Thursday, August 9, 2018

Access to Andaman Islands eased; Foreigners can visit 29 inhabited islands without Restricted Areas Permit


New Delhi/ Port Blair, Aug 08: Foreigners no longer need a Restricted Areas Permit to visit 29 inhabited islands in the Andaman and Nicobar chain. The Union Home Ministry decided on Tuesday to lift restrictions as the government intends to boost tourism.
An official said 11 other uninhabited islands will also be thrown open to foreigners.
Area permits
The 29 inhabited islands have been excluded from the restricted area permit (RAP) notified under the Foreigners (Restricted Areas) Order, 1963, till December 31, 2022, subject to certain conditions.
However, citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals having their origin in these countries would continue to require RAP to visit the Union Territory, the official said.
For visiting Mayabunder and Diglipur, citizens of Myanmar will continue to require RAP, which shall be issued only with the prior approval of the ministry.
“To ensure preservation of natural and marine resources, including marine parks and environment, of the Union Territory without affecting tourism and business at large, it should be ensured by the Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration that the guidelines issued by the Environment and Forests Ministry are strictly adhered to,” said the official.
Separate approvals of the competent authority would be required for visiting reserved forests, wildlife sanctuaries and tribal reserves, the official said. (The Hindu)

Training of teachers on school safety begins at South Andaman

Port Blair, Aug 08: The Directorate of Disaster Management in coordination with Directorate of Education, A & N Administration with endeavour to build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels in schools conducted a one day training of teachers programme under National School Safety Programme (NSSP) in the Auditorium of Govt. Girls Senior Secondary School, Port Blair on 08th August, 2018 to train the teachers of South Andaman Educational Zone for implementation of NSSP in Schools.
The chief guest Shri Govind Ram, Director (DM)inaugurated the Training of Teachers Programme on school safety. While highlighting the significance of disaster management he emphasized on Preparedness, Prevention and Mitigation. He further asked the participants to learn the intricacies of School Disaster Management during the training. Other Officers present were Shri Gyan Sheel Dubey, Deputy Director Education (Academic)  and Smti Sunita Chakrabarti, Principal, Govt. Girls Sr. Sec. School, Port Blair who also provided valuable inputs on disaster management in schools of the Islands Territory.
Shri Gyan Singh, Asst. Director (Log.), DDM welcomed the gathering and informed about the past incidences of school catastrophes which led to the introduction of an exclusive school safety programme by the Govt. of India across the country including Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
Shri Deen Mohammed, Safety Officer Directorate of Disaster Management made a power point presentation of vulnerability of A&N Islands towards disasters, roles & responsibilities of Disaster Management Officers and the mechanism of Disaster Management functioning in A&N Islands to mitigate the disaster and status of disaster preparedness.
Shri Manu Thomas, Asst. Engineer, APWD, enlightened the participants with a presentation on Structural Safety in schools and earthquake resistance buildings in seismic zone – V.
In the post lunch session, ShriVikash, SI (NDRF) elaborated the role and responsibilities of NDRF and subsequently the NDRF demonstrated life-saving skills. 
Shri Kuppuswamy, Junior Engineer (Education), elucidated at length on implementation of National Guidelines on School Safety Policy in schools of this Territory and also requested the participants to prepare the School Disaster Management Plan at the earliest.
Later in the day, Dr. Tapas Kumar Dakua, Department of Health on lightened the trainees through an extensive power point presentation on basic First-Aid, which covered the entire gamut of Medical First Response (MFR) which will come handy at times of peril in schools.
Shri Sanjeev Kumar Bishnoi, Inspector, A&N Police Fire Service, Port Blair explained in detail on basic fire fighting and shed certain myths on fire and also taught how to handle different fire extinguishers.

