Labour minister keeps bureaucrats on toes
New Union Labour Minister Bhupender Yadav has kept his bureaucrats on toes. Used to a laid-back working style during Yadav’s predecessor, Santosh Gangwar’s tenure, senior bureaucrats and department heads now have to attend an informal meeting with Yadav every Wednesday, when the minister reviews the status of the work assigned to them and also discusses new ideas.
Not only this, ministry babus are also keeping alert nowadays just in case there is a surprise inspection by Yadav. Last Wednesday morning, around 9.45 am, Yadav caught many ministry officials unawares when he took a surprise inspection of the different floors where labour ministry officials sit to see if they have reported to work and the cleanliness in their rooms.
Yadav also ensures that his junior minister Rameshwar Teli is in the loop. He assigned Teli to inspect one floor of the ministry with senior bureaucrats Wednesday. Yadav has also given instructions that Teli should be informed about every ministry meeting and takes him along whenever the latter is present in office. Teli also holds the additional charge of Minister of State in the petroleum ministry.
Allotting bungalows to ministers now, Gujarat cadre IAS officer once took UPSC to Supreme Court
Being the former private secretary to External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar is not the only interesting aspect from 2006 batch IAS officer Ravi Kumar Arora’s profile. Arora, who is from the Gujarat cadre, joined as director in the Union housing and urban affairs ministry, as in charge of Directorate of Estates that deals with sensitive issues related to allotment of Lutyens’ bungalows to ministers, judges and bureaucrats. But he has another interesting aspect to his career.
The Union Public Service Commission had originally disqualified Arora despite the fact that he cleared the civil services exam because of his partial blindness. He took the UPSC to the Supreme Court for rejecting his candidature. He eventually won the case with the apex court directing the Commission to reinstate him in the IAS under the disabled category. Arora has not looked back since. He was appointed PS to Jaishankar in July 2019.
Private secretaries of external affairs ministers are usually chosen from the Indian Foreign Service. Jaishankar made an exception by appointing a Gujarat cadre IAS as his PS. A great believer in destiny, Arora is busy these days finding bungalows for the three dozen new ministers who were inducted in the Narendra Modi cabinet in July.
Trinamool MP suffers consecutive bereavements
Trinamool MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar has had two consecutive bereavements. Dastidar, who is an avid dog lover, lost both her dogs Pluto and Jesse — a retired CISF dog that she had adopted couple of years back — to an infection that was apparently a result of global warming, her vet told her.
Devastated, she spent a few miserable weeks before adopting another German Shepherd, Plutus- named after Pluto. Plutus too has now contracted the same infection but is doing well with medication.