Book review: Omesh Saigal, I@S: Tale Told by an IASs

Published date01 June 2018
Date01 June 2018
Subject MatterBook Reviews
Book Reviews 327
The co-operation and coordination in approaches of both based on mutual trust
would go a long way in serving the national interests and strengthening the forces
of peace, besides reaping the mutual functional advantages.
I liked the book as being based on an interesting yet intriguing subject. But
I feel that the author could have spoken about creating a specialised cadre of the
media-trained armed force officers on the lines of law-qualified officers that the
armed forces have in strength. The cadre of media-trained officers should have
officers who have a flair for media with an understanding of the armed forces
functioning especially in the fog of war. This bears special significance because
the best weapon that a field commander in the situation of war holds is surprise.
I feel that a media-trained armed force officer possesses not only the wisdom of
warfare but also a sensitivity to the cannons of secrecy with an innate capability
of meaningfully reporting the operations.
Rajneesh Kumar
Research Scholar
Amity Institute of Social Sciences
Amity University
Noida, UP, India
Omesh Saigal, I@S: Tale Told by an IASs. New Delhi: Har-Anand
Publications Pvt. Ltd, 2017, 230 pp., `695.
DOI: 10.1177/0019556118755172
Administrators are hardly known for their ability to develop new techniques,
much less evolve new theories; they seem to be quite satisfied with being ‘doers’
and leaders. However, Omesh Saigal, who joined the IAS in 1964 and retired in
2001 as Secretary to Government of India in the Ministry of Food Processing
Industries, has actually claimed in his latest book, quaintly titled I@S, to have
evolved a new technique based on, what he calls, the theory of ‘differential
Published by Har-Anand and with the intriguing subtitle Tale Told by an IASs,
Saigal has managed to sneak in this theory even while sticking to his generally
humorous and light-hearted treatment of his memoirs. He claims that this
approach, based as it is on his ‘habits of quantitative thought’ that he acquired
while graduating from IIT Kharagpur in 1962, can help us take better and more
beneficial decisions.
He says that in this approach, we have to break any problem, especially
complex ones, into various smaller ones. He feels that not only will this ‘make
each of them easier to resolve, but also ensure that the integration of each of the
δx solutions will give a higher order solution than a mere addition would’ (p. 180).
He takes the common textbook example of two persons digging pits. They
have to dig the pit and remove the extracted earth independently. If each can dig

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