Public Administration Mains 2018 : Model Question and Answer - 99

(Public Administration Paper II / Chapter: Civil Services in India)

(Current Based) Question: Comment on steps to make India’s bureaucracy transparent, efficient and accessible. (15 Marks/200 Words)

Model Answer:

The IAS is often lauded as the country’s “steel frame” : admirers hold it essential for ensuring the country’s stability while detractors see it as one of the greatest impediments to progress. Indian civil services is highly competitive, perverse incentives, but political interference have eroded its effectiveness. It is thus imperative to revamp the IAS.

1) A fast-track promotions for promising young bureaucrats across the civil services will have the dual benefit of encouraging junior officers to take more initiative, and following lateral entry, offer high-performers in non-IAS services access to top positions in the bureaucracy.

2) There should be a holistic appraisal mechanism for junior bureaucrats as well, in order to enhance their sense of personal responsibility and accountability to society.

3) The government should establish academic centres of excellence, similar to the Indian Institute of Technology or the Indian Institute of Management for public administration.

4) India must transition away from this obsolete top-down approach by increasing transparency in decision-making, appointments and transfers across the civil services. The goal must be to create an outward-facing IAS whose administrative decisions are open to the public for information and consultation.
Increasing competition by recruiting outside professionals should act as a catalyst for transforming the IAS into a merit-based system focusing on tangible outcomes rather than rigid compliance with outdated procedures. (Total Words- 220)

Valuable inputs from Scroll Opinion : ‘After lateral entry, 4 steps to make India’s bureaucracy more transparent, efficient and accessible' by Siddharth Goel

(Linkages: IAS and Fast Track Promotions, IAS and Performance based Incentives, IAS and Transparency)

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