19 February 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Failing the test?

Failing the test?

The Modi sarkar’s 360-degree appraisal system for babus introduced in 2015 has often come in for flak, including from a parliamentary standing committee, which last year labelled it as “illegal, arbitrary, non-transparent and susceptible to manipulation”. The appointment of Vineet Chawdhary as chief secretary of Himachal Pradesh by the BJP has, once again, focused attention on the appraisal system. In August last year, after being denied a secretary-level position in the Union government, the 1982 batch IAS officer filed a case with the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) challenging the system. CAT directed the Cabinet Secretary to explain the government’s position on the matter by November in a “speaking order”, which requires the government to take a decision and explain the reasons for it. But Chawdhary has not been made secretary in the Union government so far and the appraisal system continues to be applied. Curiously, despite being denied his promotion to secretary, Chawdhary was chosen in December to be Himachal Pradesh chief secretary. Sources say that his current appointment as chief secretary in Himachal Pradesh is technically possible as regulations permit even those officers who are denied empanelment for senior positions in the Union government to be appointed to top bureaucratic positions in states. Still, the episode has only sharpened opinions among babus about the 360-degree appraisal system, both for and against it.

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