Monday, May 14, 2012

Dear cabinet secretary Seth, don't be so modest; remove your ex-boss' photos

Cabinet secretary Ajit K Seth with his ex-boss Chandrasekhar (L)
ONE year after Ajit Kumar Seth became India’s cabinet secretary, the top bureaucrat in the country, the photo gallery of the cabinet secretariat gives an impression as if his four batch senior in IAS, KM Chandrasekhar, still occupies the hot seat! Have you checked the15 photos which were uploaded in the official cabinet secretariat website till Sunday night? Here are those.
The home page of the site has correctly placed Seth’s photo, but once you click the Photo Gallery section, you will come across the line: “Displayed below are photographs taken during the Cabinet Secretary’s official meetings”. What does that mean? It clearly means the photographs were taken and uploaded when Seth conducted official meetings.
But wait a moment. In 12 of those 15 photos, Seth’s predecessor KM Chandrasekhar is the man in action. In one photo Chandrasekhar is with Prime Minister, in another he is with deputy chairman Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, one with Vice President Hamid Ansari and another with Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, and so on.
Current cabinet secretary Seth is featured only in one photograph, and that too with Chandrasekhar (the photo is produced above). For the record, Seth was then a secretary in cabinet secretariat and Chandrasekhar was his boss.The cabinet secretariat is hardly a news-maker. And keeping in mind the sensitive issues it handles, it’s probably the right thing not to be too adventurous. But on Sunday, the cabinet secretariat was dragged into a controversy as one of its high ranked female officials belonging to Indian Economic Service was reportedly found guilty of leaking a sensitive letter written by Army chief to Prime Minister. The news was officially denied but the issue continued to be the talking point in Raisina Hills late Sunday evening.
Coming back to the Photo Gallery’s misleading photos, here are a few observations.
a) The website of the cabinet secretariat is one of the worst among Indian government sites. Minor changes won’t help. It needs an overhaul. 
b)  Cabinet secretary Seth is one of the most low profile and modest officers. He probably does not care to find out whether his own photos were uploaded in the site or not. But one year after Seth became the cabinet secretary, how could the photos of his predecessor be uploaded in the photo gallery of the site when the caption says “photographs taken during the Cabinet Secretary’s official meetings”. 
c)      How can such a mistake be ignored for one full year? Dear Seth, you are the boss of all bureaucrats in the country. Your official site should not carry even one mistake. Either you remove the photos, or alter the caption by saying: “photographs taken during former Cabinet Secretary’s official meetings”. It’s ridiculous!


  1. Actually I've also felt it myself too while opening site of the CabSec. If u open front top-left corner Image of Website's Home page, U will find Image's caption as ''rashtpati_bhawan.png''...Shouldn't it b ''cabinet_secretariat.png''...!!

  2. It's quite surprising that even after one year, the same old photos have remained. Why no new photo showing the activities of AK Seth has been uploaded as yet. At least the wrong (misleading) caption should be changed.