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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

No More Reservation In Promotion

After a year long hearing, Supreme Court has realised its error in its own judgement given last year in connection with need of quota for SC ST in promotion processes. It is true that our country has many such families who are socially backward, economically weak and a discarded force. Our Constitution has therefore provided some reservation for them so that they may get entry into all schools and colleges , government offices, banks and other public sector undertakings.  There is no second opinion on fact that our country need quota system in job and educational institute to bring these socially backward person in mainstream of society.

But last year , Supreme Court gave a erroneous judgement when it delivered an order that banks have to provide reservation in promotion processes upto scale VI. As a matter of fact the judgement was not clear as it should be. To allay all doubts and confusion , some banks approached Supreme court for review of its order and it gives me great pleasure that at last Supreme Court also has realised its error which took place in its last year order and hence thought it wise to give a fresh order  in modification of the old order of the same court.

Now it is made crystal clear that there will be no reservation in public sector banks in promotion of officers from one scale to other. It is the duty of bank management now to properly train officers of  backward caste officers and develop their skill so that they may be promoted to higher scales also . Court has admitted indirectly that Government departments or any PSU or any bank cannot be allowed to give disrespect to merit  and cause loss to public money.

In fact all Officers may be and should be given an opportunity to get promoted in order of their seniority in joining in a particular scale of officers. Every officer who is recruited has potential to perform provided he or she is properly groomed and taught properly from the day of joining. If   some of them do not perform well or commit mistakes even after all training and motivation,  he or she may be punished , his increment may be curtailed or he maybe posted at a suitable place . If all officers are promoted in serial and chronological order, question of quota will not arise. On the other hand officers who perform better may be financially awarded .

In most of public sector banks, there has been  a merit oriented promotion policy for last three decades . Still several inefficient and corrupt officers are getting promotion whereas several best performers are rejected . This is because of  the fact that Interview is not only an integral part but most effective part of Promotion process .

Interview process is such a process where lobbying with higher officials or bribe or recommendation of some VIP plays greater role and where performance of an officer appearing for promotion become useless and valueless. This is because , in an interview ,fate of an officer depends not on his performance , not on his knowledge, not on his experience  but on his ability to buy a member of Interview panel or create pressure on a member of  Interview panel constituted for picking up officers for elevation.

Another bitter truth of so called merit oriented promotion policy used by public sector banks for last three decades for promoting an officer from higher scale is that though officer is promoted to higher scale or post under influence of bribe, flattery or recommendation of VIP , they are not fount fit for post created for promoted officers.

This is why though officers are promoted to scale IV or scale V , but majority of such promoted officers are still doing work which even a scale I or scale II or scale III officer can perform. Similarly officer may become scale VI or scale VII , he is found incompetent by the same management even for the post of scale IV or scale V. All are accommodated suitably  at junior level post because influence of VIP is effective at all levels.

When this can happen under the umbrella of so called merit oriented promotion policy, why not the same type of accommodation may be provided when an officer is promoted to higher scale by dint of his seniority but not found fit for the post meant for promoted scale. 

I like to put stress on seniority oriented promotion process only because I know by way of my long experience that there is no guarantee that the authority empowered to promote an officer will act without error of omission or commission. It is a undeniable truth , that majority of such authority are influenced by bribe, flattery, caste similarity , pressure of VIP politicians or pressure of some higher bosses .

All these unethical activities happen in such a way which leave no proof behind and hence cannot be challenged in any court. And the most cruel, intolerable and condemnable truth of Indian judiciary is that even cases filed in courts are not decided in decades . Justice delayed is justice denied. All corrupt activities occurring   in this country or anywhere in the world take place usually  by verbal orders , telephonic advices or decided in  hidden place.

This is why malpractices continue almost in all banks without any challenge from any corner or from any aggrieved officer. Even if  any aggrieved officer file a case , he is pressurised to withdraw it or decision is delayed in court for decades by paying crores of rupees from banks treasury to teach a lesson to officer who dared file a case against reign of injustice.

It is open secret in banking , that whenever promotion process begins, lobbying starts at all levels. Officers seeking promotion either offers costly gifts, or offer suitable bribe or applies the influence of some powerful persons. They discover the name of officers who will be interview panel. And when interview panel starts conducting interview, each panel members will have a pre-decided list of officers  to be promoted in their brain . Process of interview is simply a formality and complete wastage of money in payment of travelling bills raised by officers appearing for promotion and panel officers authorised to carry out interview process.

It is important to mention here that upto 1980 , seniority based promotions used to take place in each pubic bank. But top officials of the then top management used to make excuses to conceal their inefficiency or their corruption that they do not have good officers and hence there is no growth as expected by government. As a result , government of India gave them full freedom on recruitment, promotion and transfer. Banks were given freedom to recruit meritorious officer even from educational campuses as  private  sector companies use to do. Campus recruitment stayed by Supreme Court only two years ago. Banks were free to promote and transfer any  officers as per their whims and fancies to protect , to increase profitability and to increase growth rate of their banks.

