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HomeOpinionIAS officers see tremendous growth in two areas: Ignorance and arrogance

IAS officers see tremendous growth in two areas: Ignorance and arrogance

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Most IAS officers end up as pen-pushers and cynics, with no faith in their contribution.

The Government of India (GoI) has decided to recruit 10 outstanding individuals from the open market with expertise in the areas of (i) revenue; (ii) financial services; (iii) economic affairs; (iv) agriculture, cooperation and farmers’ welfare; (v) road transport and highways; (vi) shipping; (vii) environment, forests and climate change; (viii) new and renewable energy; (ix) civil aviation; and (x) commerce.

Their initial appointment would be for three years and extendable up to five years depending upon their performance. They would work at the level of the joint secretary, a post normally occupied by the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) or central service officers. It is a crucial level of senior management in the GoI administration, as joint secretaries lead policymaking, design programmes, and monitor their implementation.

Game Changer?

There is an acute shortage of middle-level IAS officers with 18 to 25 years of seniority, as the annual recruitment to the IAS in the 1990s was curtailed to just about 60 to 70 as against the present recruitment of about 180 per batch. This was done under an illusion that the economic liberalisation would vastly reduce the need for central staffing. However, the reverse happened, as with enhanced revenues GoI expanded its role not only in the social sector, such as for the anti-poverty programmes, education, health, and tribal welfare, but also in many new emerging sectors such as telecommunications, information technology, climate change, and road transport.

Due to the overall shortage, most states are unwilling to release senior IAS officers for central deputation, leading to a bizarre situation where a railway traffic officer works as joint secretary, health, and an ordnance service employee finds himself in the Ministry of Tribal Affairs!

IAS Performance

Temporary shortages apart, the larger issue is: Have the IAS officers been found deficient in their role as policy advisers? Do these officers possess the necessary domain knowledge so essential for effective policymaking and delivery?

Despite initial competence and enthusiasm, the hard reality is that many civil servants in the course of the 30 years of their career lose much of their dynamism and innovativeness, and end up as mere pen-pushers and cynics, with no faith in their own contribution to public welfare.

The fatal failing of the Indian bureaucracy has been its low level of professional competence. The IAS officer spends more than half of their tenure on policy desks where domain knowledge is a vital prerequisite. However, quick transfers from one post to the other in many states dampen the desire to learn. In Uttar Pradesh (UP) the average tenure of an IAS officer in the last 10 years is said to be as low as six months. In the Indian Police Service (IPS) it is even lower, leading to the wisecrack that “if we are posted for weeks all we can do is to collect our weekly bribes”.

With this environment prevailing in many states, there is no incentive for a young civil servant to acquire knowledge or improve their skills. There is, thus, an exponential growth in both their ignorance and their arrogance. It is said that in the house of an IAS officer one would find only three books: the railway timetable, because they are always being shunted from one post to the other, a current affairs magazine because that is their level of interest, and of course, the civil list that describes the service hierarchy!

An important factor that contributes to the surrender of senior officers before political masters is the total lack of any market value and lack of alternative employment potential. Beyond government, they have no future, because their talents are so few. Most IAS officers, thus, end up as dead wood within a few years of joining the service and their genius lies only in manipulation and jockeying for positions within the government.

Credible Reporting

Though the IAS is failing on many fronts, here one would like to concentrate only on two issues that are exclusively under its domain: monitoring of programmes and flow of funds.

At present, officials at all levels spend a great deal of time in collecting and submitting information, but these are not used for taking corrective and remedial action or for analysis, but only for forwarding to a higher level, or for answering Parliament/assembly questions. Moreover, outcomes are hardly measured and the system gets away with inflated reporting.

There is great pressure on the field staff to spend the allotted funds, but not in terms of long-term results, because those are not monitored. Thus, financial planning is divorced from physical planning. Equally, state governments do not discourage reporting of inflated figures from the districts, which again renders monitoring ineffective. As data are often not verified or collected through independent sources, no action is taken against officers indulging in bogus reporting.

The practice is so widespread in all the states, presumably with the connivance of senior officers, that the overall percentage of severely malnourished (grade III and IV) children in the 0-3 age group according to the data reaching GoI from the states is only 2 per cent, as against 9.4 per cent reported by United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) in its survey. The field officials are, thus, able to escape from any sense of accountability for reducing malnutrition.

One district head, when confronted with this kind of bogus figures, told me that reporting correct data is “a high-risk and low-reward activity”!

