the stigma and fear attached to testing positive are the biggest deterrent against spreading social awareness.

The Centre and states are doing the best of their capabilities to fight the pandemic but still, one important aspect appears to be missing i.e. breaking the stigma. Once it is done it may take the fight against COVID-19 to the next level ascertaining far better results in terms of social distancing, testing, tracking, and treatment.

Taking lessons from the past experiments and experience may add one new dimension to our consolidated fight against the pandemic.

A similar virus was threatening the world in the first decade of this millennium. HIV cases were on surge in the united Andhra Pradesh. Like COVID-19; HIV too does not spread through air and touch, it was very infectious, debilitating, deadly and highly stigmatizing.

Then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy was known for his pioneering initiatives like Arogya Sri (the precursor of Ayushman Bharat) and 108 ambulance services in the health sector.

In combating HIV in AP, the “Be Bold” campaign started by AP State AIDS Control Society proved to be the game-changer. Asok Kumar (IAS:1991), presently, Additional Secretary and Mission Director, National Water Mission was in charge of the ‘Be Bold Campaign’. This drew the national and international attention after it effectively checkmated the spread of HIV in a short span of time (Yr 2005-2008).

Testing, Tracking, Treatment and Stigma Reduction was the main strategy under the “Be Bold” campaign to reduce the spread of HIV. Stigma attached to even HIV testing was the biggest deterrent.

Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy’s small though innovative move broke the stigma. Reddy himself along with his cabinet colleagues and Speaker of the Assembly Suresh Reddy publicly underwent the HIV tests. This proved a game-changer and triggered a massive testing drive. It helped in the identification of HIV positives cases enabling the administration to design strategy and device effective mechanism to contain the disease by way of counseling them to prevent further spread and their treatment. This led to a massive reduction of new HIV cases in AP.

“Be Bold Campaign” breaking the stigma reduction was reportedly considered by UNAIDS as one of the best campaigns in the world for HIV/AIDS prevention and stigma reduction, inviting the PD, APSACS who handled the campaign to make a presentation at the International AIDS Conference in Mexico in 2008.

A huge number of deaths in superpowers like the US and China not only create fear after testing positive for COVID-19 but the mandatory 14-day quarantine also gives a sense of rejection and creates social stigma. Breaking the stigma may add a new dimension to our collective fight against COVID-19.

(By Rakesh Ranjan)

10 Apr 2020
ias-association-contributes-rs-21-lakh-to-pm-cares-

IAS Association contributes Rs 21 lakh to PM-CARES

IAS Association, in one of the tweets, has mentioned that it has decided to contribute Rs 21 lakh to the PM-CARES Fund as its initial contribution to resolve towards alleviating the hardships being faced by the citizens, especially the poor and most vulnerable in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. The association members have opted to contribute a day's salary to help the country overcome the fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

30 Mar 2020
lessons-from-the-past-may-add-a-new-dimension-to-fight-against-covid-19

Lessons from the past may add a new dimension to fight against COVID-19

By IndianMandarins 10 Apr 2020

COVID-19 pandemic has been giving nightmares to even super-powers of the world. Social distancing has been order of the day. Testing, tracking and treatment are tools to fight the pandemic whereas breaking the stigma and fear attached to testing positive are the biggest deterrent against spreading social awareness.

The Centre and states are doing the best of their capabilities to fight the pandemic but still, one important aspect appears to be missing i.e. breaking the stigma. Once it is done it may take the fight against COVID-19 to the next level ascertaining far better results in terms of social distancing, testing, tracking, and treatment.

Taking lessons from the past experiments and experience may add one new dimension to our consolidated fight against the pandemic.

A similar virus was threatening the world in the first decade of this millennium. HIV cases were on surge in the united Andhra Pradesh. Like COVID-19; HIV too does not spread through air and touch, it was very infectious, debilitating, deadly and highly stigmatizing.

Then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy was known for his pioneering initiatives like Arogya Sri (the precursor of Ayushman Bharat) and 108 ambulance services in the health sector.

