How to Retire the IAS, IPS and IRS

01/10/2017

This is the age of specialisation. From top to bottom, we need specialists, and specialists only. The archaic system of administration has gone past its use by date. Worse, the “new” entrants in the “central services” simply learn on the job at a huge cost to the country and its governance.

This general statement will find many takers but what stops everyone, is how will the country manage if these archaic services of generalists are disbanded. It’s simply not feasible, they say. True, if we don’t think it through, with a steely commitment to change.

This is not a treatise on the transition. Instead, it sets out a few principles that would guide a more detailed study.

  1. The first principle is to align all territory with the MP, MLA and Corporator, the basic units of Governance already operating all over the country. This alignment is important to fixing accountability.
  2. Depending upon the ‘level’ of the bureaucrat he reports to an MP, an MLA or a Corporator.
    1. E.g.. A JE in the power distribution company would be accountable to a Corporator.
    2. Whereas an Undersecretary would be accountable to an MP.
  3. Allow existing bureaucrats to “choose” their “specialisation” and join a pool of that “specialisation” – with some common sense criteria like a minimum number of years of service in that specialisation in their existing cadre.
  4. All appointments of functionaries under the political positions are co-terminus with the political position. i.e. The bureaucrat is ejected from the position at every election and joins the pool from which he came.
  5. The next elected official then gets to pick his or her chosen specialist in every position to be manned, at different levels, from the concerned pool.
  6. Bureaucrats who remain idle for more than 1 year are discharged from service. Suitable terms to be worked out pan-India.
  7. The specialists’ pools are pan-India and centrally administered, including those who are employed in utilities and support services.
  8. STOP the new recruitment for all services. Instead, conduct and publish central examinations for all specialities – and add those who qualify to the specialist pool lists, clearly earmarking them for junior jobs, to be eligible for choosing by the political hierarchy.
  9. The positions with the largest administrative responsibilities (some may be pan-India) are to be ‘attached’ to the higher political stations – State Cabinet, Ministers, Chief Ministers, Parliamentary Boards, Central Ministers, Cabinet and PMO.
  10. No position must be left that’s not accountable to a specific elected position. The politician in that position is accountable for any and all problems in that territory.
  11. MLAs will be accountable for all matters that spill over Wards managed by Corporators. Similarly, MPs will be accountable for all matters that spill across MLA Constituencies. And so on.
  12. The transition is carried out over a 1-2 year planned, phased out manner, state by state. All states must be complete before the inter-state transition can begin.

The allocation of funds collected must be aligned to the registered voting population of each territory and not at the discretion of any “authority”. It’s easy to design this!

I know this will immediately be termed infeasible. But if India is to be extricated from the rot set in over 65-70 years, there need for designing a system that places accountability unambiguously and immediately. The accountable person(s) are sacked automatically and on the spot by the system without any recourse!

There’s no free lunch. The ills of the past need some bitter medicine.

@jsvasan

 

Advertisements