A promising officer underutilized by crumbling Jharkhand governments?
Having a reputation of high quality, dignity and clinical efficiency in delivering things, Jharkhand’s IITian Chief Secretary Ram Sevak Sharma’s ideal place could have been at the Unique Identification Authority of India as it made him a house-hold name along with UIDAI Chairman Nandan Nilekani across India.
But with the penchant for delivering the impossible, he happily took up the challenge when the president-ruled state looked up to him to guide its tottering feet, accepting the post of CS, much to the chagrin of Nilekani.
“We did not want to relieve him, but had to relent for a better cause,” Nilekani remarked at a press conference in Ranchi, much to the embarrassment of Sharma, who was present there.
“Please cooperate him, he is a very good officer,” added Nilekani.
But nowadays one shudders to read newspapers reporting imminent formation of the ninth government, sparking off a volley of questions among evening walkers.
What will happen to him if a government is formed?
What will happen to his khakha (foundation) drawn for Jharkhand’s future:
Will the new government shove him out as has been the trend down the years?
These questions haunt the well wishers of Jharkhand, who don’t want the state to be deceived any more.
In his first press conference as CS, one can see Sharma’s keenness in laying a springy launch pad for the state’s progress when he outlined three factors plaguing the state’s performance—Maoist hurdle in development, historically weak infrastructure and constraint in capacity building.
With a clear thought, conscience and eagerness to deliver, Jharkhand requires his service even after his retirement.
His proposals of e-Integrated check posts for resource mobilization, pulling up officials at the block level for abdicating offices for fear of Maoists and making an earnest effort to put an end to land disputes through Aadhaar-driven registrations are some of the remarkable stabs that he has delivered to the bureaucracy to straighten it up.
No doubt, there may be several IAS officers in Jharkhand who are competent enough to deliver, but a straight spine is also necessary to deal with the politicians.
“At this stage, Jharkhand can’t afford to lose the 2009 Prime Minister’s Award winner and his over three decades of yeoman service lend to the state and the nation,” observed Kedar, a senior citizen.
“Let us hope, whichever government comes will respect Sharma’s fervent enthusiasm to put Jharkhand in the map of development states,” added Kedar’s evening-walk mate.
Seeing Jharkhand’s fate, it reminds one about a famous adage——“If not now, when?”
Isn’t the saying apt for Jharkhand, which took birth on November 15, 2000 and still staggering to walk firmly on the path of development?