In combating HIV in AP, the “Be Bold” campaign started by AP State AIDS Control Society proved to be the game-changer. Asok Kumar (IAS:1991), presently, Additional Secretary and Mission Director, National Water Mission was in charge of the ‘Be Bold Campaign’. This drew the national and international attention after it effectively checkmated the spread of HIV in a short span of time (Yr 2005-2008).

Testing, Tracking, Treatment and Stigma Reduction was the main strategy under the “Be Bold” campaign to reduce the spread of HIV. Stigma attached to even HIV testing was the biggest deterrent.

Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy’s small though innovative move broke the stigma. Reddy himself along with his cabinet colleagues and Speaker of the Assembly Suresh Reddy publicly underwent the HIV tests. This proved a game-changer and triggered a massive testing drive. It helped in the identification of HIV positives cases enabling the administration to design strategy and device effective mechanism to contain the disease by way of counseling them to prevent further spread and their treatment. This led to a massive reduction of new HIV cases in AP.

“Be Bold Campaign” breaking the stigma reduction was reportedly considered by UNAIDS as one of the best campaigns in the world for HIV/AIDS prevention and stigma reduction, inviting the PD, APSACS who handled the campaign to make a presentation at the International AIDS Conference in Mexico in 2008.

A huge number of deaths in superpowers like the US and China not only create fear after testing positive for COVID-19 but the mandatory 14-day quarantine also gives a sense of rejection and creates social stigma. Breaking the stigma may add a new dimension to our collective fight against COVID-19.

(By Rakesh Ranjan)

ias-association-contributes-rs-21-lakh-to-pm-cares-

IAS Association contributes Rs 21 lakh to PM-CARES

By IndianMandarins 30 Mar 2020

IAS Association, in one of the tweets, has mentioned that it has decided to contribute Rs 21 lakh to the PM-CARES Fund as its initial contribution to resolve towards alleviating the hardships being faced by the citizens, especially the poor and most vulnerable in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. The association members have opted to contribute a day's salary to help the country overcome the fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

covid-19-india-requires-a-multi-pronged-strategy-21-days-lockdown-and-beyond-

COVID-19: India requires a multi-pronged strategy, 21 days lockdown and beyond

By IndianMandarins 26 Mar 2020

Dr Manish Ranjan, 2002 batch IAS officer, emphasises that India is a country with more than 1.35 billion population and hence tracking and treating each infected person requires a robust public policy and its effective implementation. In addition to massive measures of Central and State governments the fight against COVID-19 pandemic requires active participation from individuals and community as well. Moreover, more than 190 countries all over the world are struggling to find the ways and means to tackle this exponentially growing monster. While researchers and laboratories are busy finding the most effective combination of medicine and vaccine to get rid of the virus, public policy leaders are doing the best in formulating policies and ensuring implementation amidst ever-transforming scenario of this public health hazard. In his latest address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared a three-week lockdown throughout India starting March 25. But the big question remains: what after social distancing of three weeks?
The state and district level administration should ensure the implementation of all social welfare schemes, public distribution system, and cash transfer effectively on time. The establishment of hotline communication between the Centre, state, and the national level health organisations is the key to fight the pandemic. 
Indian drug companies can shed their differences, collaborate and learn from the German biopharmaceutical company, to demonstrate strong national character at this unprecedented time of crisis and pressure.
Indian companies may also share their know-how with each other to discover medicine and vaccine quickly. In addition to this Government may also announce an economic package for sharing the economic burden of the wage-bills of small and medium enterprises so that workers are not laid off. Besides, it will ensure that these enterprises too do not bear the brunt of recruiting and training their employees once the economy is restored.
This period may also be used for global collaboration and diplomacy. Once India fulfils its needs of manufacturing the testing equipment, it may lend these facilities to countries suffering enormously. New credit line may also be initiated with weaker economies to steer a soft approach towards global diplomacy.                                                                            
(Dr Manish Ranjan is pursuing Masters in Public Affairs at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, California, USA, ).

