Speech Of UPSC Chairman Mr. D. P. Agarwal on UPSC Foundation Day 2014

Speech Of UPSC Chairman Mr. D. P. Agarwal on Foundation Day

“This Lecture series serve as a forum for sharing of vision & ideas on good governance and the role of public service. This has strived to scan the full spectrum of public policy for a nation which is fast emerging as a global leader. The three lectures delivered earlier have given us new ideas and concepts on the systemic improvement in governance and service delivery to citizens.

The desire of the youth of this nation to be a part of governance is manifested in the very large number of applicants seeking selection through UPSC. They come with a dream of making a difference in the lives of fellow citizens. I am very happy to say that, because of the transparent, impartial and judicious systems and procedures adopted by the Commission many a bright, hard working and honest candidates from all sections of the society have realized their dreams. Future good governance shall be built on the platform of their dreams. Governance shall also be enriched by the role played by each stakeholder; necessitating a continual communication between the institutions of democracy and the people of the nation. Citizen engagement will be the cornerstone for the development of faith in the governance process.

If we have to meet the expectations and aspirations of our vibrant and informed nation of today, the instruments and structures of governance in vogue need to be re-evaluated, re-engineered and sharpened. Consistent with these, Commission on its part, streamlines its working and reviews its processes of selection. Notable among them are the changes brought out in the Civil Services Examination both Preliminary and Mains with the approval of the Government. The emphasis now is on testing not only the aptitude of the candidates for a demanding life in the civil service, but also on ethical and moral dimensions of decision-making to induct young and dynamic officers with appropriate skills & aptitude into the Civil Services. These steps have provided a level playing-field and equity to all the prospective candidates. In addition, it will reduce the time frame for conducting the Civil Services Examination.

The Union Public Service Commission introduced the use of Information Technology for communication with candidates, after due research. Candidates submit applications online, receive admit cards and results for all the examinations online and above all our interactive web-based communication has been a great success with the candidates in meeting their information needs. This has reduced the time for conducting various examinations and the rejection rate of applications drastically from around eight to ten percent to less than one per cent.

The Commission introduced Single Window System to receive various proposals for direct recruitment, appointment by promotion/ deputation, disciplinary cases and induction into All India Services from various State Governments, ministries and departments. Before introduction of this Scheme, all the Stakeholders were sensitized by holding workshops and training for them. This system has increased efficiency and reduced considerably the average time taken for disposal of cases in the Commission.

The Commission through its proactive approach has ensured that the backlog in the induction to the All India Services is cleared and now in most of the States, it is up to date. In order to improve this process of selection based upon merit, the Commission has suggested for an alternative approach for induction which is under the active consideration of the government.

The Government has introduced Annual Performance Appraisal Reports in the Central Services from 2008-09 onwards and the system now provides for the officer reported upon to see his APAR. Our experience has shown that these performance reports are invariably pitched at the top bracket and the selection based solely on these become difficult. Therefore Commission is of the view that the time is ripe to revisit the system of career progression based solely on APARs, at least for the top positions in the Government. This concern has already been conveyed to the Government of India.

A large number of candidates go through the rigorous examinations conducted by the Commission but only a few are recommended as the vacancies are limited. Others who are also not any less bright are left in the lurch. Commission is considering the issue as to how these talents could be utilized to the best advantage of Govt. / PSUs, etc.

With the idea of promoting international cooperation, UPSC has started a Conference of the Chiefs of Public Service Commissions of SAARC countries in November 2010. This has been a great success and the initiative continues. UPSC also organized a workshop on ICT for the benefit of the SAARC Member States in March 2013. Our expertise, research-based selection procedures, integrity and efficiency are appreciated at all the international conferences where Commission has participated and many countries desired to have long term association with us.

We believe that our knowledge, expertise and the best practices evolved over the period need to be shared with other Public Service Commission’s of the world so as to benefit the humanity as a whole.

Before I conclude, I once again heartily welcome the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, and other distinguished guests to today’s session.”

Courtesy: PIB