Huge haul of Ganja by CID

Port Blair, Aug 08: On 1st Aug a tip off was received that one person namely Brajogopal Sarkar, S/o  Narugopal Sarkar (29 Yrs) of district North 24 Parganas, West Bengal, travelling from Kolkata to Port Blair by Vistara flight was bringing ganja in huge quantity. Upon this information,CID team interceptedthe suspect near arrival side parking area of VSI Airport. During checking of suspect’s luggage 3 packets wrapped with duct tape were found concealed in his bag. On opening the same, these were found to be ganja, weighing 6.191Kgs.
The general public is requested to inform about any credible information pertaining to sale or possession of contrabands or any other illegal activity on the following telephone numbers– 233307, 242198, 9474290250. The identity of the informer will be kept secret.

New Chief Secretary assumes office

Port Blair, Aug 08: Shri Chetan Bhushan Sanghi, IAS, (AGMUT: 1988) assumed office as the Chief Secretary of A&N Administration on Aug 06, 2018. Shri Sanghi succeeds Shri Anindo Majumdar, who has been transferred to New Delhi.

IGNOU activated Gyandarshan TV Channel

Port Blair, Aug 08: The Educational TV Channels of India namely Gyandarshan- 1 and Gyandarshan-2 has been activated at IGNOU Regional Centre, Port Blair on Saturday, 04th August, 2018 at 10.30 AM by Shri. G.Dhinakaran, Partner, Andaman Cable Network, Port Blair in presence of Dr. Dhanraj, Producer, Doordarshan Kendra, Port Blair, Dr. S. Ganesan, Regional Director, IGNOU Regional Centre Port Blair  and a gathering of IGNOU students.
Being Educational TV channels of India, the 24X7 satellite based TV Channels, will provide educational programmes for children, students, teachers of all levels of educational system. The Gyandarshan-II channel will have live programme during 4 to 5 PM daily, exclusively for IGNOU learners. This Gyandarshan-1 & 2 signals are readily available through Andaman Cable Network (ACN-Port Blair) under DD channels group. Therefore, the 43000 students of IGNOU, in A & N Islands can see easily Gyandarshan from their residence also. They can also interact in academic content based telecast with resource persons on 011-29532844, 29532845 at IGNOU studio.  The Gyandarshan channels are one of the substitutes for face -to -face classes/private tuitions of IGNOU distance learners, a communication from IGNOU Regional centre, Port Blair said.

Ranchi Basti murder case; 18 year old boy arrested

Port Blair, Aug 8: On 02/08/2018 early morning a dead body of middle aged woman was found in the bush near water treatment plant Ranchi Basti. The deceased came out to be one Smt. G. Selvi, aged 40 yrs R/o Ranchi Basti, Lamba Line. Accordingly, a case of murder was registered at PS Aberdeen and investigation started immediately. Police swung into action and thoroughly combed the area where the body was found. Inquiries in the area were carried out widely. Many suspects were rounded up. During this process one minor who reportedly saw the incident narrated the incidence of said crime. Accordingly his statement was recorded through child line team “Prayas”. On his statement before NGO and U/s 164 CrPC before Court, one accused Rithik Halder S/o Shri Tapan Halder (18 yrs) R/o Ranchi Basthi, School Line has been arrested. The child witness was produced before the court for obtaining his statement u/s. 164 Cr. PC. The arrested accused has been taken on 5- day police remand. The possibility of more than one person involved in this case is being investigated. Investigation is on. Separate teams have been constituted for different segments of investigation and all out effort is on to get to the bottom of the heinous crime threadbare.
In this connection a delegation of Andaman Tamizhar Sangam also met the SP South Andaman District. They all were apprised about the investigation status. Further, keeping in view the sensitivity of the case and as per guidance from senior officials, one SIT under SDPO (SA) comprising of SHO Aberdeen and other subordinate officials has been formed. They will investigate the case on day to day basis under close supervision of SP/South Andaman. The case is also being reviewed and monitored at the senior level in PHQ on day to day basis.

