Monday, August 31, 2009

Personnel Administration Stuff - More quota candidates make it to civil services

The following article gives some points regarding reservation and can be used to build your arguments for or against the reservation. You can have any view but again you need to be balanced and diplomatic as long as you convey your message clearly with sufficient examples you should be ok.
More quota candidates make it to civil services
Recruitment trends of civil services show it could be time to take a fresh look at the quota system that accords favourable entry to candidates from the three reserved categories.
The Supreme Court has withheld its verdict in the civil services recruitment rules case. But the entry pattern of all-India and central services over the past three years shows the percentage of new bureaucrats from the reserved categories - Other Backward Classes  (OBC), Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) - exceeds that of general candidates.
The "backlog" of quota vacancies is one reason for this, but the pattern also establishes that a large number of OBC, SC and ST candidates have been consistently bagging high ranks on the merit list.
At present, 49.5 per cent of central government jobs are reserved for the three categories - 27, 15 and 7.5 per cent for OBCs, SCs and STs respectively.
But statistics show that while in 2008, as many as 384 (53 per cent) of the 720 entrants to the civil services belonged to the reserved categories, the figure in 2007 was 349 (55 per cent) of 635 selections by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). In 2006, the number was 246 (55 per cent) out of 451 recommendations.
The entry trend for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is more revealing. Of the 116 candidates recommended for the coveted service in 2008, 67 (58 per cent) came from the reserved pool. This number was 62 (56 per cent) in 2007 when 111 IAS appointments were made and 52 (58 per cent) the year before against 89 recommendations.
That reserved category candidates have been consistently performing well in UPSC's civil services exam is evident as 58 of the top 200 candidates in 2008 came from the three categories, while their number was an impressive 83 in 2007 and 63 the year before. In all three years, OBC candidates bagged the lion's share; their entry figure in top-200 was 43, 65 and 44 respectively for 2008, 2007 and 2006.
Official sources said it was an evident case of "upward mobility" by civil service aspirants from the three quota pools because of an improvement in education system and other logistical support available exclusively to them.
"But taking a relook requires a great deal of political will and the courage to call a spade a spade. Given the country's politico-electoral matrix, no government will dare to bell the cat," a senior official said.
A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court is yet to pronounce whether reserved category candidates selected on merit should be appointed against reserved posts or under general quota.
The apex court had earlier stayed a Madras High Court order that such candidates should be accommodated in the general list so that reserved category candidates get the maximum benefits.
The high court had nullified Section 16(2) of Civil Services Examination Rules, holding that it ran counter to the benefit of OBC, SC and ST candidates and was not affirmative in achieving social justice.
The rule provides for migration from one service to another based on a candidate's option and preference.
The government contended that it could be done only if reserved category candidates forego the benefit of getting a more preferred service, an advantage they can avail of by using their reserved status. The government also cited Supreme Court judgments which say that the quantum of reservation should not exceed 50 per cent.
"Till a few years ago, the reserved vacancies were not being filled as there weren't enough candidates who qualified for the civil service jobs. Now the situation has changed. The government's directions to fill the backlog have also changed the entry pattern," an official said.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Generalists Vs Specialists

One of the long fought war between civil servants is of Generalist Vs specialist Debate - who is better.Appointing Generalist IAS to a job which really requires a specialists ability is an irking factor for many civil servants ..for example IAS officer heading revenue services when senior most IRS officers are available to do the job. There are many points which supports Generalists as well as specialists. While writing answer in mains it is very important to maintain the balance between the same. If the job is of highest importance say atomic / nuclear related and of defense related then obviously the job calls for a specialist not a generalist. However if the job requires the person need to have a good over all understanding of the circumstances then it calls for a generalist. 

While writing answers it is very important to give examples to support your answers. In these articles you need to select the appropriate examples and put it in a diplomatic way.

The following article gives some stuffs in this direction  ,please make a note of highlighted points.


Latha Jishnu: The IAS grabs the patent office too

India’s patents office, or the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks to give its full title, was one of those dreary government departments, badly-equipped and poorly-staffed, its decrepit state of little interest to officialdom — or to the media — till January 1, 2005. That’s when India introduced product patents on pharmaceuticals, food and chemicals under its World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations. Things had to change because the big boys of the global pharmaceutical and chemical industries were descending on this country to seek marketing rights and patent protection along with our home-grown drugs industry

So the shabby offices of the patent controller — there are four in all — became the focus of much attention and, of course, controversy. The biggest problem was that the offices were neither digitised nor linked online till even last year. Then there was the shortage of qualified examiners and controllers although Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath, under whose ministry the Controller General of Patents (CGP) functions, was assuring us that we had a state-of-the-art patent office. Along the way, another, almost inevitable, problem has cropped up: The whiff of corruption. Some of the offices were showing a tendency to approve patents without going through the due processes and favouring the foreign patent holder even in cases where patents were barred by a special section of the Indian Patent Act. So things were a bit messy, but par for the course of government functioning.

Now comes the news that a career bureaucrat has been appointed the CGP, marking a sharp break with tradition. The new boss is from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and not a specialist. P H Kurian, the 50-year-old civil servant with a post-graduate degree in chemistry, was last with the industries department of Kerala, after going through the bureaucratic mill in Orissa and Kerala.

