Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An Appeal from a Fighter who Fights Alone

Leaders who fight battles in court may seem to be fighting for their own survival but think deeply and you will see that if these leaders survive it will be beneficial for us only because how many leaders are there around us who will be willing to get hanged for fighting your battle? So let us join hands once again here and contribute.

From: ravi srivastava <ravi4354@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 4:57 PM
Subject: An Appeal from R.P.Srivastava

I , R.P.SRIVASTAVA, 55 year old ,male Graduated in Science and Chemical Technology in the year 1975, after an stint of 1 year at Eicher Tractors and 6 years in Kansai Nerolac(erstwhile Goodlass Nerolac, I joined HPCL in 1982 as an Operations Officer in Grade ‘A’ .

At HPCL, from the very beginning I was never a blue eyed boy of the Management , though they could neither find a fault in my working ,nor ever questioned my efficiency but my plain speaking, saying No(when it has to be a No), demanding fairness and transparency in functioning ,opposing discrimination etc. never allowed me to get promotions on time .I was branded as an average officer to become a Senior Manager after the service of 24 years .

I joined HP Management Staff Association /Oil Sector Officers Association in 1995 as Treasurer and successfully achieved several milestones under the leadership of my President Shri Ashok Singh viz. large no. of Promotions for the officers in 1995 , Salary Revision of 2000, Revision in C&B issues and host of officer’s welfare schemes etc. Privatization of HPCL/BPCL was opposed by us and finally halted permanently by Hon’ble Supreme Court orders in Sept 2003,later an attempt by then Govt. to merge HPCL with ONGC was successfully stopped by our convincing presentations.

In individual capacity myself as a member and headed by HPMSA President a "cost& expense control committee" was constituted by then C& MD , our recommendations within 6 months accrued a saving of more then Rs. 250 cr. to the corporation. My efforts in reconciliation of MRPL AR3A's saved corporation Rs. 140 cr. in penal duty and severe reprimand and embarrassment from the statuary authorities. I could help save corporation Rs. 60 cr. within 3 months during Jan-March 2008 by disposing off accumulated scrap lying all across HPCL Mktg. locations.. We could establish No. of Holiday Homes across the country for our officer colleagues and got even meals added during their stay.

Such achievements and prominence on the work front was bound to create the feeling of animosity, envy and heart burn to some of the mediocre colleagues and seniors whose sole performance was to toe the line of Management and ensure their survival and career progression by way of sycophancy. During discussions with Top Management , the false ego of some senior colleagues used to get rubbed on the wrong side , though they could ill afford to open their mouth while getting snubbed from then C& MDs for their short comings and inefficiencies . Such seniors could not harm us since our actions were well supported by then Ministers/Ministry of Petroleum &Nat. gas , since our efforts were in the direction of improving organizational effectiveness. As Association activists , we always had officer's overall interest in our mind and ensured that each benefit percolates down the line to the junior most officer of the corporation.


Those senior colleagues who acquired Top Management positions in due course of time were nursing a grudge against both of us and they were looking for an opportunity to fix us , a situation , while we questioned Management for appointing one of their favorite Sanjay Grover (who had resigned from HPCL to join MRPL), 3 grades higher in HPCL as a CEO of HPCL JV HINCOL came handy ,we appealed the Management to review this appointment and give fair opportunity to all eligible officers. After an amicable settlement , Management backed out and Charge Sheeted me & Ashok Singh on 7.5.08. Enquiry in this case commenced on 16.7.08 and despite our strong protests on illegalities, continued till 7.11.08, The DA Dir(M) did not even allow us mandatory 15 days period for replying to the Enquiry officer's report and summoning Dir. HR & GM- HR (mktg.) as witnesses. HPCL summarily dismissed both of us on 12.3.09, my appeal dt 27.3.09 was rejected on 15.7.09 and I have been evicted from the company accommodation .I had moved Hon’ble Mumbai High court against illegalities in the conduct of Enquiry and filed a petition no. 2254 in Sept 2008 , Hon’ble Mumbai High court in their order dt 1.10.08 gave me the liberty to approach again in case of an adverse order from HPCL Management .

