Must Read

dipam-to-hire-a-consultant-for-divestment

DIPAM to hire a consultant for divestment

New Delhi (25.11.2020): The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) has initiated the process to appoint a consultant to guide it through the divestment of Rs 2.10-lakh crore targeted for the current fiscal.

Following the merger of public sector banks that have brought down their number to 12, the government is said to be focused on mobilizing Rs 90,000 crore from diluting its equity holdings in banks and insurance companies like LIC. This plan is already under processing.

A proposal for the sale of equities of central public sector enterprises to fetch Rs 1.20 lakh crore is also on the table. This matter may be shortly discussed at a Cabinet meeting.

22 hours ago
ips-officer-chhaya-based-delhi-crime-honoured-as-best

IPS officer Chhaya-based 'Delhi Crime' honoured as best

Netflix's India Original series "Delhi Crime", centered around then Delhi Police DCP Chhaya Sharma, a 1999 batch IPS officer of AGMUT Cadre, (now director CVC) who cracked the Nirbhaya gangrape case,  has bagged the best drama series honor at the 48th International Emmy Awards.

Helmed by Indian-Canadian director Richie Mehta, the drama narrated the heinous Delhi gangrape case of December 16, 2012, from the perspective of the Delhi Police team leader Sharma whose effective investigations into the case made global headlines.

Mehta dedicated the honor to all women who not just endure violence that men inflict on them, “but are also tasked to solve the problem”.

Actor Shefali Shah played Vartika Chaturvedi, whose character was based on Chhaya. 

22 hours ago
dipam-to-hire-a-consultant-for-divestment

DIPAM to hire a consultant for divestment

By IndianMandarins 22 hours ago

New Delhi (25.11.2020): The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) has initiated the process to appoint a consultant to guide it through the divestment of Rs 2.10-lakh crore targeted for the current fiscal.

Following the merger of public sector banks that have brought down their number to 12, the government is said to be focused on mobilizing Rs 90,000 crore from diluting its equity holdings in banks and insurance companies like LIC. This plan is already under processing.

A proposal for the sale of equities of central public sector enterprises to fetch Rs 1.20 lakh crore is also on the table. This matter may be shortly discussed at a Cabinet meeting.

ips-officer-chhaya-based-delhi-crime-honoured-as-best

IPS officer Chhaya-based 'Delhi Crime' honoured as best

By IndianMandarins 22 hours ago

Netflix's India Original series "Delhi Crime", centered around then Delhi Police DCP Chhaya Sharma, a 1999 batch IPS officer of AGMUT Cadre, (now director CVC) who cracked the Nirbhaya gangrape case,  has bagged the best drama series honor at the 48th International Emmy Awards.

Helmed by Indian-Canadian director Richie Mehta, the drama narrated the heinous Delhi gangrape case of December 16, 2012, from the perspective of the Delhi Police team leader Sharma whose effective investigations into the case made global headlines.

Mehta dedicated the honor to all women who not just endure violence that men inflict on them, “but are also tasked to solve the problem”.

Actor Shefali Shah played Vartika Chaturvedi, whose character was based on Chhaya. 

mha-on-overdrive-to-depute-officers-to-j-k

MHA on overdrive to depute officers to J&K

By M K Shukla & Rakesh Ranjan 24 Nov 2020

As the democratic political process gets set to go, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is said to be preparing a comprehensive list of competent all-India service officers particularly IAS and IPS for deputation to the UTs of J&K and Ladakh.

Towards the end of last month, the Ministry had advised all cadre-controlling authorities to urgently compile a list of IAS, IPS, and other all-India service officers who may be willing to serve on deputation to the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

In an official memo, the MHA letter has asked Railway Board chairman, Controller General of Accounts (CGA), Comptroller Auditor General of India (CAG), secretaries of the ministries of Defence, External Affairs, Corporate Affairs, and Information and Broadcasting, chairpersons of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), and the Departments of Commerce, Telecommunications and Posts, to depute Group A service officers to the two UTs.

Following the submission of lists from these government departments and institutions, the MHA is building up its own final list.

Officials see it as a major operation to reinforce and sustain the democratic revival process set in motion by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha.

The troubled J&K will shortly have its first phase of District Development Council (DDC) Election for 43 seats for which hundreds have filed their nominations. Along with the DDC election, byelections for several seats of sarpanch and panch will be conducted. The byelection for three urban local bodies – Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), Pahalgam Municipal Council, and Ashmuqam Municipal Council - are also being held simultaneously.

The enthusiastic response to these elections - as is being reflected in the filing of a large number of nominations - seems to have convinced the PMO and the MHA that Sinha has earned, and therefore deserves, their full support for more officers to strengthen the governance culture of the state. 

The whole region has been suffering from an acute shortage of administrative officers despite its evolution as union territories in August 2019. But it was not till Sinha's appointment as Lt Governor that the government got serious about filling the administrative vacancies in the region. And that seriousness shows up in the MHA's wording in the letter "the new Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh are beset with acute shortage of officers."

