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  Opinion   Columnists  22 Feb 2024  Dilip Cherian | Rail officers are preferred for CVO roles in public sector

Dilip Cherian | Rail officers are preferred for CVO roles in public sector

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Published : Feb 22, 2024, 12:31 am IST
Updated : Feb 22, 2024, 12:31 am IST

Governance trends: CVC favors Railways officers, CCPA tackles misleading IAS coaching ads, MHA urges states to comply on DGP appointments.

Data suggests that IAS officers are less preferred for CVO posts, or vice versa. (Representational image/ Twitter)
 Data suggests that IAS officers are less preferred for CVO posts, or vice versa. (Representational image/ Twitter)

Based on recent trends and data, it appears that when it comes to appointing chief vigilance officers (CVOs) in Central PSUs, ministries, and departments, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has a clear preference for officers from the Indian Railways Service cadre. Recently, the Centre gave the green light to the appointment of more than a dozen officers to these positions, and notably, a significant portion of them hail from the Indian Railways Service. Sources informed DKB that four CVOs belong to the ITS, IRS, IT, IP&TA&FS, and IoFS, and the rest are from the Indian Railway Service.

This trend isn’t surprising, as insiders have often suggested that railway officers possess a unique advantage due to their extensive experience in managing complex, capital-intensive projects across diverse terrains and climatic zones. While certainly officers from various other cadres, including the IPS, IFoS, ITS, and IRS, play equally important roles as CVOs, it is quite evident that those from the Indian Railways Service cadre hold a distinct edge. Interestingly, the data suggests that IAS officers are less preferred for CVO posts, or vice versa.

Meanwhile, A.S. Rajeev, managing director of the Bank of Maharashtra, was selected for the post of Vigilance Commissioner (VC) by a committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Consumer watchdog aims IAS coaching ads

The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), the regulatory authority of the consumer affairs ministry, just put a stop sign in front of IAS coaching centres’ runaway hype trains! The consumer watchdog has issued notices to several IAS coaching institutes for misleading advertisements. These institutes for civil services examinations will not be allowed to use the personal details of toppers in their advertisements without their consent. The CCPA has introduced draft guidelines to rein in the advertising tactics of coaching institutes.

Sources have informed DKB that CCPA chief commissioner Nidhi Khare explained that guidelines have been issued following the constitution of a committee to oversee the misleading advertisements by IAS coaching institutes in December 2023 and a stakeholder consultation by CCPA on misleading advertisements last month.

We've often seen ads boasting about 100 per cent selection rates or showcasing only the most exceptional success stories. The magnitude of inflated claims by institutes is huge considering that while 933 candidates were selected in UPSC 2022, ads from just 10 coaching centres claimed that more than 3,300 of their “alumni” were selected!

These rules will require coaching centres to be transparent about their students' achievements, including providing details like their names, ranks, and course durations. By holding coaching institutes accountable, the CCPA is slapping a reality check on those flashy, misleading ads, giving future IAS aspirants a fair shot without all the smoke and mirrors.

Prodded by SC, MHA pushes states on DGP appointments

The ministry of home affairs (MHA) has directed states to adhere to the directives set out by the Supreme Court on the appointment of officiating directors general of police (DGPs), despite the availability of eligible officers.

Recently, Union home secretary Ajay K. Bhalla wrote to the chief secretaries of seven states — Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Odisha, and West Bengal — underscoring the imperative to align with the Supreme Court’s directives, particularly in light of the prevalent practice of installing interim state police chiefs. Punjab received MHA’s notice regarding this matter earlier, concerning Gaurav Yadav, while Uttar Pradesh saw its fourth successive officiating DGP within a mere 20 months, Prashant Kumar, appointed last month.

Mr Bhalla has urged the “defaulting” states to follow the apex court’s orders to ensure that DGPs get a tenure of a minimum of two years in the post. These directives apply solely to states, exempting union territories such as Jammu & Kashmir.

This trend of temporary DGPs in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, UP, and Punjab, some serving for more than a year, was frowned upon by the Supreme Court in the Prakash Singh case. It not only undermines the stability and effectiveness of law enforcement agencies but also raises questions regarding transparency and accountability in governance.

Last year, the Bhagwant Mann government in Punjab moved to amend the Punjab Police Act to empower it to appoint a DGP of its choice. According to Supreme Court guidelines, state governments are supposed to send a panel of eligible officers to the UPSC, which will shortlist three officers from the panel, and the state government will then choose one from the panel.

Tags: central vigilance commission (cvc), bhagwant mann