Sunday, December 11, 2016

Who were the "5 researchers" that created the demonetization proposal?

As the demonetization scheme struggles in full view of the public. The effort within the government to carefully steer clear of the inevitable blame for this grows.

Thanks to several people talking about it with the press - we can begin to see who was behind the proposal.

We know that Min. Jaitley,  Governor Urjit Patel, and Secy. Hasmukh Adhia was involved. [1]

We also know that five other "researchers" were sworn to secrecy and developed the demonetization plan in detail.[2]

We know that Sri. Ajit Doval, Gen. Suhag and other services Chiefs, the heads of the Intelligence Bureau, R&AW etc... were not in the loop until the very last moment. [3]

So who were the "5 researchers"? I am asking the same question that the Indian Supreme Court asked the GoI recently [4]

The CNBC article [1] offers some clues.

"It was made up of young experts in data and financial analysis; some ran Modi's social media accounts and a smartphone app that he used to solicit public feedback."

Well that puts the following people in the frame

1) Dr. Hiren Joshi [5]

If I look up Hiren Joshi's name on google, I find an interesting overlap with Hasmukh Adhia and members of something known as "Gujarat Team". And guess what - Dr. Hiren Joshi is an OSD (Officer on Special Duty) to the PMO. That means he came in on a direct special appointment from Prime Minister Modi himself.

It makes sense to use OSDs for something like this. OSDs have no connections to the bureaucracy. They are not bound by IAS/IPS/IFS/RAS batch loyalties and they can be fired from their jobs without a second thought. They are the very definition of disposable. A great many people have served the PMO as OSD - some good and some ... well why speak ill of someone (I am sure there were real reasons).

There is another reason one has to use OSDs for something like this - the IAS guys are far to canny to get caught up in the middle of something this risky. No IAS dude will want this on their resume. If you put five of them in a room - they will likely distance themselves form this. They are political survivors by nature and barring the odd person like Sri. Adhia - it is unlikely that you will find too many at Secy. or even Jt. Secy level willing to risk their back sides on something that the CBDT has spoken up against [12].

When I look up the other people on OSD in Modiji's PMO I find the following names [6]

2) Pratik Doshi [7]
3) Hemang Jani [8]

Both Pratik and Hemang are young and have a background in management. This makes them a good fit for the people described in the articles on the "5 who knew".

4) Sanjay Bhavsar [9] - a man believed to be extremely close to the PM and controls his calendar and all appointments go through him.
5) Ashutosh Narayan Singh [10]- has a background in media - and hence his portfolio - "Media Research".

Again both have research type roles inside the PMO and they also make a good fit for the kind of person described in the articles.

Most of these people (except Ashutosh Narayan Singh) are from Gujarat [11]

There are three other people inside the PMO who are very close to Modiji. These are  Om Prakash Singh, Tanmay Mehta and Dinesh Thakur - they were all RSS affiliated and worked the Modiji's personal assistants when he was CM of Gujarat. In my opinion they would not have the background to be able to conduct the kind of research and planning needed to do something like this.  

My guess we have the names that the Supreme Court is looking for. 

As always - I admit I could be wrong. 

FWIW - I feel Sri. Adhia and these researchers were not doing anything bad on purpose. They were misguided and fell into a group-think. That is why the planning was poor. 


At 9:28 PM, Blogger Wise_Ass said...

It is ok to be wrong!There are no riots and the so-called bharat bandh etc called in opposition strongholds was abject failure.I live in a commie stronghold.All out support for demonetisation coz we personally know black money holding politicians who are relatives and friends.
People are seemlessly plugging into cashless payment system.Imagine doing this in a so-called civilized Western countries or in hyper-displined China.It will be worse than worst episode of The Walking Dead.The problem with current elites like yourself with brown sahib mentality is even when you realize you are wrong,you double-down losing whatever credibility left.

At 4:46 AM, Blogger maverick said...

I don't know how caring for poor Indians who live on daily cash earnings is being a "brown sahib".

As a result of the demonetisation, the poor are racking up debt with private lenders at unknown interest rates. I suppose you could say they are seamlessly entering the credit economy but they are facing unknowable risks.

Private debt is as much a part of the black economy as any bundles of cash so called corrupt politicians may have. The demonetisation is adding to that pile.

If the initiative is such a huge success why are BJP Modi supporters like JVR Arun getting caught with all that black money?

You know that is not his money belongs to someone else. Someone who trusts JVR Arun.

Any guesses who that is?

Is this entire demonetisation bringing in more black money than the VDIS does?

I don't think so.


Post a Comment

<< Home