Forever young bureaucrats


I completely agree with B. Lyndem in the letter, “Retired but not retired” (ST Oct 17,  2019). The writer has correctly pointed out the inadequacies with the way the State Government is snugly fitting in retired bureaucrats into its fold as Committee members or Chairpersons of different Commissions etc. I echo the sentiments of the writer that there are no dearth of young qualified professionals that are unemployed. Ironically, rather than working towards providing jobs and sustenance to the youth of the State, the Government is more keen in re-employing retired bureaucrats. Why can’t the government think in a more progressive manner and work towards providing jobs and subsistence for our youths instead of creating unnecessary positions for the retired bureaucrats? The bureaucrats have had their chances of working for the good of the state. If at all, they still wish to serve the state and it’s people they can still do so in various capacities, pro-bono, outside the jurisdiction of the State Government. It’s about time that our State Government opens its eyes and think wisely and sharply for the good of the State and it’s people especially our pillars of tomorrow.

Why target the lowly?


Apropos the letter to the editor titled, “Will the SP traffic answer”(ST-October19, 2019).by one M Chetri, I agree that the action of the Taxi Drivers’ Association, if true as alleged, to arbitrarily raise taxi fare is wrong but before taking it to task, a few points relating to the matter may perhaps be pondered upon so that fairness is ensured to all concerned.

In this regard, I would like to say that most of us, taxi passengers and even the concerned authorities have almost forgotten that the last increase in taxi fares occurred in 2011, a full eight years  and since then as everyone realises the prices of fuel, automobile spare parts and prices of vehicles have increased manifold. Even the Insurance premiums for commercial vehicles have increased steeply. This is without mentioning that the cost of living since 2011 has almost doubled. Hence, we have to consider that taxi drivers, being human beings like everybody else  do have to eat too as well as feed their families, send their kids to school and pay the house rent and they have to manage all this at the level of earnings lower  than eight years ago due to the rise in prices as pointed above.

Again, ‘to further put things in perspective we have to note that in case of government employees during the same period of eight years they must have been given 25 five (twentyfive) pay hikes when we count two DA increases annually and one yearly increment plus the recent fat pay revision.

Under the above circumstances, I am of the firm view that a substantial increase in taxi fares is overdue.

While concluding please allow me to indulge myself in a little bit of sermonising: Generally in our struggle to keep up with others or to get ahead of others we fail to spare our thoughts for the plight of people who also struggle to just make two ends meet .These people run indispensable trades we consider to be “lowly” but without which life in the city would come to a near halt. However, it is against these people that our voices are raised the loudest and in the harshest of tones for faults real or imagined while our reverence and respect are reserved for our elected royalty though the worst among us they have proved to be.

Yours etc.,

Name withheld on request

Moving towards gender equity  

Kudos to Defence minister Rajnath Singh and the defence ministry for approving  the proposal to admit girls in Sainik Schools from the 2021-2022 academic session. This is an excellent step to bring in  gender equality and is another very good  step towards women’s empowerment. The success of the pilot project  launched by the defence ministry for admission of girls in the Sainik School at Chhingchhip in Mizoram two years ago paved the way for the approval. Our girls are not behind boys and definitely they are going to get a wonderful opportunity to achieve their ambition of joining and serving the defence forces. Whether  it is our great Indian mythology or history or political galaxy ,it is beautifully studded with women stars who have been an inspiration to all Indians and the whole world. The approval of girls into Sainik schools will surely be a platform for training young girls to become valiant young Indian women to come to the forefront and serve the nation.

Yours etc.,
M Pradyu,


A curious move


It is curious to learn that the Supreme Court, in an unprecedented order on Friday directed the Centre and the Assam Government to immediately transfer the State’s National Register of Citizens Coordinator, Prateek Hajela to Madhya Pradesh for the maximum period possible. However, the court gave no reason for the transfer except taking into account the totality of the facts of the case submitted by Hajela. Unfortunately, Hajela has been facing threats and criticism from several quarters for exclusion of names from the updated NRC list.

A native of Madhya Pradesh and a 1995 batch IAS officer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre with B Tech in electronics, Hajela was appointed the NRC coordinator by the top court to oversee the mammoth and sensitive exercise of finalizing and publication of Assam NRC data. Hajela, who took over as NRC coordinator in September 2013 lives with his wife and school-going daughter in Guwahati.

State BJP chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass was critical of Hajela and asked him to submit the details of the over Rs 1600 crore incurred on the NRC update. Ties between the state government and Hajela took a beating when the Supreme Court rejected the government’s plea for a sample re-verification of 20 per cent of the applicants from areas bordering Bangladesh and 10 per cent elsewhere as there was apprehension about illegal migrants getting themselves listed in the updated NRC. Though reasons for shifting him to MP are many, the obvious reason could be the proliferation of too many complaints in the preparation of the final list of NRC.

Yours etc.,

TK Nandanan,

Via email

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