Absent, caught, punished

Published at January 14, 2019 01:25 AM 0Comment(s)3123views

Absent, caught, punished

At least on one account, the incumbent Governor Satya Pal Malik has been different while dealing with the governance in the state than his predecessor former governor NN Vohra. While as Vohra believed in establishing a system to fix responsibilities on the officials, Malik’s administration has been more into direct action. On Saturday, 26 government employees were suspended in the central district of Kashmir, Budgam.  Additional District Development Commissioner (ADDC), Budgam, Khurshid Ahmad Sanai suspended 21 officials of Power development Department and five officials of Roads and Buildings department following a surprise inspection of the offices. The employees were found absent from their duties without any authorization. Absenteeism is an old issue in government offices across the state. The action, in the shape of surprise visit, is also clichéd and on expected lines than really surprising. While as former governor stressed on fixing the system, which is the government offices, the incumbent governor has not shown any such proclivity. Vohra during his term advocated and supported a foolproof system like biometric attendance. Although he couldn’t be there to see the system being established in every government office, it was hoped that his successor will take cue from his administrative acumen. Instead of lauding the efforts of the former governor, the bureaucracy in the state didn’t seem to support the initiative. That is why the administration has gone back to its most efficient arsenal against the neglect shown by employees in government offices. Although this traditional practice has its own merits, but biometric attendance would have been no less than an anodyne to the decrepit public and civil service system in the state. There is hardly any question about its feasibility today, as technological advancement has helped in many ways to make the administration and therefore governance tractable. The paper work in offices has been reduced with the introduction of computers and other electronic and digital devices. Like biometric system, numerous government employees resisted the move initially, mostly because of ignorance. Government departments had to arrange for special training programmes to help employees learn about the computers and their use. Today no one can deny the importance of computers and communication devices that are used in most of the offices. Biometric attendance as such could have been a good addition and relieved the administrators to some extent. However, the administration seems to believe and encourage the age-old practice of visits and surprise inspection in the age when they could have live view of the situation by sitting on their office chairs. 


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