It is undeniable truth that majority of powerful persons in our country misuse their powers for benefit of self , their families, their friends and their flatterers. Powers are in general used to earn illegal money , to get higher and higher promotions and to get choice transfers. It is known to all , officers who hold powerful post force their subordinates either to support them in unethical and illegal acts or face frequent and torturous transfers.

An officer who support in corruption to higher bosses and act as per whims and fancies of higher bosses get all benefits and all comforts whereas who do not dance as puppet are subjected to critical and remote transfers so that his family is fully disturbed. This fear of transfer and loss to family has made many officers indifferent and dormant. They do not even opt for promotion. As a result of this bad culture, it is always the bank which suffer. This will not be an exaggeration to say that entire government machinery in victim of this evil culture.

This is why , even after lapse of more than three decades, position of health of these public banks have not improved, rather it has deteriorated year after year. And if all hidden bad debts are exposed, each bank will appear as  bankrupt and each of them seek huge capital to comply Basle norms stipulated by RBI. Thousands of crores of rupees are introduced by Government to provide support to sinking banks. When banks grow weakness, government merge it with some other strong bank. But right medicine to cure to disease is never prescribed , neither by RBI nor by Ministry of Finance. Because all these ministers and RBI officials act on false certificates of good health and they plan their strategy based on manipulated data and figures only.

Lastly it is public who has to suffer, they are paid lesser interest on their deposits, they are charged higher commission, they are charged higher interest on loans they take, they are paid less dividend on shares they buy and so on . Even bank staff do not get adequate wage hike because to less paying capacity. Health of banks has not improved from any angle of consideration. Even RBI has now admitted that as much as 12 percent of total assets of banks are stressed and much more is hidden.

In most of banks , real performers do not opt for promotion to avoid humiliation they face when they fail despite good performance. Now top officials of bank management blame that they do not have experienced, talented  and senior officers, they say that majority of  officers are going to retire in coming few years, they say that there is global recession and so on.   They will never admit that they committed mistakes on many front, they will not agree that they promoted corrupt culture in banks and they will not admit that they did not perform honestly to safeguard banks. They will never admit the fact that promoting  corrupt officers ignoring  genuine and meritorious performers demotivated good workers and promoted bad culture in bank which resulted in unabated rise in bad and stressed assets .

In this way it becomes clear that both the processes, seniority oriented promotion processes and merit oriented promotion processes are their own shortcomings and deficiencies and loopholes. One cannot stop the culture of  a worker to give favour to persons of his choice, his caste, his friends, his relatives and so on. After all it is a matter of perception , whether it is a case of recruitment or promotion or it is a case of sanctioning a loan to loan seeker. If an officer is corrupt, he will say a good proposal as bad until he gets bribe in return of sanctioning the loan. On the contrary corrupt officer may sanction bad proposal if he is paid adequate bribe directly or indirectly in lieu of his generosity . Similarly a member of Interview panel will give 25 out of 25 to an officer who has obliged him and may give 1 or 2 out of 25 to an officer who is performer but not flatterer or bribe giver.

I therefore find it is safe to introduce seniority based promotion which will avoid all cases of discrimination and misuse of power by higher bosses. It will dilute the demand of reservation in promotion process. Justice will prevail in all matters and there will be no demotivation and frustration because all will be promoted in order of their seniority. However to give incentives to best performers, various types of financial incentives may be given in a transparent manner.

Bank management may create an atmosphere where officer will be tempted to work more and more and will have no fear in exposing corrupt officials and denying sanction of loan to bad persons.

Some of senior officers advocate system of written test , computer skill test or debate to promote an officer from one cadre to other. I have no hesitation in saying that there is no need of written test also. Because it is also managed. Thieves are more in number and they are placed at all powerful post. They can manage balance sheet ,they can manage technology, they can manage software ,they may also manage your answer sheet and question paper too. Even IBPS ( Body created for conducting written test and interview for recruitment and if needed for promotional test too) is manned by same corrupt officers who had inculcated bad culture in banks.

These corrupt officers may leak questions or sell question to candidates as happening in almost all other examinations. Moreover an officer who is master is reading and unwilled to do an work can also pass written test. I have found many officers who spend major time in working hours in reading circulars and books when examination system is near. These officers least bother of what is needed for real growth in bank and what is needed for extending best customer service.

