Public Administration Mains 2017 : Model Question and Answer - 37

Public Administration Mains 2017 : Model Question and Answer

(Public Administration Paper II / Chapter: Civil Services)

(Important) Question : Discuss the role of bureaucracy in handling the affairs of Ministry of Defence (MoD) . (20 Marks/250 Words)

Model Answer :

The fate of our military depend on a MoD which is run exclusively by civilian officers of the IAS and Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS).IAS officers are the elite cadre of civil servants who take pride in being versatile “generalists” and who can flit effortlessly from job to job, in assignments as diverse as management of rural development to running PSUs to manning UN posts.

Urgent consideration needs to be given to the creation of a sub-cadre within the IAS, formally trained in the management of national security issues and earmarked for service in the MoD, PMO, MEA, MHA and elsewhere.

Service in the MoD, however, demands domain knowledge which comes with years of experience in arcane areas of force-planning, capability acquisition and weapons procurement. Itinerant IAS officers rarely stay long enough to gather significant expertise on such matters.

IDAS officers, designated “Integrated Financial Advisers”, were presumably positioned at various levels of the MoD to assist in budgetary planning and help expedite financial decision-making. Having long abandoned the “advise” function, they prefer to lie in ambush as “auditors” and wait for someone to make a mistake before pouncing.

While considering long-overdue defence reforms, the gradual induction of uniformed staff into the MoD, starting with the RM’s own office, would enhance expertise and reduce friction. The task of restructuring our defence-industrial complex must not be left to the government bureaucracy or scientists, bent on protecting turf and status quo. It must be assigned to a reputed professional from business or industry. (Total Words- 250)

With inputs from the Article of Arun Prakash Published in Indian Express dated 13th September* 2017 titled ‘ Agenda for the Raksha Mantri’

(Linkages : Bureaucracy and Ministry of Defence, IAS and creation of sub-cadres, Specialist Job and Domain Knowledge, Uniformed Staff and Defence Reforms)

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