ICG rescues of 343 passengers of distressed MV Swaraj Dweep


Port Blair, Aug 08: In an excellently co-ordinated midnight rescue mission, Indian Coast Guard ship Aruna Asaf Ali de-flooded distressed DSS passenger vessel MV  Swaraj Dweep’ which was having 343 personnel onboard.  The vessel reported flooding about 40 nautical miles east of Carnic Nicobar Island, 190 nautical miles south of Port Blair.
The passenger vessel had sailed from Port Blair on 1st Aug with 250 passengers and 93 crew onboard, alongwith cargo containers for Nancowry Island. However, water ingress was observed in the vessel’s forward section at hold no.2 due to which the cargo hold was flooded upto 05 meters level. Despite all out efforts by ship staff and continuous pumping, water level did not fall below 5 metres.
Post assessment of situation and severe sea conditions, the master of the vessel relayed midnight distress message to Indian Coast Guard Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre, Port Blair at about 0140 hrs (early hours of Aug 02, 2018). Immediately on receipt of message, Coast Guard swiftly launched a rescue operation for the safety of the 343 precious lives onboard. Coast Guard ship ICGS Aruna Asaf Ali was swiftly sailed from Kamorta to assist the distressed vessel. Meanwhile, captain of the ship was directed to head towards Carnic anchorage.
In the early morning hours CG diving team comprising of five experienced divers, ex Port Blair, embarked onboard Coast Guard Dornier aircraft for Carnic. On landing at Carnic, the team joined ship’s damage control team. All out efforts by the ICG ship’s damage control team resulted in de-flooding of the vessel using submersible and diesel driven pumps. The team is fully prepared to undertake underwater damage control as soon as the leakage is isolated.
By the time of issuing this report, water level was brought down to 1ft and evacuation of passengers by ICG ship Aruna Asaf Ali and DSS vessel Kamorta had commenced. The passengers are being ferried to safety before they embark respective vessels for their destinations.