So one more office of significance has fallen to the IAS, which is notorious for grabbing posts that have traditionally belonged to the specialist and for undermining the independence of technically superior organisations. Take one example, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), the apex regulatory body for the power sector. With help from their political bosses, the IAS lobby gradually emasculated the CEA and finally made it an appendage of the power ministry in 1998. This was soon after IAS officials had begun to replace engineers as the heads of the state electricity boards which were going to wrack and ruin. That was not a reflection of the competence and efficiency of the engineers, all risen from the ranks, who were heading the utilities but was a result of the political meddling.

Is the appointment of an IAS man a good thing for the patent office which is clearly in need of an overhaul? But so is the vast machinery of the Government of India which has the very same babus at the senior level. Will this be yet another case of the IAS being allowed to spread its grasping tentacles further without any thought for the outcome? Some patent analysts are clearly delighted with the development merely because it marks a change, which they believe is for the better. Perhaps the change at the head may help to overcome the primary problems of the patent office: A gross shortage of examiners and infrastructure. Would a generalist be able to run an organisation that is manned entirely by technical and legal experts? Perhaps.

Interestingly, the appointment of a bureaucrat as CGP coincides with a public scrutiny of the IAS official’s competence to hold specialised posts. Pushing this inquiry is well-known campaigner for transparency in governance, Arvind Kejriwal, a Magsaysay award winner, who is seeking information on all senior bureaucratic appointees to find out if these met the norms of ‘specific suitability’ as per central government regulations. Since the candidates are drawn mainly from the generalist stream, Kejriwal wants to find out how the government met the norms in appointments at the level of secretary and additional secretary. The CGP post, it appears, is of joint secretary level, which might exclude it from Kejriwal’s prying eyes.

But if one were to go by practices elsewhere, then the CGP clearly needs some expert muscle to beef up his administrative arm. The US, for example, and I cite the US because it provides the inspiration and direction to the Manmohan Singh government on most matters, seeks formidable qualifications from the person who heads the US Patents & Trademarks Office (USPTO). The director usually has a background in different specialisations (science, law and finance) and is an official who has worked closely on intellectual property issues.

The new acting head of the USPTO is John J Doll, who has been with the patent office since 1974. He is a man who has risen from the ranks and has been given numerous awards for developing patenting tools. His expertise is trusted. Do we have no one of this calibre?

Personnel Administration - Stuff - Pressure on IAS officers

Dear All , 

Once inducted to civil services one of the most important things to learn is to cope up with pressure from political heads - to something which you thing is not right but compelled to do. Especially in the coalition regimes that will be common in future .The following story gives the same reason for mass resign of IAS officers. We can use this one point in the mains answer which requires to analyse the problems faced by civil servants


(News obtained from pakistan's website)

12 Indian bureaucrats resign

NEW DELHI: A major crisis has hit the Indian bureaucracy after a dozen senior Indian Administrative Service officers have resigned from service.

Most of them joined service in 1979 and were all likely to be promoted as additional secretaries by mid-June. From various state cadres, the officers include Sandeep Madan, Rajiv Krishnaswami, Vivek Srivastava, Pradeep Puri, Debi Prasad Patra, Vijay Laxmi, Padmini Desikachar, D Prakash, Mukesh Kackar ,Sanjay Kaul and OP Agrawal.

Sources in the Department of Personnel said their requests for taking premature retirements were under consideration. They said the cabinet secretary (CS) had called some of the officers to know the reason behind their resignations.

Reportedly, one of the officers said he was sick of the political pressure, interference in decision-making since the coalition government came into power.

Another officer has written to the CS that he had resigned, because a union minister had threatened him with dire consequences. 

( Now please dont ask me why it took almost 30 years for these officers to realise that there is political pressure :-) )

Personnel Administration - Stuff - Fresh Faces In Government

Dear All ,

The following is one more article related to personnel Administration gives a perspective of lateral recruitment and some sort appraisal mechanism for govt servants.



Fresh faces in government

It is time to review the notion that public policy roles must be a monopoly of career bureaucrats.The most interesting comment about Nandan Nilekani’s appointment last month as chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India was posted by an anonymous but self-declared civil servant on the Web, who said: “It’s amazing that (the) government could not find a single competent IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer to head this authority. Mr Nilekani will soon discover that government is different from business.” This antibiotic reaction against lateral entrants is not new; it echoes the recoil by teachers against education entrepreneurs, pharmaceutical company lifers against non-scientist CEOs,tech-lifers against nonengineer leaders, and NGO types against private sector migrants.But the arguments for lateral entry into public policy— contrary to public perception—are not about injecting competence or rooting out corruption; they involve diversity and performance management.The competence argument is shallow because many career bureaucrats have strong IQs and sharply developed emotional intelligence—it would be ludicrous to suggest they don’t, while their private sector counterparts do. And the corruption argument falls flat because many private sector Indian fortunes have been made by regulatory capture; it’s even arguable whether India’s poverty would be substantially lower without corruption.

First, let’s consider diversity.Just as French leader Georges Clemenceau said that war is too important to be left to generals—and Kapil Sibal is proving that education is too important to be left to teachers—public policy is too complex to be restricted to people with no other experience. The upsides of diversity are well documented: The book Organizing Genius by Warren Bennis finds that “great groups” have lots of diversity.Indian policy debates polarize between two extremes: totalizing a problem (give me a policy that works for 500 million people because individual small projects don’t move the needle), or micro-fragmenting it (give me a project or centre of excellence for 30 people because policies are hard to implement in a democracy).

