State bureaucrats' in-box is empty

Fused bulbs

State bureaucrats' in-box is empty

 Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, for once, had a bright spark and promised to reward those who thought up something innovative. He set aside a Challenge Fund of Rs 10 crore in 2009-2010.

As many as 14 months have gone by since the fund was formed, and not a single “innovative” proposal has come from any of the department heads. So acute is the dearth of ideas that Karnataka had not sent even one proposal for last year’s Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration. Even states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh bagged most of the honours.

An upset Chief Secteray S V Ranganath lamented: “I refuse to believe that Karnataka is worse than Chhattisgarh.”

The annual PM’s award is given to nine outstanding initiatives in three categories – individual, group and organisation. The award for 2008-09 was given away in April 2010 in Delhi. “It (the PM’s award) is the most prestigious award... Despite my directions to all departments to send across at least one proposal, none has bothered to do so,” he said.
To Ranganath, what ailed Karnataka was not lack of ideas but the way they are packaged and projected. If some of the projects of the State Government were presented well, they could have been the talk of the nation, he is said to have told his juniors.

“Projects like Sujala watershed have received international recognition. The low-cost housing scheme being implemented by the Housing Department should have been the talk of the country. Like these, there are at least 30 to 35 initiatives. With these projects, the awards are legitimately ours,” sources quoted the Chief Secretary as saying at a meeting. To make up for this year’s loss at the awards, Ranganath is said to have directed the department heads to come up with at least one proposal this year. “Next year, we must win at least five to six awards,” he said. District secretaries were also told to take up at least one innovative project in their respective districts.

The babus’ boss is also sore that the annual confidential report, as is presented by the department heads now, lacks any sort of skills. “Please apply your mind,” he advised.
“With such reports, you are not doing any good to the State... I do not want to see such disastrous appraisals.”

The chief secretary vent his spleen while reviewing the progress of centrally-sponsored schemes with department heads recently.

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