PV Deshmukh, has been appointed as acting Chairman, HAL

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PV Deshmukh, HAL’s senior-most director (MiG Complex), has been appointed as acting Chairman, HAL. The Ministry of Defence letter appointing Deshmukh as the interim chief was issued on October 14, just three days after HAL’s marketing head Sqn Ldr (Retd) Baldev Singh committed suicide.

Deshmukh, currently looking after the Sukhoi (Su-30 MKI) production and upgradation projects at HAL’s Nashik Division, will hold the post for three months from November 1 to January 31.

Pawan Hans chief R K Tyagi has already been nominated by the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) eligible to become HAL’s 16th chairman.

The interim arrangements are made as Tyagi has to get a complete ‘go-ahead’ from the MoD, Intelligence Bureau, Central Vigilance Commission and Cabinet Committee on Appointments. “The verification process takes at least three months,” PESB sources said.

SK Srivastava is appointed next CMD, Oil India

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SK Srivastava who is presently head of upstream oil regulatory authority, DGH, has been appointed to be the next Chairman and Managing Director, Oil India Limited.

Srivastava’s name will now be forwarded to the Cabinet Committee on Appointments (ACC) for approval. ACC, that comprises Prime Minister, Home Minister and the administrative minister, would give its consent only after receiving no objections from various agencies, including anti-graft body, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

Srivastava, 56, was Director (Operations) at OIL before he became DG, DGH in February 2010. He beat B N Talukdar, Director (Exploration & Development), OIL, for the top job.

Oil Ministry had appointed Srivastava as the temporary head of DGH to replace controversial V K Sibal, in October 2009. He was formally appointed DG, DGH in February 2010.

He will serve his term till June 2015 as OIL Chairman and Managing Director.

SP Singh, IAS on CBI radar

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A CBI team on October 17 questioned senior IAS officer SP Singh at his Prashasan Nagar residence in connection with the Emaar scam.

The premier investigating agency believes that Singh, while he was the principal secretary, Municipal Administration and Urban Development, reportedly gave certain exemptions to Emaar group, allegedly at the behest of his political bosses.

Singh, presently principal secretary, Roads and Buildings, is understood to have told the CBI team that there was no wrongdoing on his part and he even showed some photocopies of various decisions taken during his tenure in MAUD.

‘’We have questioned him and if required, we will question him again,’’ sources said adding that he was also asked about the plush villa his wife owns in Emaar-Boulder Hills township

Shiwani Bhatnagar murder case

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We have been saying it for long that it is not RK sharma but a very powerful politician of a national party who is involved in the murder of Indian Express reporter, Shivani Bhatnagar.
If they want to know who is the real killer of Bhatnagar and wish to establish evidence against him, they should do a DNA check on Shivani’s child. They will get the name. IMW did an exclusive story/episode on the subject matter and paid a price too. No regrets though!

War on the waves: IIS vs IAS

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A demotivated and disheartened manpower can bring the mightiest of the organizations down. Similar is the case with the organizations manned by Indian Information Service (IIS) officers. In spite of being inducted by the UPSC the credence given to this particular civil service cadre is hardly visible. The issues such as stagnation of IIS officers and inattentive cadre management by the Ministry have led to high attrition rates. It seems the Government of India is sleeping over the sweeping changes taking place in the media world.

It was at least a decade ago when the Expenditure Reforms Commission, constituted in 2000, had shown red flags to most of the media units under the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. The Commission, chaired by former Finance Secretary KP Geethakrishnan, categorically suggested either closure or disinvestment of most of the media units. We are at loss to understand why did not the Commission put its finger on the real cause of the poor state of affairs in government managed media organizations i.e. the low morale of IIS officers. The commission should have recommended reforms rather than suggesting their closure or disinvestment Even when Bureaucracy Today was talking to IIS officers on the issue, members of another service under the controlling authority of I & B Ministry, Indian Broadcasting Service, echoed the same sentiments which, to our utter shock, are even worse than those of IIS officers who have been waiting for promotion for 28 years. Since 1964 the IIS has seen only three cadre reviews. It seems the Ministry is having hard time managing cadres under it. The non-performance of media unit can be attributed to an extent to the discouraging prospects that IIS officers face during their career which gets translated into overlapping of functions. Whether Government communication schemes reach the target audience is debatable.

