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Trinamool nominates ex-Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar to RS

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The bypoll for the Rajya Sabha seat from West Bengal, vacated by Dinesh Trivedi earlier this year, is scheduled on August 9.

Kolkata, July 24. In a surprise development Trinamool Congress nominated retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer and former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Prasar Bharati, Jawhar Sircar to the Rajya Sabha.

The bypoll for the Rajya Sabha seat from West Bengal, vacated by Dinesh Trivedi earlier this year, is scheduled on August 9.

“Mr Sircar spent nearly 42 years in public service and was also the former CEO of Prasar Bharati. His invaluable contribution to public service shall help us serve our country even better,” the Trinamool Congress in a tweet said.

The nomination of Sircar is considered to be a master-stroke by chief minister Mamata Banerjee because this public intellectual based out of Kolkata was strongly vocal against the BJP for a long time and Trinamool Congress will try to use his intellect and his 41 years of Bureaucratic experience on the floor of the Upper House. Presently Sircar utilises his experience to stand up for citizens’ rights and for multiculturalism, “both of which are under severe strain in India at present”, the party said.

Sircar studied at the universities of Calcutta, Presidency, Cambridge and Sussex and has two Masters Degrees in History and Sociology. His main field work has been on social history, popular religion and the cult of Dharma Thakur in western Bengal. He covered numerous field sites in five districts of the state of West Bengal, but could not submit his thesis, as the government did not permit even a short sabbatical. Sircar has, however, published parts of his findings through several articles.

Sircar has published numerous articles on cultural, historical and anthropological subjects for several years in books, as also in noted national and international journals and newspapers. He has also delivered several talks on the subjects of history, religion, contemporary affairs and the intersection between religion and anthropology. The Asiatic Society of Kolkata (established in 1774) has conferred its Biman Behari Memorial Award on him for his contribution to popularising the study of history and politics.

Sircar also has a glorious career in public administration. He has headed India’s Culture Ministry from November 2008 to February 2012, the longest for any Secretary. He was CEO of India’s public broadcaster, (2012-2016) and had stood up for transparency and objectivity, which finally led him to resign prematurely. He is now on its four-member statutory national-level self-regulatory mechanism, which is chaired by the former Supreme Court judge Justice Madan Lokur.

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Call me “Dada”, not “Sir”, Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb to employees

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Agartala: In what appears to be a step to boost the morale of the government employees, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sunday asked the government employees to call him “Dada” instead of “Sir”. “Call me Dada, not sir. It enhances the warmth of the relationship”, Deb told a gathering of government employees.

Deb exhorted the government employees of the state especially ASHA and Anganwadi workers of the state asking them not to dishearten as the state government was eager to improve their pay structure.

“I salute the ASHA and Anganwadi workers of my state. The level of dedication that my sisters have shown during the pandemic period deserved applause. I know, they want to hear good news from me and I am assuring you all that this government will not disappoint anyone”, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told a gathering of government employees at Badharghat sports school field organized by Vivekananda Vicha Manch (VVM).

VVM has emerged as a big platform of government employees, of late, and Sunday’s public rally was its first big gathering to thank the Chief Minister for the series of steps his government took for the welfare of the employees.

“I know what challenges you people are facing. Nothing is hidden in front of me. I am assuring you all everything will be taken care of in the due course of time”, he added.  Lauding the efforts of government employees Deb said, without them no government office can function.

“Due to the efforts of government employees, people can access the benefits of the state sponsored welfare schemes. But, for a prolonged period the employees did not get their right to do something freely. They were trapped in the clutches of unions. In the previous regime, Left sponsored unions used to enjoy supreme power which had reduced the whole work culture of the state to tatters. In 2018, you people showed courage and voted BJP to power”, said Deb.

“Despite fund constraints, the state government is positively working on the issues of DA and other factors pertaining to the interest of the government employees. Our government has already addressed a number of issues related to financial benefits. The ad-hoc promotion, increment for Group D, Group C employees, regularization of SSA teachers, seventh pay scale, UGC scale for professors, special benefit for LTC are to name a few. All these indicate what we want to do and we shall do what we promise”, the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister also asked the officials not to call him “sir” suggesting them to refer to him as “Dada” as it makes the relationship stronger and cherished. The Chief Minister also distributed clothes among children of Badharghat sports school during the programme. State BJP President Manik Saha, Minister Ram Prasad Paul, Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, MLA Mimi Majumder, state BJP Vice President and president of Vivekananda Vichar Manch Rajib Bhattacharjee also spoke on the occasion.

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