An officer may be highly skilled but may not be willed to perform. It is better to train willed officer to develop their skill. Banks progress by willed officer not by only purely skilled officer. Skilled and higher educated officers may be used for training unskilled workers. Banks need officer who can take decision based on practice and based on need of the customer keeping laws in mind. Bank need officer who can understand a project for which a business men seek loan, An officer who can read the character and integrity of a loan seeker can save banks from loss.  

But a person who knows only laws but unable to execute them fruitfully is of no use. Such highly talented officer may use their talent to earn more and more bribe and cause creation and accumulation of stressed assets in bank. And this has happened in almost all banks. Talented persons have more looted banks and caused more damage to bank than unskilled and less talented boys and girls. This is bitter truth of banking. An officer who is skilled in delivering lecture and who is master is creating human relations is made  Regional Head or Zonal Head ED or CMD or bank even if he or she is not well conversant with banking activities.

Similarly process of carrying out Computer skill test for promoting an officer in scale III to scale IV and officer in scale IV to V appears to be farce. Primarily such skill test are conducted in very casual manner and almost all are cleared through this test. Same is the position of debate carried out among 10 to 15 candidates to pick better officers. An easy topic is chosen and lastly officers who are in the mind of invigilators are only picked up. FAte of such debates remains the same as is the case of Interview. In both these tests, whims of examiner is more effective, his perception is more effective and his liking is more important . It is seen that an officer is considered best in on interview is considered worst in another interview . Because fate of these tests depend largely on the nature, character and prejudices of officer conducting such tests.

Keeping in view , I am of strong opinion that process of written test in case of fresh recruitment is necessary but these test for promoting an officer is totally unwarranted and avoidable. Once an officer joins a bank, it is the duty of management to make a semi -skilled or less skilled officer fully skilled and motivate an unwilled officer to perform as per need of the bank. And the most important is that all officer and all human being are of not same quality of potential. An officer may be expert in operational work, another may be expert on computer work, some of them  may be in expert in loan processing work , some of them  may be specialised in agricultural or foreign transactions, some of them may be inclined to do marketing work and some may be inclined to do the work of managing others, managing recovery of loans , managing business growth and so on. Management of banks have to use manpower as per his or her potential .

Position of  public sector Banks has deteriorated during last few years because of facts that top officials have assigned duty to officers as per their whims and fancies. Marketing officers are posted as loan processing officer, cash officers are sent for marketing , recovery officers are given the duty of desk management and so on. An officer who is expert in bringing business for bank are assigned the duty of selling insurance product. Even security guards  who are totally unaware of banking work are promoted to the post of clerk. Lady officer who have difficulty in field work are given the work of field. Under such conflicting positions, any human being cannot perform as per his or her potential. Rather they will always feel frustrated, depressed and annoyed with top bosses. How can they perform honestly and as per their potential?

I have expressed my opinion as above after the latest verdict of Supreme court on issue of reservation for SC/ST in promotion processes, because I know very well that as soon as this message is spread to all branches, strong lobby of officers who aspire for reservation may become active and violent. They may seek support of many politicians too. On the other hand when  performing good officers are rejected in promotion process to accommodate even comparatively less competent officers of reserve community , strong lobby of officers of non-reserved category become active . One after other litigation will start and organisation will continue to suffer.

This is why I advocate seniority based promotion policy which is less controversial , though it has also  some shortcomings . But it is always better than so called merit oriented policy which is in force for last three decades and more.

Mr. Narendra Modi Prime Minister of India has wisely and rightly  finished interview system for call C And D staff for recruitment. But the fact is that the corrupt culture has gripped all recruitment and specifically promotional processes. Need of the hour is to end interview system in all promotions.  Let it be fully in order of seniority. There will be minimum scope for manipulating results.

Very soon Mr. Modi and all concerned officials will realise that interview is not at all needed for any promotion and interview is the root cause which promotes corrupt culture and which escalates corruption to new heights

Supreme Court Concedes Error In Its Verdict On SC/ST Staff Promotions-NDTV -8th January 2016

New Delhi:  The Supreme Court today conceded that there was an apparent error in a judgment pronounced a year ago by which it was held that benefits of reservation can be extended to SC/ST category employees in banks in Group-A posts which carry an ultimate salary of Rs. 5,700 per month.

A bench comprising Justices J Chelameswar and AK Sikri ordered deletion of those paragraphs of the judgment that had contained the mistake and said, "once we find an error apparent on the face of the record and to correct the said error, we have to necessarily allow these review petitions."

Allowing a batch of review petitions filed by various banks including chairman and managing director Central Bank of India, the bench found force in the argument of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi.

Agreeing with his view, the court said "it is this error, which is apparent on the face of the record, viz the reservation is provided in promotion by selection respect of posts carrying salary of less than
Rs. 5,700 per month, that has led to further error that such reservation in the matter of promotion is applicable from Scale I upward up to Scale VI."