Flow of Funds

Many state governments, especially the poor ones, are neither able to draw their entitled funds from the GoI, nor are they able to release these to the districts/villages in time, with the result that the GoI is often constrained to divert the unclaimed funds to better-performing states.

The reason for poor performance by Bihar, Odisha, UP, and Assam is often due to the widespread shortage of staff at all levels, adversely affecting implementation and supervision of programmes. Among the states, the record of Bihar is atrocious in using central funds. In the Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme alone, it lost about Rs 540 crore of central assistance during 1994-2005. Even salaries were not paid on time in Bihar in the pre-Nitish Kumar (currently the chief minister of the state) era.

The Inverted Pyramid

Coming back to the issue of lateral entry, the fear that the outsider joint secretary would be ideologically inclined to the present regime needs to be judged in the context of the mushrooming growth of “committed” bureaucracy (I would place their number as between 25 per cent and 50 per cent of the total, depending upon the state) that has taken place over the decades for a variety of reasons. The most important of these reasons being the cut-throat competition that exists in the IAS for important positions both at the state and central levels.

Due to the control that the IAS lobby exerts on the system, a large number of redundant posts in the super-time and superior scales have been created to ensure them quick promotions. Often a senior post has been split, thus diluting and diminishing the scale of responsibilities attached with the post. For instance, in UP, against the post of one chief secretary, there are 18 officers now in equivalent but far less important posts drawing the same salary. This inverted pyramid (too many people at the top and too few in the middle and lower rungs) has apparently been created to avoid demoralisation due to stagnation, but the net result has been just the opposite.

First, it leads to cut-throat competition within the service to grab the important slots. The old camaraderie has vanished. Second, this no-holds-barred competition is then exploited by politicians in playing up one against the other, leading to officers becoming more pliable. The lure of after-retirement sinecures further increases the number of those who would be willing to crawl when asked to bend.

However, getting only 10 joint secretaries from the open market is not enough to radically professionalise the civil service. The government needs to promote internal specialisation by insisting on stable tenure in the states so that there is incentive for the IAS to acquire expertise in their chosen sectors.

After the first 10 years of service, each IAS officer should be encouraged to specialise in one or two chosen sectors by not only giving them long tenures, but even permitting them to join academic or research organisations where they could improve their intellectual skills. The IAS officers should take the entry of 10 outsiders as a challenge because if they do not improve their performance, there could be repetition of such recruitment every year.

Summing up, one welcomes 10 experts from the open market, but professionalising the rest of the 390 joint secretaries requires greater attention. This needs wider administrative reforms by addressing issues of governance at the state and district levels.

The article was first published in the Economic & Political Weekly. This is an edited version of the article.

Naresh Chandra Saxena ( was posted at the IAS academy for eight years and trained several batches of the IAS. He retired as secretary, Planning Commission in 2002.

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  1. IAS Officers are no saints and a Railway traffic officer or an Ordnance officer can man any other department at J.S level. What is so great? One needs only common sense and ability to think twice, accept the sane advice and a knowledge of ground realities.

  2. Very good topic,the monopoli should be end for all the services . Any service which has monopoly in the society it shall be arrogant. So now the time has come that all the civil services like IAS,IRS,IFS,IFoS,IRTS,IRAS,IRPS,IDAS,IP&TAFS,ICAS,IPoS and other civil services though are recruited by csp (UPSC) exam, should merge and give a suitable name whatever like -Indian Civil Service/Indian Customer Service/indian civilian management service etc.otherwise no hope from present model of indian bureaucracy.The every cader of all civil services are vested and always involve the making imperialism among the caders or department.So they don’t have time,priority and devotion to people of india or nation.In present scenario Every Civil services cadre are trying to that his cader should be more n powerful than other.So every cadre choice is ” cadre first nation second “.this is the real picture of indian bureaucracy.Who will break this type of mindset. This is a big problem in our country,there is no hope to the nation from present type of bureaucracy. Solution is that 3 or 4 four all india services should be there,like (1) Indian Civil Services,(2)Indian Finance Service,(3)Indian Police Service (4) Indian Audit & Accounts Service . that is enough and no more services are required & all these services should be controlled(cadre controlling authority) by DoPT only.