Lateral entry means diversity and performance management: the right person in the right job at the right time But India’s solutions lie at the intersection between strategy and execution; creation and preservation; and people and processes.While no individual can possibly have all those abilities, organizational  capabilities are unlike height or shoe size (something that can’t be changed), but are more like muscles (that can be built up), and acquired by putting together teams. Public policy diversity leading to effectiveness has strong historical precedent in India; Akbar (who had Tansen, Man Singh, Todar Mal, Birbal and so on) and Ranjit Singh (who had Zorawar Singh, Hari Singh Nalwa, Fakeer Azizuddin and Dina Nath) were two great leaders who accomplished the rare combination of big dreams and flawless execution because of deep and diverse meritocracies hired from outside. 

Second, there’s performance management. Promotions in Indian bureaucracy are based on objective but ineffective criteria such as a civil servant’s year of joining. I argued with my “1964” civil servant father for years about the insanity of such a “line”, but gave up when he explained that, all other things being equal, the promotion within a batch went to whosoever had a higher rank in the qualifying exam taken more than three decades ago! We need to instil a “fear of falling” or “hope of rising” within the bureaucracy: This will happen not just with tweaking the seniority criterion, but could also arise from outside competition for top policy slots. Obviously, we need to find a balance between the US system (where about 4,000 people are appointed by every new president) and where India is today (where outside appointments to influential and non-ceremonial roles are probably fewer than 20). Public policy education has not taken off in India because of the lack of an entry ramp into real policy action; even the small window that got us  Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and finance commission chairman Vijay Kelkar is now closed.This is not a rant against career service bureaucrats: To be sure,they provide the continuity and memory needed to balance change.

They service difficult bosses who have temporary jobs. And any thinking about fixing public policy human capital has to include politicians, because there is some truth in the cynical comment that the only highways to get ahead in Indian politics are either genetic or geriatric. The problem is complex but, as Lant Pritchett at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government says, the Indian state’s inability to deliver outcomes ranks as one of the world’s top 10 biggest problems — right up there with AIDS and climate change.Getting the right person in the right job at the right time is half the battle. Even cynics agree that Nilekani’s appointment is joint testimony to his capabilities and this  government’s courage.Now that Nilekani has actually begun his job, many people are curious about his long-term plans. But does it matter if lateral entrants into public policy are like the Roman general Cincinnatus—who was summoned from his farm to deal with an enemy attack, but returned to the plough once his duty was done—or, like Manmohan Singh, who stayed the course and rose to bigger things? No, because both outcomes leave India less poor and more just.

Personnel Administration - Stuff

This section is for your mains answer writing. Select some key stuffs from here and make your own notes. This should help for the main exam.


The following article is in indiatoday and is available at the link

IFS regaining lost edge with toppers
The Indian Foreign Service (IFS) hasn't been able to win back the popularity it  used to enjoy with civil service recruits in the past, but the diplomatic corps is steadily turning into a preferred option of many UPSC top-rankers.
The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) continues to be the hot favourite of  the bureaucrats-to-be but the IFS has definitely stolen a march over Indian Police Service (IPS) and the revenue services. In the past four years, the first candidate to opt for the IFS has always been ranked above the first to join the IPS or a revenue service.
Recruitment trends of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which  conducts the civil services exam every year, show that in the past four years, an average 10 out of the top 100 rankers opted for a career in diplomacy, preferring it even over the IAS. By Ashish Sinha in New Delhi
Although annual vacancies in the IFS are only around 20, in 2008 there were  25 diplomatic jobs up for grabs by those who cracked the civil services exams and the first slot was taken by a woman. The year 2008 was a significant break also because as many as 13 IFS officers were from the top 100 bracket and as many as eight women opted for the service.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the IFS used to be the first choice of the UPSC toppers.It was extremely difficult to join the diplomatic service for a candidate who was not among the top 20. In the later years, especially after the practice of rejecting candidates only on the basis of personal interview was done away with, the IAS became more popular.
"There was a marked decline in the popularity of the IFS. Possibly it was a result of a change in the perception of the diplomatic service. But I was surprised to note that good rank holders preferred the revenue services over the IFS," said former foreign secretary Lalit Mansingh, who had joined the IFS in 1963.
There is also an increase in the number of women with good ranks opting for the foreign service. In the four years from 2005 to 2008, as many as 24 (or 29 per cent) of the total 84 recruits in IFS were women, a marked improvement over the past.
While it is a matter of personal choice of the candidates, the low popularity of IFS in the past decades also indicates the reasons why the youth wants to join the civil services at all.
"It is felt that IAS officers enjoy a lot of power in a purely societal sense. Diplomacy, on the other hand, is more about finesse. An IFS officer has to spend a lot of time outside the country and many people do not find that attractive enough," a senior IAS officer, who was ranked in the top five in his batch, said.
But Mansingh, who has also served as an expert on the UPSC's board, said "financial preferences" could also have made other services more popular than the IFS. "In our days, IFS was the service that people wanted to join. It was highly coveted also because most of the top rankers came from upper-class public school background. But even now the quality of recruits is very good," he said.
While there has been a definite democratisation of educational background of those joining the IFS, most of the recruits are still from the metros and state capitals. Only 27 of the 84 entrants during the past four years came from small towns or villages.
The shrinking of the world because of new technologies appears to be another reason for the rising popularity of the foreign service.Diplomacy is a highly specialised career now with immense focus on economic relations between nations.
This, experts said, draws a lot of well informed youths towards the IFS.

