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Has CM’s Vigilance Award - 2013 been fixed ?

AWARD POLIITCS

DR RAJA MUZAFFAR BHAT

In order to encourage the dedicated, honest and upright public servants and public spirited citizens of the state, the J&K Government, on the recommendation of State Vigilance Organization (SVO) initiated the process of giving away the Chief Ministers’ Vigilance Award some years back. This award is given every year on the eve of Indian Independence day - 15th August -  to four persons (two each from Government  & Public spirited citizens / NGO’s). This year also the Government plans to give the CM’s Vigilance Award to four people and in this connection I saw an advertisement published in Greater Kashmir on June 28th 2013, wherein the Public Spirited citizens / NGO’s were asked to apply before the respective Deputy Commissioners of their district, so that the DC forwards the legitimate names of the public spirited citizens / NGO’s to the Government.  (The Government officials need not apply before the DC).
The advertisement was published on behalf of the J&K Government through General Administration Department (GAD) on June 28th and the last date for DC’s to send their recommendations, was fixed for June 30th 2013. This means that within a mere two days (rather only one day as June 30th was Sunday) the DC had to send these names to the Government. There is no time provided to the public spirited citizens / NGO’s to formally apply before the DC. Ideally the DCs of all the 22 districts must have been given some time to seek applications from the concerned public spirited citizens or NGO’s so that the legitimate names could be further forwarded to the Government. But with such a short notice of just one or two days: it is clear that Government is just befooling the people of the state about giving away the CM’s Vigilance award to so called “Public Spirited Citizens” as the people who deserve to get this award cannot apply before the competent authority. It seems that some blue eyed boys have already been chosen by the Government for this award and all this seems politically motivated.  
This matter has been reportedly brought into the notice of  State Congress Chief Prof Saifudin Soz who is also the Chairman of coordination committee of the NC – Congress Coalition Government. He has reportedly written a letter to the Government through Chief Secretary  showing his anger and resentment over this matter. He further sought an extension of two weeks time for the submission of recommended names of whistleblowers / NGO’s by the various Deputy Commissioners .

Suggestion: 
Our Chief Minister talks about creation of a single window system which indeed was the dream of his grandfather Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.  By issuing  notices and circulars asking people to apply before respective DCs for CM’s Vigilance Award  which has to be  submitted to Government and again another team at General Administration Department (GAD) will make the final selection kills  the basic idea of single window system. Does it mean that if one applies before the DC he would do his job on the same day, no he will definitely forward the case to  Tehsildar and the file will reach to a Patwari, Lumberdar & Chowkidar and this process is going to take months.  The Government must instead appoint a selection committee comprising people from Government, Opposition and Civil Society which could look into such issues. This will also ensure transparency and openness in the selection of the genuine people not only for CM’s Vigilance award but for other awards too.
The author is RTI / Social Activist and founder of J&K RTI Movement. Reach him at muzaffar.rti@gmail.com

Lastupdate on : Sat, 13 Jul 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 13 Jul 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 14 Jul 2013 00:00:00 IST




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