  3. While many points raised by Dr. N. C. Saxena are worth considering, there are, I feel, other aspects also to be considered. For example, the core job of IAS is administration, why don’t they need to focus on it and develop knowledge and skills?
    Administration and in a larger context management is a general subject and an IAS officer should be able to handle in any ministry. What is basically required is broader understanding and separation of general and special tasks in a ministry and let specialist tasks be done by competent persons in that field.
    The other way of looking at is the example of USA where experts are picked direct. Nehru picked SK Dey for community development and Rajiv Gandhi picked Sam Pitroda, to name a few Indian examples also.
    It’s worth examining examples like DG ICAR as overall technical boss within MoA where Secretary looks after policy issues. Similar case one can find in MoEF&CC between DG Forests and Secretary.
    General Admn including long term planning, policy support etc should still form the framework of job of IAS under which technical heads could flourish and give their best in matters of domain issues.

  4. In these days of super specialisation the very highly educated IAS personnel yet lack expertise and grasp of super specialities like agriculture, defence, railways, information technology, space sciences etc. Hence specialists and technocrats from these should also be considered for lateral deployment in administrative post of that ministry as well advisory .

  5. The article has made a brilliant attempt to analyse the increasing deficiencies in a section of IAS officers occupying the most crucial positions in the administrative structures both in the central and state governments but the analysis is not altogether free from subjective aberrations. Professional incompetence, unwillingness to learn ,opportunism , lack of leadership quality ,greed and lack of integrity among a good number of IAS officers all over the country have definitely cast a shadow on the Indian Administrative Service as a structured administrative mechanism but the reasons for the decay need to be identified first. It is essentially a reflection of gradual degeneration of societal values that is inextricably linked to the new value system of the post liberalisation era. This can not be changed by any short term cosmetic initiative . A long drawn social and cultural movement can arrest this decaying value system. ! Now, the question is whether the Central Government’s efforts to import into the system outsiders at the level of Joint Secretary for improving its delivery mechanism is acceptable or not. I do not find any sound reason for such induction. The Central Government should better take long term initiatives to make qualitative improvement of the Civil Services, Central and State, in partnership with the State Government in keeping with true spirit of cooperative federalism for good governance besides insulating the political spectrum from the ills it is afflicted with.

  6. India’s bureaucracy is called its Steel Frame, but it is exactly that: Static, Opaque, Inflexible, Rusted, Obstructionist and Non-Performing. Often voted as one of the worst in the world, I am surprised why some people are adamant on defending the elitist cabal which has few achievement to write home about.
    A number of recommendations have been made to the Modi government on rejuvenating India’s governance machinery.Here is the 3-point action plan:
    1. Recruit not 180 but 1800 IAS officers every year – we have enough talent in this country. Every organisation should have at least 7-8 IAS officers rather than only one is well-educated officer at the top. Quality of government servants drops very sharply after the top and therefore execution lags behind rhetoric. At least two more layers of management below him should comprise of Industry experts and IAS officers.
    2. Allocate Sectoral cadres after 7-8 years of service. No animal husbandry expert shall run a transport company, and vice-versa. Clearly IAS need grass-root experience, but rural experience does not provide a blue print for urban planning. Case in point: Every city in the country is bursting at its seems with extremely bad civic infra.
    3. At this level post-sectoral allocation, recruit lateral experts in permanent roles. Our civil servants have become extremely socialist and sceptical in their thinking. Need private sector know-how to execute as well as trusting those who are not in government. Lateral entrants should have a 1-year rotation programme through divisional levels (much like Management Trainees).

  7. Excellent article. Gives a real insight and lots of scope for introspection to the powers that be. The writer needs to be complimented for his clarity and deep understanding .

  8. It’s really easy these days to pinpoint at civil servants. I really wish to know author’s view on the rot the wrecks in our politicians. The civil service aspirants of today come with dreams to transform the system & society for realising the dream of nation. It is the electorate which elects and sends political leaders. So instead of pinpointing at civil servants, it would be of great if author’s uses more of his knowledge on the misfortune that politicians bring. Peace.

  9. It is a correct analysis of the existing situation in the country.
    My worry is that we need more practising administrators in the field rather than in the secretariat. We need doers than policy makers.

    Politicians are playing havoc with the working style of IAS Officers.

  10. Most of IAS officers are corrupt, always chasing their career goals, good posting, post retirement engagement. They are arrogant they bow to politicians but behave like king for juniors and public. In fact there is no need of such service. Recruitment should be at one level and deserving ones should go ahead.

  11. Government of India should apply some changes in the recruitment policy of these civil servant.
    Once they qualify the exam and interview they have life time award.
    What happens in other countries like US, Japan, Germany and Australia etc.
    Government in these countries have the right to employ people from outside.
    Indian Government did the experiment during past “International Management Pool” was made and people were selected from the industry, services and financial sectors. The results was a serious clash between the IAS vurses Non- IAS. Naturally IAS was the winner with golden hands.
    The employer has to decide what is required for the benefits of the country. The present system require a major change in the entire recruitment process.

