Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Friday, 26 August 2016

Policy Paralysis : Can be Avoided

Economic Times ( 25 Aug 2016 ) carries a news report titled :

"  Charges Against Coal ex-Secretary may Lead to Policy Paralysis "

The report quotes :

#  Shri Amitabh Kant ( CEO , NITI Aayog )

" He is the most honest officer I have come across in my entire career. Real travesty of justice. Sad & tragic. Errors
 in commercial decision making should be decriminalized. There cannot be a more honest person than Gupta "

#  A current Govt Secretary :

" He is more honest than I am or anyone of us here . If he is jailed, functioning of the government will come to a grinding halt . There are already too many concerns . If such things happen , no one will take any decisions "

No doubt , it is very difficult to conclude whether a decision was just " an error of judgment " or whether it was truly , a " mala-fide " decision to benefit the officer himself or his relatives / friends / business interests !

I request that the  Central IAS Officers Association , consider my following suggestion :


Friday, 20 June 2014 ( source : www.hemenparekh.in > Blogs )

To err is human

To forgive is divine ( provided it was a honest error )

All of us keep making errors , all the time

But rarely same " mistake " twice

Often , decisions taken at a point of time , turn out to be " poor " , with passage of time

Reasons are simple :

*  We never have all the information - relevant to the problem we are trying to solve - available with us , at the time of taking a decision

*  Even when most of such relevant info is available , we may not have the capacity / competence to " process " such info

*  As humans , we have our biases / prejudices , based on our previous experiences , which influence our decisions

*  Quite often , and often against our own better evaluation / judgment of a given situation , we are wrongly influenced by our peers / bosses / subordinates or even voters - all of whom have different expectations / vested interests !

* Additional - and more relevant - information surfaces , AFTER we have taken a decision (happens all the time !)

To encourage Officers and Ministers to take
FAST decisions , Shri Narendra Modi must insist that they carefully " Record " on the files :

*  What are the " Options / Alternatives " available ( with advantage / disadvantage , of each )

* What info / data he wished was available for a better decision

* What different " views / opinions " were presented to him for consideration

* What " Data / Views " he would have obtained if he had more time

* Who all , the decision might offend

* What is the likely " Cost " of postponing that decision,

And finally a
Declaration :

* " This decision is not likely to benefit any of my near relatives / friends , directly or immediately "

After all of this , if the decision appears to be " Wrong " in hindsight , it must be " forgiven " and treated as an honest error

To err is human  !

Speaking at the TRANSFORMING  INDIA lecture ( 26 Aug 2016 ) , Shri Modi said :

"  We cannot march through 21st century with 19th century administrative systems . It would involve transformation of governance and mindsets as well as transformative ideas

Further , it would require rapid transformation and not gradual evolution "

I am afraid , despite all of this motivation / exhortation , no officer would want to stick his neck out for fear of it getting chopped off !

Even a trapeze artist in a Circus , needs a Safety Net before he can be motivated to jump !

My suggestion is that SAFETY  NET !

True , Sati Sita had to prove her innocence through fire !

But , in 2016 , no officer would want to go through the public humiliation of a media trial , till the courts prove him innocent !

For him , " No decision " cannot be faulted !


27  Aug  2016

www.hemenparekh.in / blogs


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