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2017 batch IPS officer-trainees with President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, in New Delhi on October 12.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Home ministry tightens norms on bureaucrats’ foreign junkets

IN CONTINUATION with its earlier order of restraining Indian bureaucrats hobnobbing with foreign embassies, the ministry of home affairs has further tightened the norms of foreign junkets for civil servants. The new MHA guidelines, which have initially been circulated among Delhi and Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil/Police Services (DANICS and DANIPS), want bureaucrats to submit in writing whether they would attend any…
conference or seminar during their stay abroad.
The guidelines, which were issued as an office memorandum dated June 26, 2012, are likely to be applicable for bureaucrats across cadres and ministries.
Media reports describing the fine-prints of the guidelines have further said that the bureaucrats will have to mention who is the “sponsoring authority”. Also, the touring officer will have to submit the expenditure details including air fare and approximate costs of food and lodging, that too 15 days prior to the scheduled visit.
BoI had earlier reported how union home secretary RK Singh in a letter dated April 3, 2012 asked secretaries of various departments to restrain bureaucrats from hobnobbing with foreign embassies in India. He had mentioned in the letter that a few bureaucrats were already “cultivated” by foreign service nationals or embassy officers through no name was mentioned in the letter.
All government officers need to take permission before undertaking any foreign visit irrespective of whether it’s an official or a personal trip. But the MHA has become stricter after it was found that many officers submit incomplete details before undertaking foreign tours.

Bhushan’s dramatic exit as DGCA
In a dramatic development, EK Bharat Bhushan, a 1979 batch Kerala cadre IAS officer, had a shock exit as Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). As reports had narrated, Bhushan came to know that he was removed from the post only when his successor Prashant Sukul, a joint secretary in the civil aviation ministry, drove into his office to take over. Only on July 2, 2012, Bhushan got an extension “for a further period of one year with effect from 01.12.2011 or till the appointment of a regular incumbent, whichever is earlier with the direction to the Ministry to fill up the post within this period”. This order came from the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet which is headed by Prime Minister.
As head of the aviation regulator, Bhushan took some tough decisions including exposing the fake pilot scam. There were rumours that he wanted to ground the cash-strapped Kingfisher Airline by cancelling its licence.

Action and Appointments
In a major reshuffle, Madhya Pradesh Government on Tuesday transferred 28 IAS officers, including 12 district collectors. Former TRIFED managing director and 1979 batch IAS Ms Sneh Lata Kumar will be the new Resident Commissioner of Madhya Pradesh at New Delhi.

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