Will Uttar Pradesh's austerity drive reduce the number of state govt jobs?

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The Uttar Pradesh government has embarked on an austerity drive. State Chief Secretary Anup Chandra Pandey has issued an 18-point order that has directed officials to cut expenses on office stationery, furniture and upholstery. The order states that official visits should be kept to a minimum unless they are important or unavoidable. It noted that computerisation has reduced work loads and many posts had become redundant. The order stated that no new posts should be sanctioned except in the medical and police departments. In cases of emergency, the tasks may be outsourced and done on a contract basis. The order also said there should be no regular appointment to the posts of driver, gardener, plumber, electrician and liftman. These tasks should be outsourced with approval from the finance department. It has also banned sending of New Year greetings, calendars, diaries etc at government expense.

A dated list

The Congress on Wednesday issued a list of its office bearers in Telangana. The list included the name of K R Suresh Reddy and the party faced a lot of ridicule in the state and on social media for including his name. Reddy, it was pointed out, joined the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti last week. The red-faced Congress leaders said the list was prepared 10 days ago and missed scrutiny before being released in the public domain. The party issued a correction later in the day.

A deal for a deal

There was much confusion over whether a United Arab Emirates court had ordered extradition of Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in AgustaWestland deal, to India. While there were many reports to that effect, government sources on Wednesday clarified that the UAE government had posed a question to a Dubai court whether a British national could be extradited to a third country, and on September 2, the court had given an opinion on the query. In effect, government sources said, there was no court order on the extradition of Michel to India as reported. The AugustaWestland deal had taken place during the UPA reign, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had been alleging collusion of the Congress leadership in the deal. It was hoped that Michel's extradition would give BJP a counterweight against the Congress allegations of a scam in the Rafale deal by the government.

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