Rajya Sabha adviser to devise road map for reform of House processes

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Hindustan Times, December 30, 2021

A month after he was unceremoniously shifted from the Rajya Sabha secretary general’s chair, PPK Ramacharyulu, now adviser in the Upper House secretariat, will prepare a road map for reforms in the functioning of its officials.

Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu has commissioned this study for “improvement of functional systems in the Secretariat based on imaginative approach that enables evidence-based interpretation of the functioning of the House in the evolving situations”, an official order stated.

Ramacharyulu’s study would take into account “integration of various initiatives taken during the last four years for better monitoring of output and service delivery further to detailed examination of process inadequacies in the functioning of the Secretariat”.

Among other things, Ramacharyulu will also look into “promotion by equipping Secretariat officials for higher positions through a holistic understanding of various aspects and nuances of the functioning of the House.” This, however, has not amused at least two Opposition lawmakers, who quickly pointed out that Ramacharyalu was the first insider of the RS secretariat to rise through the ranks to become the secretary general — the top bureaucrat — in past 70 years.

Naidu, who is set to complete his current term next August, has sought to examine and redesign processes and revamp the leadership promotion system. In an order issued this week, Naidu noted that “in the light of the experience and initiatives taken during the last four years, there is an imperative need for systems improvement in the Secretariat”.

The study, involving ten aspects of the functioning of the Secretariat, would touch upon process re-engineering and quantification of deliverable output by each of the 12 divisions of the Rajya Sabha. It would also include measures to improve functioning of House panels, leadership promotion, promotion of team spirit and a sense of involvement and “coordinated effort for better communication outreach through media on various aspects of the functioning of the House”.

What triggered the preparation of such a road map was Naidu’s assessment that various divisions of the secretariat need to function in an integrated manner and plug inadequacies.

Ramacharyalu was elevated from the secretary general’s position just 10 weeks after his appointment. He was preplaced by former CBDT chief PC Mody in an unusual move. Naidu made Ramacharyalu adviser in the secretariat.

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