Friday, August 28, 2009

General Stuff - Internal instability is India's worst threat

The source where I am taking this article -

The article gives general idea and the heading itself is a catchy one and gives reality , rather than outsiders India is spending half the security resources on Internal problems , naxalism , problem of Kashmir , cast wars , regionalism, North East , etc ...the following article is just one face of many problems.


Internal instability is India's worst threat

Geneva, Switzerland — Seven-year-old Juni Kumari was found missing from her house in Ghagni village in India’s Bihar state on Aug. 12. Three days later her body, with head shaven and sandalwood paste on her forehead, was found abandoned in a sugarcane field near her village.

Finding her daughter murdered, Juni’s mother filed a complaint with the local police. Investigations revealed that the girl was a victim of human sacrifice conducted by some Hindu priests in the village. The police reportedly arrested a priest, the prime suspect in the case.
On Aug. 17, in Ahmedabad district of Gujarat state, Muslim and Hindu communities started an armed riot over the petty issue of a religious procession passing by a Muslim school. The police had to resort to firing guns to disperse the fighting mob, which in a matter of hours destroyed buildings and looted properties and business establishments.
On July 23, in a fabricated “encounter” – an incident in which police intentionally shoot a suspect or accused person under the guise of self-defense – police commandos in the city of Imphal, capital of Manipur state, killed Chungkham Sanjit, a 27-year-old youth. In the same incident a woman, seven months pregnant, was killed, while five other civilians were seriously injured.
Justifying this atrocious incident in the state legislature later that day, Chief Minister of Manipur Okram Ibobi Singh informed the state and fellow legislators that terrorism in the state could only be controlled by firm police action. In a single statement Singh not only justified the irresponsible police action, but also declared the two innocent civilians killed were terrorists, denying their families even a simple apology.

Despite the many internal threats like those cited above, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his Independence Day address to the nation on Aug. 15 said, "Terrorism and border infiltration from the neighboring countries is the greatest threat the nation faces."

External threats have been and will remain a threat to India's internal security. However, such threats are not unique to India or for that matter to any particular state. Threats from outside the nation's borders gain seriousness in a country where internal stability is weak.
It is similar to the human condition; a person becomes more vulnerable to infection when his or her internal defensive mechanism is compromised. In such a condition, any sensible physician would first attend to the patient's immune system rather than focusing on removing external pathogens over which neither the patient nor the physician have much control.

The prime minister of India plays a role similar to that of a physician. If the focus is merely on external threats over which the country or its government has no effective control, it cannot improve the country's security.

The biggest threat to India's internal security is its own law enforcement agencies. Atrocious acts involving serious violations of policing standards – like what happened in Imphal – have isolated law enforcement agencies from the people. A law enforcement agency that lacks the support and confidence of the people can neither enforce the law nor be of any help to them.
There is no legislative or normative framework in the country to control its law enforcement agencies. Accountability and transparency are unheard of within India’s law enforcement community. Officers are notorious for corruption and the use of arbitrary force on suspects rather than seeking real solutions to crime.

In India, the use of torture and the practice of extrajudicial execution are so rampant among the police that the term “law enforcement” has become a misnomer when referring to them. But neither politicians like Singh nor other policymakers in India are interested in addressing this issue. Instead, the rhetoric is about threats from outside the country.

In reality, focusing on external security threats is like placing a scarecrow in a paddy field where worms left unattended have already eaten the grain.

Police Administration - India's police: Worse than criminals

When we want to find the mistake - we need to see things from distance . So here is one article selected from web - the author is hongkong based person. Though we may not agree everything he is saying but we can get some points for mains answer writing in critique Indian police.Though the words used here cant be replicated exactly because the author has used strong words which cant be written in a competitive examination, we need juggle with diplomatic words.



(Source of the article

Describing policing in India does not call for any positive superlatives. The police force is a state entity that is criticized and often treated with contempt. Corruption, ineptitude and the use of arbitrary force are some of its features. Yet in times of extreme necessity it has tried to deliver results. The Mumbai terror attacks are the latest example.

The Indian police, like many other government institutions, are a product of colonial times. Indians are indebted to the British for many state-run establishments like the railways, postal services and even the basic administrative framework that runs this diverse country. Most of these state institutions have accommodated change and undergone drastic restructuring. Yet the state of affairs within the police force has seen little change in the past 62 years.

It is true that the colonial police were far different in appearance from current policemen. But changes in policing have been largely cosmetic. New uniforms are not real change. The administrative principles and philosophy behind the police force in India are still tainted with distrust – by superior officers of those of lower rank, and by ordinary people of the police, and vice versa.

This lack of change is intentional. Politicians who ruled the country for the past six decades and more at no point wanted a police service independent of political interference. So they successfully retained the system whereby police services were subjugated to the political authority of the ruling elite or political parties. While superior officers were rewarded for their political allegiances, lower rank officers were left at the mercy of their superiors.
Corruption, nepotism and the use of brute force are inherent evils within the policing system, irrespective of the political color and ideology of the ruling government. The police are primarily used for social control. It is therefore natural that criminal investigations are given the lowest priority. This is a sentiment dating back to colonial times and is reflected in the current infrastructural deficit in the police services.

