Saturday, February 20, 2010

Behind PMO’s tweet-like message on Shyam Saran’s exit; what stops Dr Singh doling out MoS rank to his key envoy?

ON Friday, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has given a terse release saying “Mr Saran has been permitted to demit office with effect from March 14”. Yet, the exit of Shyam Saran, a 1970 batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer and one of the key architects of India-US nuclear deal, was not as simple as this Tweet-like short message was meant to be.
For Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, it has been a tough job to carve out an honourable position for this diplomat-turned climate change negotiator after Shiv Shankar Menon, a 1972 batch IFS was made national security advisor (NSA) at the rank of a minister of state. Though there were speculations that Mr Saran would also be given the rank of a minister of state, as it has been in case of advisor to PM, TKA Nair, it was not done in the backdrop of his disagreements with India’s environment and forests minister Jairam Ramesh.
After all, Mr Ramesh who is a close confidante of the Prime Minister, is also a minister of state, and that means the elevation of Mr Saran to the same rank would make it a complex story as both of them don’t see eye to eye in all crucial climate change matters.
It remains to be seen whether the government would still entertain the views of two other retired officials, C Dasgupta, a 1962 batch IFS and former environment secretary Prodipto Ghosh, a 1969 batch UT cadre IAS, as both of them too were highly critical of Mr Ramesh’s views on climate change!
(In Picture: Saran with former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice; file photo)

Question Time
A question on “assets of officers in public domain” will come up in Lok Sabha on February 24, 2010 during the current budget session. The questions that would come up in Rajya Sabha on February 25 are related to Central resolution on whistle blowers act, CBI cases in Assam, performances of civil servants, and filling of backlog vacancies etc.

1 comment:

  1. Its a classic problem between Bureaucrats and Bureaucrats AND Bureaucrats and politician.