Be Fair to Bureaucrats, Go for Vigilance Commission

Editors-Note1

For 18 years I worked in the corporate sector as a marketing professional before taking up this role. I was fairly good, considering that I started out as a trainee copy writer and ended up as Senior Vice President and CMO of the world’s largest integrated media services company. Many of my decisions have yielded mixed results. I have had press meets where only a couple of journalists turned up, demand-generation campaigns which resulted in no client meetings, and expensive sponsorships with questionable returns.

If I were an IAS officer in Kerala, I would be fighting at least a dozen vigilance cases! Now, that is scary. Many decisions are taken in the light of years of operational wisdom, available choices and in good faith. In hindsight, it is possible that there could have been a different or even better course. But the ignominy of having to explain one’s decision-making rationale to a very junior police officer with no administrative experience other than preparing an FIR, and to defend one’s character and conduct in public are nothing but a travesty of governance and grave miscarriage of justice.

Kerala is blessed to have the best set of IAS officers for decades. It is a known fact that newly-commissioned IAS officers with high rank in selection opt for Kerala because of the way our polity and society at large regard and empower them. As the government gets ready with a futuristic industrial policy, its effective implementation is in the hands of the IAS fraternity – a disheartened and disempowered lot today. Urgent intervention is needed to rein in the Vigilance & Anti-corruption Bureau and build back the morale and confidence of the IAS community in the State. A professional and neutral mechanism like the Vigilance Commission, which prevents concentration of power in the hands of one individual and avoids witch hunting, is the most rational and proven approach.

The Union Budget 2017-18 would have been presented by the time you get to hold this magazine. Let’s hope it serves as the much-needed balm for the Demonetisation bruises inflicted upon all sectors. Hence, in this issue, we are focussing on the Kerala Budget 2017-18 which our Finance Minister Dr. Thomas Isaac will present soon. In the following pages we have shared the expectations, demands and perspectives of many industry leaders as well as the FM himself. Let us fervently hope Dr. Isaac charms all in good measure (Page 16).

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