Mending The Frame – pattern of training, system of evaluation, of civil servants is debated

The Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India, has, according to press reports, issued instructions on the allocation of state and subjects to the entrants to the Indian Administrative Service. According to some, these have emerged from the Committee on Training and Recruitment of the Higher Civil Services’ (Alagh Committee), which submitted its report from a decade ago to the Union Public Service Commission, the recommendations of which have been largely implemented. This is a googly, for the issue is not the origin of the policy. Most observers believe that the steel frame, like the judiciary, has been irreparably dented by political interventions. For example, the civil service report had said an unusual transfer should require the minister to place on record the public interest for it. A joint secretary in Delhi complained to me that this meant her unblemished record had to be spoilt by the minister to transfer her.

By now it is common knowledge that unless the civil servant connives in finding ways of circumventing standard administrative stipulations or requirements and legal provisions, political parties of different hues keep them away from positions of authority. It is difficult to conceive an answer to this problem of who will guard the guards? A way out could be the establishment of a Public Surveillance Commission consisting of, say, a former chief justice of the Supreme Court, a former cabinet secretary, a former comptroller and auditor general and a distinguished journalist. This commission with no official status could provide a report which someday could be used by a government that believes in the rule of law.

The Committee on Training and Recruitment of the Higher Civil Services had the general approach that the Indian Administrative Services and other central services have to move over from the colonial conception. A higher civil service, which maintained law and order and, therefore, an understanding of a very general kind which required testing of general knowledge and Macaulay’s English, should give way to a more focussed approach to the problems of the 21st century. It had suggested a major reorientation towards the understanding of the need to protect the rights of individuals, the impact of technology, globalisation and changes in environment on local issues.

I examined this approach well finished a year with pioneers from various branches of Indian culture and the Committee had recommended that after their fundamental preparing, contestants to the higher common administration could show separated from the state framework, they would want to join the wide regions of specialization in which they might want to work. This would incorporate financial aspects and fund, inside security zones and the social administrations. This would cover, all around, the space of the common administrations like fund, monetary strategy, inside security, common and minorities’ rights, aside from guaranteeing protected arrangements on rights and commitments, the developing territories of the earth like air and water quality, contamination and so on. The advisory group likewise felt that these subjects would need to be comprehended with regards to the developing patterns of globalization.

The council had prescribed an existence time example of preparing and an arrangement of assessment which would incorporate, aside from inner reports, deliberately organized outside sources of info. As the report got into its usage stage, numerous basic remarks were caught wind of personal stakes hoping to twist its execution structure — like the story on exchanges.

A similar pattern is clearly occurring in the designation of students to various subjects and states. A well meaning proposition to empower expansive specialization in fields like inward security, social equality, monetary strategy and rising ecological issues is in effect clearly intentionally confounded to dispense common administration contestants particular offices and states relying upon the circumspection of the political foundations executing the framework. This was unquestionably not the aim of the proposed change. It is of some significance that the experts give a definite thinking in the light of the advisory group’s give an account of the strategies they are executing. To the best of my insight, the Report of the Committee on Training and Recruitment of the Higher Civil Services has not been printed, not at all like the prior Kothari Committee Report. Be that as it may, some overcome spirits had made it open on the web. A verbal confrontation in the light of the certainties is definitely called for in these basic regions.

Written by Yoginder K. Alagh

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