Recently I read the news of a bureaucrat Raju Narayana swamy removed from service for want of performance because some procedure of Performance Appraisal found him wanting. Conflicts between individual bureaucrats and the Government is nothing new ..we have a long history of such events. Some time back a serving Chief Secretary of Karnataka state was imprisoned for one month for "contempt of Court", a retired Chief Secretary to Tamil Nadu Government K A Nambiar had a case hoisted against him called the Fly Over case from which he might have endured losses ,and in another case a Telecom Secretary was imprisoned for a long time for some misdeamenour purportedly committed by him...The list could go on and on for there could have been various conflicts many of them un-reported. In another case a serving Chief Secretary of Karnataka state was suddenly shifted to a lower post by the establishment.
The Indian Administrative Service is an extension of the Imperial Civil Service created by the Crown when they were at the helm in India to run Administration of the country. From whence it started really functioning is unclear but shot into prominence and was expanded with intensity post the Sepoy mutiny in 1857.The English built many Universities in India post the sepoy mutiny to engender civil servants to strengthen Administration and one of their key roles was to act as a dictating and controlling force of Martial establishments like the Police and the Military. They had quasi judicial powers and could make interim judgements in lieu of the Judiciary and transfer matters to the Judiciary matters that were complex. Prior to the formation if the civil service many of these powers were wrested in the hands of the Military who misused such powers and abused them too creating social dis-order. The bureaucracy was largely created to stream line and bring stability to Administration and a sense of method and cohesion. In the sepoy mutiny of 1857 Bengal and South India did not join the mutineers because of a stronger Administrative framework and the model was replicated across India by the British Establishment. Most District Collectors enjoyed absolute powers and made large scale developmental contribution to their districts and most of them were given tenures that would average a decade.
Major General Mark Cubbon the Commissioner of Bangalore and Coorg was for all practical purposes removed from his post and replaced by an ICS officer Lewin Lentham Bowring in 1861 or so and Bowring appears to be at the post in Bangalore for nearly a decade.
This is the back-drop of the Bureaucracy as we see it today but with a major difference..Bureaucrats of the English era did not have a Political establishment above them .Post Independance the Bureaucracy works under a Political establishment. The issue is that the life cycles of these two institutions are largely different the Civil service is a much older institution with a larger heritage vis-a-vis the Political establishment which was relatively new but with time the Political establishment in our country has matured and reacts to Administrative matters in a mature way ..simply said the conflicts between the bureaucracy and the Political establishment dwindles with time and the hand shake would improve due to the sheer dynamics in which they are placed.
In the Globalized World of today where information thresholds have fallen ..added to this an explosion in Population the dynamics of Government has vastly changed catching all machineries of Government un-awares...with increasing inputs from the common man who has a much increased say in which Administration is run and public reactions to events more pronounced and instantaneous. Add to that the various Media that are at disposal which collect and carry information globally almost instantly. The role of a Globalized Population in the running of Governments is very much pronounced today and influences social order and progress.
What is this activity of Performance Appraisal and is it a healthy phenomenon to be introduced into Government and more than anything else in the assessment of Bureaucrats. That is the moot question which needs to be answered ..
What is this area of Performance Appraisal ?Its origins could be linked to the Peter Drucker concept of MBO (Management of Objectives).It is the ability of Managers to set objectives and achieve them under the suoervision of some one who is senior to him and the objectives themselves derived fro the overall objectives of the Organization. Performance Appraisal is a phrase that has found in-roads in modern day Human Resources Management. This is largely seen in Corporates and to my observation a highly mis-used one because personnel involved in such activities primarly do not fully comprehend the larger dynamics in which these activities were envisaged and how to apply them in the right way. Iam wary Governmental establishments would make errors in the application of such jargons to the detriment of the State. Government cannot run like Corporates and Corporates cannot run like Government..their dynamics are different and so are the inputs and outputs. Performance Appraisals if not conducted properly would lead to inappropriate decisionns which will hamper the long term stability of organizations. I have seen this happen over and over in Corporates and should not be blindly adopted by Government to the deterrent of the functioning of Government.
