10-16 Sep, 2013
small world
Bureaucracy
The Cop Who Writes to Himself
An IGP in Bangalore holds dual posts and sometimes even has to send himself stinkers

MUMBAI ~ In Bangalore, a senior police official has been writing letters to himself for over two months. On 1 July, Bhaskar Rao, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) of Karnataka Police’s Internal Security Division (ISD) was given the additional charge of the Training Department. Ever since, whenever interaction between the two departments is required, Rao writes an official letter to himself in the other department.

His two offices are located in different parts of the city, the ISD office on Richmond Road and the Training Department on Palace Road. After Rao writes a letter to himself as IGP, ISD, he visits his Palace Road office to respond to it. Two days after this news appeared in a city newspaper, he is unable to understand why his actions have been found odd. “This is not a corporate office where, as the head of two departments, I can just take a decision. Here, a procedure needs to be followed,” he says. Rao adds that when he is relieved of the Training Department, such correspondence will keep his successor abreast of pending work.

There is a shortage of high-level officers in the Karnataka Police. Apart from Rao, a number of other officers also have dual posts. For instance, Rao points out, the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Law and Order, MN Reddy, also has the additional charge of ADGP, Railways. So far, Rao says, he has written about 15 letters to himself.

One of his recent letters as IGP, ISD, was about how the Karnataka State Industrial Security Force needed to be allotted dates for training. Occasionally, despite the letters to himself, delays occur. Rao says this is because of the lower machinery in his departments. He explains, “Sometimes, although as the Training head I sanction a date for a force’s training, I later learn from my ISD men that no preparations have been made for it.” Then, he has to use strong language for himself in the Training Department. Rao writes a letter “expressing displeasure” with the IGP, Training. “I then go to the Training office to receive the letter and pull up the officers responsible,” he says.

Bandaid
Excursion Dress Code

In discussions over women’s safety in Indian cities, it is not just foreign female tourists who are asked to adhere to arbitrary guidelines when out and about in India. Delhi University has issued a list of instructions to 900 of its students who are travelling on a weeklong excursion to Punjab, including rules on what they should—or should not—wear. ‘Students are to strictly adhere to the dress code, ie girls are not to wear skirts, shorts or spaghetti [strap tops] and boys are also not to wear shorts and sleeveless t-shirts,’ the circular reads. The students left for their trip to Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Chandigarh and Kurukshetra earlier this week. This is the third leg of what the university describes as an ‘educational and recreational excursion’. The first leg took place in July, with around 1,000 female students travelling to places such as Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Goa and Bangalore. There wasn’t a dress code then, but students were told they weren’t allowed to bathe on beaches.

iCRUEL
Hi-Tech Heartlessness

In a bad relationship and too chicken to call it quits? This one is for you. Breakup Text, an app now available on iOS, is for the truly heartless. No more painful phone calls and humiliating emails. All you have to do is download the application, activate it by clicking on the ominous ‘Begin the End’ blinker and it will do the needful—after you answer a few questions such as whether you’re breaking with a serious or casual partner. The app also allows you to specify a reason from among a few options. And then it sends a text, breaking up on your behalf.