1 . Civil Servants as Agents of Economic Development
They look after planning, resource allocation and resource
managing taxation , subsidies and grants
They are behind formulation & implementation of strategies and
for development & modernisation
Civil servants manage government owned business, industrial enterprises and
public utility services.
NITI Aayog CEO to District Magistrate are all IAS which ensures balanced
development of all states and tehsils
2 . Agents of National Integration
They ensure equal development of all regions of the nation and thus help
in national integration. If some areas are more developed and others are
less developed , then problems like Naxalism can develop.
When nation is newly formed,
nationalism bond between people of different regions is very weak . In
such situations , Civil Servants act as Steel Frame so as to keep the nation together. Vallabhbhai
Patel knew this and as a result he didn’t dismantled ICS Officers and just
changed its nomenclature to IAS
In All India Services ,
officers from one region are send to serve in some other region . In these
situations, these officers can work well because they are free from
3. Welfare State
Since we want to make India a welfare state. Hence, we have to keep care of minorities, workers, child , women , youth. Hence, we require large number of generalist & specialist officers who will work according to needs of these groups
Anti argument – This bureaucracy becomes self perpetuating . Instead of being sensitive to their needs and being the facilitators, they become main impediment to development of people. This is seen in India now when bureaucracy has lost its touch with general public.
4. Execution of Program
All the programmes are executed on the ground by these Civil
Servants. Eg :
Right to Education is made by Parliament but to make that work, it is the
Civil Servants who do hard work to implement it in schools.
Anti Arguments : But we have seen now a days, most of the schemes are implemented on papers with almost no work visible on the ground. Execution of work cant be solely left on them because they aren’t accountable to people and aren’t elected representatives.
5. Channel of Communication to / for the State
In democracy, each section has
aspiration , needs and problems.
Bureaucracy is the only
mechanism to convert demand of these people into policy
Eg Farmer needs water, he will
report to District Collector and then District Collector will place that
information in front of Irrigation Department
6. Serve as knowledge bank for good policy formation
These Civil Servants are transferred from one place to other . They serve in all type of areas and as a result becomes repository of huge practical knowledge . This knowledge helps in formation of better policies
Along with that, Secret Information like Foreign Affairs and database of secret agents working abroad can’t be left in hands of elected representatives. Such information is handled by Civil Servants only .
7. Provides Continuity
Civil Servants carry on the
governance when governments change due to elections etc.
Ramsay Muir has remarked that while governments may come and go, ministers
may rise and fall, the administration of a country goes on forever.
8. Crisis Managers
In the event of occurrence
of natural calamities, it is the
Civil Servants that comes first to help
& act quickly and undertake rescue operations in order to
prevent loss of life and property of the affected people.
They act as moral boosters and
life savers in times of calamity .
Problems with Civil Services
Top Down Approach of Decision Making and given the elitist composition of the IAS cadre, the administrators are unfamiliar with complex ground realities=> IAS hierarchy is insensitive to the needs, constraints and aspirations of local populations.
Lack of accountability because of proliferation of departments with conflicting jurisdictions . It is easy to evade responsibility.
with Changing Political Scenario (after 73 & 74 Amendment): In the political sphere,
although Panchayati Raj (elected local governance) has been instituted but
District Collector and rest of local bureaucracy continue to be
accountable to the governments in the state capitals. Elected
representatives find their initiatives thwarted
officers are not protected from persecution by their political bosses.
They have to kow-tow to the dictates of these masters even if that means
working against the interests of the people.
More concerned with Processes than Results due to Weberian Model of
Not able to
change : Rapid
and fundamental changes are taking place in the country in terms of rapid
economic growth, urbanization,
environmental degradation &
technological changes . The
response time to adapt to these changes is much shorter than it used to
be. But our Civil Services haven’t changed at same pace with the changing situations
Suggestions to improve Civil Services
should be revamped –
Currently much of the focus of the training programme for civil servants
are on imparting them -administrative and technical skill. What is
required is that maximum focus should be on imparting democratic and
ethical values so that they could show empathy and compassion towards the
weaker sections during their tenure as civil servant. Technical skills
could be learned during the service.
Break insulation in Labour Market : bureaucratic structure in India is an insulated labour market . There should be lateral-entry in contractual jobs with a well-defined career progression.
Performance based promotion-instead of seniority based
Fixed tenure– so that committed officers are protected from persecution by their
accountability and transparency – For this
Lokpal should be
Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery
of Goods and Services Bill, 2011 should be passed at the earliest.
Provisions of RTI should be
implemented in letter and spirit
Restructure Bureaucracy keeping in view 73rd
& 74th Amendment
Recommendations wrt Civil Service Reforms by Various Commissions & Committees
1 . About Recruitment
Professor Yoginder K. Alagh Committee recommended testing the candidates in a common subject rather than on optional subjects.
Yugandhar Committee, 2003 recommended need for three mid-career training programmes in 12th, 20th & 28th years of service. There is a “major shift” in the nature of work of the officer, at these stages of their career.
3. Weeding out
Hota Committee (2004) recommended to weed out unsuitable candidates via performance review after 15 years of service
Hota Committee, 2004 recommended use of ICT to transform Government by making it more accessible, effective and accountable.
Committee on Prevention of Corruption (Santhanam Committee) suggested constitution of the Central Vigilance Commission
First ARC recommended establishment of Lok Pal & Lok Ayuktas to deal with complaints against Ministers & Secretaries at Centre & State level
Hota Committee recommended formulation of Code of Ethics for civil servants
6. Performance Appraisal
Surinder Nath Committee, 2003 recommended that performance appraisal should be done and only those who can demonstrate a credible record of actual performance and possess the necessary knowledge and skills required for higher responsibilities should be promoted.