Subject: It is High time for IAS officers to do introspection
Reference: Civil Servants have to shift from being controllers to facilitators and from being providers to enablers. (Prime Minister of India- April 2007)
Causes of various symptoms we see today lie deep in the governance system which has become so low that it can not cope with even minor issues like civic amenities forget about complexities of Law and Order, Security, Finance, Economic Sickness (Depression) etc.
Everything we see in India is an indication of their poor performance. Partly it could be attributed to sycophancy of political leaders’ ambivalent personality but largely it is due to their total non accountability and strange delight they take as a holder of little authority. The bureaucrats (IAS officers) who implement are mainly for the mess being created in urban and rural areas by grossly ignoring even the Constitution of India. IAS bureaucrats are now becoming paternalistic, cautious, negative and disrespectful to “WE” the sovereign People of India.
There is an urgent need for shock therapy before India is declared as a Failed State. World Development Report 2009 based on analysis made by Think Tank of (Fund for Peace) on 12 main indicators has rated India as 78th amongst the sustainability of the states i.e. very close to nearly Failed States like Mynmar (Burma), Bangladesh and Pakistan (rating 90 and above).
Bell has started ringing louder now. Before it makes us deaf please wake up. Think Globally Act Locally.
Views of some eminent people regarding IAS Officers are given below
(A) Prof R.K Mishra Dir of Inst of Public Enterprise says,
IAS Officers project themselves expert on every thing, their concern and focus on their own career is very high, are self opinionated, power hungry, shrewd and manipulative, procedure and rule focused, arrogant, inaccessible, judgmental, critical of others by concentrating minor details of others. They are very low on positive traits such as commitment to organization, trustworthy, risk taking, contentiousness, innovative ness and creativity. They are the lowest visionaries and considered to be no change agents and very poor at public policy, analysis and design.
(B) Fungal Growth of Departments
They have a tendency to create more Secretary level posts in the Centre and State governments. In 1774 there were 3 Secys, 4 in 1833 for Home. Defence, Finance and Foreign, 10 in 1919, 18 immediately after 1947, 54 Deptts in 1978, 70 in 1993. Then the practice of a number of Secretaries in some deptts started like Finance, Defence, Home etc. Thus there are now about 100 Secretaries in the Center and more than that in State governments. Total number of secretary level posts manned by IAS are far more than annual intake of direct IAS officers. Thus almost 100 % IAS officers reach this level when in other services it is less than 10 percent and for direct officers in Defence Services about 2%.
They know very well it suits political Leaders also to create more departments, more Districts, Division etc. Thus the expansion game goes on but with no Accountability and No compulsion to perform.
(C) This model was bequeathed to us by the British and was worth at one time. It has now become fetid upon coming in contact with our sectarian caste based and geocentric passions. In this rotting model no dynamism is left and has started stinking. In view of articles 308 -323 of the Constitution of India particularly 312, it is cumbersome to remove IAS officer from service and hence these jobs have become sinecure.
(D) To say it is sloppy, sluggish, and inefficient and therefore ineffective is underestimate. It is now giving the impression of functioning as inert, arbitrary, heavy handed often corrupt un-coordinated monolith (eminent Economist Pranab Burdhan). (page 164). IAS officers do not posses the quality of leadership skills, extensive specialist policy knowledge but also impeccable personal integrity. There self interest is not aligned to public self interest.
(E) India’s poverty is because of IAS officers and their ways” (Brezenski) he wrote more than a decade ago.
(F) IAS officers should master new technologies and new style of functioning and should become Agent of Change. (Prime Minister Manmohan Singh)
It is high time sovereign citizens of India should critically examine whether this service should continue or get modified by shedding its feudal aristocracy to suit our democracy or wound up before more harm is done to the country and India is declared as failed State.
Incidentally this kind of Administrative Service based on outdated Colonial Model, appointments/posts like SDM, DC, Collector, DRDA, Commissioner etc; no where exist in the developed democracies of the world as it is an outdated/obsolete concept.
An e-book on the science of good governance by an Ex IAS officer having 18 years administrative experience in India and 9 years in Australia is now available on Website http://bfn.sabhlokcity.com
The book is an eye opener for the mess IAS officers have created lately.