Is Bureaucracy is the biggest hurdle of our development?
- GS II-Role of Civil Services in a Democracy and good governance, GS IV Ethics, Personality test
- “Bureaucracy is the biggest hurdle of our development, and we must rectify it. I do not mean that bureaucracy has not made its contribution but at the same time it has to keep in mind that the world is changing very fast and we shall have to keep abreast of this change; adjust ourselves, adapt ourselves, make it flexible so that we can formulate and articulate our policy. No system in the world can function without the appropriate institutional mechanism.”………Sh. Pranab Mukherji
Bureaucracy / Civil Services-
- Part of the Permanent Executive.
- An Instrument of Economic Growth and Social Change
- Major force behind Formulation of Implementation of Policies
- Face of the Government, Representative of the State.
Need for Good Governance-
- “The success of development programs depends on the quality of public administration.”
- “They want immediate disposal of their grievances.” President Mukherjee
- To fulfil Hopes and Aspirations of the People given in the Premble of our Constitution.
The basic parameters of good governance are –
- Rule of law
- Participatory decision-making structure
- Transparency and Accountability
- Equity and Inclusiveness.
- The availability of information to the general public and clarity about the functioning of governmental institutions.
- Transparency enhances predictability as it helps government organizations to function more objectively.
Mukherjees Concern w.r.t. Civil Services
- Civil Services find ways on how to put obstructions, how to find out excuses and not to move.
- Mukherjee believed that a problematic aspect of our governance is “isolationism” and the bureaucratic system has adopted a system of thinking in silos.
- Apart from isolationism, there are more problems that mar the bureaucracy-
- Red-Tapism- excessive Rule Mindedness or Rule-Book Bureaucracy- Ignores the Spirit behind the law or policy, stick to the formal rules and regulation that is considered redundant and bureaucratic and hinders action or decision-making
- Lack of Professionalism- Job Security itself becomes a hurdle some times. Civil Servants are relaxed that they are going to stay.
- Their overall performance evaluation is not much of a concern for them as the consequences are not harsh enough.
- Generalist Approach- A Structural Issue- Again a hurdle –
- New challenges are emerging due to technological evolution (for example cyber security).
- Accordingly, demand for domain experts is also increasing at policy level.
Lack of Public Service Spirit-
- Biggest issue
- They have the answer to the ‘What’ and ‘How’, but they are not clear about their ‘Why’
- “The need to inculcate the spirit of public service in the civil services would be the most essential ingredient for better governance and growth of the nation”, said Mukherjee.
- Multi-pronged strategy.
- Steps are to be taken at various stages of governance and in multiple forms-
- Starting from recruitment stage, training and evaluation during job.
- Rationalize the services to reduce the over lapings.
- Lateral Entries need to be encouraged.
- Out-sourcing some of the services to privatesector for better service experience for the public. E.g. under the Bharat Gaurav scheme, Privately Run train has been flagged off from Coimbatore-to encourage tourism.
- Recruitment scheme designed to check Ethical and moral standards of the candidates and their willingness to learn.
- Should be a regular phenomenon for value addition
- To update the bureaucrats with emerging trends in technology and changing expectations of the society.
- Must include educational programs on Ethical and Moral aspects.
- Setting clearly defined goals for the civil servants.
- Incentivize them to achieve.
- Implement Smart Performance Appraisal Report Recording Online Window (SPARROW) at both central and state levels.
- Compulsory Retirement for under-performing officers.
- Political Bosses need to lead by example.
- Public participation.