Public Administration Mains 2017 : Model Question and Answer - 21

Public Administration Mains 2017 : Model Question and Answer

(Public Administration Paper II / Chapter: Public Sector Undertakings)

(Current Based) Question : The blame for our poor public sector performance can be laid on the way our bureaucracy is structured. Comment. (25 Marks/300 Words)

Model Answer :

In the Indian context, there is a paradox where the private sector companies are making a global footprint, whereas the public sector companies are struggling to survive. One of the major reasons, identified for this poor performance is the way in which the Indian bureaucracy is structured. The bureaucracy in India consists of generalists who are recruited through a competitive examination which does not test their managerial skills, inter-personal skills, leadership skills or even their integrity which may be essential for managing public sector of such mammoth nature. Also the bureaucracy in India is subservient to the political executive which may not themselves be specialists in the field. Bureaucrats prefer to have control over public sector due to:-

1. Huge autonomous power and less responsibility.
2. Greater status enjoyment in public sector.
3. Complete control over monitoring policy implementation given by political bosses.
4. Greater chances for carrying out corrupt practices.

The appointments of the bureaucracy are decided by the political executives and complex positions that require time to bring effective change are often subject to frequent transfers. Municipal Corporation which entails a complex delivery mechanism of public services has its commissioner changing ever too often to bring any concrete change. There must a dedicated cadre for urban governance within the bureaucracy to bring some specialized skill to the table than to be transferred to very diverse unrelated positions.

There must also be modes of ensuring efficiency by bring the most capable people on board through open market recruitment and ensuring a benchmark of senior management level pay at MNC’s to attract the top talent to positions like Secretary and Joint Secretary on performance based contracts. In a globalized world, where public choice theory creates alternatives to every problem, the bureaucracy needs to be strengthened to be competitive with its private counterparts. (Total Words- 302)

(Linkages : Public Sector and Bureaucracy, Public Sector and Generalist Administrator, Public Sector and Recruitment Process, Public Sector and Political Executive)

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