singhal-envisages-free-covid-19-medical-helpline-seva

Singhal envisages free Covid-19 Medical Helpline Seva

By IndianMandarins 25 Mar 2020

A free Covid-19 Medical Helpline Seva has been made by Ira Singhal (IAS), Director, Community Services, North MCD in association with Vision Divyang Foundation to handle mental health related issues of people on call, message, video call or WhatsApp to help all those in need.
Following are the contact numbers of qualified counsellors:
Timing: 9am to 1pm-: 
91-9810682881, 9869972078, 9310961055, 8802132559, and 8447674732
Timing: 1pm to 5pm-:
91-9313905550, 9810958654,7982169245,7006120827, 9899354186, and 9811746265.
The above-mentioned helpline numbers will function up to 14th April, 2020.

ias-officer-sriram-venkitaraman-reinstated-in-service

IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman reinstated in service

By IndianMandarins 23 Mar 2020

Due to unprecedented situation arising due to corona outbreak in the country, the 2013 batch IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman has been reinstated in the state services. Earlier he was suspended by the government due to his involvment in the controversial issue of drunken driving accident case in which the journalist K M Basheer died in Thiruvananthapuram in August 2019. Though no formal order has been issued by the state government, he has been reinstated as the joint secretary in the department of Health and Social Justice. Venkitararam has requested so many times to the government to reinstate him in service as per provisions of All India Service 1996.  In January Venkitaraman's reinstatement was put on hold by the chief secretary Tom Jose (the committee head) after criticism from various corners.

pm’s-resolve-to-shake-up-bureaucracy;-asks-to-shed-colonial-legacy

PM’s resolve to shake-up bureaucracy; asks to shed colonial legacy

By IndianMandarins 01 Nov 2019

Hitting hardly on the colonial legacy and hinting clearly at his resolve to shake up the bureaucracy Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that young Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers should go to people, and change the legacy of colonialism. He was addressing the 'combined foundation course' comprising 400 young officers from various services including IAS officers in the 'tent city' of Kewadia in Gujarat. “We don’t expect status quo from you. Everyone is working to build new India, but our responsibility is more," PM said. “The presence of silos and hierarchy does not help our system. Whoever we are, wherever we are, we have to work together for the nation."

While addressing a programme at the Statue of Unity attended by IAS officers among others, he underlined that civil servants should make efforts to change the perception of bureaucracy by working as a comprehensive team in the best interest of an aspirational country.

He said “Let’s change how we look at things. Earlier, people would keep saying backward districts...now we say aspirational districts. Why should any posting be a punishment posting? Why not see it as an opportunity posting?"

PM added that “as service providers, it is our duty to increase the ease of living. People should not struggle with the government on a daily basis, and the poor should not suffer."

ias:-govt-mulls-03-yrs-mandatory-under-central-deputation

IAS: Govt mulls 03 yrs mandatory under central deputation?

By IndianMandarins 10 Jul 2019

Indianmandarins has learned that the NaMo administration may make it mandatory for IAS officers to serve the Central government for three years. But this may not go down well with state governments as each successive batch of IAS officers from 1997 onwards is too short to meet their own requirements of IAS officers.


Further, several IAS officers, especially from North-Eastern states, J&K, and extreme south are often keen to work at the Centre for experience and better career prospects ahead. It is also pointed out that several IAS officers placed in adequately-resourced states like Punjab, Maharashtra show lack of appetite to come to the Centre whereas states like West Bengal often show reluctance to give their officers NoC for central deputation.


Broadly, it may be good news for IAS officers if the government arrives at any definitive decision on their posting at the center for a minimum of three years.

new-meghalaya-cs-takes-charge

New Meghalaya CS takes charge

By IndianMandarins 03 Apr 2019

The 1984 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Assam-Meghalaya cadre officer, Parmarsan S. Thangkhiew, has taken over as the new Chief Secretary of Meghalaya. He has succeeded Y. Tsering who retired on March 31.

 

Thangkhiew has served in the central government in various capacities besides Meghalaya.

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