Although J&K is provided with a cadre strength of 137 IAS officers and 147 IPS officers, it has currently only 58 serving IAS officers and 66 IPS officers for a variety of historical and technical reasons. Of these, at least nine are on GoI deputation. 

According to senior officers, while there is an overall shortage of 1,500 IAS officers, J&K, as well as the Northeastern states, might have experienced a proportionately greater shortage because of the peculiar political dispensation in these regions which discourages selected candidates from choosing these regions as their preferred cadre.

(By M K Shukla & Rakesh Ranjan)

haryana-bureaucracy-on-the-boil

Haryana bureaucracy on the boil

By IndianMandarins 23 Nov 2020

The simmering dissatisfaction with service matters in the Haryana civil services boiled up last week. This may indicate that the administration of CM Manoharlal Khattar has been either unwilling or failing or both in harmonizing the interests of various service groups in the state. This doesn't omen well for the governance of the state, much less for the reputation of the ruling party. 

First, it was famous public-spirited IAS officer Ashok Khemka who stoked the fire.

In a letter (whose content became public last week) to Chief Secretary Vijaya Vardhan, Khemka argued that the mandated prior approval of the state Civil Services Board (CSB) was not being secured while transferring and posting officers in the state.

Citing cadre rules and several examples, the officer pointed out that, in gross violation of the Supreme Court directions, IAS cadre posts were being distributed among non-cadre officers without informing the UPSC and the central government and such 'illegal' postings were being validated through post-facto CSB approvals.

While non-cadre officers can't remain posted to IAS cadre posts beyond three months, he wrote  “Shri Yogender Chaudhry, IRS, continues on the cadre post of Principal Secretary since 12th March 2020 and Shri Alok Verma, IFS, occupied the cadre post of Principal Secretary in addition to his own IFS cadre post for a period of almost 6 months from 30.04.2020 to 22.10.2020 before seeking retirement to join as Chairman, HPSC”.

He also referred to the appointments of IPS officer Shatrujeet Singh Kapoor and IFS officer MD Sinha to IAS cadre posts. He argued that the state government was law-bound to seek approval of the central government to validate the appointment of these two officers beyond three months to the cadre posts of Principal Secretary.

As the content of Khemka's letter became public, the Haryana Civil Services Association also joined the fray to highlight their disappointment with the appointment of non-cadre officers to their cadre posts.

The Association president, Dr. Vandana Disodia, wrote to the CS, arguing that the posting of "officers of allied services against the cadre posts meant for the HCS... was a colorable exercise of power ... Also, it undermines the existence and efficacy of the Civil Services Board and the service as a whole.”

She pointed out that though the cadre strength of the HCS executive branch was enhanced recently, these executive branch officers have been given insignificant assignments or their postings are put on hold for a long time. In specific terms, she referred to the fact HCS officers are never posted to cadre posts of the police department or sent on any deputation to the police department as SP, ASP, etc. "Even the posts meant for HCS (EB) like Additional IG (Jails), Secretary Police Establishment, etc have traditionally been kept vacant for all these years for no plausible reasons. In a welfare state and democratic set-up, it is paramount that these posts are manned by officers of the Civil Administration. There is absolutely no representation to our service in key departments of the State like Home Affairs, Chief Secretary office, power department, police establishment, etc.”

She also expressed her rage over the fact that many HCS officers are also too frequently suspended without due investigations on the basis of unsustainable charges. She called for this undesirable situation to be reversed and the principle of fair play adopted in dealing with HCS officers.

shubha-sarma-back-with-her-second-book-of-fiction

Shubha Sarma back with her second book of fiction

By IndianMandarins 22 Nov 2020

The 1999 batch Odisha-cadre IAS officer, Shubha Sarma, has returned to the literary scene with a novella titled “The Awasthis of Aamnagri.” She entered the club of contemporary Indian English writers of fiction in August 2013 with her debut novel "Fly on the Wall and Other Stories"
Published by Niyogi Books, her latest storytelling is woven around a Lucknow family and vividly describes the life of a middle-class family in a setting of the 70s and 80s.
According to the publisher's blurb, "it begins with the Awasthis embarking on the quest for a bungalow and what follows in their individual lives as well as the joint-family system is told by Sarma with subtle humor and satire, often harking back longingly to the slow-paced life in her growing-up days."
The book is available on Amazon.

stc-begins-winding-up-its-operations

STC begins winding up its operations

By IndianMandarins 21 Nov 2020

Following the decision to delist the company on NSE and BSE taken on November 10, 2020, and stop taking up any new business, the STC Board of Directors has issued notifications to close down all branches except the one at Agra. An office order in this regard has been issued which makes it abundantly clear that from the new year 2021, STC may exist only on paper to resolve its ongoing legal and other issues.
Employees to be affected by the closure have been given the option to choose between VRS and transfer. Since most of the working people hate dislocation for personal reasons, employees may prefer VRS on a large scale.  
Faced with an escalating financial crisis since 2008-09, the company has incurred a negative net worth of Rs946 crores till March 31, 2020. Lenders have gone to the DRT for recovery of their dues.
Left with no choice, the company's management has already notified its units that excepting the Agra branch, all the branches would be closed down. Only a few managers will be retained and they will work from their residences to coordinate the company's action on pending trade recovery, taxation, and legal matters.  
According to the notified schedule of closure of the Branches, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Ahmedabad will shut down operations on 30/11/2020 at 00.00 hrs. Operations will close at 00.00 hours on 31/12/2020 at Bhopal, Jalandhar, Bangalore, and Chennai branches.