Most police officers lack investigative tools and training. Yet they are provided with combat weapons to control people. Police training at the constabulary level is focused on mob control while criminal investigation is ignored. Police officers below the rank of superintendent do not even know the basic legal framework of the criminal law, and no regular academic training is provided for these officers.

In such an environment, criminal investigations are conducted with brute force at the whim of the investigating officer. It is a common story that unless there is political pressure or incentives driven by bribes, police officers refuse to investigate crimes. Those that are investigated begin and end with a confession. Most investigations result in acquittals in a court of law.

Over the past several years there have been several attempts to address the problems within the police service. The National Human Rights Commission, the Supreme Court and its subordinate courts as well as the civil society have spearheaded most such efforts.
Unfortunately, India does not have a functioning National Police Commission. One that came into existence in 1977 was smothered out of life by May 1981 and the government largely ignored its reports – eight in number.

Yet in the past 10 years the Supreme Court of India and the National Human Rights Commission have come up with several recommendations and directives aimed at addressing the blatant violations of law practiced by the police and delinking the police from the claws of corrupt politicians.

Of particular importance are the judgments delivered by the Supreme Court condemning the use of torture and the general disregard for the law within the police ranks. The jurisprudence laid down by the court in a series of judgments from the Nandini Satpati case to the Prakash Singh case, dealt with various facets of policing from torture to criminal investigations to delinking politics and the police. The National Human Rights Commission also tried to do its bit by recommending government measures to reduce abuse of power by the police.

All the recommendations fell upon deaf ears when it came to policymakers, who continuously ignored the valuable suggestions aimed at ironing out the creases of one of the primary institutions of the country. The union government could do little to control the police, as they were under the authority of state governments in the constitutional framework.

As of today, the state of affairs in the Indian police force is deplorable and condemnable to the core. The police force is considered synonymous with corruption and criminality. Yet there is hardly any sensible discussion in the country about the role the defunct Indian police play in undermining democracy and democratic norms.

Still one cannot say there have been no attempts at reform. Unfortunately, suggestions for reforms were usually made by jurists and academics who could prepare reports at short notice to suit the whims of the governments that appointed them. Their recommendations reflected the spineless character of their authors.

Administrative Reforms Under New Public Management

The following article talks about administrative development around the world.Readers are advised note the highlighted part which can be incorporated in the answer writing - especially for the first chapter in the upsc public administration syllabus - evolution of public administration.

By the mid of 1980s, most of the western countries and their administrative structures felt the impact of reform agenda of New Public Management. The circumstances for new reforms were ripe as they needed public sector cut-backs, limiting public expenditure, and improving productivity, efficiency and economy. The reforms were implemented in various western countries mainly, the U.S., the U.K., New Zealand, Australia etc.
In the U.K. a fundamental transformation of administrative system was initiated since 1979 under the Thatcher government. Through a mechanism called 'Prior option Review' the activities of various departments were examined in terms of their efficiency, viability or utility. The major administrative reforms in the U.K. include:

  1. Under the Financial Management Initiative, measures were taken for financial delegation through cost-analysis.In tune with the requirement of multiple service agencies, new executive agencies called Next Step Agencies were established for discharge of a specific set of activities in a business like manner.

  2. In 1991, the scheme of 'Citizens' Charter' was introduced which insisted on public agencies to frame, publish and achieve clearly defined service standards.
  3. Contracting out of certain public services such as street cleaning, garbage collection was introduced in 1992.
In the USA, the reform agenda of New Public Management was introduced on the basis of AI-Gore Report 1993 under National Performance Review, NPM. The Report, which included the basic principles of Entrepreneurial government, advocated by David Osborne and Ted Gaebler, was entitled as "From Red Tap Results: Creating Government that works better and costs less." The purpose of these reforms was to evolve an administration culture and practice which was performance based, customer-oriented with due emphasis on cost-effectiveness.
In brief the major reforms in the U.S. included:

(1) Cutting Red Tape through decentralisation, doing away with unnecessary rules and streamlining budgetary process;
(2) Customer-orientation through dismantling government monopolies, adopting marketing mechanism and empowering customers to hear their voice;
(3) Empowering Employees for getting better results through training, responsibility and better work environment; and
(4) Returning to the basics or core activities of the government, which should be performed in a cost-effective manner. Government would eliminate unnecessary tasks and activities."
In Australia the purpose and direction of New Public Management Reforms was to reduce the activities of State and adoption of market mechanism for provision of public services.
In New Zealand, the major reforms initiated under New Public Management i
nclude corporatization of government commercial enterprises, contractual relation ship between the government and public servants to ensure better accountability, performance-orientation and customer service-orientation. 
Though economic and social conditions in India were different from those prevailing in Western countries, it could not escape the impact of globalization, liberalization and privatization. Accordingly some of the reform measures of New Public Management were initiated in India after 1991 in order to bring efficiency and responsiveness in government activities.
Thus, the economy was deregulated and liberalized in selective manner, private agencies were encouraged in certain activities, measures were taken to cut unnecessary government expenditure, use of information and technology was encouraged in public administration,
Right to Information Act was passed in 2005 to bring transparency and responsiveness, participation of citizens groups and non-governmental organizations in administrative process was initiated in certain State governments; devolution of authority was implemented through revamped local - 'self government institutions and in some states or departments, the instrument of citizens charter' was also enforced.

