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We Are Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made on, Rounded with a Little Sleep

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The babus of India

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"!!!....This saying goes well with the government sector employees in India who have the "prerogative" of seamless holidaying. But there is a catch. Here holidaying seems to be the major "work" that the government employees are concerned with!. You holiday on the birth of your neighbor's"first"baby. And yes you have a reason to celebrate and holiday!!This lackadisal attitude on the part of the government employee is probably one of the reasons why India fares poorly on the development and socio-economic indicator . The sheer number of government holidays proves to be a stumbling block for India's progress.

India is a land of varied cultures and traditions......but that should not give government employees the license to holiday on a rampant basis. There is a system of five working days per week across all corporations in the world. But in India the scene is different. According to the notification issued by the government of India, there are as many as 38 public holidays in 2009.The list includes the three national holidays - Republic Day, Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti. Apart from these, there are 8 days of casual leave, 30 days of earned leave and 20 days of half pay leave for every central government employee.

Besides, government employees can avail some other types of leaves like the 135 days maternity leave for women employees and 15 days paternity leave for men. They are also entitled to special leave of six to 21 days for any of the family planning surgeries they opt to undergo.

Hence if all the leaves are taken into consideration, any government employee would have only about 180 working days every year. Moreover, the usual practice of government employees availing casual and earned leave on the days preceding or succeeding a public holiday or a weekend / between two public holidays / between a public holiday and a weekend leads to work in government offices coming to a grinding halt.

All these holidays, coupled with the rampant absenteeism, unpunctuality and employees going on a strike once in a while, has led to a situation where every government employee is getting salary for 356 days while working for only about one-third of the period!!!

Meetings with the travel agents, piled up wedding invitations, durga pujo shoppings, family get-togethers and a series of important "appointments" give the government employees a benefit of doubt to take leave every now and then. After all.."We are such stuff as dreams are made on, rounded with a little sleep"



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