One marker system was introduced in all oil companies (IOC,BPC,HPC) from 1.10.06, and on our instructions an advocate was collecting all information through RTI about irregularities and corruption in the purchase and implementation of Marker system since Nov. 2007 ,all informations were received on 6.5.08

Me and Ashok Singh , filed a CBI complaint on 12.5.08, , against then Secy. Petroleum &Nat. gas Sh. M.S Srinivasan and Private suppliers M/s Authentix/SGS , furious HPCL Management in retaliation promptly suspended Ashok Singh on 16.5.08 alleging irregularities at Sajgaon outlet , to which he was not even remotely connected. HPCL Management even recorded in their Board notes on 29th june 2008 and 30th july 2008 that we will be penalized .

HPCL approached Registrar's office and discovered that HPMSA's registration had been canceled as early as on 5.5.99 ( Management did'nt know it for full 9 years), they hurriedly removed all Association Notice Boards and stopped the check off facility on 11.6.08 simultaneously , made at least 50% officers to resign from the Association under threat , intimidation and coercion. We filed a petition in cooperative's court and despite stiff resistance from HPCL , court ordered the restoration of the Association , which has been done on 31.8.09.

We both appealed to CVC for whistle blower protection under Govt. of India’s resolution and even met Vigilance Commissioner personally to apprise him of the case on 6.6.08, 21/22.7.08 and 7.8.08 , instead getting us protected, our miseries compounded and HPCL Management took a vow to finish us once and for all.

Management gave me 2nd charge sheet on 30.7.08 for displaying some marker related report on Association notice board on 6.6.08(that day I was in CVC's office at Delhi , which has been confirmed by CVC in response to a RTI) , in fact this so called confidential marker report was already published by a website on 21.5.08 it self .Enquiry in this case commenced on 21.11.08 and abruptly discontinued on 18.2.09.

Right from May 2008 , Management was looking for an opportunity to remove me from the company and in this process, they evicted me from my office on 15.10.08, and made to sit under stairs case , took away assistance and curtailed my benefits. Management swiftly used OSOA strike of 7-9th Jan 2009 , to fix me and implicated once again into a false charge of instigating the officers suspended on 9.1.09. It is noteworthy that I myself had not even participated in that strike and was on duty.

Basis a news item on Marker system , which appeared in TOI of 4.6.08, a PIL No. 60 was filed in Mumbai High Court on 16.6.08 ,by a social activist Shri Simpreet Singh, which was heard on 24.7.08, 20.8.08, 5.9.08 by Hon’ble Chief Justice of Mumbai High Court.

Hon’ble Mumbai High Court ordered CBI enquiry in the marker case on 23.10.08 , and the marker was abruptly discontinued by all oil companies on 31.12.08, As per news item in Indian Express dated 5.10.08 and TOI dated 16.6.09 the marker was not tamper proof and launder able by ordinary clay. It was also established by HPCL appointed R&D advisor that it was carcinogenic in nature( could cause cancer in human being), still despite court orders oil companies placed order for 3 months from ( 1.10.08-31.12.08) and marker doping was continued . CNN-IBN in their news telecast on 21.9.09, have confirmed that supplier Authentix was already a black listed company abroad named as ( BIOCODE) and CVC has ordered CBI enquiry against erring senior Ministry officials.


I am out of job since 12.3.09, and exhausted all my resources fighting this corrupt system and court cases , my only wish is to restore my honor and dignity , for which a protracted legal battle is to be fought against erring corrupt officials and Authorities , I am not only hopeful but confidant that ultimately truth will prevail and guilty will be brought to book . I have done no wrong in my Professional or Personal life ( friends, who know me personally are well aware of it).

By and large the officers are docile , fearful and unable to fight even for their legitimate rights , the very objective of forming unions and associations is to have a forum for discussing rights & responsibilities , since in Public sector companies the ownership remains with the Govt., these bodies act as a watch dog to the Management functioning& decision making, which they never appreciate and try to crush in the collectives in the first available opportunity.

I there fore appeal to all my friends, colleagues in HPCL, Associations in OMC'S, upstream companies , Federations of PSU'S to help me financially. Almighty GOD has given me sufficient to take care of my daily needs, funds are required for the legal battle ONLY. Those who wish to help me, may please deposit cash or cheque in my name

ICICI BANK ACCOUNT NO may please be taken from me by phone..

