There are two important awards functions in Vigyan Bhawan, Delhi, every year. The first is the SCOPE Awards on the occasion of Public Sector Day on April 11. Second, the Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration on Civil Services Day on April 21. The SCOPE Awards are presided over by the President of India and the PM’s Award is presented by the Prime Minister of India. The Ministry of Heavy Industry and Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances administer the awards, respectively. Both the functions this year were botched up and there was utter chaos. In the SCOPE Awards, officials did not know the sitting arrangement. It was free for all. The cool-headed Home Minister Rajnath Singh was the Chief Guest on the first day. Miffed at a 12-minute delay in starting the function, Singh used the opportunity to chide bureaucrats on their lack of punctuality and even asked them to introspect on whether the delay was due to a “laxity of commitment”. The gathering of senior IAS and IPS officers, including Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha and Additional Principal Secretary to PM PK Mishra, were stunned to hear the plain talk of Home Minister. Secretary DAPRG C Viswanath , who was managing the function, was clearly embarrassed before senior officers. Media persons were the biggest victim in both the functions as they did not receive any press material. Earmarked media seats in both functions were occupied by senior officers. Some very senior journalists were seen sitting on the aisles. In the PM Awards function managed by ITDC, none of the attendees had any clue who are the awardees. The printed awards booklet was being offloaded from the truck after the function was over.
VOL. 11 | ISSUE 2| MAY 2017