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By the Way

Yogi lords over bureaucracy

Uttar Pradesh has never seen such adhocism in the civil services. It was August 31, 2019 when the previous Chief Secretary Anup Chandra Pandey retired from the service. Instead of appointing a full-fledged chief secretary, the Yogi Adityanath government handed over charge to the seniormost IAS officer RK Tiwari. Tiwari, a 1985-batch IAS officer with an impeccable career record continued to be the acting chief secretary till recently. Finally, he was appointed as Chief Secretary on February 15, 2020 but the damage had been done. The way the most important administrative office has been functioning in India’s most populous state has not only perplexed the 600-strong IAS cadre in the state but has brought the bureaucracy to a standstill. In the past, a full time CS used to be appointed within a week or the very same day. The Chief Secretary is the administrative head of the government and acts as the principal advisor to the CM on all matters of governance. He also serves as a link between the CM and other secretaries of the state government.

Most importantly, it is the CM who has the authority to select the CS. What was bizarre was that leave applications were handled by the Chief Minister’s office. Tiwari continues to the Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC), considered as the No. 2 post in the administration since the state is primarily an agriculture-based economy.

Tiwari wasn’t given the APC post for more than three months after superannuation of Prabhat Kumar of the same 1985-batch early last year. The then Chief Secretary Anup Pandey was given additional charge of APC. There are many more examples of the mishandling of top ranking civil servants. It is no wonder that the motivation and morale of officers is at an all-time low. Watch this space to learn more.

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