An examination that draws in more than 7,50,000 aspirants and chooses just 0.15 per cent is certain to be the most competitive in the world. India’s civil services examination carefully selects the most fertile minds in order to turn them into ideal bureaucrats. This is not to say that those who do not write the exam, based on their choice, are less bright. However, the Peter Principle — the rise to higher levels of incompetence — applies to many employees. Thus, lateral exit, as well, is just as essential.
Many youthful IAS officers often fall prey to the inadequacy of the structure. Once inducted, postings and training seem to turn them into generalists rather than specialists. The training does not appear to focus on domain expertise and the knowledge required by jobs in today’s context.
Indeed, even in the times of the ICS, officers could choose a branch of administration after a time of administration, for example, the social area or financial matters, with the goal that they could practice and perform better. That practice has subsequent to been abrogated, the same number of feel an IAS officer should be a generalist.
Additionally, the confirmation of a protected vocation offers minimal motivation to civil servants to beat others, when advancements and postings are not really connected to legitimacy and capability.This is where complacency creeps in and leads potential performers into a slump.
Civil servants have constantly held positions in government and even outside, as in inter-governmental organisations (IGOs). But some positions require specialists. So, why not bring in talented people from outside who may offer expertise, as happens in IGOs? To fill this gap, the government established the Industrial Management Pool (IMP) in 1959. The IMP envisaged hiring talented private-sector executives to man high- and mid-level managerial posts. Notable individuals like P.L. Tandon, Lovraj Kumar and V. Krishnamurthy joined. But with “positions meant for them” at stake, bureaucrats ensured the burial of the IMP.After stand out contracting in 1959, the IMP arrived at a formal end in 1973.
There have been government commissions and reports advocating the lateral entry of specialists. The Sixth Pay Commission and Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) were unanimous on lateral entry. The ARC also recommended a paradigm shift from a career-based to a post-based approach to senior government jobs. It said that civil servants should compete with domain experts from outside for specific jobs. The ARC highlights that some good practices on performance appraisals may be adopted from the armed forces, which could aid in weeding out non-performers. In the armed forces, only 3 per cent of officers make it to the grade of brigadier and above — and promotions are based entirely on merit, which fuels excellence.
Australia, Belgium, New Zealand, the UK, the Netherlands and the US identify specific senior positions that are open to appointments from a wider pool of civil servants as well as private-sector executives with relevant domain experience. Lateral entrants bring their own work culture, and this enables renewal and adaptation in government organisations.
India is not new to lateral entry, and the advantages are there for all to see. The chief economic advisor to the Union government is generally a lateral entrant. There are illustrious examples of lateral entrants in administrative positions, such as Vijay Kelkar (finance and petroleum secretary), Montek Singh Ahluwalia (commerce and finance secretary) and Ram Vinay Shahi (ministry of power). In addition to domain knowledge, they had managerial skills and could get results in a government system.
Lateral entrants may not only bring specialised expertise, good practices and work culture, however they could likewise affect rivalry inside of the framework. At the point when common workers are made to contend with outside ability, the lazy disposition will reduce. So the possibilities of parallel passage will dependably impel general proficiency. In any case, the IAS anteroom assumes something else, which was reflected in the Civil Service Survey led in 2010. Fifty-four for each penny of officers (on a merged premise) were supportive of sidelong passage at the larger amounts. Be that as it may, IAS officers were less managable to the thought. Just 43 per cent agreed.
Transparency and accountability are two important factors that should not be underplayed in hiring lateral entrants. Discretion on lateral entry may pave the way to charges of being “politically motivated”, which may degrade the system. For this, the ARC recommended the establishment of a central civil services authority to deal with issues concerning lateral entries. But the body, which would have ensured a robust and accountable system of lateral entry, is yet to appear.
Civil servants should also be encouraged to move out and work for different sectors on a short-term basis to enrich their knowledge and enhance their motivation and efficiency. Therefore, lateral exit is as important as lateral entry.This can possibly raise the civil services from its slump.
Civil Services Examination