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Updated: April 21, 2012 12:36 IST

No witch-hunting in name of fighting corruption: Manmohan

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. File photo
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. File photo

Fighting the charge of policy paralysis in Government, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday asked civil servants to show “boldness” in decision making, assuring them there will be “no witch hunting” in the name of fighting corruption.

Addressing them on the Civil Services Day here, Dr. Singh asked the bureaucrats to fight the tendency of not taking decisions because of the fear that things might go wrong and they might be penalised for that.

“It should be our endeavour that there is no witch hunting in the name of fighting corruption. It is our government’s commitment to put in place a system and create an environment in which our civil servants are encouraged to be decisive, and no one is harassed for bona fide mistakes of errors of judgement,” the Prime Minister said.

Dr. Singh, however, also noted there is a growing perception, right or wrong, that the moral fibre of civil servants and public servants in general is not as as strong as it used to be some decades ago and that the civil servants are now more likely to succumb to extraneous pressures in their work.

“These perceptions might be exaggerated but I do think that there is a grain of truth in them,” he said.

While maintaining that the decisions that civil servants take must be fair and objective in nature, he made it clear that the government stands committed to protecting honest and well meaning civil servants who might have made genuine errors in their work.

“...We cannot have a bureaucracy which is hundred percent risk-averse. In fact we should encourage boldness in decision making, provided that the decisions are well considered and as per the law of the land.

“A civil servant who does not take decisions might always be safe, but at the end of the day he or she would have contributed nothing to our society and to our country,” the Prime Minister said.

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Unfortunately, the PM himself does not come across as bold and decisive. Perhaps
his introverted personality, humility and polite mannerisms are unsuitable for
dealing with ruthless politicians and bureaucrats around him and in the echelons of
power. A 'weak' leader can not expect empowered followers.

from:  Sathya
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 17:55 IST

A civil servant who does not take decisions might always be safe, but at
the end of the day he or she would have contributed nothing to our
society and to our country,” : PM Dr.Manmohan

A Prime minister who does not take decisions (against the wrong doings
of the parliamentarians) might always be safe, but at the end of the day
he or she would have contributed nothing to our society and to our
country,” : People of India.

from:  Robin John
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 16:42 IST

How can Dr Manmohan Singh impart boldness and decisiveness to civil servants?

Dr Manmohan Singh, is a great academic, but he is not a great example to civil
servants, for decision making and boldness.

Dr Singh is himself very clean, but 'personal cleanliness', doesn't make sense when
every one around is not.

In a crisis one has to take a bold stand, go to people on an anti-corruption platform,
and start a new great chapter for India.

Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 16:08 IST

It is surprising that Mr Manmohan singh asked the civil servants to show
boldness in decision making.Very often our esteemed PM boldly decides
not to take decision on vital issues.His periodical sermons are
meaningless.Mr Manmohan felt hurt when Mr.Advani called him a weak
PM.His reaction was uncivil and uncharacteristic of him.

from:  S.Srinivasan
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 16:00 IST

The quality of Civil Services is declining for the past two decades due to best brains migrating to Software and management. Also there is an aversion among intelligent youth to take civil services in view of political pressures which they have to undergo while in service. To overcome the maladies of the present system, all political parties should select right people as public representatives (Corporator to Cabinet Minister)and choose only well qualified persons as Ministers and Governors.

from:  Vyas K Susarla
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 15:47 IST

Great words. Coming to the point, Central Vigilance Commission has recently introduced the concept of 'assurance' from the conerned Disciplinary Authorities ( authority for taking disciplinary action aginst PSB/Govt. etc. ) that all the facts/materials have been brought out in the note being sent to CVC AND THAT all documents/evidence/witnesses will be deposed during enquiry proceedings etc.etc. For instance, in a public sector bank, there are different disciplinary authorities (who also handle banking business which is their main function) for different cadres , and the Presenting Officer will be from the field or outstation branches. How CVC expects that the Disciplinary Authority will oversee on day-to-day basis the aspect of 'assurance' given to the CVC ? Instead CVC, with their expertise, can glean through the record of the case and can assess whether a case is comprehensive enough, whether sufficient/reasonable record/evidence adduced during enquiry proceedings.

from:  vc sekar
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 13:03 IST

Dr Singh has mentioned these types of statements several times before too, when asked about prevailing corruption in the country. Always in his replies, his emphasis is more about safeguarding the babus and netas from so called " witch hunting " danger. This need for "boldness" in taking decision has resulted in so much fire walls being erected for the babus, that there is no transparency, encouraging corrupt activities. The lack of proper mechanism to punish the corrupt quickly and decisively has also encouraged corruption.

from:  Anand
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 12:59 IST
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