|Modi interacting with Union secretaries (File photo)|
1. Many bureaucrats, particularly those at the very senior level, have forgotten that they used to play a game of golf to relax. Also, many babus now go home straight, and stop dropping in at the Gymkhana Club for a drink.
2. Every Central government employee now has to reach office dot on time. There is no scope of fudging, as bio-metrics attendance linked to one’s Aadhaar number is mandatory in almost all offices. But alas! There is no fixed time for exit. Many secretaries regularly work till 8 pm, and at times till 9 pm. The 9 to 5 sarkari culture is at danger! Everyone knows, there is someone in the PMO who is virtually 24X7.
3. There is no guarantee for any extension in tenure. The Central deputation tenure can no longer be stretched by using jugaad. Many had to reluctantly go back to the parent cadre much earlier than expected. The list of officers getting premature repatriation (to the parent cadre) is getting longer every second month.
4. Many bureaucrats have stopped giving interviews to journalists. The unwritten rule is: No bureaucrat should hijack the credit of any successful government initiative. But the same rule has one more tag: No minister either should get the credit! Who is it then the credit is reserved for?
5. There is always a fear factor in the minds of senior bureaucrats. Many wish (probably pray in the morning) that Mayaram does not happen to him or her. The manner in which three high-profile secretaries, Arvind Mayaram, Rajiv Takru and GS Sandhu, were sent to inconsequential positions, is making everyone at the top highly insecure.
6. And the list of new appointments, promotions (and even demotions) is released at night, and in at least two occasions at mid-night! Also, many key appointments like the ones of CBI director and RAW chief were announced on a Saturday night.
7. No officer is allowed to travel abroad more than four times in a calendar year. For secretaries, foreign junkets are allowed only if their presence is essential, and officers of the level of additional secretary or joint secretary cannot be substituted for them.
8. To make things worse, the trend of officers travelling abroad at the expense of PSUs is highly discouraged, according to a set of diktats issued last month.
9. The officers with RSS linkage are said to be at an advantageous position in the corridors. And those who lack that, are seen trying chanting Sanskrit verses in public forums.
10. Finally, idea boxes are placed at various parts of the corridors, as bureaucrats are supposed to submit fresh ideas there. Will someone file an RTI to get a sense of quality of those supposedly out-of-the-box ideas?