Friday, March 02, 2012

CEC SY Quraishi’s midnight passion is a wake-up call to tech-illiterate bureaucrats

ON Thursday night, babu blogger posed a direct question to chief election commissioner of India Dr SY Quraishi on Twitter: “What’s your overall rating of the current round of elections? How much do you want to give out of 10?” Past midnight, the reply came through the same micro-blogging platform: “We couldn’t have asked for more! Very satisfying, don’t you think?”
Unlike babu blogger who posed a relatively easy question to CEC, someone in Twitter posed a tougher one: “EC’s achievements: a) Clean chit 2 Salman K, Beni b) Clean chit 2 Pratibha Patil’s son… Thanks”. But Dr Quraishi did not shy away from replying to that not-so-comfortable question. He tweeted: “Pl check your facts. Salman was indicted. Beni case fixed for hearing on 2 mar evening. Maharashtra municipal poll not ECI!”
You may or may not fully agree with Quraishi’s claims, but he has a point to make. He has an answer for all. As this highly busy civil servant answers queries on his iPad past midnight, should young bureaucrats continue to remain technology illiterate? This 1971 batch IAS who had served as Union sports secretary before moving to Election Commission, is demonstrating how a 65-year-old bureaucrat can convert himself into a tech-savvy babu. For hundreds of bureaucrats who are highly satisfied with dictating notes to their PS and signing centuries-old nada wali files (typical government files with thread), it’s time to introspect.
Many bureaucrats still feel that nada wali files will never go away despite the Central government began an experimentation that those files need to be replaced with smart e-files where a babu will first log in, digitally sign it, write file-notings and electronically send it to the higher level. But many bureaucrats are not so happy about this experimentation that is already taking place in ministries like rural development, commerce etc.
Quraishi, incidentally the first Muslim chief election commissioner, has never worked in a tech-department like IT or DoT. But thanks to his photographer son, he says he has “surrendered” to Twitter. Quraishi also authored two amazing papers “Islam, Muslims and Family Planning in India” and “Islam and AIDS”.

Action and Appointments
a) UK Sangma, a 1978 batch Jharkhand cadre IAS and secretary to North Eastern Council, has got an extension for three months beyond March 2, 2012.
b) AK Choudhary, a 1986 batch Indian Telecom Service officer and director in statistics and programme implementation ministry, has got an extension for six months beyond February 29, 2012.

1 comment:

  1. Woh! Mr Quraishi does not go to bed so late during these hectic election days. An amazing spirit!