PM addresses the XVII Biennial Conference of CBI and State Anti-Corruption Bureau

Article has been taken from PIB website. Make a note of the important highlighted stuff. You might be wondering how this is related to pubad topic !!!!???? Ok here it goes , in the syllabus we have separate sub-heading 'corruption' ...the topics discussed in this conference makes invaluable resources for answer writing on corruption. The key things to be observed are -

Types of corruption
Can it be contained?
Why currently it is not controlled?
What is civil servants ( that is administrative head) and what is politicians ( i.e political head ) role in containing the corruption needs to be emphasised


The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, gave away the President’s Police Medals for meritorious services for the best investigating officers at the XVII Biennial Conference of CBI and State Anti-Corruption Bureaux in New Delhi today. Following is the text of the Prime Minister’s address on the occasion:

“I am very happy to be in your midst here today. Let me begin by greeting and congratulating today’s recipients of the President’s Police Medal for meritorious services. I hope they will continue to excel professionally and be an example, a resource of inspiration for other officers to follow in their footsteps.

This year’s biennial conference will deliberate upon a very important issue - that of corruption in our public life. The urgent need to combat this menace cannot be over emphasized. Corruption distorts the rule of law and weakens institutions of governance. It hurts our economic growth in a variety of ways, apart from hindering our efforts to build a just, fair and equitable society. Important projects, which have huge externalities for growth, do not get implemented in time, and when they do get finished, they are often of a poor quality. Inflated project costs consume scarce national resources which could have been better used in other important areas in the service of our people. The poor are disproportionately hurt because of corruption. We have some of the most ambitious and wide ranging programmes in place today to help the poor and the marginalised sections of our society. But, there is a constant refrain in public discourse that much of what the government provides never reaches the intended beneficiaries – whether it is subsidized foodgrains for the poor, loans, fertilizers or seeds on concessional terms for small and marginal farmers or the benefit of employment programmes for the under employed and unemployed. This should be a matter of serious concern for all of us collectively.

The world respects India’s democracy, our plural and secular values, our independent judiciary and a free press, our commitment to freedom and peace and our pursuit of equitable and inclusive growth. But pervasive corruption in our country tarnishes our image to an important extent. It also discourages investors, who expect fair treatment and transparent dealings when dealing with public authorities. As the country grows and integrates with the world economy, corruption continues to be an impediment to harnessing the best of technology and investable resources.

The malaise of corruption, so sapping our efforts to march ahead as a nation, should be treated immediately and effectively. And all of you present here today can contribute substantially in this war against corruption. Indeed, you are in many ways in a privileged position to do so.

There is of course no single remedy for fighting the menace of corruption. The battle against it has to be fought at many levels. The design of development programmes should provide for more transparency and accountability. Systems and procedures which are opaque, complicated, centralized and discretionary are a fertile breeding ground for the evil of corruption. They should be made more transparent, simpler, decentralized and less discretionary. The Second Administrative Reforms Commission has given a wide range of recommendations in this regard in its report on ‘Ethics in Governance. I am told that these have been examined in great detail and it should be soon possible to take a decision on many of these recommendations of the Administrative Reforms Commission. 

While systemic improvement is a long term goal, one cannot wait for it to happen. Our anti corruption agencies must make the cost of corruption unacceptably high for those indulging in this evil practice. There should be clear focus on corruption prone areas and individuals so that the available national resources for anti corruption efforts are not dissipated.
High-level corruption should be pursued aggressively. There is a pervasive feeling today in our country that while petty cases get tackled quickly, the big fish often escape punishment. This has to change. Rapid, fair and accurate investigation of allegations of corruption in high places should remain your utmost priority. The nation expects you to act firmly, swiftly and without fear or favour. And you have the constitutional and legal protection and safeguards to do so.

The ever evolving levels of sophistication and complexity in different cases of corruption present no doubt special challenges for our enforcement agencies. The need is to stay one step ahead of the corrupt. For this, acquisition of new skills, through intensive and regular training, is an absolute pre-requisite. I hope all the agencies present here have already put in place a system of learning and disseminating new ideas and skills for their personnel. It is only a well-trained, well-equipped and well-motivated set of officers who can be equal to the task assigned to them. 

t is also necessary for you to upgrade your capabilities by learning from the best global practices. I am told the Central Vigilance Commission has taken many initiatives in improving transparency in the procurement processes in government and public sector undertakings, including the introduction of an Integrity Pact for high value transactions. The Central Vigilance Commission has to play a pivotal role in sharing the best practices with all those involved in the anti-corruption effort. The State Vigilance Bureaus can also play and must play a similar role by interacting with the various State departments, studying their procedures and coming up with suggestions to make them more transparent and less amendable to abuse or manipulation of any kind.

To the officers of the CBI I would say that the people of India have great faith and expectations from you. This is evident from the frequent public demand for a CBI investigation especially when a serious crime takes place. I urge the officers of the CBI to do their utmost to live up to this expectation of our people. There have been occasions in the recent past when the conduct of the Bureau has come in for public criticism. I would like the CBI to have a critical look at itself and introspect deeply with an end to further improve its functioning. I have been informed that CBI has set a target for itself in investigation of cases for the next one year. I would urge the State agencies to set similar targets and goals for themselves and aim at acquiring an enhanced credibility in the eyes of the people at large.

