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By the Way

Inner democracy!


We all know that the bureaucracy is like a tight-knit family with little space for outsiders. If left to their designs, no outsider would enter the system. At the receiving end this time was Pankaj Pachauri, the well known TV personality. He joined the Prime Minister’s Office as Media Adviser to the Prime Minister of India when Harish Khare, another veteran journalist, was asked to move out from the office. Generally, if the Prime Minister desires and indicates so, the Media Adviser is given either the status of Minister of State or the rank of a Secretary. But in Pachauri’s case, his status was left to the Secretariat of the Prime Minister. Given his experience, Pachauri should have been allotted the rank of a Secretary in the government. But the system had other views! Pachauri was asked when he joined journalism. He simply replied, in the year 1984. Officials who correspondingly joined the government in 1984 now serve as Additional Secretary or late entrants as Joint Secretary. So, after a long discussion on the green paper (government files have sheets of this hue), he was allotted the rank of Additional Secretary. Pachauri has worked all his life outside the domain of the government and was unaware of the nuances. Though he accepted the designation of Additional Secretary, he never actually aspired for any rank for himself and has never used any facilities attached to the post except for the vehicle necessary for performance of his job.

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