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IPI Manifesto on IAS



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[Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE
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IPI Manifesto states:

Salaries of bureaucrats at all levels would be made comparable with
private
sector salaries for similar jobs. This is required to retain the best
talent
for executing the very important functions of government.

My comments:

Successful private companies use the Darwinian "move up or get out"
policies
to weed out all but the best and brightest to remain with them. There is

presently no such provision in the selection of bureaucrats in India.
Before
recommending increased salaries to the bureaucrats, it is necessary for
the
IPI Manifesto to incorporate the methodology by which inefficient
bureaucrats could be removed from the service.

IPI Manifesto states:

Jobs at the levels of Additional Secretary and above in the Government
of
India would be delinked from the permanent civil service. These jobs
would
be filled up either from within the service or from any other source,
outside the government, on a contractual basis, and on the merit of the
person concerned.

My comments:

Presently IAS officers occupy the positions of Additional Secretary and
above. By depriving IAS from getting into such positions, the employment

opportunities for IAS get drastically reduced. Presently every IAS
becomes
an Additional Secretary as a matter of routine. With the new rule, only
some
IAS officers get promotions. Under Indian conditions, politics rather
than
merit play a vital role in the selective promotion of IAS officers and
filling up of the remaining positions with non-IAS personnel. All this
makes
IAS officers to surrender to the politicians for personal gain.

It must be admitted that despite low emoluments, there is enormous craze
for
IAS. The first choice of most educated youth in India is to become an
IAS,
while most parents wish their children to become IAS. It is also the
ambition of most central and state government employees to get conferred

IAS. In order to satisfy this popular demand, bureaucrats and
politicians
manage to find work for more IAS officers every year. This naturally
increases the needless tasks to be performed by the government and the
size
of the government. In order to create work for all of them, government
has
to take up several works that result in slow-decision making and
increased
corruption, inefficiency, and poverty.

For example, Sanjeev Sabhlok wrote on 16 Aug 1998 (msg00106) on "the
tendency (of bureaucrats) to filibuster each other, to delay, to beat
about
the bush, and do other things to aggravate and make difficult the
achievement of any uniform objective". He mentions "also the tendency to

have 4-5 full Secretaries in a ministry, 4-5 DGPs in the Police in each
state, and so on, so that no one knows how to get any work done."

The best way the needless tasks performed by government could be reduced
is
to simplify procedures and not to interfere with issues that could be
best
managed by people themselves. Such a move leads to a drastic reduction
in
the number of bureaucrats and supporting staff working in each
department.

Many IPI debaters blame the government for its nonperformance. Instead,
they
should highlight the harm that is being done to the country just for the

sake of creating a extra posts of IAS every year and the alternate
avenues
superior to IAS that could be created to talented youth by giving
freedom to
people to pursue their goals.

IPI Manifesto states:

Bureaucrats would be rewarded for the cutting down the needless tasks
performed by government, and for bringing down the size of government.

My comments:

In order to satisfy public demand, more IAS officers are made to perform
the
work of a single IAS officer. As a result, each IAS officer becomes a
small
cog within the system and deprived of any job satisfaction. If
individual
bureaucrats had say in such matters, conscientious officers who resigned

from IAS would not have done so.

IPI Manifesto states:

They would also be rewarded for working out institutional arrangements
and
processes that encourage adversary relationships among related
departments.

My comments:

This sentence should actually read as "They would also be rewarded for
working out against institutional arrangements and processes that
encourage
adversary relationships among related departments."

IPI Manifesto states:

In order to "raise the morale, competence, ethical behaviour and
responsiveness of the Police," it is necessary to enhance "the
educational
qualifications for recruitment into the Police force."

My comments:

In the absence of a similar statement in the manifesto to raise the
morale,
competence, ethical behavior and responsiveness of the bureaucrats, it
is
implied that all is well with the recruitment of candidates for IAS. But
a
cursory reading of the IPI archives particularly contributed by Sanjeev
Sabhlok clearly points out that all is not well with the whole system.
There
are also vehement arguments in the archives for scrapping IAS.

As some of the present evils of India are due to pursuing defective
policies
and as IAS officers are the principal policy makers of India, there is
need
for the IPI manifesto to spell out in a greater detail for strengthening

India's bureaucratic system and thereby bring prosperity to India.

Prof. R. Jagadiswara Rao, Ph.D.
Chairman, Rayalaseema Vikas Parishad
63A Vidyanagar
Tirupati, AP 517502, India
Telephone: +91-8574-29433



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