real-estate-dream-merchants-and-the-charade-of-a-sample-flat

Real estate dream-merchants and the charade of a Sample Flat

By Vishal Duggal 21 Nov 2020

New Delhi (21.11.2020): While the Real Estate Regulation and Development Act (RERA) 2016 might have succeeded in breaking the jaw of real estate sharks, it is still to go a long way to legally limit and contain the guile of the builders/developers who the public at the large suspect as the proxies for corrupt politicians and businessmen.

Indianmandarins plans to run a series of real-life stories on how, working on the grey side of RERA, builders are still trying to take homebuyers for a ride.

One of the many ways employed by real estate companies for stealing the money of home buyers is the most obvious but largely unnoticed trap: set up an exquisitely designed sample flat at the project site. This marketing gimmick turns out to be more effective than deceptively glossy brochures and web pages created by real estate companies to deceive and cheat potential buyers.

Developers use designer, high-end fixtures and furnishings, imparting a premium look to the flat, which creates an insatiable desire verging on craving in the minds of buyers to own the seductively alluring prized property that ultimately turns out to be an elusive mirage.

Builders resort to many gimmicks to lure and play with the emotions of buyers who fall prey to the illusory sample flat.

To trap the gullible homebuyers, usually, rooms, toilets, and bathrooms of a sample flat lack any doors, which creates the illusion of them looking bigger than they really are.

Similarly, pre-fabricated bricks and glass are used extensively in walls to impart a more spacious look to the flat. The ceiling is kept unusually high to create an imposing ambiance. Lighting and furniture are also used in a way that adds to the optical illusion of a large, roomy flat. Interior designers hired by the builder’s company put up smaller-than-standard-size customized double beds, dining table sets, and shallow cupboards to give the buyer an impression of freedom to move around even after placing furniture in his dream home.

The sample flat has a deceitfully superior wall finish, usually made of gypsum, not brick and cement plaster, that creates irresistible lifestyle aspirations in the buyer’s mind. He is ready to shell out an exorbitant sum for that kind of lifestyle, and will never imagine that the actual flat that he will be delivered, will have only basic fixtures, fittings, flooring, and textures that will fall way below his expectations.

The walls of the sample house are usually thinner than those of a normal structure, mostly being just plywood partitions, which subtly makes the carpet area look bigger than that mentioned in the brochure.

And if, after getting possession of the house, a buyer complains about the difference between the real and perceived value, builders are least bothered. You may not realize but they have already insulated themselves by sneakily including a clause in the builder-buyer agreement that the specifications and dimensions of the house are indicative and final design may vary on actual delivery.

The sample flat offers a panoramic view from a plethora of balconies and windows that it flaunts. But this promised paradise may elude you when you come to live amid a cluster of flats that will impede the flow of light and ventilation that the standalone sample flat seemed to possess.

In sum, the actual flat that you will come to inhabit will be far from the perfect airy and spacious home fallaciously conjured up by the sample flat at the construction site. So, for God’s sake, do not finalize your property purchase decision on the basis of the sample flat.

(By Vishal Duggal)

ALSO READ:

RERA, unscrupulous Developers & poor-homebuyers: High on hype, low on substance?

cbi-conducts-raids-at-25-places-in-an-ongoing-investigation-of-a-case

CBI conducts raids at 25 places in an ongoing investigation of a case

By IndianMandarins 20 Nov 2020

New Delhi (19.11.2020): The Central Bureau of Investigation conducted searches in 25 places including Guntur District & Hyderabad at the premises of former MLA of Gurazala Constituency (Andhra Pradesh) and others including private persons etc. in an ongoing investigation of a case. During searches, several incriminating documents, mobile phones, material objects, and cash have been recovered.

In pursuance of the Notification issued by the Government of Andhra Pradesh and further Notification issued by DoPT (Govt of India), CBI has taken over  17 cases of illegal limestone mining from CBCID, Andhra Pradesh, and registered a case on 26 August 2020 against 17 accused.

It was alleged that the accused had fraudulently conducted illegal and unauthorized mining, quarrying, and transportation of limestone in Konanki village of Piduguralla Mandal, Kesanupalli and Nadikudi Villages of Dachepalli Mandal, Guntur District for several years and thereby caused revenue loss to the Government and other licensed leaseholders, and also exploited the natural resources. It was further alleged that illegal mining of several lakh tones of limestone was conducted by the accused during the period from 2014 to 2018, as a result of which, natural resources worth several crores of rupees have been plundered.

In order to ascertain the quantum of unauthorized and illegal mining, CBI is also conducting volumetric analysis by using satellite imagery.

free stat counter