Ethics of Public Administration for Govt. Servants


v  Dr. S. Ganesan
Regional Director, IGNOU
v  G. Siva Ramaiah
IGNOU Student

Ethics is a system of accepted beliefs, morals and values, which influence human behavior. More specially, it is a system based on morals. Thus, ethics is the study of what is morally right, and what is not. Ethics is a comprehensive concept, encompassing all facts of administration. Emphasis on moral and ethical norms have been an integral part of our tradition. Though voices of corruption, malpractices and bureau pathologies have slowly creeped in our system, the combat measures have not been very effective. Administrative reform measures have to be holistic enough taking into their purview questions on nature of work ethics, various dimensions of ethics, focio and concerns of ethics, and also the nature of obstacles to ethical accountability. For any governance system to be transparent, accountable, efficient and sensitive, a code of ethics in the form of service rules, procedural norms and administrative strategies is the requirement of the day.
 In public administration, ethics focuses on how the public administrator should question and reflect in order to be able to act responsibly. We cannot simply bifurcate the two by saying that ethics deals with morals and values, while public administration is about actions and decisions. Administering accountability and ethics is a difficult task. The levels of ethics in governance are dependent on the social, economic, political, cultural, legal-judicial and historical contexts of the country. These specific factors influence the nature of ethics in public administrative systems.
 The gist of wisdom on administrative ethics is that the public administrators are the “guardians” of the Administrative State. Hence, they are expected to honour public trust and not violate it. Two crucial questions raised in the context are: “Why guardians should be guarded? And “Who guards the guardian?” The administrators need to be guarded against their tendency to misconceive public interest, promote self-interest, indulge in corruption and cause subversion of national interest. And they need to be guarded by the external institutions such as the judiciary, legislature, political executive, media and civil society organizations. These various modes of control become instruments of accountability.
 Context of ethics:
Ethics, whether in an entire society, or in a social sub-system, evolves over a long period of time and is influenced, during its nurturance and growth, by a variety of environmental factors. Administrative ethics is no different. It is the product of several contextual structures and it never ceases to grow and change.  Following are some of the contextual factors that influence ethics in public administration systems:
·         Historical context
·         Socio-cultural context
·         Legal-judicial context
·         Political context
·         Economic context
 Issue of Ethics: Foci and Concerns is the administrative system confined to acting morally in its conduct or does it also share the responsibility of protecting and promoting an ethical order in the larger society? Most of the focus on administrative morality is on the aspect of brobity within the administrative system, there is a need to consider the issue of the responsibility of the governance system to create and sustain an ethical ambience in the socio-economic system that would nurture and protect the basic moral values. Moral political philosophy assumes that the rulers will not only the moral themselves, but also be the guardians of morality in a society.
 Aspects of Ethics in Public Administration are:
 Maxim of legality and Rationality: Administrator will follow the law and rules that are framed to govern and guide various categories of policies and decisions.
 Responsibility and Accountability: Administrator would not hesitate to accept responsibility for his/her decision and actions. He/she would hold himself/herself morally responsible for his/her actions and for the use of his/her discretion while making decisions. He/she would be willing to be held accountable to higher authorities of governance and even to the people who are the ultimate beneficiaries of his/her decisions and actions.
 Work commitment:  Administrator would be committed to his/her duties and perform his/her work involvement and  intelligence. Every duty is holy and devotion to duty is the higher form of worship. This would also entail a respect for time, punctuality and fulfillment of promises made. Work is considered not as a burden but as an opportunity to serve and constructively contribute to society.
 Excellence: An administrator would ensure the highest standards of quality in administrative decisions and action and would not compromise with standards because of convenience or complacency. In a competitive international environment, an administrative system should faithfully adhere to the requisites of Total Quality Management.
 Fusion: Administrator would rationally bring about a fusion of individual, organizational and social goals to help evolve unison of ideals and imbibe in his behavior a commitment to such a fusion. In situation of conflicting goals, a concern for ethics should govern the choices made.
 Responsiveness and Resilience: Administrator would respond effectively to the demands and challenges from the external as well as internal environment. He/she would adapt to environmental transformation and yet sustain the ethical norms of conduct. In situations of deviation from the prescribed ethical norms, the administrative system would show resilience and bounce back into the accepted ethical mould at the earliest opportunity.
 Utilitarianism: While making and implementing policies and decisions, an administrator will ensure that these lead to the greatest good (happiness, benefits) of the greatest number.
 Compassion: An Administrator, without violating the prescribed laws and rules, would demonstrate compassion for the poor, the disabled and the weak while using his/her discretion in making decisions. He/she would not grant any benefits to the stronger sections of society only; because they are strong, and would not deny the due consideration to the weak despite their weakness.
National Interest: Though universalistic in orientation and liberal in outlook, a civil servant, while performing his/her duties, would keep in view the impact of his/her action on his/her nation’s strength and prestige. While performing their official roles, have at the back of their mind a concern and respect for their nation. This automatically raises the level of service rendered and the products delivered.
 Justice:  Those responsible for formulation and execution of policies and decisions of governance would ensure that respect is shown to the principles of equality, equity, fairness, impartiality and objectivity, and no special favours are doled out on the criteria of status, position, power, gender, class, caste or wealth.
 Transparency:  An administrator will make decisions and implement them in a transparent manner so that those affected by the decisions, and those who wish to evaluate their rationale, will be able to understand the reasons behind such decisions and the sources of information on which these decisions were made.
 Integrity:  An Administrator would undertake an administrative action on the basis of honesty and not use his/her power, position and discretion to serve his/her personal interest and the illegitimate interests of other individuals or groups.
 This kind of specific theoretical knowledge on ethics, public administration can be obtained from MA in Public Administration, BA in Public Administration programmes of IGNOU. It covers: Public Systems Management, Decentralization and Local Governance, Electronic Governance and India; Democracy and Development, Administrative Theory, Indian Administration, Development Administration, Personal Administration, Financial Administration and Public Policy.
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(The authors are Dr. S. Ganesan, Regional Director of IGNOU, Regional Centre, Port Blair and G. Siva Ramaiah, IGNOU student and can be reached at rcportblair@ignou.ac.in)