This blog deals in all kinds of developments specially political in the biggest state of India. The content is produced by Dilip Awasthi, one of the senior most journalists of Uttar Pradesh. He has worked for some of the premier publications and television channels of India.
By Dilip Awasthi
When should one retire? Answering this question is almost like projecting an appropriate age to die. In fact, one line of thought is that a salaried person dies twice - once when he retires and the last time when he actually does.
In this country of not only multi-cultures, races, languages, cuisines, we also have a fair sprinkling of a multiplicity of rules and regulations. In fact in many cases, we do have two sets of rules as well - one for the mighty and powerful and the other for the lesser children of God. Even after 70 years of Independence, we have not been able to thrash out weeds and worms ailing our systems.
But forget philosophy and emotions, let's stick to the brass tacks. New U.P.chief secretary Rajiv Kumar on July 6 ordered all departments to screen out officers and employees who have attained an age of 50 tears or more and who are "not fit" to perform their duties. Such screening should be complete by July 31 after which these employees will be "compulsorily" retired by giving them a three-month notice.
On the same day, the Vice-chancellors of the state university held a meeting to recommend raising the retirement age for teachers from 62 to 65 years. The retirement age for doctors has already been raised to65 years. In certain institutes of excellence like the Sanjay Gandhi PGI, the age for retirement of Professor of Eminence has been made 75 years. Now the wait begins for some more ambitious government officials to grant themselves jobs till they die. The clause would read: "posted as ...... until death."
A confused government is unable to decide whether to back experience or new talent. And how do you decide whether a person - a professional or a clerk, is unfit to work unless he has been declared so by the doctors on health grounds? This would lead to pick and choose and personal likes and dislikes will come into play.
Instead, why can't we have firm rule fixing the retirement age so that the productivity of the employee remains the main criteria. This has been quite successfully practised in the private sector by the companies and also by professionals who know when to hang their boots. Who told Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Narayan Moorthy (Infosys) or Rusi Modi and Cyrus Mistry (Tata) to resign.
But then either the system or the individual has to be goal-driven. Unfortunately, in government frequent political changes keep uprooting and shifting the goal-post every now and then. Productivity is possibly the last of the priorities in a government official's serving tenure. Who has ever fixed the productivity of an IAS, IPS official or for that matter that of a clerk or a peon?
Ex.Editor, Uttar Pradesh
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By Dilip Awasthi
Lucknow: Next doors to UP chief minister's official residence - 5 Kalidas Marg, referred to as 5 KD in official parlance is another sprawling ministerial bungalow. This house is cursed. At least that is widely believed and as a result, most ministers refuse to occupy this bungalow. Thoe who do, pay the price.
On Ram Navami on April 5, a special puja was organised in 6 Kalidas Marg bungalow after which Yogi cabinet's animal husbandry minister SP Singh Baghel entered this haunted house to live here. If employees of this house are to be believed, Baghel is the eighth occupant of this house. According to the Estate Department officials, Baghel himself offered to occupy this house, knowing fully well about its notorious reputation.
A gardener who works here maintaining the impressive lawns of this house says that it is widely believed that whosoever occupies this house faces either political oblivion, career downslide or critical illness resulting in death. This house was occupied amongst others by Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, who is in the wilderness these days. Mayawati's right-hand minister at one time, Babu Singh Kushwaha lived in this house. He was later jailed in the NRHM scam and was also thrown out from BSP.
Akhilesh Yadav's minister Rajendra Chowdhry refused to move into this house but Javed Abdi did and fell from grace of the Samajwadi Party leaders. Another minister Waqar Ahmed Shah lived here but soon developed NS Qa moved to the hospital; in a state of comma. Some staff members claim that something about this house is not good. Ït is eerie if you stay here in the night", says one of them.
Situated in the posh VIP area and with the neighbourhood as influential as the state's CM, this house has remained vacant in most regimes. One of the ageing peons posted in this house feels it is haunted. "It could be a former minister who does not want to leave this house even after leaving this world", he says with a chuckle. But Yogi's minister Baghel wants to prove all this wrong.