This is grave matter. Should Bureaucrats go un-appraised.? That is not what Iam suggesting. Performance Appraisal as we see it in Corporates if blindly applied into Government would lead to sense of fear and anxiety in the bureacratic establishment leading to various lateral conflicts and issues which can lead to other kinds of confusions. A word of Caution. Bureaucracy was not designed to create work-a-day labourers...It was created as a Maintenance and Development organization ...both these functions have to be carried out by the Bureaucracy and any mis-guided emphasis would create system where they land up doing things which are not the bedrock for which this institution was created..
I will repeat again and would like to re-emphasise it in no uncertain terms. Bureaucracy was created for the maintenance and developmental function. Maintenance is the activity of handling systemic non-conformances on a timely basis largely by collecting and acting upon information ..and the developmental component is to ensure how the complexity of existing tasks can be mitigated and the system improved. These two functions are largely intangible and any effort to bring it under a Appraisal system wrongly designed will be largely un-productive and counter-productive.
In our country we need to put up institutes of Governance where such issues are studied in detail even under the light of national and international experiences in such matters. A wrongly created Performance Appraisal system engineered by wrong hands can have largescale damaging effects and if at all such a system is created it must be done so largely keeping in mind the age-old nature of the bureaucracy and the purpose for which it was created and any action bereft of such a hind sight could prove detrimental in the long run regarding the way Governments are run.
There was something pestering us for quite some time in a set of recalcitrant neighbors who constantly created nuisance of some kind. My father decided to do something about this.
The occurrence of these events might be in the late 1970.s.My father had a well wisher in the Karnataka police department who was a senior official by name Pushparaja Shetty. Shetty served as sub inspector of police in our native terrain and was a colleague of the uncle of my father who later retired as Dy.SP in Kerala Police.My father took the reference of his uncle and met Pushparaja Shetty and made a representation about our neighbors who were troublesome.
No sooner the local police acted with firmness and rounded up and warned these errant elements from whom we had no further trouble there upon.
I must thank Mr.Shetty for the support he gave us and the nostalgia he had serving with my Father's uncle as young officers of the police force prior to Independence.
Power System Analysis is an important component of Electrical Engineering and in the modern day an increasingly complex activity with changes noticed in Generation and distribution of Electric Power.The field of Power System Analysis converges conventional Electrical Engineering with Power Electronics and Information system platforms.
In the seventh semester we had a course on Power System Analysis and it would be better if practitioners in this field also get an opportunity to share experiences and insight to the recepients.The entire area of Power Systems is fairly well managed in a country like India which has more than a century of experience in generation and distribution of Electrical Power. Two problems beset the area of Power system Analysis. The first component is to match the increasing demand for power. The second is to ensure quality of Power, the third function is to ensure reduction in wastage and finally to keep the system from breakdowns and other disruptions.
At a global level Power System Analysis is to address the economics of Power. Basically matching the supply and demand at a rational price ,this is a problem at engulfs humanity and such a domain would invariably involve the import and export of Power. It would also involve domestication of Power which means effective local generation and distribution of Power over very short distances.. for instance the use of Solar power. One of the major components of Power consumption in the future would be that Automobiles of all kinds might work on Batteries which need periodic charging.
Maintaining the Quality of Power is another component of PSA(Power System Analysis)..in an AC system ensuring the correct Voltage, Frequency and Power Factor. This is where computerization is going to make in-roads. I think to a very large extent PSA as we see today is in a very nascent condition with no real-time assessment of Power though we have progressed in this field in leap and bounds. Add to this the study of transients. Effects of lightning and all other forms of environmental disturbances on Electrical Power Systems. PSA of this kind is carried out through a DAS(Data Acquisition System);a low voltage system properly insulated taps EPI(Electrical Power Information) from various points and feeds it into a central computer device which registers Voltage, Frequency, Power factor and transients. Any abnormality anywhere can be instantly noticed for corrective action. DAS helps in the proper management of Power System factors.DAS needs complex parallel wiring and care and a central control station with reporting systems almost on a daily basis.
DAS mentioned above also helps in tracking wastage largely by controlling Power Factor in large industrial installations and tracking wastage of power by domestic installations. The Power Factor is studied periodically at large power distribution zones to bring it into acceptable levels even by restructuring the load if necessary. Domestic wastage of power is also a source of power wastage which can be tracked even at a minute level by such systems.
Break down and disruptions need constant analysis and improvement. Trees falling on Power Lines resulting in Short Circuit is one of major causes of disruptions and add to that other sources like over load , tripping of breakers and single phasing and even birds creating short circuit by grounding high tension lines. Zones where such things happen are normally identified and acted upon and underground cables with proper notifications laid.