Justice Rohatgi had said that a fundamental error had crept in the judgment in which it was observed that reservation is provided to employees of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe.

However, the operative portion of the verdict was contrary as it had held that there was no reservation in this category.

The Attorney General said that the SC
/ST employees of the particular class can get reservation in promotion, though in the previous paragraph of the judgement, the court had reiterated that "there is no reservation in promotion by selection in Group-A posts which carry an ultimate salary of Rs. 5,700 per month and in such cases it is only the concession that applies."

The top court had on January 9 last year ruled that the Constitution enabled government to provide for reservation of SC/ST category employees even in promotions but courts cannot direct them to make such a provision.


Apex court sets aside its order on SC/ST quota in bank promotions


SC-ST forum members call on PM-The Statesman 12.12.2015

A delegation of members of the Forum of SC and ST Legislators and Parliamentarians today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and handed a memorandum to him relating to welfare issues of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

The delegation led by Speaker of Punjab Legislative Assembly, Charnjit Singh Atwal, and comprising Union ministers, MPs, ministers from different states, former ministers, chairpersons of corporations and other leaders of Dalit communities also invited Modi to inaugurate the 3rd International SC and ST Convention-2016 in New Delhi.

The main demands of the delegation related to the reservation policy, right education along with the Right to Education, International Day of Equality, stopping outsourced contract system, strengthening the implementation of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, Special Component Plan (SCP) and Tribal Sub Plan (TSP).

They also requested the prime minister to withdraw the review petition filed by the Centre against a recent Supreme Court judgement directing all nationalised banks that principles of reservation be followed while effecting promotion up to Grade-VI officers.

It was also pointed out that there are certain obstacles created by various judicial decisions with regard to reservation in promotion which should be removed.
The forum also sought the implementation of the 85th Constitutional Amendment and requested that relevant directions be issued for clearing all backlog. Provisions should be made for representation of the SC and ST communities in the Rajya Sabha and state legislative councils, it said.

It also emphasised the need of right education along with Right to Education and said there should be equal syllabus in every school.

Loan facility with lower rate of interest should be provided to children of these communities. It was also requested that all central universities establish chairs in the name of Bharat Ratna Dr BR Ambedkar on diverse subjects.


Courts can't ask states to provide quota in promotions: Supreme Court-11 January 2015-Economic Times

NEW DELHI: The Constitution enables governments to provide for reservation of SC/ST category employees even in promotions but courts cannot direct them to make such a provision, the Supreme Court has ruled.

A bench of justices J Chelameswar and A K Sikri, however, said the aggrieved employees, belonging to SC/ST categories, can themselves seek redressal from the court if they are denied the rightful promotions.

"Insofar as making of provisions for reservation in matters of promotion to any class or classes of post is concerned, such a provision can be made in favour of SC/ST category employees if, in the opinion of the State, they are not adequately represented in services under the State.

"Thus, no doubt, power lies with the State to make a provision, but, at the same time, courts cannot issue any mandamus to the State to necessarily make such a provision. It is for the State to act, in a given situation, and to take such an affirmative action," the bench said.

Whenever, there exists such a provision for reservation in the matters of recruitment or promotion, it would bestow an enforceable right in favour of persons belonging to SC/ST category and on failure on the part of authorities to reserve posts in selections or promotions, the employees concerned can move the court to get their rights enforced, it said.

The court discussed the clause 4 and 4A of Article 16, which deal with quota in promotions in services also in its verdict and said these are "only the enabling provisions which permit the State to make provision for reservation of these category of persons".

The court's observations came while deciding a plea of Central Bank of India SC/ST Employees Welfare Association and others which had challenged the decision of the bank not to grant reservation in promotions in all categories.

The PSU bank had taken the stand that there was no rule of reservation for promotion in the Class A (Class-I) to the posts/scales having basic salary of more than Rs 5,700.
The apex court partly allowed the plea of employees union.

The court, in its 36-page verdict, said, "While setting aside the impugned judgment of the high court to the extent it holds that office memorandum dated 13-8-1997 makes a provision for reservation, it is clarified that at present there is no provision for reservation in promotion by selection only in respect of those posts which carry an ultimate salary of 5,700 per month ...

"Qua appellant banks, that would be in respect of Scale-VII and above. Therefore, to carry out promotions from Scale-I up wards up to Scale-VI, reservation in promotion in favour of SC/ST employees has to be given.

"It would have the effect of allowing the writ petitions filed by the respondents/unions partly with directions to the appellant Banks to make provision for reservations while carrying out promotions from Scale-I to to Scale-II and upward up to Scale-VI."

 The bank had said that as per the promotion policy, the candidates belonging to SC/ST category have been given reservation at the initial level of recruitment and also for promotion in the clerical cadre.

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