  12. The main agenda of and IAS or IPS officer or any Government Officers come in to the Government with a motive to serve the nation and for betterment of society but when they reach to that position then the Officer realizes that nothing can be done to this society as they are only the pawns of the system where as everything is decided and done by the So Called Minsters or Politicians of that state. And then now after serving or working under government only involves in preparing the reports and submitting the same in a mean while the knowledge gained during all the academics and studies through out his life vanishes in the time frame of 5 years after which the officer is fit for nothing other than preparing the reports and attending the meetings. and he reaches a stage where he can take a decisions on his own without the consent of ruling politician and cannot manage the pressure from Oppositions blame game and Public frustrations against the system.
    Then at that point and officer who is fit for nothing other than his current job and whose value in the corporate world would be about to Zero IQ then he decides to be better be Ignorant towards the system for his own betterment and safety because going beyond to the system might be dangerous to a officers health , wealth, career and Life of His and His entire family.
    Policies that brings goosebumps and Officer becoming an Heroic icons for Youth is only seen in movies but not in reality.

    So expecting the change in the work nature of Officers is not wrong but the whole System has to change staring from the roots and change shall come into all the state when a party like AAP will raise in all the states and the Change in the mindset of votes during the election of their leader be the Honest

  13. Dear Shri Saxena. If only the IAS would let go of their stranglehold on posts in the Central Staffing Scheme and condescend to allow “lesser mortals” from other services to enter and fill up these posts, this sort of a situation would not arise compelling the Govt to get experts from outside. The IAS should understand that the days of the generalist bureaucrat are passe’ and today the emphasis is on specialization. You talk condescendingly about persons from Indian Ordnance Factory Services working in the Ministry of Tribal Affairs or Indian Railway Traffic Service working in Health and this reflects the same mindset which needs to change. If an officer who has studied Pali Literature can work in the Department of Economic Affairs or Commerce only because he is from the IAS, would you speak about him or her in the same vein? I guess not.
    Please read the writing on the wall and be part of the process to reform the civil services. If you continue to harbour the same mindset then I am very sure that not just the IAS but the entire edifice of the Civil Service will come crumbling down and it wont be long before the Govt of the day hires professionals from the market to do the very job which the civil servants are doing now. Think about what I have posted with an open mind and dont allow your emotions about the IAS to cloud what would be your fine sense of balance and judgment which I am sure you possess.

    Suresh Kumar, IRS(C&IT)

  14. I have always been saying that IAS means Indian Arrrogant Service. This article vindicates my stand of last thirty years only when IAS officers become humble and practise servitude by responding to people which I seriously doubt they may become effective

  15. high time to thunk alternatives rather than sinply pushing ias people front always. mba people are better in policy majjng rather than ias people.

  16. Yes, they sit on their laurels(barring few), rarely try to view things beyond immediate vision and develop disgusting arrogance . glaring examples are some in odisha cadre and they boast to be the best.

  17. Can’t agree more with the statement that the Indian Civil Services have seen tremendous growth in ignorance and arrogance. But this is just a small part of the widespread national malady of a country where the entire education system is geared to producing “job-seekers”, not citizens. Add the growing political trends in the past half a century of power, control, corruption that’s fast moving the country towards dictatorship, the public in India can’t expect anything better. The so called lateral entry is just a gimmick because, lateral or otherwise, it is sourcing the people from the same pool.
    Unless there is a complete and radical change in the worldviews, value systems and attitudes of the masses it is impossible to bring about anything more than a (motivated) cosmetic change.
    And in order to bring such change the political and bureaucratic leadership have to be the example, the catalyst, which is a pipe dream in our context!

  18. Excellent article by Sri N C Sarena
    Is he the same NC Saxena topper of my 1964 batch? A brilliant welbehaved and upright officer
    A K Mitra IRS ( Customs and Central Excise)

  19. The earlier publication refered to was published on Home » Journal » Vol. 53, Issue No. 25, 23 Jun, 2018 » Has the IAS Failed the Nation? Again much later than his demise on 9th July 2017.

  20. Sir, Your article dates 16 July 2018 by Naresh Chandra Saxena, but he passed away on 9 July 2017. The reference to GoI’s decision to appoint outsiders as Civil Servants is a recent news. I am a bit intrigued by these facts — can you pleased expalin? Many thanks.

