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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 30 August, 2022

  • 9 Min Read

Civil Services Reforms in India

Civil Services Reforms in India

Image Source - civil service India

One of India's most renowned police officers recently argued that the government should implement the "Nitipath" program, which would be similar to Agnipath and the short service commission for military personnel.

The framework of the Scheme

  • After 10, 25, and 30 years of service, officers may be filtered out.
  • By doing this, the top-heavy structure would be fixed, and a culture of excellence and public service would be fostered.
  • The amount of apex-level positions and career routes does not limit the government's ability to hire four times as many applicants at the entry-level.
  • We can have 4,000 officers enter service each year as opposed to the 600–1,000 individuals currently being appointed to the AIS.
  • After a performance evaluation after the fourth year, just 25% of them will be kept.

Advantage

  • As a result, there will be a large influx of young, enthusiastic officers at the junior levels, who will have significant incentives to perform well and gain experience working for the government.
  • The top 4,000 all-India rank holders' average quality won't change noticeably from that of the top 1,000. Therefore, a four-year review period will give the government access to more information than just test and interview results.
  • After serving in the government for four years, employees will have promising job opportunities. It is highly possible that many people may willingly decide to depart and pursue further education or independent work. The broader economy will gain from the inclusion of such a young, qualified, and experienced managerial cadre.
  • A path to a semi-structural reform of India's administrative apparatus will be made possible by the implementation of performance reviews and exit filters every five years.
  • People who may have been rejected at lower levels but have since distinguished themselves can be admitted again under a lateral entrance scheme.

Area of reform

Conversion of ICS into IAS:

  • After the conversion of ICS into IAS following Independence, it failed to incorporate a more indigenous element.
  • This was due to the fact that there were no real attempts to connect IAS with our unique, mostly Indian ideology of public administration.
  • As a result, the only difference between ICS and IAS was in the abbreviations.
  • Even after Independence, the governing principles of notable Indian leaders like Arya Chanakya, Rajendra Chola, Harihara and Bukka of Vijayanagara, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, or Sayajirao Gaikwad were still generally disregarded.

Unnecessary and Excessive Security Measure:

  • To begin with, the sturdy firewall that shields employees of the civil service need to be reviewed.
  • One almost never looks back, never looks around, and more crucially, never looks inside after joining the elite club of civil workers.
  • Their superiority complex and arrogance affect their thinking, and more concerningly, this security blanket gives them a sense of permanence in power relative to their politician employers, making them oblivious to and careless about people's expectations.

Lack of Systematic Mechanism:

  • It is also necessary to have a built-in system to assure periodic de-thick-skinning through reinstalling a sense of purpose and motivation. Overprotective security encourages callousness and carelessness.
  • The idealistic strugglers of yesterday quickly integrate themselves into the "establishment" of today.
  • Regularly holding creative exams that are experienced- and knowledge-based may assist to prevent this.
  • Several civil service officers' actions demonstrate their complete contempt for accountability and transparency.

Lack of Specialization:

  • Administrative staff members are tasked with handling a variety of problems that call for specialized knowledge.
  • How can a secretary for steel and mining today tackle a task for a secretary for culture tomorrow?
  • Although generalists are important, it would be practical to divide IAS officers into at least four to five distinct groups in the modern world, such as finance, infra development and natural resource management, education-culture, and social ministries like social justice, labor, women and children, etc.
  • This would increase the domain knowledge on the table and equip the officers to make better informed and perceptive decisions.

Initiatives

  • This is a national programme for building the capacity of the civil service, called Mission Karmayogi (NPCSCB). It is a thorough overhaul of the system for enhancing capacity at the individual, institutional, and system levels for effective public service delivery.
  • Reforming Lateral Entrance: Lateral entry refers to the selection of individuals from the private sector for government administrative positions despite their lack of participation in or selection inside a bureaucratic structure.
  • This is significant because public service delivery systems would not function properly today without highly qualified and driven professionals in charge of administrative matters.
  • e-Samiksha: A real-time online system for tracking choices made by the government at the highest level regarding the execution of significant government programs and projects.
  • Citizen Charters: The government has mandated that all Ministries and Departments have Citizen Charters, which are routinely updated and evaluated.
  • The National Conference on e-Governance gives the government a forum to interact with specialists, and intellectuals from business and academia, and to share experiences related to e-Governance programs.
  • CPGRAMS, or Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System:
  • The National Informatics Center (Ministry of Electronics and IT [MeitY]) created an online web-enabled system in collaboration with the Directorate of Public Grievances (DPG) and Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG).
  • The CPGRAMS offers the option to file a complaint online from any location. It allows the citizen to follow their complaint online as it is being investigated by the relevant departments and also allows DARPG to keep track of the complaint.

Way ahead

  • The state institution in charge of managing public affairs has new issues that reforms are a logical reaction to; at the heart of such an endeavor is the effort to strengthen administrative capabilities in the altered environment.
  • The emphasis must be on external accountability mechanisms like citizen charters, social audits, and encouraging outcome orientation among civil officials because civil servants are accountable to political executives, and this causes the politicization of civil services.
  • Governmental capability generally lags behind socioeconomic progress everywhere in the world.
  • In India, there is a severe and expanding governance gap. It will take enough talent, with the right incentives and training, to bridge it.

Also, Read - Digital Economy in India

Source: The Hindu


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