While quick investigation is important and necessary, it is not sufficient to bring the guilty to book.
Trials must be conducted expeditiously and judgements delivered quickly. To begin with, the aim should be to conclude the trial in two years so that punishment could be given to the offenders within a reasonable period of time. We have recently decided to set up 71 new CBI courts and we expect them to function as model courts, hold day-to-day proceedings and avoid unnecessary adjournments.

I must also emphasize as I have done before at this forum, the need for the right balance which all of you need to strike in your anti-corruption efforts. It must be ensured that the innocent among our officials are not harassed for bonafide mistakes, even while the corrupt are relentlessly pursued and brought to book
. Officials have to be encouraged to take decisions, to accept responsibility, to show initiative and, whenever required, to take risks if our bureaucracy is to shed its slothful and lethargic image. Very often, the fear of harassment and damage to reputation makes public officials unduly timid and slow and the whole government machinery becomes ineffectual. Anti-corruption agencies have therefore to develop a system of investigation that factors this element into their thinking processes. It is as much your duty to protect the honest and the efficient as it is to prosecute and penalise the corrupt. 

As you begin deliberations, I wish the proceedings of this conference all the very best. I hope you will come up with concrete ideas on many important issues. Let me conclude by once again congratulating the medal winners for their splendid achievement. May your path be blessed.” 

E- Governance - Bridging distances—the e-way

Dear All , 

The following article is about E-governance -Shankar Aggarwal, Joint Secretary (e-Governance), Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology talked about e-governance initiatives that aim to bring public services closer to the common folk 

The article gives govt's  perspective of how to go about for e-governance Please Prepare Your notes selecting important points from the article.


The Government of India has employed IT on a large scale. Our e-governance initiatives reflect not only a strong commitment to improve operations and scale up the security aspects connected to confidential and sensitive information, but also to e-connect the Center, State and Districts of the country, to facilitate industries and corporate India’s active engagement and participation in the same, to make information readily available to the masses, amongst others.
Towards these objectives, some of the major projects that the Department of Information Technology (DIT), Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, has taken are the implementation of State-Wide Area Networks (SWAN), State Data Centers (SDC), India Portal (, State-and National-Service Delivery Gateways (SSDG and NSDG respectively).

SWAN is one of the three core infrastructure pillars of NeGP, the other two being Common Services Center (CSC) and State Data Centers (SDC). The SWAN scheme aims at interconnecting each State/UT Head Quarters with the District Headquarters, and each District Headquarter with the Block Headquarters with a minimum 2 Mbps leased line. It also aims to create a secure Close User Group (CUG) Government network for the purpose of delivering G2G and G2C services.
SDCs are envisaged as state-level digital nerve systems for the secure round-the-clock access and efficient electronic delivery of G2C, G2G, and G2B services. The services themselves can be rendered by the States through CSC and SWAN, the other two infrastructure pillars of NeGP. An SDC acts as a mediator and convergence point between open unsecured public domain and sensitive government environment. It helps various State departments to host their services and applications on a common infrastructure leading to ease of integration and efficient management, ensuring that computing resources and the support connectivity infrastructure are used adequately and optimally. The SDCs will be equipped to host/co-locate systems to use centralized computing power. The centralized computers/servers will be used to host multiple applications.

SDC will have high availability (HA), centralized authenticating system to authenticate the users to access their respective systems depending on the authentication matrix. The idea behind the India Portal is to provide a single window access to the information and services of the Indian government at all levels, from Central Government to State Government to District Administration and Panchayat, for the citizens, businesses and the NRIs. An attempt has also been made through this portal to provide comprehensive, accurate, and reliable source of information about India and its various facets. The information here has been classified into distinct modules, which are also interlinked at relevant places to provide the visitor with a holistic view.

In order to truly realize the vision of the National e-Governance Plan, it is necessary to co-opt, collaborate and integrate information across different departments at the Center, States, and local levels of government, which are characterized by islands of legacy systems, use heterogeneous platforms and technologies, and have differing levels of automation. The National e-Governance Service Delivery Gateway (NSDG), can simplify this task by acting as a standards-based messaging switch providing seamless interoperability and exchange of data.

National e-governance goal in 2009-10
We are aiming for completing the SSDG/NSDG, SWAN, and SDC implementations. We are also striving to have CSCs start delivering G2C services to truly bring ‘public services closer home’ to Indian residents, wherever they may be located within the country.CSCs scheme provides support for establishing 100,000 CSCs in 600,000 villages of India, as in a CSC for every six villages. The scheme, as approved by the Government of India, envisions CSCs as the front-end delivery points for government, private and social sector services to the rural citizens of India, in an integrated manner. The objective is to develop a platform that can help all these three establishments to align their social and commercial goals for the benefit of the rural population in the remotest corners of the country through a combination of IT-based as well as non-IT-based services.

We prefer packaged software
We prefer off-the-shelf solutions (SAP, Exchange, Notes/Domino etc.) or but are open to building our own (or getting a third-party to build a system for us) that satisfies at least three parameters—availability, interoperability, and cost. Hence, as long as off-the-shelf solutions are easily available, support interoperability, and provide value for money, we prefer them over building our own.