  21. For joint secretary and above level let again their will be competition between outsider and ias ,if ias are not suitable let them to be in field duty with equivalent pay promotion but never bring them to policy level, most of Indian bureaucrats are rot leaner having mastery over to play with words and manipulation , no talents.just like after every five year their physical and mental suitability for the post must be tested .

  22. Outsourcing has always brought about better service and management at much cheaper rates. They are also little online to bullying by anybody and everybody.. and biggest advantage is that they work on ‘Hire & Fire’ basis!! You don’t like? Fire him! You like? Let him continue and further improvise!

    Biggest question is that the people who are going to be replaced are the same who are going to hire them!!

    With due respect, ow is that going to be tackled Dear PM sir?

  23. Good article.Not following wrong order of concerned minister is a very difficult task for an I.A.S.officer.While doing so maximum punishment is transfer of that honest officer.Such mind blowing public discussion had come during a DD News,Shaniwar Charcha ,in 2008,where ex Cabinet Secretary late Sh T.S.R.Subramanium was main speaker along with other participating retired IASs,IPSs officers.One retired IAS officer with maximum transfer came with unique idea of “readymade available 1 suitcase,1 bedroll 24×7 in case of transfer within 24 hours for not obeying minister’s even “unlawful order.”Had even 20% IAS officers been of this honest calibre this latrel entry would not have been arisen.Besides this as per Indian mindset,IAS atmosphere is also likely to create problem for lateral entry non IAS personal bitter experience,that on contractual service for 5 years as retired Colonel I joined an I.TB.P. as a doctor.Just after months corrupt Commandant level and subordinate officers created situation where ?”resignation” was only solution for maintaining my “honesty,courage of conviction,integrity etc”

  24. Nice step taken by Govt to curtail arrogant white elephants. IAS get arrogance from the day join the service. It seems they are trained for such attitude. However, it is their right to be like this as they are representive of Britishers.

  25. Professionalising civil services will not happen until the politics gets professionalised….no matter how many lateral entry positions u bring in…..the working conditions ‘ll reduce these lateral entrants to mere file pushers……The politicians want status quo…..The Indian civil service ‘ll perform better if the service conditions gets delinked from political whims n fancies……Therefore the challenges in Indian civil services is complex and a simplistic solutions like lateral entry is likely to do more harm than any good.
    “Espousing lateral entry as a manna for tardy, unresponsive, ineffective & insensitive governance is a recipe of disaster”

  26. Ignorance, arrogance, intolerance and supremacy all are integrated to reflect in the administration by bureaucracy of India. Flattering for personal gain without any morality . Bypassing the efficient bureaucrat under the umbrella of minister is very common. The politicians use these brains dumping their moral ethics in dust bean. This can’t be ignored. Only IAS officers are not responsible , they must be given opportunity and freedom to give good governance.

  27. Great article
    This happens due to interference of politicians in burocracy. The lateral entry from experts from different backgrounds must be transperant.
    And it must be checked that there must be public oriented policy.

  28. I entirely agree with the write up. I hv been in government for38 years in different positions but most of IAS officers seldom contributed to new ideas. Theys have more often engaged themselves in improving English of the proposal or policy notes than thinking out the box. The new experiment of government to appoint joint Secretary from outside would be Very good as it would give good fight to entrentched bureaucracy. Such officers shud report to Secretary and minister in charge only otherwise the experiment is bound to fail. Each such joint Secretary shud be given the best and dedicated officers under him for accelerated implementation of the policy.

  29. That’s right. Somewhere in between they lose their appetite for performance; they search for cushy postings and quick money. And the people suffer, politicians make money.

  30. Dear sir after a long gap a truth is in black and white ,as I remember me mr n c sexena has served in Bihar cadre I a s officer seen lots of ups and downs the beaurocrates at present had lost their integrity and honesty and morality once famous as steel frame of India the supper power of independent India is an IAS cadre , only know to lick and kick??????? not interested in going to details,a long list will follow same hue and cry had began let’s wait for the betterment of people and the country with regards Alok ps

  31. Very unfortunate for India & it’s citizens.
    IAS officers can make their jobs extremely satisfying if they determine to change the stark ground realities But, Sadly, they do not exert/follow unethical practices?!
    Wonder Why?
    Money/perks are not the only things.

