J Bhagwati, IFS is all set to be India’s next envoy to London

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The jockeying for India House, the seat of the Indian high commission in London, seems to be over with the government apparently zeroing in on J Bhagwati, India’s current envoy to Brussels.

Bhagwati, who has been India’s ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and to the European Union for over three years, has an impressive and varied resume that includes stints in the finance ministry and in the World Bank.

A 1976 batch officer of the Indian Foreign Service, Bhagwati served as additional secretary in the external affairs ministry and boasts of extensive experience in financial and economic matters with specialisation in capital markets.

The lobbying for India House had moved into top gear after Nalin Surie stepped down as India’s high commissioner July 31 and retired from the foreign service. He was offered a six-month extension but he declined.

Since then, many senior diplomats were eyeing the prized London posting — including Pavan K Varma, currently India’s ambassador to Bhutan and a former director general of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), and Sujatha Singh, India’s high commissioner to Australia.

However, after a careful review, the government has now chosen Bhagwati as the successor to Surie in India House, highly placed sources said.

With Bhagwati’s appointment near certain, the stage has been set for other key high-profile diplomatic appointments.

There are no announcements yet, but there is speculation that Navtej Sarna, India’s envoy to Israel, may become ambassador in either Dhaka or Thimphu.

Pankaj Saran, currently joint secretary in the PMO, is also keen on an ambassadorial posting in Bhutan.

Sujatha Singh is expected to take charge in Berlin. It’s not clear who will succeed her in Canberra but the name of Biren Nanda, India’s envoy to Indonesia, is doing the rounds.

Gurjit Singh, additional secretary in charge of East and South Africa in the external affairs ministry, is heading to Indonesia as ambassador.

Vishnu Prakash, the spokesperson of the external affairs ministry, is expected to go to Seoul as India’s ambassador.

Syed Akbaruddin, a senior diplomat who was in Vienna with the International Atomic Energy Agency, is likely to succeed Prakash as the public face of India’s foreign office.

But the sources said that last minutes changes in the appointments could not be ruled out.

suhaib Ilyasi, Bureaucracy Today
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Khan saheb has not charged a single paisa to sing an Indian patriotic song in my film 498A-The wedding gift

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There was a story in Times of India about Ghulam Ali Khan Saheb singing our Indian national song. The story has ignited a debate at the following link. Some ignorant are commenting that all Pakistani singer come to our country to earn money. I do not know about others but let me correct such misinformed that Khan Saheb has not charged a single paisa to sing an Indian patriotic song
in my film 498A-The wedding gift. He did it because he loved the lyrics. I believe we all Indians owe him a great deal for singing a patriotic song that will uplift our self esteem as Indians!

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/opinions/10726795.cms

SC to examine procedure for appointing SEBI chief

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The Apex Court said on Friday that it will examine the new procedure for appointing the chief of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). The court will take up the case on November 21.

The Attorney General has told the court that the Centre will file an affidavit within two weeks.

Today, the court heard a petition filed by former Air chief S Krishnaswamy and two others. The petition says, as per the new procedure adopted for selecting SEBI chief, a five-member selection committee is put in place instead of an old, three-member committee.

The petition further says, Finance Minister has been allowed to nominate two persons in the selection committee, and hence, the market regulator’s independence is taken away.

It also states that SEBI is controlled by few persons in the Finance Ministry and extension was denied to SEBI’s ex-chief CB Bhave to protect illegal actions of private players. The petition claims that functioning of SEBI is hampered by political interference and unholy nexus between corporate houses and political bigwigs.

Suhaib Ilyasi

The plaguing negativism in Indian bureaucracy

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The plaguing negativism in Indian bureaucracy Is India developing on the pretext of being a conformist nation denying to break through the established standards of conduct?Are we a nation which is dreaded of taking bold decisions? At least this is what is visible if we look at the current state of affairs as far as the bureaucracy is concerned.The aftermath of this phenomenon may not be strikingly visible today but it will have its effects on the surface after two years from now. Public sector Chairmen and Managing Directors seem to be vary of taking bold decisions on important business deals thus hampering the growth of their undertakings and lack a go-getters attitude which is necessary for all the PSUs to take that leap to expand their business offshore. Bureaucrats are dithering to move files with key financial implications
and are dreading a future quandary which may put their career growth at stake. The caution continues with ministers as well. It is true that those guilty of jumping the formidable line for personal gains should be taken to task but it is equally unfair to paint every bureaucrat with the same brush. The result of which is that hardly any bureaucrat is audacious enough to resolve the stalemate in any of the key matters. Suhel Seth in his column rightly points out, “It is not about the deed. It is always about the intent.” Even the self-proclaimed crusaders against corruption are not untouched by controversies over their personal gains. Kiran Bedi has been rightly pointed out as one such example by many in the media and governance.

However, the negativism among fellow bureaucrats is something that the newly appointed Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Pulok Chatterji, has to deal with. While former Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrasekhar was known for his fire-brand capability of taking decisions under tight circumstances, it is to be seen how his successor, AK Seth,manages the billet and the task of encouraging bureaucrats to emerge from the current hysteria. In this context, we should note a contrast in Karnataka where former Chief Minister Yeddyurappa was saving his face by protecting some of his shady Cabinet Ministers but a bureaucrat was dutifully obeying the Supreme Court orders of a ban on mining activity in Bellary. Deputy Commissioner Amlan Aditya Biswas, IAS, seized trucks carrying 9,000 metric tonnes of iron ore to the “(in)famous” Reddy brothers’ corporation. Even when the people in power were trying to bamboozle his tenure in Bellary Biswas’s courage made the apex court put a ban on his transfer or posting to another district. Meet this month’s Bureaucrat of the month for his courage and dutifulness, a trait every young bureaucrat must take a cue from.

DK Mehrotra to be next Chairman, LIC

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A high level panel headed by Finance Secretary RS Gujral is understood to have zeroed in on acting chairman DK Mehrotra to head the country’s largest insurer Life Insurance Corporation.

The panel interviewed 5 candidates including Mehrotra for the post of regular Chairman.

Besides Mehrotra, Sushobhan Sarkar, executive director, international operations, D Vijayalakshmi, executive director, investment, Thangam Matthew, executive director, underwriting and reinsurance and D D Singh, zonal manager, south, appeared in the interview, sources said.

Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) Secretary Alka Sirohi, Financial Services Secretary DK Mittal, IRDA Chairman J Hari Narayan, among others, were part of the panel, Bureaucracy Today sources said.

Suhaib Ilyasi

Chidambaram to decide on Armed Forces Special Powers Act

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Army chief General Vijay Kumar Singh has said that the Army has given its opinion on rollback of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Kashmir and now it’s for the Home Ministry to decide.

“See this is within the purview of the Ministry of the Home Affairs. They are debating this. We have given our inputs. I would not like to say anything more than that,” he said when he was asked about his views on the AFSPA debate.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday reached out to the Army over the revocation of the controversial AFSPA. The Chief Minister said that the proposed withdrawal of the Armed Forces special Power Act from certain areas of the state was in no way an effort to undermine the role of the Army.

The Chief Minister had, just last week, announced at a police function that the AFSPA would be removed from some areas in Jammu and Kashmir.

Air India Limited is looking for its next Chief Operating Officer (COO)

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The Air India Limited is looking for its next Chief Operating Officer (COO) and the Public Enterprises Selection Board is inviting applications seeking qualified for the same.

The last date for the receipt of applications in November 21, 2011.
– Suhaib Ilyasi

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