The above is the scope of PSA and to my observation has to be done more aggressively and at the same time the depth of the analysis also augmented that we know in the future..What problem is likely to happen and plan very much in advance all forms of corrective actions both complex and simple.
In 1972 or so my Father bought a Murphy Mayfair Radio a sample of which is shown above along with its antenna. My father was busy putting two nails on the wall to tie the antenna and from thence started a fine form of entertainment at home.It cost Rs.400/- I think then which was a sizeable amount by those standards. My father wanted his children to listen to the English news everyday so that we could improve our stand in the language.
With time this equipment became a part and parcel of our lives. It was a vacuum tube radio as transistor radios were yet to come into the market.My mother had a special fascination for Kannada songs and would at times appreciate the creative content in the songs.
Early morning six or so my mother used to switch on this wonderful peice and would tune in the Bangalore AIR station where devotional songs were played for some time followed by Raitharige Salahey (which means advice to Farmers).I used to very often wake up hearing this.
Most of the time we tuned into the commercial channel of AIR where hindi song programmes were aired every now and then during the day and to a large extent my brother and myself we grew up hearing these songs though we did not know what it meant. There is no hindi song worth the salt we have not heard during this era. My fervent desire at this age was to learn to speak the Hindi language and understand it.
Somehow for some unknown reason slowly this equipment faded out of our lives after more than ten years may be because of the growth of Television. But this Radio made our lives happy and the home was full of all kinds of music for more than a decade.
It might be largely a weird thing to do...visit Kolkata from Bangalore by bus but this is what I embarked upon in March this year. It was in my mind for a long period of time to see what this city of Kolkata is all about. I studied the covid statistics for many days in March and found Covid to be dominant only in Maharashtra state and adjoining areas and I was in constant consultation with APSRTC control room about all issues regarding travelling through Andhra Pradesh. I studied the map for a few days and finalized my basic plan...Bangalore to Vijayawada....Vijayawada to Vishakapatnam...Vishakapatnam to Bhubaneshwar and Bhubaneshwar to Kolkata ...and the entire journey should take forty hours if everything goes well. I was thinking till the last moment if it was worthwhile to embark on such a journey but when I used justdial to book a room in Kolkata I got in touch with a senior man who runs a motel in Kolkata...precisely in Lenin Sarani..Dharamtalla.Since I found a room without much ado I decided to go on the adventure.
It was a Sunday I dont remember the exact date...I reached the KSRTC bus depot by Metro and found an APSRTC bus bound to Vijayawada. I boarded this bus.Somewhere this bus was a mistake because it takes around fifteen hours to reach Vijayawada and goes via Tirupati which I was unaware of. The good thing about this bus was I met Venkataramana Shastry who was bound for Tirupati and the journey was enjoyable because both of us got talking on various issues. The bus took a halt for dinner few kilometers before Tirupati and Shastri and myself had some fine dinner and tea. From Tirupati the bus had to enter NH 16 which is the Chennai -Kolkata highway and some one hour Tirupati the bus was on this highway ...a splendid four lane highway of International standards. I saw the board IIT Tirupathi after the bus left Tirupathi towards the NH16 highway .The entire night I did not have a wink of sleep generally marvelling what I saw around. Almost early morning the bus was on its way to Ongole ...I could see splendid landscapes in this part of Andhra Pradesh and morning 10:30 the bus reaches Vijayawada
Some twenty years or more I had visited Vijayawada and I was pleased to see it again.The bus stand is all the same but with much more population.I had three idlies in the restaurant ..the idlies were much bigger than what we get in Bangalore and cost Rs.15/-each.I had a stroll around the bus stand and saw the training center of APSRTC on the first floor and some statements of Peter Drucker displayed at the window panes of the training center and I was pleased that APSRTC has some regards for Drucker. At 11:30 am there is a VOLVO Dolphin coach to Vishakapatnam..which is a one of a kind bus....looks like a Boeing 737 in the inside and I booked into this bus ...It was a very comfortable coach...the bus should have reached Vishakapatnam at 8:30 pm but was delayed due to traffic jams at the entry of the Vishakapatnam city and reached its destination at 10:30 pm putting my plans haywire.Note that Rajamundry is a city that comes between Vijayawada and Vishakapatnam also called Vizag.