I shall be indeed thankful for the same.
landline 91-22-27633760

P.S Those who are the recipient of this mail are requested to forward it other colleagues.

An Open Letter to the Honourable HRD Minister from the IIT Kanpur Faculty Forum

Mr. Kapil Sibal,
Honourable Minister of Human Resources and Development
Government of India
Dear Mr. Sibal,

The revised notification from MHRD dated 16/09/09 succeeds in removing a glaring anomaly with regards to the pay fixation for Assistant Professors, and we thank you for that. However, it is disappointing to note that it did not address other fundamental concerns – in fact it introduces more restrictive clauses – which will have serious, long-term ramifications on the ethos and culture of excellence of the IIT system.

A mere re-designation of the post of “lecturer-cum-post doctoral fellows” to “Assistant Professor, to be recruited on contractual basis” will not attract bright fresh PhDs to the IIT system. Should we expect that highly qualified faculty aspirants with PhDs from IITs, IISc, MIT, Stanford, Cornell, Caltech, etc., will line up to join the IIT system for a salaryof about Rs. 30,000/- p.m.? Compare this with offers on their tables from institutes and corporations world-wide, including MNCs and the soon to be established foreign university campuses in India. The choice is of course clear. Your great visions of bringing about a reverse brain drain, and infusing the rapidly expanding IIT system with that much needed influx of highly qualified faculty would grind to a complete halt!

Further, the clarity of MHRD’s vision is indeed baffling when it specifies that IITs, IISc, IIMs, etc. can recruit someone as a Professor only if he/she has spent at least 4 years as Associate Professor within those institutes only. In this era of globalization, with the paradigms of inter-disciplinary research and academia-industry interaction taking root, does it make sense to prevent all possibilities of migration of highly qualified scientists from research laboratories and industries toinstitutes of excellence? And for those who might want to come back to Indian academia, after having already established themselves in premier institutions across the world, wouldn’t it be an insult to be forced to join as Associate Professors? In addition, is it fair to outright deny bright faculty in other institutes within the country an opportunity to migrate to the IIT system to further their academic aspirations and opportunities?

The concept of a flexible cadre has been the hallmark of the IIT system and has played a vital role in creating a system of sustained excellence. Why then this cap of 40 % for Professors to move to the next academic grade pay (AGP)? IITs already have an open selection policy in place where every promotion is based on stringent academic criteria in terms ofteaching effectiveness, research publications, sponsored/consultancy projects undertaken and corporate responsibilities. Thus it does not really matter whether 10 % or 80 % of the candidates qualify for the next level. If the introduction of a new AGP and the associated 40% cap is motivated by the perception that Professors at IITs do not have adequate incentives to continue giving their best, we feel that this entire paradigm needs a serious re-think. All it is accomplishing, in essence, is an introduction of yet another hierarchy in an academic system which thrives on open discussions and debates. In fact, even from a monetary point of view, it is not flattering to think of a mere increase of Rs. 1500/- per month as a motivational incentive!

The provisions in the MHRD notifications have created an apprehension in the minds of the faculty that MHRD is trying to micromanage the academic governance, and is hence impinging on the autonomy of the IITs. Are not pay commissions primarily about pay matters and only pay matters? Should not autonomous institutions have the flexibility to relax the minimum criteria for exceptional candidates, as has been the practice? The whole exercise leaves the feeling that being a doctor of philosophy, after all, is trivial and meaningless – what will these studious types ever know about how to run an educational institution.

We sincerely wish that the MHRD appreciates those who have built these institutes into what they are today…world class institutes within 62 years of independence. Literally burning the midnight lamp, a whole lifetime spent in academic isolation, eyes firmly turned away from worldly lures, willing to face every single challenge thrown by the winds of change…from scratch to excellence…idea by idea, brick by brick, lecture by lecture, student by student, research publication by research publication. It is imperative that we preserve, at all costs, the inherent strengths thathave made our institutes names to reckon with.

We invite you to visit our institute, interact with our faculty, students and staff, tour the research laboratories, and hence experience first hand, the academic environment that makes IITs symbols of national pride.

Thanking you,
Yours Sincerely
Faculty Forum – IIT Kanpur.