I&B Minister sends latecomers back home

I&B Minister sends latecomers back home

It was anything but business as usual for the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on Monday. Reason: I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar sent over 40 officials and staff home for arriving late to office. 

Taking a leaf out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s book of rules, Javadekar made a surprise visit to the departments of his ministry. He reached the ministry at 9 am and began his rounds by 9:30 am. Several officials and staff were not at their desks and some sections were almost empty.

The action was taken to send out a message to all employees that laxity will not be tolerated in his ministry. He told senior officials to send all the “latecomers” to him as soon as they arrived.

As they lined up to meet him, he asked them to take casual leave for the day and go home.

He also warned them of serious action if they came late to office again, said official sources.

“Some had not reached office even by 10 am, while the time of arrival is 9 am,” said the sources.

A circular was also issued to all ministry officials, asking them to reach office at 9 am sharp and work until 5:30 pm. I&B Ministry secretary Bimal Julka advised senior ministry officials to strictly monitor the arrival and departure of the staff.

The action comes just days after Modi made it clear to bureaucrats that he expected them to do their job with sincerity.

Meanwhile, the corridors of power at the Punjab mini-secretariat in Chandigarh also had an unusual visitor on Monday at 9:05 am.

It was Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal who was also on a surprise visit to check if his bureaucrats arrived on time to office. As many as 14 senior officers, some of the rank of principal secretary, were “missing”. Senior officers, including principal secretary (defence services), principal secretary (housing and urban development), principal secretary (surplus pool), principal secretary (jails and general administration) and secretary (transport) were marked absent by the chief minister.

This is the second time in two weeks that Badal has resorted to surprise checks to inculcate a sense of discipline among his bureaucrats and ministers.

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