Times of India howls in its headlines today “LTC scam: Jaipur to Delhi via Brazil” A top PSU official claims to have travelled from Jaipur to Delhi via Mumbai and Sao Paulo in Brazil, covering a distance of 29,000km.
Fake records are no news and does not stir detest in most of us. Our system encourages production of fake documents by demanding proofs and later not caring about their truthfulness. It has created an industry to generate such dubious records. If the amount was paid without having to travel and produce receipts, the system would become simpler, and remove an opportunity to be dishonest. Why do we need an LTC, petrol charges, phone bills, medical expenses, house rent … Why not a single package of payment and leave it to the employee to spend the amount whichever way he wants?
We have scores of CMM Level-5 assessed software companies in India. The list includes CMC Ltd. We have discussed the pathetic quality of their software of national importance and the apathy of the management and its customers – the CEOs. The certificates do not mean anything. I think that various assessment and certification schemes have done more harm than good to the industry.
Some people with PhD in certain languages cannot write coherent and grammatically correct sentences in those languages. Professionals flaunting with certificates of high qualifications do not have basic skill and knowledge necessary for their profession. Qualifications have lost meaning as they are on sale.
People take sick leave to go on picnic. “I am yet to take ten days of sick leave due to me.” If I am not sick, how can I be due for sick leave? Doctors don’t trust the medical certificates given by other doctors. We know the unhealthy practices of health insurance with fake diseases and treatment.
Notaries attest for a fee any declaration we make. What we say about ourselves is not valid, but someone who has not met us in life can certify our statement to be true and it is accepted by various authorities.
I weep for the personnel who sank with INS Sindhurakshak ten days ago.
Reminiscing how the equipment and weapons of the Navy were maintained when I was in uniform, I shudder about the state to which we bring our life-critical and mission-critical services. Maintaining old equipment and systems is a challenge mainly because we do not get spare parts. Most of the critical spares are imported. Naval Store Depot (say, NSD, Ghatkopar) would often not have spares and would give NA (not available) Certificate so that the ship can locally procure the spares. Then, one Mr. Shah would get any spares we needed. We required 7 competitive price quotations, all of which came out of one source – Mr. Shah’s brief case. He would sign the quotations on various letter heads, which none checked to be genuine. We got the parts and the ship sailed operational.
The quality control failed. Check for fair price was remote. Mr. Shah would get his payment.
NA certificate and Local Purchase (LP) when not handled with integrity could lead to demand for one, quote for another and real purchase of something else. The money might be spent to entertain a visiting VIP or purchase of silverware for officers’ mess.
If we simplify our rules and processes and give what is due to the people and organisations without fuss, the operation will be more efficient and economical. We need a culture of trust and do away with documentary proofs, affidavits and notaries.