Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Excellence in Public Service

Dear Friends ,

Came across this article from a scolar who taught civil servants and civil service aspirants in public administration. This article serves as a good beginning for those who want to be in public services especially for civil servants or public servants .I have highlighted the important stuff and putting in to your hands. Excellence in public service can be brought when everyone thinks - Yes I can but not when everyone thinks why me?


(Author - Prof. Joseph K. Alexander
Chairman. IIPA Kerala Regional Branch)

What is Public Service

One evening, a cousin and a student of the University College, called in for a chat. During that he mentioned that he joined a student wing of a political party. He continued, “My aim is to be an MLA or MP for at least one term. I will amass enough for the next 3 generations of me.” In real life over the last 20 years, he made himself a political leader of sorts.

Man is essentially selfish. He is also inherently religious. God is in him. Man from his birth conceive and develop a god in his mind. It may be a stone, an idol, a bird, an animal, or finally a god in his own image. The evolution of creating god may or may not stop at that.

Man live in society with other men and the flora and fauna of the environment. All idealistic systems: religious, political, social and economic, try to liberate man from his selfishness to godliness in him, to love all others around and to live in such a way as to preserve his environment for the sustenance of the human life and Universe. The aim of excellence in PS is also the emergence of this ideal society of the greatest happiness of the greatest number and a good quality of life for all. It must provide him the basic minimum needs of life such as shelter, potable water, health, education, decent employment and participatory infrastructure and role in civic life. Now a days this is hindered by the increase in functions and functionaries of the government, and lack of Will of public servants and politicization of administration and corruption. This corruption is as old as public administration. It is the greatest hindrance to excellence in public service. In quantity-constrained regimes like India corruption has permeated to all sectors and aspects of life of the citizen. Political will to cajole, persuade and compel the administration is the remedy to excellence in public service.

Who renders Public Service?

One kind of public service is to be a politician. Being a bureaucrat of the government is another kind of public service (PS).

What Mother Theresa, Florence Nightingale or Mahatma Gandhi did is still another type of individual public service. Paulose Mar Gregorios Award 2005 for Creative compassion was presented to Baba Amte at New Delhi. On that occasion A.P.J. Abdul Kalam President of India wrote in his message “ Baba Amte is a living legend and an example of the Gandhian spirit in his approach to solving social problems of our nation”. This is the public service we expect from public men

Pre-war Era

We shall confine our discussion to the Government’s public service rendered by politicians and bureaucrats. In the early days when the State was simplistic, its function was limited to preservation of law and order within and protection of the boundaries of the State from foreign invasion. So public service was merely political administration. In the classical age the goal of public service was the greatest good of the greatest number of the citizens.

“Praja sukhe sukham rajyaha praja namcha hitehitam
natma priyam hitam rajaha prajanam cha hitam priyam“

“ In the happiness of his subject lies the king’s happiness, in their welfare his welfare. He shall not consider as good only that which pleases him but treat as beneficial to him whatever pleases his subjects.” Kautilya’s Arthasasthra.

King Rama went to the other extreme of divorcing Sita to satisfy the rumormongers of the state. The style of functioning of the civil servants then was of impeccable integrity and honesty. Even in pre-independent India the ICS servants of the British Raj was famous for this style of work. Gandhiji also insisted that the public servants should be trustees. They should use the power for the benefit of the people and in a non-exploitative and uncorrupt manner.

Modern Governments of Developed Countries.

With the advent of division of labour and industrialization, wealth and income rose. The State functions evolved out to new areas of provision of public goods like roads, bridges, waterways, and services like education, hospitals, health facilities, transport systems etc.

The 2nd world war necessitated a large amount of planned movements of men and materials to the war front. Economic planning to win the war or reviving the economy or for greater economic growth became the principal function of the Government. The theoretical underpinning of the Keynesian technique of demand management came handy to revive the economy. Thus application of the Monetary and Fiscal policy techniques became a significant work of public servants.

As marginalisation of the weaker sections was increasing, equity and justice in the dispensation of public service became another equally important phase of PS.

With the increase in the functions and size of bureaucracy efficiency in PS deteriorated all over the World. Modern governments adopted new corporate management and marketing techniques and some New Public Management (NPM) system to induct efficiency in PS. Better emoluments and business orientation is prescribed for civil The State also tries now to become a facilitator than provider of services.

