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Indian civil servants are expected to be karma yogis. But look at ground reality first

Surendranath Banerjee showed gaps in Indian civil services. India needs to identify the problems in its steel frame.
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. | ANI

Changes in pension rules ‘attempt to impose silence’ — ex-civil servants write to PM Modi

The letter was signed by over 100 signatories including former foreign secretary Shyam Saran, former NSA Shivshankar Menon, and former Delhi L-G Najeeb Jung, among others.
A sea beach in Lakshadweep (representational image) | Photo:

Lakshadweep draft laws disturbing, against ethos of islands: ex-civil servants to PM

New Delhi: In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah Saturday, a group of 93 former civil servants raised concerns over a slew of draft legislations brought in by the Lakshadweep administrator P.K. Patel since February this year. Calling Patel’s decisions as “disturbing”, the body called the Constitutional Conduct Group (CCG) said each of the new “draft regulations is part of a larger agenda that is against the ethos and interests of the islands and islanders”. The letter was referring to three draft legislations — Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation (LDAR), the Lakshadweep Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation (PASA Act), and the Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation (LAPR) — as well as changes to the Lakshadweep Panchayat Staff Rules over the two-child policy. Pointing out that these draft laws have been introduced without local consultation, the retired civil servants noted several issues with the provisions of each of these...
Funeral pyres at Mukti Dham crematorium in Lucknow | Photo: Jyoti Yadav | ThePrint

Reality of Lucknow’s Covid funerals stands in stark contrast to UP govt’s claims

A selection of the best news reports, analysis and opinions published by ThePrint this week.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee | PTI file

Bengal changed postings of 2 IPS officers — one, twice in 5 days, the other, thrice in 12 days

Posting of IG, CIF, Manoj Verma was changed thrice, while Ajeet Singh Yadav, SP, CIF, was first posted as SP, STF, but five days later, he was brought back to his previous post.
PM Narendra Modi addressing the Inaugural Session of Assistant Secretaries (IAS Officers of 2017 batch), in New Delhi, 2019 | PIB

IAS officers are not lazy ‘babus’. Time to reject the colonial slang

In his Parliament speech, PM Modi came down heavily on the ‘babu culture’ in India. But who made civil servants ‘babus’ in the first place?
File photo | Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the nation on Covid-19, on 30 June, 2020 | PTI

100 former civil servants write to PM Modi, raise questions over PM CARES

New Delhi: A group of 100 former civil servants wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday raising questions over transparency in the PM-CARES Fund. They said it is necessary that, for reasons of probity and adherence to standards of public accountability, the financial details of receipts and expenditures be made available in order to avoid doubts of wrongdoing. "We have been keenly following the ongoing debate about the Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations, or 'PM-CARES', -- a fund created for the benefit of people affected by the COVID pandemic. Both the purpose for which it has been created as well as the way it has been administered have left a number of questions unanswered," they said in the letter. "It is essential that the position and stature of the Prime Minister is kept intact by ensuring total transparency in all dealings the Prime Minister is associated...
(Top row from left) Govt of India secretaries Ajay Kumar, K. Sivan; (bottom row from left) Ajay Bhushan Pandey, K. Shivaji and Nagendra Nath Sinha | Image: Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint

55% of Modi govt’s top secretaries have science background, about half of them IITians

Of 84 secretaries & directors at top of civil service, 46 are science graduates, 28 are engineers, and 22 are from 4 IITs — Kanpur, Delhi, Madras, Bombay.
File image of West Bengal Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha | Twitter | @FollowCII

‘Mamata’s trusted officers don’t retire’ — chief secretary joins list as industry body head

Rajiva Sinha, who has been made West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation chair, is latest civil servant to earn important post-retirement posting under Mamata govt. 
Students at a Samkalp Foundation centre. | Photo: Samkalp Foundation website

RSS-backed IAS institute has been quietly grooming ‘nationalist’ civil servants since 1986

In 2020 civil services exam, Samkalp Foundation has claimed a success rate of 61%. The institute with close ties to RSS claimed similar success in the last few years too.
Farmers sort their onion crop | Representational image: ANI

India can’t afford a hurried resolution on MSP demand. It can cause chaos, long-term damage

A guaranteed MSP can be a procurement scheme, a price deficiency payment option, or a combination of both. What could be the implications for govt and the market?
Illustration: Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint

Bezos, Branson & Musk — Are billionaires popularising space travel or just on an ego trip?

Jeff Bezos will travel to the edge of space in his New Shepard aircraft — more than a week after billionaire Richard Branson defeated him in a fast developing space race.