June 27, 2011 3:49:43 am
Office is where the Mantri is
For officers of the power department in Haryana,their new headquarters could as well be in New Delhi. With the new power minister Captain Ajay Yadav camping in the National Capital in protest mode ever since his portfolio was changed from Finance to Power,officers are shuttling between Delhi and Chandigarh with files and proposals to be cleared. When asked how is the system functioning,a close aide retorted,The office of a minister is where the minister is sitting and right now he is in Delhi so Haryanas power ministry is now in Delhi.
Lifts as levelers
Lifts under repair,it seems,are great levelers. With two lifts,exclusively meant to carry VVIPs like ministers and senior bureaucrats to their exalted offices in the Punjab civil secretariat,under repair,it is a period of great learning for the privileged lot. Last week,senior IAS officer D S Jaspal,for instance,managed to jostle among the waiting crowd of over a dozen people to push his way into the lift meant to carry only the hoi polloi of the secretariat. Clearly,rubbing shoulders with the junior level staff and the general public was a new experience for the officer and several other VIPs who normally make lifts wait when they have to enter or leave their offices.
A race to get visible publicity seems to have begun in the Punjab government. First,it was Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal who got his photographs installed on the recently launched ambulances in the state. Now,as it turns outs,the newly appointed health minister of Punjab,Sat Pal Gosain,apparently wants to have his photograph installed on the other side of the same ambulances. Not just that,the Social Security Minister,Laxmi Kanta Chawla,is now said to be pushing to get her photograph,in addition to that of Chief Minister Badal,put on 1.5 lakh bicycles the state government plans to distribute to Class XI and XII girl students in the state. The state government may have to either do away with these pictures completely or get them atleast covered before the code of the conduct before the next assembly elections kicks in. But that seems to be the last worry on these politicians minds.
With Punjabi being the official language in the state and its use being increasingly encouraged by the state government,some of the officers in the Punjab government who are not well-versed in the language are finding it a bit hard to deal with files and official communications at times. Recently,an official of the Punjab Public Relations department got a taste of this inconvenience when the agenda of a recent cabinet meeting reached his desk. Having an acute limitation in dealing with the official language Punjabi,this official could not decipher many of the key points that were listed in the agenda note. Some in the department could be seen lamenting the fact that the agenda used to be prepared both in English and Punjabi earlier but it was only being prepared in Punjabi now. Last heard: the official in question wrote back to the chief secretary asking him to get the cabinet agenda prepared in English too.
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