Can the Ministry explain to the nation the rationale behind IAS preference for post of DG, Doordarshan? An IAS officer is indeed a great administrator but not necessarily trained to understand and execute the finer nuances of programming and broadcasting. I am told by an officer in Doordarshan that most of the time, IAS bosses fail to take a call on crucial issues pending on their table. By the time an IAS officer gets trained to handle peculiar issues of broadcasting he is sent out to do other great things in the Government. This is exactly the reason of poor performance of Doordarshan, he revealed. The damage is visible. When the world is waiting for India to make its presence feel in world organizations, the Indian Government is still grappling with fixing problems in its communication network and with its human resource. Former Principal DG S Narendra puts vital questions on the issue to Bureaucracy Today: “Can an IIS cadre review incorporate the philosophy of PSC as an inclusive growth instrument? Can it win support for retaining and strengthening the government media system, not as a despised publicity outfit but as a people’s instrument for greater access to PSC and participatory communication befitting a great democracy? India is lucky to have an effective Government media system; save it for people’s sake, not for saving the IIS alone. Let not a cadre review retain irrelevant units. Once retained they must restate their mission for enforcing accountability and embrace state-of-the-art media and communication technologies and practices.”

Are the stakeholders listening?

Suhaib Ilyasi

Mosque demolition and democracy of India

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Delhi Development Authoriy (DDA) demolished a mosque in Jangpura recently a question crossed my mind. Are we finally a matured democracy? Are we a mature democracy? India as a nation has come a long way since independence. It has seen a lot of ups and downs. The fabric of democracy is strained the most when any thought of violent solution gets followers.  Ayodhya issue always tested the firmness of the foundation of this country. Often debate around this issue turned from blood curdling to blood spilling.

This year saw a historic judgement on Babri Masjid demolition case. The Indian judiciary gave a verdict which avoided extremes, an amicable solution that was wished by moderates of both communities. What followed was a fierce debate on all public platforms. Both parties said, as always, they respect constitution and judicial system of the country. As a democratic nation we tend to discuss almost all issues, but often solution of sensitive issues such as this are sought on streets. We have seen public debates turning acrimonious from parliament to TV studios and at times bloody. Every such transformation deals a blow to the foundation of democracy. The debate around Ayodhya verdict showed unprecedented maturity – everyone could hear passionate arguments for and against it – as no solution was sought on streets.

Long live Indian democracy!

I, Suhaib Ilyasi welcome your comments on the above.

Julian Assange – The Most Wanted

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In this season of leaks, scams are raining. The biggest seepage happened in the US diplomatic cables. The man responsible for this leak is the owner of Wikileaks: Julian Assange.

Accused of rape in Sweden, nabbed in the UK, Julian could soon be extradited to the US. Swedish govt invoked a seldom used law to create a trap for him. The country of Magna Carta, Britain pushed him behind the bars. Thanks to the common men in the United Kingdom, Assange walked free – not fully though, also no one knows till what time. The US wants him to be extradited for espionage.

‘America’s Most Wanted’, Assange, who believes in freedom of information and transparency is not getting any award, as what leaked is US diplomatic Cables not Chinese, Iranian or Russian. He exposed how the US military uses technology to unleash terror when one of his videos showed how Reuters reporter was killed in Iraq post US invasion.

In this case he has taken the lid off the democratic aristocratic world of diplomats of free world. They failed miserably in guarding their secrets and are now looking for reasons and ways to punish a hero.

What do you think? Is Julian a criminal or a hero?
As for me, Assange you are a hero! Suhaib Ilyasi stands with you for truth for liberty…for humanity.

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