The health directorate of the Himalayan state is a classic example of how hegemonic attitude of top bureaucrats makes an institution redundant. The powers of the directorate responsible for providing health services in the state were progressively taken away by the babus and it has resulted in a situation where spineless officials of health directorate look to the direction of the state secretariat for taking every decision however small it is. It is no wonder that the state health services have become worse from bad over the years with spiteful events like child births occurring on roads taking place with alarming regularity.
With Chief Minister himself holding on to the portfolio of health and the secretary spearheading the department becoming over burdened with plethora of other responsibilities, it is apparent that the vital department is not being given the attention it deserves.
A minister’s penchant to make eye catching declarations that finds space in newspapers is laying heavy on the department he is heading. Immediately after assuming charge this flamboyant minister claimed that a law which would impose fee restrictions on the private schools would be brought in the state. However his declaration has remained unfulfilled even after almost of two years as there were practical problems in government deciding on the fees of private schools over which it has no or very little control. As a face saving measure, the minister has now said that the government would decide the tuition fees the private schools would charge but they would be free to decide and levy other types of fees depending upon the facility provided. It is crystal clear now that all talks of putting reins on the powerful owners of private schools and reduction in fees charged by them have now evaporated into thin air. The minister is well advised to direct his energies to improve standard of government schools rather than indulging in impractical ventures.
It happened exactly as former Chief Minister Harish Rawat had planned. His seasonal fruit and jaggery tea party was successful in generating public interest and churning up the political cacophony in the state. The party thrown in Dehradun on last day of the year which has just ended was well attended but as expected his bête noire PCC president Pritam Singh and leader of opposition Indira Hridayesh along with their supporters were not present to taste the fruits and tea offered by Rawat. By keeping seasonal fruits in menu, the former CM raked up the issue of importance of horticulture for the predominantly mountainous state and by serving jaggery tea Rawat not only struck a chord with old timers who relished piping hot tea with a piece of jaggery but also highlighted plight of sugarcane farmers of plain districts.
Known for throwing such parties regularly, the indomitable leader though sent by the Congress high command to Assam as in charge, keeps himself embroiled in the politics of the state much to the chagrin of his detractors.
Friday, 04 January 2019 | Gajendra Singh Negi | Dehradun—
Author: Gajendra Singh Negi
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