  32. The analysis by Mr Saxena has presumed that an IAS has most varied experience to be JS. An officer of other service is coming from same exam , from an IAS has come . There may be plethora of reasons for coming low in CSAT exam result. An IFoS officer gets higher cut off in CSAT prelims than other services. It is only a marker of getting selected in IAS that separates them. It in no way is final judgement of an officer’s creativity a d holding a senior post. Rather an IAS has only 6-7 year experience as SDO/DM after which he is mere pen pusher, with no ground contact as other services like Police, Revenue or Forest people have. So it is better for India that after ten years of service , all officers irrespective of their service brand be fit to hold senior posts , even secretaries in GOI.

  33. The columnist uses too wide a brush while assessing India’s steel frame. However, governance would be enriched by lateral entry, done in a fair and transparent manner, through the UPSC. Not many Montek Singh Ahluwalias and Vijay Kelkars or Rakesh Mohans are visible today in the ministry of finance.

  34. First of all the wastage of mid-level managers should be stopped as many of them are working in sectors like health, engineering education agriculture etc on the posts of professionals which are encroached by IAS in the greed of power just like politician who approves such encroachment in lieu of some illegal or unconstitutional acts

  35. Dear Sir,
    I am of the opinion that welfare country like ours doesn’t require IAS at all. May be specialists through compttn is need of hour. Regarding pliability, most of IAS, or more than 99 percent of IAS r mostly committed in most of the states in India. U can’t ensure durability, hence no need of specialists. In Odisha one of IAS was on tour to USA/Australia few yrs ago to attend a tourism conclave to sell Odisha, but mid-tour she was transferred to another Department. What was exigency? So had there been any specialists this would’ve any impact. Another is why IASs r on tour to abroad to learn what and implement what and when and how? Thus we don’t require one where no accountability can be fixed. I wonder is it a democracy or nation of bureaucracy? We need to scrap this nonsense system at its earliest.
    Plz save this country from this obsolete, colonial and cursed system if IAS. Plz induce lateral entry or direct recruit as specialists with respective domain knowledge. I startle as to why an official is fit for all job and how.Bogus idea; isn’t it.

  36. It is true that the Civil Service is losing its relevance gradually. Such a scenario is not at all due to the fault of the officers but for the government. The officers are being used for political reasons only. They are not updated barring a couple of training in their entire lifetime. There is no scope to work in the reputed private companies to understand its role and how it functions. When decisions are taken which if go wrong, the bureaucracy is not shielded from criminal prosecution. This dissuades them from taking any decision. This has reduced the top bureaucracy only as pen pushers.
    Undoubtedly, they have been the top brains of the country. They could be properly utilised. They should be trained regularly and protected.

  37. Unfortunate the IAS interest on learning come down they have become experts in BOSS SEVA PADHK not JANTA SEVAK that is the prime reason

  38. When the boss (politician) can be anyone like Narender modi how can any intelligent competent man expect to behave differently?

    • Pl let me know whether the intelligent and competent man worked more effectively between 2004&2013 during remote control rule,,?

  39. Great article !!!
    Would be happy to see an article on Indian Ministers have seen tremondous growth in two areas: Corruption and Irresposibilty

  40. It’s very pathetic that tenure of an is is 6 month n ips 3 months on an average..for nurturing talent stability is required.. peace of mind is required.. ferry Wala of an area can better understand and deal with public problem… poor ias

  41. Can’t say what is so blizzare in posting officers from different services as joint secretary. They have come from the same exams and at higher levels policy making, experience and man management matters. It’s projected as if IAS are gods and most and only suitable to be J.S. There are many examples of IAS being unsuccessful and officers from other service doing much better that IAS. Many issues have been still languishing for last 60-70 years due to non performance of IAS. It’s better officers from different central services should be only deputed to central staffing/ ministries and IAS should be limited to states and then a performance analysis be made about working of IAS and other services.

  42. Mr. Saxena deserves to be congratulated for expressing such forthright views on the subject of lateral entry into India’s much hallowed central civil services. It is completely unfair to suggest that anyone who comes in from outside will be more likely to be compromised simply because such an individual would be joining the Indian Government without having gone through the rigorous Union Civil Services examination.
    At the end of the day, succumbing to pressures depends on the make-up of the person concerned. People with proven credentials whose expertise are much sought after by employers of any kind (Governments/institutions/private companies/not-for-profit entities, etc.) are far better placed to say no with conviction to matters they find unacceptable. In conclusion, if the mere thought of having 10 lateral inductees into the Government could cause sleepless nights to some within the bureaucracy, may be the steel frame which claims to hold up the nation should introspect on whether it could do with some urgent refurbishing.
    (Disclaimer: I have not applied for lateral entry into the Government of India).

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