Interview Stuff - An article about an IAS officer

Many are questioned in the interview why you want to join IAS ? That too especially if you are doing a lucrative job in pvt sector and then want to leave it for the sake of IAS it migtht become very difficult to convince the upsc interview board members. But following article of retired IAS officer who is persuing his work in pvt sector can give some important points. Refer the highlighted part below in the article where he says  “I still believe that my most fascinating period was with the government. Public policy is perhaps the greatest turn-on. Your capacity to make an impact is tremendous. And whatever bullshit people talk about the government, nobody stops you from doing what you should,”  

I am posting the complete article below which also gives an idea of what all IAS officer can be in his tenure which you cant even imagine in pvt careers. 


On Delhi’s Mathura Road, at any time of the day or night, it feels like the bustle will never end. It’s crowded and noisy, yet one small turn from this key artery takes you to a quiet, leafy colony that exudes understated power and old money. I was visiting Vineet Nayyar’s home after eight years and as I pulled in, it looked like nothing had changed. Flanked by 12ft-high compound walls and filigreed wrought iron gates, Nayyar’s house still sported the low wooden door and the same whitewash. When I was last here (as an employee of HCL Technologies, where he was the vice-chairman), I remember being startled by the practically framed and casually hung M.F.Husains and Sanjay Bhattacharyas on the walls. Everything seemed invaluable, yet nothing seemed expensive.This time around, I meet him in a new wing, up one floor, past a glass door and into an office.

A 40-year career spanning public and private enterprises notwithstanding, Nayyar is now in the news for leading Tech Mahindra’s acquisition of the beleaguered Satyam Computers. Over coffee, the vice-chairman of Mahindra Satyam and Tech Mahindra began by explaining what his concerns about acquiring Satyam were and what made him go down that rabbit hole. “We looked at the numbers.We knew their reputation and we did believe that it was a good company with a very good foundation. Its delivery capability was quite awesome and that played out quite well. Like everyone else we also had our questions: Will the company survive? Will the clients stay with it? And immediately in the wake of 7 January (when Ramalinga Raju wrote the now infamous letter about the tiger of financial embezzlement he was riding), there was a fairly

massive attrition of clients. But what was pleasantly surprising was the number of clients who stayed on despite the size and scale of the scandal,” he says. The new board was formally inducted on 1 June. As soon as the accounts of Satyam are recast, Nayyar will start the process of merging the company with Tech Mahindra.I have heard him praise Raju for building the company he did, I begin, but he interrupts me. He doesn’t like the word praise, he says—praise is not right.Then he sits back and explains. “What interests me about Raju is that the man had vision. He built this company from six computers to the size it is now. It isn’t easy, and I can say that having been through that myself. What drove him to do what he did is what interests me. A lot of people suspect it was greed. I think it was pride,” he says, before adding the disclaimer that this was only armchair psychology and his assumptions were not based on any facts. “It’s very easy to paint people in black and white and especially when one is your age, one does. But when one is my age, one realizes that there are all kinds of human beings that make the world. I almost think he’s like a Greek hero who plotted his downfall step by step. Nobody knows what drove him but everybody is curious.”

The age issue is something that comes up often, I realize. But at 70, it is,Administrative Service. 

He speaks fondly and fiercely about his experience in the government. “I still believe that my most fascinating period was with the government. Public policy is perhaps the greatest turn-on. Your capacity to make an impact is tremendous. And whatever bullshit people talk about the
government, nobody stops you from doing what you should,” he says.His most memorable assignment was in Haryana (while with the government), getting borewells dug and a road network built between the villages and the mandis (agricultural markets), “much before you were born”.

After holding a series of positions, including that of director, department of economic affairs, with the Union government, he was deputed on an assignment to the World Bank. “I was posted in (South) Korea, trying to untangle their financial system after a scam worse than our Harshad Mehta’s,” he says. He came back to India to be the founding-chairman of Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL). “And here I was, heading a company that was laying Asia’s largest gas pipeline and I did not even know what a pipeline looked like before that. We completed that project in 11 months,” he says.

When he completed his tenure at GAIL, he joined HCL Technologies as its vice-chairman in 1994. Four years ago, he moved to Tech Mahindra. So I ask him the inevitable age-related question: What keeps him going? Why hasn’t he retired to a mountain home? He laughs and admits he has thought about it often. “Work is fun. If it’s fun, it’s interesting. And what is life? It’s a cross section of different experiences. And if you are fortunate enough to be exposed to those experiences, it’s nice, isn’t it?” he asks; rhetorically, I presume.Then, he turns serious and talks about his retirement plans. His wife,Reva, a former bureaucrat herself, runs their charitable foundation that is involved in funding educational initiatives for underprivileged children. Right now,he is only signing cheques, but he would like to spend more time working at the foundation. 

On 17 January, his five-year tenure with Tech  Mahindra comes to an end. “Let’s see what happens,” he says vaguely. When the history of Indian business is written, the rise, fall and subsequent rescue of Satyam are bound to form an interesting paragraph. Did this play any part at all in his decision to bid for the company? He thinks it through.“No,” he says firmly, “but in hindsight it has.”It would be easy to imagine that in another year, by when Nayyar expects Satyam to shake off the smell of the scandal and stand on its own, he would calmly walk away from the adrenalin-fuelled life of striking deals and running companies to a life of quiet contentment. But somehow, that seems unlikely.