Monday, May 31, 2010

Jadhav’s Air India may turn a test flight for IAS’ claims on administration skill

IF Air India chairman Arvind Jadhav fails to engineer a turnaround of India’s national carrier, it would impact less of the political career of NCP leader and Union aviation minister Praful Patel but more of the claims of IAS officers that magic rules of administration are applicable from running a district or a department to a complex behemoth like Air India. As 5000 passengers including a sizeable number of government officers got stranded during the recent two-day long flash strike just after the Mangalore air crash, Jadhav was more a talking point in corridors of power than those who were cabinet secretary probables. Many officers even began to introspect whether an IAS officer should head Air India at all?
Those who know 1978 batch Karnataka cadre IAS Jhadav from close quarters claim he is a tough, no non-sense administrator who means business. The sacking of AI employees post strike and de-recognition of two trade unions displayed a tough Air India management headed by Jadhav this time round, but his one-year-long journey of piloting the debt-ridden and strike-infested airline has largely been a turbulent one with no immediate sign of Maharaja’s recovery. Some even questioned whether Jadhav was qualified at all to take up the assignment? That he is an MBA from an Australian University and earlier served as MD in two organizations --- Karnataka Silk Marketing Board and Mysore Minerals Ltd., might have rightly impressed the selectors, but the question today is much bigger --- whether Air India should be headed by a professional CEO with a vast aviation knowledge and experience, or the future of the airline should be left to a politician-bureaucrat duo — Patel and Jadhav?
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Now, Maharashtra govt wants IAS, IPS to declare assets
The Maharashtra government which has now taken up a series of new measures to evaluate the performance of bureaucrats, now wants the assets of IAS and IPS officers to be declared. To make it enforceable, it has recently written to the Centre to make requisite changes in the All India Service Rule. As was reported by the DNA newspaper, chief minister Ashok Chavan said IAS and IPS officers should declare assets on the line of politicians. 


  1. It is not just about air india, but the same old debate-- whether PSUs should be run by a bureaucrat/politician or technocrat/professional? so long as there are social obligations attached to a psu,a clear-cut answer is quite difficult.

  2. Whether the present can be a good administrator or not is not the issue. The issue here is how good are you at man management and how good a leader are you??? AI is a service oriented organisation which is people centric. Unless the management is able to motivate the employees who are directly interacting with the flying public , the image of AI would not improve. It would in the interest of AI and its employees to evolve better attitude towards us - the flying public to make it good in this competitive industry.

  3. This is not a question which has just sprung up when babus were left stranded because of a flash strike, but one which has been plaguing the airline for many decades. If Mr Jadhav is a qualified MBA and has a proven track record of performance in other PSUs alongwith a non nonsense image; then why do not the politicians and his beaurocrat colleagues leave him alone to function as best suitable to the airline- both from man management and financial management point of view. Give him a year with full autonomy and then maybe at the end of that full year see his accomplishments.