CALL it a syndrome of reiterating Netagiri over babudom. Yes, no proactive politician may like bureaucrats to assert on a particular subject, but environment and forests minister Jairam Ramesh’s tirade against bureaucrats in the wake of Shyam Saran’s controversial resignation was quite hard-hitting, and some would perhaps argue it as avoidable.
Asserting that he was not a rubber stamp to the bureaucracy, Mr Ramesh said on Wednesday that it’s the job of a politician to set the policy, and bureaucrats are consultants. “Bureaucracy cannot dictate policies”, he told a group of media persons on Wednesday. He too agreed that he had differences with PM’s special envoy on climate change Shyam Saran, adding that bureaucracy can’t dictate policies as it was ultimately the minister who had to face Parliament. He further claimed that he had the support of the Prime Minister on all issues.
In fact, Mr Saran, a former Indian Foreign Service officer of 1970 batch, recently announced that he would quit his job with effect from March 14, though he did not spell out his serious differences with Mr Ramesh. There was a speculation that Mr Saran who now holds the rank of a secretary, would be promoted to the rank of a minister of state.
Significantly, Mr Ramesh’s observation on bureaucracy came at a time when most bureaucrats around the country were watching the superlative performance of another Ramesh – Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar who made history by becoming the first batsman in the world to pull a double century in an one-day international match!
It could not be verified whether Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh who himself was a bureaucrat and served as a finance secretary, would back Jairam Ramesh on his outburst against bureaucracy, but PM did send a congratulatory message to the other Ramesh on his reaching yet another milestone at Gwalior match, and termed it a “magnificent achievement”.
Action and Appointments
a) Shatrughna Singh, a 1983 batch Uttarakhand cadre IAS, has been appointed as joint secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
b) Ms Sneh Lata Kumar, a 1979 batch MP cadre IAS has been appointed as MD, TRIFED under the ministry of tribal affairs at the level of joint secretary for the period from the date of assumption of charge of the post till
August 13, 2010.
c) Ms Kiran Chadha, CSS, and joint secretary in the ministry of women and child development, has been appointed as Executive Director, Rashtraya Mahila Kosh under the ministry of women and child development.