Lessons from the lives of administrators and leaders

Lessons from the lives of administrators and leaders

This article deals with ‘Lessons from the lives of administrators and leaders.’ This is part of our series on ‘Ethics’  . For more articles , you can click here

1 . S.R. Sankaran

1 . Administrators generally don’t project themselves and a good administrator always work unnoticed .

Sankaran was Andhra cadre IAS officer who entered into service at a time when Civil Services were considered just a routine exercise. In-fact , Sankaran is that brand of civil servant who literally changed the dynamics of the civil services from a legal- rational bureaucracy to moral-legal-rational bureaucracy.

2. Legal-Rational Bureaucracy : It is based on Weberian model of bureaucracy . In this, Decision making process is strictly  based on laws & decision should be always rational

He brought other element of morality in the decision making. What he really meant was that administrators must not always go by the letter of the law but also by spirit of law

3. His notable performance was in the Anti Poverty programs . He brought significant changes in the life of millions of poor . He had uncompromising approach towards implementation of land reforms.

He was of the view that tribals should be helped because they need help . Hence, he took land reforms measures on war footing. The problem was that tribals don’t maintain the land records and hence , they place themselves in awkward situation. Sankaran with his hard work was able to explain tribals that since you are living on a forest land for well over generations and generations, hence they have developed a right . It was also on revenue rules that if somebody is living on a land for more than 12 years then he becomes entitled to land. He told the tribals that if revenue officer ever comes and ask you to show the records, you can say that it is the collector who has asked them to occupy this land and do cultivation. Gradually , revenue officers stopped tribals evicting from forest land.

4. He also played important role in the temple entry of Harijans

They were not permitted to enter temples which resulted in some sort of difficulties for them . Hence, he personally saw the situation and made sure that these things shouldn’t happen.

5. Due to above incident, tribals and harijans started to term him as POOR MAN’S COLLECTOR. People named their colonies & children after him.

  • When he went to central deputation , he was instrumental in getting coal mines nationalised because he was really moved by the plight & exploitation of coal miners
  • His residence was always open for people to come , put their grievances before them.

2. E Sreedharan

  • Had deep respect for the humanity especially for common man. He built most ideal railway network of the country (Konkan Railways) . After retirement, he was again taken by govt to make excellent Mass Transit System in Delhi .
  • He was awarded Padamshree in 2001 , Padamvibushan in 2008 . He is the President of Foundation for Restoration of National Values.
  • Accoring to Sreedharan, many factors have developed creating the corrupt environment but most instrumental factors in increasing corruption are
    • Legacy of the British Raj : Officers cant be questioned and they are mai-baap
    • Non Accountability : Most of the officers are not accountable to anybody and take decisions on their whims and fancies
    • Cost of delay : To avoid time over run due to bureaucratic hurdles, people and contractors have no choice but to bribe officials.
    • No Direct Responsibility
  • Sreedharan experimented in a beautiful way in Delhi Metro Project and many of his projects were ahead of time with no project overrunning time. How Sreedharan was able to achieve this ?
    • This was because of his commitment, honesty and integrity .
    • He was a creative & wise  person
    • He was free from greed

3. DR Kartikeyan

  • He was former member of IPS & chief investigation officer in case of Rajiv Gandhi Assassination case, Director General of CRPF
  • He brought many things in his working
    • Honesty and Integrity : It was he who emphasized that honesty and integrity should never be compromised especially in the working of Police .
    • Fairness and Tolerance : The law enforcement agency has to be very fair and has to be in favor of oppressed . Also it has to develop immense tolerance & always remember that use of arms and ammunition should always be last resort.
    • Use of force and authority :
    • Performance of duty
    • Lawful order : Only lawful orders have to be carried . He was even against any order issued by superior which was illegal
    • Confidentiality : Officers have sensitive information about security and integrity of nation. They should never make any compromise on that.

4. Armstrong Pame

Armstrong Pame, an IAS officer in Manipur helped to build 100 km  road now called  “ People ’ s Road ” by roping in local people and online donations. His empathy towards peoples challenges and ability to actualize potential proved him to be an effective leader in this project

5. Sukmar Sen

  • First Election Commissioner of India.
  • Conducted biggest election in the world in a country with huge illiteracy.
  • Showed qualities like Leadership, Creativity, Planning etc. Eg : during first election post independence, he introduced things like
    • Party Symbols – So that illiterate can vote too.
    • Made 2,24,000 Polling stations so that people can vote even in the remotest parts of India.

6. Tarlok Singh

  • Member of ICS
  • Deviced plan for rehabilitation of Refugees from Pakistan => used his creativity and intelligence to solve the complex issue of allocation of lands to the farmers from Pakistani Punjab in India.

7. Amit Gupta

  • Member of IAS
  • Noted for his work against Manual Scavenging (working for Social Justice)
  • Although declared illegal but Manual Scavenging was still continuing in Budaun district . He started initiative to eliminate it
    • collect baskets and brooms in the village and burn them in the presence of everyone.
    • Rehabilitation package was developed which included loan schemes , pension schemes, special scholarships for children, rural housing schemes etc.
    • All dry toilets in rural areas were converted to flush latrines.

8. TN Sheshan

  • Cleansed Political System in the country
  • Example of courage and working fearlessly

9.Manjunath Shanmugam

  • He was working with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and was graduate of the IIM, Lucknow.
  • He is noted for Whistle-blowing on adulteration by the petrol pump owners.  
  • He was shot dead in 2005 for blowing the whistle against corrupt practice.

10. Satyendra Dubey

  • National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), exposed the rampant corruption in construction
  • Found dead on 27th November, 2003.

The list can be endless. Student should keep on adding to the

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