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By the Way

I am better than others!

Some officers are very sensitive about the prefix before their names if they happen to be a doctor. If any notification by DoPT is issued without prefix, they see to it that it is renotified with correction though it does not change the status of the officer. It happened in the case of Kshatrapati Shivaji, 1986-batch Maharashtra cadre IAS officer, who is India’s new executive director at Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB). Twenty-four days after an official order was issued, there was a “partial modification” of the order. In a corrigendum, issued on October 28, which was dubbed as “Most Immediate/Confidential”, it was said that “Shri Kshatrapati Shivaji” should be read as “Dr Kshatrapati Shivaji”. Issued by the establishment office of the DoPT and signed by a deputy secretary-ranked officer, the corrigendum was sent to 20 different offices, including to the offices of the Cabinet Secretary and Principal Secretary to the PM et al, following the usual official procedure. The original order was issued on October 4. Shivaji is a civil engineer with an M Tech degree in building science; he is an MA in economics and also holds two additional degrees—one MBA and another PhD in management. Can an officer be a better performer if he or she holds a PhD degree? And does the government need to write Dr Y or Dr X, moment an officer gets a PhD degree. Instead, the question should be whether the government should really be wasting so much time and effort on such cosmetic efforts. An utter waste, no doubt, to pamper inflated egos and a sense of entitlement! Shivaji must have insisted that a corrigendum be issued, in the hope that his performance and dignity would probably go up after adding the honorific ‘Doctor’. Getting posted as ED, ADB, Manila, is not easy, particularly as the posting should have legitimately gone to a Foreign Service officer. But, the IFS officers don’t serve in States’ districts and thus unable to cultivate politicians. Serving in districts is, therefore, considered more important than serving in foreign countries. This explains why the IFS is no longer considered a sought-after service.

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