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PR Function
Chief Election Commissioner of India and former Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS officer OP Rawat among others during the celebration of national public relations day at NDIM campus on April 21.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Siddhartha Behura, the bureaucrat who signed 2G licence documents was an icon of 1991 liberalization process

Siddhartha Behura, who as the telecom secretary signed the controversial 2G licences announced on January 8, 2008, was incidentally a key officer responsible for the liberalization of the industrial sector in India way back in 1991. When Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, then finance minister pioneered the liberalization process in 1991, it was Behura who as a joint secretary in Department of Industrial Development successfully formulated India’s New Industrial Policy, 1991.
Behura, a 1973 batch UP cadre IAS joined the Department of Industrial Development as a director in 1989 and got promoted as joint secretary in 1991. He continued with the department till the end of 1994. Not just that, Behura became the first ex-officio secretary of the newly-created Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) which was responsible for formulating policies for entry of foreign investors into India and also attracting foreign investment into the country.
Behura’s name has been discussed in power corridor ever since India’s auditor, CAG, found telecom department responsible for a revenue loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore while doling out 2G spectrum licences, forcing minister A Raja to resign. (In Picture: Behura with then telecom minister Raja, File photo) On Thursday, Supreme Court asked investigating agency CBI for its inability to question former telecom minister A Raja and telecom secretary in the 2G spectrum scam, and went to the extent of saying that the agency was “beating around the bush” when “illegality is prima facie evident.”
Recently, Behura told an Indian newspaper, Financial Express, that he only implemented the decision taken by the minister in the fairest possible manner as there was no other alternative. He had claimed that when he joined office as telecom secretary on January 1, 2008, all decisions with regard to granting of licences were taken either verbally or on files. “I had no option but to implement the minister’s decision. The relationship between the minister and secretary is a very tenuous one and I would not like to go into it, but my record is clean,” he told the newspaper. In fact, his predecessor DS Mathur has come out in media saying that he had refused to abide by his minister so far as the 2G licences were concerned. Mathur retired as the telecom secretary on December 31, 2007.
Behura, who had also served as CEO of Noida, was with environment ministry between 2005 and 2007 when A Raja was the environment minister. Just before joining as the telecom secretary, he was a special secretary in the ministry of environment and forests.
Immediately after his retirement as telecom secretary on September 30, 2009, Raja made him the chairman of C-DoT Alcatel-Lucent Research Centre based in Chennai. 

9 comments:

  1. But there are still a few bureaucrats who are not amenable, and may not necessarily listen to whatever his political boss says. But the problem is that they are in minority. New systems should be in place to change the current Neta-Babu equations.

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  2. whether any IAS officer who is more intellectual than minister can't deny or we can say modify the wrong decision of minister

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  3. Another IAS officer who sold the country. Come on Manmohanji do something. Its not enough that you are honest and upright. Its your duty as PM to control others. Abolish IAS and start depending on other civil servants. The country will move forward.

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  4. If the idea is to please and implement a decision even if it is against the interests of the country why do we need IAS officers? A peon would do! Infaact a peon will do better. The secretary was brought in from addl secretary an elevation and given a position post retirement. Isn't this corruption? Price of this personal benefit - sell the country. Wah - how tenuous!

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  5. IAS and Politician both are responsible for developing India as a corrupt country. Both IAS and present political system need to be scraped and re-shape it as per the present day requirement.Young people and youth are frustrated with the present system and they see and say that nothing is possible in this country except corruption. Politician are corrupt, babus are corrupt, judges are corrupt, media is corrupt and police is corrupt. A common and honest man feels as if he is a fish out of water.

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  6. IAS should be abolished!!Very few percentage of them is effective in todays political equations!!!..Whole administrative set up of the country should be reform!!

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  7. definitely IAS should be abolished. experts from different fields should be appointed as secretaries and commisoners for various departments. for example a doctor can be more efective than an IAS officer as secretary to health department. similarly a lawyer to law department etc. why depend on IAS for everything. dont we have any body else?

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  8. i don't understand this...why we only talk about the corrupt officials.....remember recently an IAS officer from MP brunt alive....cause he was after the oil mafia.....also an ias officer cleaning the mcd school toilet.....why the mains stream media...only want to cover the corrupt officials...why not investigate who killed the MP IAS officer...
    actually when people say that ias officers are corrupt then....you people are including all those also who are true to their services

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  9. If Behura is responsible for the loss of govt revenue, govt will put him in Tihar Jail. Though it will give me some pain though we are from same village, Dasarthpur, Nuagaon, Jajpur. But if some one did anything wrong punishment is the best solution.

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