De­mol­ish­ing the dream of Sar­dar Pa­tel

Gfiles - - BRIC-A-BRAC -

LAT­ERAL hir­ing may sound like an ex­cit­ing con­cept, but it is a flawed one for sev­eral rea­sons. For one, it will de­stroy what it aims to re­build. One of the rea­sons for its ac­cep­tance is that it will al­low peo­ple with domain knowl­edge to par­tic­i­pate in gov­er­nance. What’s for­got­ten in such a logic is that, over the decades, gov­er­nance and pub­lic pol­icy have them­selves ac­quired the sta­tus of new do­mains. A pub­lic ser­vant now re­quires ex­pert knowl­edge in both these ar­eas. More im­por­tant, an ex­cel­lent doc­torto ca can no tot man­agea age AIIMS, S, ab bril­liantat en­gi­neer can­not ‘Make in In­dia’, and a lawyer can­not draft PPP con­tracts. acts. Two, the IAS struc­ture al­lows those in gov­er­nance to un­der­stand andnd mas­ter the unique fed­eral struc­ture of this coun­try. It en­ables the pub­lic ser­vant too re­alise the needs of the peo­ple at sev­er­all lev­els. As she starts from the dis­trict and works to­wards the cen­tre, she un­der­goes a bot­toms-up­toms-up ap­proach that helps her to al­ways putut the needs of the peo­ple be­fore any­thing else. Ann ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive pol­icy maker, be it a min­is­terin­is­ter or a civil ser­vant, should never for­getr­get it. Domain ex­perts may not even think along long these lines. What most pro­po­nentsro­po­nents fail to grasp is that the work­ings of the civil ser­vices is en­shrined in the Con­sti­tu­tion. Part XIV deals with “Ser­vices Un­der the Union and the States”. Ar­ti­cle 309 states, “Sub­ject to the pro­vi­sions of this Con­sti­tu­tion, Acts of the ap­pro­pri­ate Leg­is­la­ture may reg­u­late the re­cruit­ment, and con­di­tions of ser­vice of per­sons ap­pointed, to pub­lic ser­vices and posts in con­nec­tion with the af­fairs, of the Union or of any State.” Any change in the gov­er­nance struc­ture re­quires con­sti­tu­tional amend­ments, and can­not be done through ex­ec­u­tive or­ders. Lat­eral tal­ent will un­der­mine thee Co Cons ti tut ion.suo There are sev­eral other prob­lems wit with the con­cept. We talk about the cor­rup­tion and lack of tra trans­parency in the civil ser­vices. How­ever, out­siders, who are di­rectly hired by the gov­ern­ment, may be as cor cor­rupt. In ad­di­tion, such a process can eas­ily be­com be­come rot­ten, and lead to crony cap­i­tal­ism, pa­tron­age, and favouritism. Over the past decade, we de­bate de­bated on how to re­duce the gov­ern­ment’s dis­cre­tio dis­cre­tionary pow­ers. This will only en­hance them, and in are ar­eas where re­cruit­ments were meant to be co com­pletely trans­par­ent and merit-based. Aw wrong can­not be righted by an­other wrong. Like two wrongs don’t make a right. Prab­hat Ku­mar for­mer Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary and MG Dev as a ha Dev asa hay am a for­mer IAS of­fi­cer have de­bat de­bated the is­sue.

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