gfiles magazine

March 19, 2014

COVER STORY / BIG BOSS | ‘Political parties should avoid making promises difficult to fulfill’

v s sampath chief election commissioner

‘Political parties should avoid making promises difficult to fulfill’

V S Sampath is a 1973-batch IAS officer from the Andhra Pradesh cadre. He was an election commissioner from 21 April 2009 to 10 June 2012, after serving for a year as the Secretary for Energy and Power in the Government of India. He played an important role in introducing power sector reforms in Andhra Pradesh. He will serve as CEC until he reaches the retirement age of 65 on 16 January 2015.... Read More

COVER STORY | Elections 2014:The Money Game

power games

Elections 2014: The Money Game
During elections, the Election Commission of India virtually takes over governance in its hands till the time the results are announced and a formal list of victorious candidates is handed over to the government. Nobody dares to challenge the authority of the Election Commission (EC) during the election period...Read More

COVER STORY | Electoral Integrity:Key to corruption-free India | By mg devasahayam

elections mg devasahayam

Electoral Integrity:Key to
corruption-free India

Much needs to be done to transform the electoral integrity campaign, as practised in Tamil Nadu Assembly elections in 2011, into a full-fledged movement to make India corruption-free. This is a task cut out for civil society.

The anti-corruption rhetoric has been the flavour of the last several seasons with a political party morphing out of it and briefly capturing power in Delhi in the winter of 2013. The party chief-cum-ex-Chief Minister even came out with the ‘rogue’s gallery’ of the most-corrupt politicians, who actually run India’s democracy-turned-kleptocracy.... Read More

COVER STORY / TALKTIME | ‘Bar criminals from contesting elections’

s y quraishi former chief election commissioner

‘Bar criminals from contesting elections’

If TN Seshan is credited with bringing the Election Commission (EC) centre-stage, his successors, including SY Quraishi, must be thanked for bringing in reforms to make the EC proactive, people-friendly and instilling its officers with a sense of confidence. Like Seshan, Quraishi too has often been in the eye of a storm for taking on those in power.... Read More

From the Editor | By Anil Tyagi

in April and May, your door will be knocked on by prospective Lok Sabha candidates for your endorsement to the 16th Lok Sabha. Your decision to vote for a particular candidate or party will make a lot of difference in the governance of India as in a democracy, this is the only weapon that the common man has, the only time when he is the master of the rulers. When you vote, have you ever thought, why you vote for a specific candidate or a party?.... Read More

Bric-a-brac | CM Sharma? plan b in haryana

polls& goals

CM Sharma?
plan b in haryana
there is a general perception in Haryana that there is no threat to Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. In Congress circles, everybody accepts and admires him. They are convinced that after Charan Singh and Devi Lal, Hooda is the biggest crowd puller in the country. This, they say, has been proven after the Gohana rally recently where Hooda spoke before approximately one lakh people.... Read More

Bric-a-brac | Capital clout andhra: opportunity in adversity

polls& goals

Capital clout
andhra: opportunity in adversity
india’s 29th state was recently formed. But let’s go back a bit in time. The local workers of Telangana and the leadership of the Save Andhra movement were busy demonstrating for their political goals. Meanwhile, some of the top political leaders were working on the map of the new capital of divided Andhra Pradesh... Read More

Bric-a-brac | Veterans simmer politicking heightens within BJP

polls& goals

Veterans simmer
politicking heightens within BJP
the Bharatiya Janata Party resembles an arena for prime ministerial candidates. This even though, NarendraModi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, has been nominated as the party’s prime ministerial candidate if the BJP gets majority in the 16thLok Sabha. But in politics, it’s never so cut and dry. Sources disclose that .... Read More

Bric-a-brac | Busy as a bee check out the prez’ schedule

polls & goals

Busy as a bee
check out the prez’ schedule
pranab Mukherjee’s predecessors seldom interacted with media. But since he became President, journalists receive innumerable emails with press releases and photographs from the President’s Office. Pranab Mukherjee knows the power of media very well... Read More

FIRST STIRRINGS | ‘EVMs have solved many problems’

ms gill former chief election commissioner

‘EVMs have solved many problems’

My village Aladinpur did not have a school for higher studies, I had to walk up to Tarn Taran, a small town close by, for studies. My mother used to pack paranthasand pickles as refreshment for me. Sometimes I used to run after a Tonga to reach home. The boys also used to take a dip in the nearby canal. Those were wonderful days... Read More

GOVERNANCE | Another trade to dupe? | By Neeraj Mahajan

scam jignesh shah

Another trade to dupe?

