In a highly notorious and "corrupt" Uttar Pradesh, four senior officials have taken the lead to voluntarily declare the assets held by them.
Besides making the declarations in separate letters addressed to Union Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrashekhar , the officers have also given out details of all their assets on a website (www.declareyourassets.blogspot.com).
Spearheading the campaign was UP's Additional Cabinet Secretary Vijay Shankar Pandey, who was better known as the crusader who initiated a secret ballot to identify the "three most corrupt IAS officers" in the state way back in 1997.
A bureaucrat of the 1979 batch of the elite Indian Administrative Service, Pandey was joined by his two junior colleagues Renuka Kumar of 1987 batch of IAS and her husband Sunil Kumar belonging to the same batch.
Significantly, the lone Indian Police Service officer to display his camaraderie with them was Deputy Inspector General (Training) Jasveer Singh, currently attached to the chief minister's information cell.
Singh belongs to the 1992 batch of the IPS and had shot into the spotlight when as the superintendent of police of Pratapgarh, he had dared to publicly list feudal lord-turned-Member of Legislative Assembly Raja Bhaiya among 'India's Most Wanted'.
Both Renuka and Sunil Kumar had recently moved to the Union government, where they were posted as joint secretary in the company affairs ministry and vice chairman of Inland Waterways Authority respectively.
Asked what his objective was behind the move, Pandey said, "We wish to start this healthy practice which was in the larger interest of ensuring transparency in the bureaucracy, which has already earned a bad name on account of the increasing indulgence in corrupt practices."
He does expect a number of his colleagues to come forward and follow course.
"We have sent out declarations to the Union cabinet secretary, who could urge bureaucrats across the country to volunteer information about all the assets held by them and their immediate families", he added.
"When judges of the country's apex court have declared their assets, why must the bureaucracy shy away from doing do?" asked Pandey.He is hopeful that other IAS and IPS officers would set an example by repeating this initiative across the country.