At 10:30 pm in the night there are no buses to Bhubaneshwar.There are no Government buses connecting Vizag to Bhubaneshwar..there are only private buses. I had some good egg fried rice in the restaurant at the Vizag bus stand and some touts there told me there is a bus at 1 :00 am. I decided to take a chance resting in the airconditioned waiting hall at the bus stand paying Rs.20/- an hour but the bus that was to appear at 1:00 am never showed up. I made a quick decision to stay at Vizag for the night and booked into an AC lodge adjacent to the bus stand and faded off to sleep. The room was an exceptional one for Rs.1000/-..AC working perfectly well with 24 hours hot water and a large wall mounted TV.I think it is called Sai Baba lodge. Tuesday morning I had a stroll of Vizag town just the areas near the hotel and found Vizag to be a well oriented city. People behave in a polite way..I had tea at an outlet near the hotel....and thereafter some good breakfast and booked a night ticket to Bhubaneshwar by a private bus set to leave Vizag at 10:00pm.I liked Vizag as a city and from my hotel room could see the Eastern Ghat mountains and planes landing at the Vizag airport.
That night I set off to Bhubaneshwar. A deluxe bus driven at high speed on the highway by an experienced driver. He stopped somewhere en-route for re-fuelling.I got off the bus and boarded after the refuelling. Some hundred kilometers before Bhubaneshwar he stopped for tea and resumed again.It was night time. At dawn the bus was some forty kilometes or so from Bhubaneshwar and I could see a road sign towards Puri Jagannath temple. At around 6 AM i get down at the main highway near the Baramundy bus stand which is some kind of an inter-state bus stand.I did not have a wink of sleep all night. At this bus stand I fould a 8:30 am bus to kolkata which is an air-conditioned coach which is half seating and the other half sleeper.
The bus was driven at full speed and passed through Cuttack and Balasore...stopping for lunch at Balasore.Few kilometers ahead was entry into the state of West Bengal..one of the next stops was Kharagpur some three hours journey away from Kolkata. At around 8 30 pm the bus reaches Babughat bus stop at Kolkata and I was off the bus and had a first view of Kolkata and its environs. I decided to take a taxi to the hotel.
No-sooner I settled into my room a cozy single bed room in Dharamthala..more precisely Lenin Sarani and relatively close to the Esplanade metro station.I had some strong dinner at a road side eat-out and went to sleep waking up six in the morning and taking a stroll around.There was a tea vendor who was at his work boiling milk using a single coil electric oven.I was amused to see a single coil electric oven.It was a pretty long wait and he served fine tea possibly with ginger in an use and throw mud cup.Down the road I saw the Sacred Heart Church Dharamtalla and had a small stroll around its premises and then on exit saw a tram.Out of spite I got into the tram and had a ride full circle up and down.This place called Esplanade was the heart throb of Colonial administrators when they were here and I could not have found a better location in Kolkata to stay. This is Thursday. In the afternoon I took a taxi to Victoria Memorial and had a stroll over the estate a well maintained edifice from far looks like the Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore.But a Exhibition on Netaji Subhash Chandhra Bose was underway inside through which I pondered with involvement. It was nice to see statues of people like William Bentick and many other Indian and English administrators of the past and also the Statue of Edward VII the son of Queen Victoria. I had a short chat with a CISF jawan who was posted here. CISF stands for Central Industrial Security Force. I came back to my room in a Taxi and had a nap and with sun becoming more mild tried to study the Metro Railway system of Kolkata.
In the Kolkata Metro system entry is only through Smart card..so I had to buy one and set off on one of those trains to the Dum Dum metro station. Metro in Kolkata is fully underground and manned by the Indian Railways..Bogies appeared to me to be metallic and the AC makes slightly more noise than in Bangalore and most of the stations are Single platform.It was a pleasant journey and I reached the Dum Dum metro station. I had a chat with RPF personnel there and also a Metro pilot.Metro pilots in Kolkata are aged some forty years or so unlike in Bangalore where the system is manned by people in their early twenties. I returned to the Esplanade metro station and had a stroll back to my room. The two terminal points in the Kolkata metro system are Dum Dum and Kavi Subhash.I would like to make a statement of warning at the outset.Dum Dum metro station is very far from Dum Dum International airport..please dont get misled by the word Dum Dum. If you reach Dun Dum metro station and want to go to Dum Dum international airport you have to take two local buses. If you want to reach Dum Dum International airport get down at the metro station just before Dum Dum and one local bus will take you to the main road near the Airport and it takes half an hour. From this junction on the main road you have to take a taxi to the entrance of the Airport which could be some three kilometers. Iam told a metro connection directly to the heart of the Airport is under construction. What iam trying to emphasise to some extent is that Dum Dum metro station and Dum Dum International Airport are poles apart as of now.