Jignesh Shah got a head start when the Government of India arbitrarily lifted the 33 year ban on commodity futures—against expert advice in 2003. He then managed to use the opportunity to decimate everyone in his path to control most of India’s assets: equities, stock exchanges, agricultural commodities, derivatives, power, gold, silver and currency. This was until the bubble burst. Now, of course, half his designations are useless. He is an alien in most of the companies he started. Neeraj Mahajan analyses the fall of the titan.

GOVERNANCE | Linking the last mile | by Abhilaksh Likhi


Linking the last mile
Sustained priority to grassroots institutional arrangements thatlead to outcomes and impacts in social development through the state-NGO partnership is a must
by Abhilaksh Likhi

Local participatory development is a strategy that is being deployed by governments in developing countries to achieve a variety of socio-economic goals... Read More

INITIATIVE | Skills required for interpersonal relations | by dalip singh

workplace dalip singh

Skills required for
interpersonal relations

The skills that are necessary for good relations with others are the most important skills anyone can learn in life. When it comes to improving organisational effectiveness, administrators, management scholars and practitioners are beginning to emphasise the importance of emotional intelligence. At the heart of service are relationships: interpersonal relationships; intergroup relationships; and, interdepartmental relationships.... Read More

MANDARIN MATTERS | A singular summit

bilateral affairs a n d haksar

A singular summit
A brief but compelling account of an impromptu summit meeting between Pakistan’s dictator Zia-ul-Haq and India’s the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai in Nairobi in 1978 during the funeral ceremony of Kenyan leader Jomo Kenyatta 

Summit meetings have become a standard feature of international diplomacy in the twenty-first century. Leaders meet each other with a frequency which is no longer unprecedented. Thanks to modern technology, the meetings can even be virtual... Read More


intelligence amitabh thakur

Too many, too little
It is high time the intelligence agencies are not used for political intelligence
gathering, which has no relevance to national security

As is well known, intelligence isa military and/or government term referring to the infor term referring to the information used in making decisions.Intelligence can be gathered from anysource, suitably assessed and processedaccording to established methods.Intelligence gathering (includingespionage) is done through what are popularly known as intelligence agencies...Read More

BOOK REVIEW | Why India votes | by Narendra KaushiK

politics non-fiction

Why India votes
 by Narendra KaushiK 

With general elections just a heartbeat away, what can be more topical than analysing various aspects of an electoral democracy? This is what ‘Why India Votes?’ a book edited by Mukulika Banerjee and published by Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, does.... Read More


dr gs sood

The bull will run
 THE Indian market was least affected by the US Fed’s tapering announcement of another US$10 billion in February, mainly due to its improving macro fundamentals including the twin deficits, stabilising rupee and the falling rate of inflation. The Sensex is currently trading near its all-time high whereas China’s Shanghai Composite Index is down 65 per cent from its life-time high mainly due to the sudden slowdown and concerns emanating from increased default risk by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China... Read More


corruption sadhguru

Spiritually clean

some years ago, I was invited to a school in Trichy to speak to the students. When I asked what they wanted to do with their lives, many 14-year-old boys told me they wanted to join those professions that they believed were the most corrupt!
One boy said, “I want to become a Regional Transport Officer.” I asked him, “Why? Are you interested in motor vehicle reform or something?” He said, “No, I can make a lot of money there.”.. Read More the way

Unhealthy moves

If you are an upright officer and don’t intend to toe the line of the Minister, you can be sure that your days are numbered in the ministry, especially if it is the Health Ministry. Exactly this happened with Keshav N Desiraju. An IAS officer of the 1978 batch of Uttarakhand,  who  had been serving as Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for less than a year....Read More the way

Powered by grease
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda (Bhupi Bhai) has a brigade of colourful officials. One of the top ranking officials (name withheld) who is the eyes and ears of the chief minister looks after all the land deals in the state. He also has a wonderful past... Read More the way

Changing colours

Whenever there is a power shift in Delhi, the bureaucracy makes all effort to shift gears as per the new power equations. Therefore, it was surprising to learn that one of the top investigating agencies’ chief developed a contact with the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.... Read More the way

In the hot seat

There was a tough battle going on to become Petroleum Secretary. It would not be wrong to say that this seemed to be the most coveted post since the present incumbent Vivek Rae retired in February... Read more