or many babus, rules are only for others not for the heaven-born. An IAS officer in Kerala skipped home quarantine after returning from abroad. He was later traced in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, his hometown. A case has been lodged against him for going AWOL.
Anupam Mishra, Sub Collector of Kollam, had returned from Singapore and was advised to remain under home quarantine as stated in the protocol for overseas returnees against the backdrop of the novel coronavirus outbreak. However, he did not follow the order, which the government has taken as “a serious lapse on the part of an IAS officer”. Once his disappearance came to light, the Kollam authorities immediately placed Mishra’s driver, personal security guard and secretary in isolation.
Kerala is one state that is among the worst affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and is already under lockdown. The Kerala government is reportedly in touch with the UP government in this regard and Mishra will have to face proceedings for defying his superior’s orders.
The appointment of IAS, IPS and other Group A services officers through promotions has declined by 50 per cent between 2016 and 2018. A Lok Sabha query revealed that the number of appointments through promotion was 2,918 in 2018. In comparison, it was 5,953 in 2016 and 5,944 in 2017.
However, no one seems to know the reason behind this drastic dip in promotions. According to sources, Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) officials say the reduction could be the result of ongoing court cases, fewer retirements and such, but these reasons do not explain the 50 per cent decline in promotions. Especially when we consider another fact: there are a massive number of vacancies in the Centre.
One reason for this, it is being said, is that promotions from deputy secretary to secretary levels are made by committees and selection panels. If there are delays in meetings of these committees, obviously no promotion can be made. It is indeed a confusing situation
Kerala babu reinstated
The IAS officer of Kerala cadre who had come under a cloud after the police accused him of being involved in a drunken-driving accident and causing the death of a journalist has been reinstated into service. after the incident in the state capital last August, IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman was placed under suspension by the state government.
However, sources say, repeated attempts were made to get the babu reinstated, despite criticism from opposition parties and the public. In January, a committee headed by Chief Secretary Tom Jose decided to reinstate Venkitaraman into service. But the government kept the decision on hold. Until now.
It is being said the government of Kerala, which is fighting the CoVID-19 outbreak is keen to get all hands on board, and the decision to reinstate the tainted babu should be seen in this context. However, it is unlikely that the babu’s reinstatement will pass off quietly.
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