The next day Friday morning I had my tea at another outlet near Lenin Sarani and after my morning chores decided to explore the Metro sytem even further.It was nice to see many school students using the metro system to go to school and I had a chat with some of them.This time I travelled in the direction I think towards Kavi Subhash and randomly got down at a station called Rabindra Sadan and was having a stroll outside and was told the house of Subash Chandra Bose is near by and is now a museum and I went searching for it. It is a very up market residential locality in Kolkata and I had a stroll around the house which is a Mansion or a Bungalow even by modern standards. The Austin car which he used is displayed at the entrance, I had a stroll back to the metro station and reached Esplanade and got into the Sacred Heart church and had a long meeting with Father Peppin of the church whom I came know later is a Tamilian and we started conversing in Tamil.
Sacred Heart Church Dharamtala
Friday evening I got to see the vast expanse of Colonial buildings on the other side of Lenin Sarani ,buildings which must be more than hundred years old and painted Coronation red..the mammoth nature and organization of these buildings left me spellbound.I was also at the entrance of Hogg market , a market named in honour of Saunders Hogg an officer of the ICS in the nineteenth century.I even happenned to see the Tippu sultan mosque near-by.
I had developed Diahorrea due to some wrong food I ate somewhere and was worried. I decided to fly to Bangalore from Kolkata.I had to take a Plane considering that I was sick had to reach Bangalore at the earliest. Saturday morning I surrendered my room and did all the planning that was needed for my onward journey.I set out of the room had a Ginger tea at an outlet near-by and set out for the airport from Esplanade and getting down at the station just before Dum Dum. I surrendered my metro card and took a local bus that took more than half an hour to reach the Airport Junction from where I took a taxi to the entrance of the Airport.I had to book a ticket and fortunately found that there was a 12:20 flight to Bengaluru of Air India.There were many Covid procedures and finally I was on-board and after two and a half hours reached Bangalore. What a relief? I had a chat with Anita the flight attendant who introduced me to the Pilot and Co-pilot with whom I spent some time on the tarmac. The captain was Mr.Sinha from Patna and co-pilot from the north east whose name i do not recollect.
Thus ended my adventure by road to Kolkata from Bangalore a full two thousand kilometers..some times I ask myself..was it warranted.But now Kolkata as a city is no longer a mystery for me..dropped anywhere in Kolkata I can find my roots.
The diaohrrea ( i dont know how this word is spelt) I developed in Kolkata hurt me a lot. I met the local Government doctor here who was of no help.I took Endopar but the thing resurfaced again.I was upset. On an evening walk near my house I met Dr.Katti who told me to take Norflox 400..which I did which gave ninety percent relief. Dr.Katti told me it is stomach infection. I was worried inspite of Norflox why things are not getting perfectly well. On the internet I came across Tiniba 500 which is given for amoebic infections. The whole damn thing became cured after one cycle of Tiniba 500.This means I had Amoebic dysentery. Taking lime and ginger frequently is also a supplementary cure.
Some of the observations on my journey which i would like to make regarding my journey;
1.I found it very pleasurable travelling through Andhra Pradesh and I find some administrative finesse which can be adopted by other states too.
2.A night or day bus from Vizag to Bhubaneshwar operated by APSRTC or Oriya RTC is long over-due. Presently there is ORTC bus from Vizag to Jeypore in Odisha only. Such a bus would improve connectivity.
3.The staff of ORTC in Vizag need to be properly trained and oriented in the work that they do and a more professional approach is needed.
4.The food and other support systems at Baramundi bus station in Bhubaneshwar must be improved. There are many hotels which are unsafe and unclean.
5.I found the entire area of Esplanade in Kolkata needs better upkeep and maintenance. Cleanliness levels must be improved. The food served here at some places might lead to stomach bacterial infections.
6.The West Bengal Govt could pitch in to put mini-restaurants at various points where simple meals are served clean and people can sit in a dignified way within a hotel and have their food instead of relying on street vendors alone .