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Issue No.: 574 | April 2015

Sensitive Documents

Ashok Karnik
...leakage of Petroleum Ministry documents to Corporate Houses...more could be wrong

Recent revelations about leakage of Petroleum Ministry documents to Corporate Houses in the Energy Industry proved our suspicion that commercial houses would spare no effort, legal or illegal, to obtain privileged information to make a fast buck. The exposé initiated by the National Security Advisor through the Intelligence Bureau to get to the root of the mischief is welcome. How far the malaise has affected the higher bureaucracy and the corporate world is to be seen. It cannot be the handiwork of minions and a few executives arrested so far. The honchos of private companies are now feeling the heat of police interrogation; the bigger fish among the bureaucracy must be spending sleepless nights waiting for the axe to fall. The problem is how to prevent the theft of vital information. All Ministries have their own security units but these are mainly watch and ward functionaries who ensure that there are no property thefts and pilferages; information is hardly considered a valuable asset in most offices. Sensitive Ministries like Defence, Home, External Affairs and Finance are covered more effectively and the IB keeps a watchful eye on possible mischief but other Ministries are hardly considered potential targets. The thinking has to change now as commercial interests play havoc with the integrity of our systems. What is detected might just be the tip of the iceberg.   

Present incidents are a warning that much more could be wrong. This time the culprits may be caught and possibly punished but the disease would remain un-eradicated. Those spying for other countries have been caught in the past but that did not stop others from falling to the same temptation of money, honey and wine. When the one who subverts is from within the country, problems multiply. The treachery initiated by our own business houses is more subtle as the erring official does not think he is betraying his country. He is merely passing on some papers to an Indian business house. The culprit is not aware enough to understand that the rot would ultimately affect his country, its economy and defence preparations. We have failed to make all Government employees understand that their position in a Government office makes them privy to some information that can be used by outsiders to harm the country directly or indirectly. A Government employee’s position puts him in a position of trust, be he a peon, a clerk or an officer. He could be targeted by somebody some day; he should inform his superiors if any suspicious approach is made to him. The initial briefing on joining service should cover this area. Security has to be built into the system as IB cannot cover every office. It is time to wake up!
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Other Articles in this Issue

Parliament is Back: Doing its Job - Finally!

The Functioning of the Lok Sabha

S. V. Raju


Kisan Mehta, R.I.P.


From Our Readers

Jamsetji Tata

Ali Khwaja

Amartya Sen’s Outbursts on Being Denied a Second Term

N. S. Venkataraman

Growing Saffronization

Firoze Hirjikaka

Nagaland Lynching

Firoze Hirjikaka

Our "Inconsistencies"

A Lesson in Public Life from Rajaji and Masani


The Land Acquisition Bill

Hypocrites All!

S. V. Raju

The Land Acquisition Bill Not Convincing

N. S. Venkataraman

Point Counter Point : Every issue has at least two sides

Daughter of India

Ashok Karnik

Porbandar Boat Again

Ashok Karnik

Sensitive Documents

Ashok Karnik

Black Money

Ashok Karnik

The National Scene

Remembering Pandit Nehru’s ‘Tryst with Destiny’ Thereby Lies ... A Twist in the Tale

H. R. Bapu Satyanarayana

“Daughter of India” – The BBC Documentary - – Banning Not the Answer

Nitin G. Raut

Rahul Takes A Break

Firoze Hirjikaka

How to bolo the boli and chalo the boli


Ugly Truths about Young India

Dilip Thakore

Congress in reboot stage


Budget 2015-16

Budget 2015-16: An Evaluation

Ajit Karnik

Distortion, Damned Distortion and National Accounts Statistics

Sunil S. Bhandare

The 14th Finance Commission

S. Viswanathan

The Rural Perspective

Agriculture and Rural Indebtedness - VI

R. M. Mohan Rao

Foreign Relations in the 21st Century

Obama Came and Concurred: Convergences Enhanced and New Vistas of Cooperation Opened

B. Ramesh Babu

Pakistan’s Quest for Nationhood

Suresh C. Sharma

Warriors after War


Book Review


S. K. Rau


K. Natwar Singh

Educating Adults

Three Emerging Religious Icons for Maharashtra Politics

Sharu Rangnekar

Shortage of Qualified Teachers

Suresh C. Sharma

The Right to Sanitation as a Human Right

B. N. Mehrish

Sankranti Kanukalu (Gift on Sankranti)




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