Forging the steel frame (The Hindu)
Mains Paper 2: Polity
Prelims level: Indian Administrative Service
Mains level: Role of civil services in a democracy
- The 60-year-old Mussoorie Academy deserves some credit for producing
officers who have contributed to nation-building.
- The Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration was simply
called the Academy of Administration when it was set up in 1959 in Mussoorie.
- It signalled to systematically train members of the higher civil
services in order to equip them to be the change agents of a resurgent
- The two All-India Services, the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and
the Indian Police Service attracted some of the finest minds from the
- The IAS motto, ‘Yogah Karmasu Kaushalam (proficiency in action is
yoga)’, and the Academy song, ‘Hao Dharomete Dheer, Hao Karomete Bir (Be
firm in your faith, courageous in action)’, symbolised the nation’s
expectation from them.
- The Academy introduced in 1960 a common Foundation Course (FC) in order
to “instil a shared understanding of government and build camaraderie among
the civil services”.
- It is the professional training institution for the IAS and continues to
conduct an FC for various All-India and Central Services.
Changing with times
- In the last six decades, there have been transformational changes in the
- The civil servants have also had to constantly upgrade themselves.
- The Academy has been steered in critical junctures by administrators
such as A.N. Jha, P.S. Appu, B.N. Yugandhar and N.C. Saxena.
- The content and methodology of training have changed to meet the demands
- The pattern introduced in 1969 — of district training being sandwiched
between institutional exposures at the Academy — has remained broadly
- On successful completion, IAS trainees are now awarded an M.A. degree in
Public Management by the Jawaharlal Nehru University.
- The Academy also conducts mid-career training programmes for officers,
in keeping with their varying job requirements from policy implementation
towards policy formulation.
- The Academy now houses five national research centres on rural studies,
disaster management, gender, public systems management, and leadership
development and competency assessment.
- Pursuant to the Kargil Review Committee recommendations, a joint
civil-military programme on national security was introduced in 2001.
- How much of its effort gets reflected in the performance of officers
remains a moot question. The correlation between the training imparted in
Mussoorie and the quality of public services in the Indian polity should be
- There has been no serious attempt to record the experiences of the
trainees/officers at the field/secretariat levels and publish them in
scholarly journals, enabling others to benefit from such exposures.
- The Academy Journal, The Administrator, does not seem to have any
discernible impact on the academic discourse on the various facets of our
- What have been the outputs of the five national centres? How does such
research inform the training curriculum?
- The Academy hasn’t yet realised its potential to emerge as the main
think tank for civil service reforms.
- The public sometimes resent the bureaucracy, often for valid reasons.
Politicians criticise the bureaucracy as blocking the course of development.
The reputation of officers is being unduly tarnished. The Academy should
help build a national consensus on these contentious issues.
- Civil servants should maintain their integrity and efficiency while
serving in a system that deals with power play and corruption.
- In defending and expanding the constitutional values and in adhering to
the spirit of various progressive legislation, the IAS and other Services
have played a significant role in nation-building.
- If one looks at the trajectory of independent India and compares it with
that of our immediate neighbours, our higher bureaucracy appears to be a
Q.1) Which of the following best describes the equation between rights and
(a) Citizens can only have rights, while state can have both rights and
(b) To not violate any right of a citizen is solely the obligation of his/her
(c) Rights not only place obligations on the state, but also on every citizen.
(d) Only those rights of the citizens which have environmental aspects place
obligations on them.
Q.1) The 60-year-old Mussoorie Academy deserves some credit for producing
officers who have contributed to nation-building. Comment.