Following reports of Noida Authority staff allegedly not reaching office on time, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday sought the employee details of both Noida and Greater Noida Authorities.Mr. Adityanath also ordered that 73 employees of the Noida Authority, who had not been marking themselves present on biometric machine, be marked absent for the corresponding days. He also ordered that their salaries be deducted.Noida and Greater Noida Authority CEO Deepak Agarwal confirmed this. “The Chief Minister has asked for details such as the employees’ income, assets, ranks, tenure, departments, etc. While 40% of the staff members in the Greater Noida Authority have submitted their details, employees of the Noida Authority are yet to file the same,” said Mr. Agarwal.Plugging corruptionSoon after assuming office on March 19, Mr. Adityanath had directed Ministers and top officials to provide details of their income and assets within 15 days. He had said rooting out corruption in government offices was his main agenda. However, a majority of the officials failed to adhere to the deadline of April 7.Mr. Agarwal further said that to improve work culture in the authorities, he had asked the employees to mark their attendance on biometric machines. Failure to comply with the order would amount to strict action, he added.The Noida Authority had on March 23 installed biometric machines to crack down on employees who would reach office late. The Noida Authority’s offices are located in sectors 6, 5, 19 and 39. According to rules, the employees must reach office by 9:30 a.m. and not leave before 5 p.m. The two authorities work for five days a week. ‘30% staff absent’“During an inspection, I found that around 30% of the staff was absent. Whoever reaches office after 9:30 a.m. will be marked absent,” said Mr. Agarwal.Earlier, every employee had to sign on an attendance sheet. However, many would sign the sheet in the month-end. With the introduction of biometric attendance, the flaw was exposed. Explanation sought“We have also sought an explanation from those who were not present at 9:30 a.m.,” the CEO said.“If they will fail to furnish a satisfactory reply, we will take action against them. If absent employees are repeatedly absent, we will take departmental action against them,” he added.
The Army is ready for the long haul in holding onto its position in the Doklam area near the Bhutan tri-junction, notwithstanding China ratcheting up rhetoric against India, demanding pulling back of its troops.The soldiers deployed in the disputed area have pitched tents, in an indication that they are unlikely to retreat unless there was reciprocity from Chinese personnel in ending the face-off at an altitude of around 10,000 feet in the Sikkim section.A steady line of supplies is being maintained for the soldiers at the site, official sources said, signalling that the Army is not going to wilt under any pressure from China. At the same time, they sounded confident of finding a diplomatic solution to the dispute, citing resolution of border skirmishes in the past through diplomacy.Though China has been aggressively asserting that it was not ready for any “compromise” and that the “ball is in India’s court”, the view in the security establishment here is that there cannot be any unilateral approach in defusing the tension.Security implicationsBoth the countries had agreed to a mechanism in 2012 to resolve border flare-ups through consultations at various levels.The mechanism has not worked so far in the current case as the standoff near the Bhutan trijunction, triggered by China’s attempt to build a road in the strategically important area, has dragged on for over three weeks.New Delhi has already conveyed to Beijing that such an action would represent a significant change of status quo with “serious” security implications for India. The road link could give China a major military advantage over India.Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region. China and Bhutan are engaged in talks. India argues that since it is a tri-junction involving the three countries, it also has a say in the issue.