Developing Countries and corruption.

In developing countries like India generally resources are far less compared to the teeming millions of people. So these quantity constrained regimes find it difficult to have enough public servants, to cater to the needs of the people. The supply of goods and public services are far less than the people’s demand for them. The costly parliamentary elections add to the worry.

Most of the candidates personally and their political party leaders separately collect funds massively. Some of these collections are extortions. Thus corruption and criminalisation became the style of elections and government. Some of these candidates are goondas.

Corruption isn’t specific to India. It is all over the World. The lawmakers, their cabinet members and party bosses extort millions. Their civil servants bask on the crumbs that fall from the table to the floor.

Transparency International (TI) is the leading global non-governmental organisation devoted to combating corruption worldwide. WWW.Transparency International It examined corruption in 62 countries in 2004 to mark the UN International Anti-Corruption Day. Its report was published in Berlin on 9th December 2004. The report says, that in India legislatures and private sector business are the worst scoring 4.6 and 4.5 respectively, in the scale 1 to 5; 5 being cent percent corrupt.


Political parties 4.6 ;Parliament/ Legislature4.6; Legal system/ Judiciary 4.0;Police 4;Business/ private sector 4.5 ;Tax revenue2.9 ;Customs 3.4 ;Medi3.9a ;Medical services2.7 ;Education system 3.8; Registry and permit services 3.8; Utilities 3.7 ;Military 3.5 ;NGOs 1.9 ;Religious bodies 2.7

Controlling corruption.

Political will is the only remedy for corruption. If that can be mustered, many others can be added to enforce that “WILL” like Judicial activism, insisting on the accountability of the executive and civil services, simplifying the procedures of decision making and implementing them, insisting on transparency etc. In these days of declining standards hoping for such a “WILL” is at least now beyond imagination. It is the political parties and the parliamentarians that perpetrate corruption in developing countries. So what is wanted is a special training or orientation to the politicians. More NGO activity like “Parivartan” of Aravind Khejeriwal is also warranted.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Talking with Teeth: Micro-Planning with Community Scorecards

Dear Friends ,

I am posting this article because it gives some important points for answer writing on Local Administration, Democratic Decentralization and Participative Governance.  I have highlighted the important stuff please make note of this. Many conventional books do not discuss these topics but you can use in your answers to give a futuristic view and can quote these case studies. It will only help in making your answer slightly different than others. After studying Rural administration from conventional books we should be able to match this article with the theory.

(Source World bank website)


Coming together is a process
Keeping together is progress
Working together is success

This message, written on the wall of a public building in Gureghar village in Maharashtra, India, implies the significant changes that have recently taken place. Since 2007, 178 villages including Gureghar have been part of an innovative social accountability process that has redefined relationships between citizens, service providers and local government. Building upon two decades of experience with micro-planning, the innovation in this pilot project is that micro-planning has been combined with a community scorecard process to strengthen accountability.

Partnered with the Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration and the World Bank, the project was spearheaded by then CEO of the District, S. Kadu-Patil.

(The primary role of a District CEO is to administer all development project and services, such as health and education services, for the District.) The project team and the CEO invested a lot of effort to build the political will of other decision-makers and service providers. In fact, many of these functionaries were then organized into Task Forces to actually implement the process while a cadre of facilitators underwent intensive 20-day training.

The actual micro-planning and community scorecard process took place over 5 days at the village level and included participatory data generation and analysis through household and village surveys, and focus group discussions with vulnerable groups such as women and youth. They were conducted by village youth themselves with the help of facilitators. This allowed the community to determine local understandings of problems and resources as well as build ownership over the collected information.

Community scorecard exercises were also conducted for education, health and other services. The “teeth” of the process, the community scorecard process is basically a structured conversation between the frontline service providers and the users of that service to understand and address gaps in service delivery. The users decide on indicators to assess the service delivery and then both the users and the service providers assess delivery against these indicators. Once the scorecards are completed, both groups come together in face-to-face meeting to discuss gaps in the scoring and jointly devise solutions. This prioritizes constructive conversation rather than confrontation but without diffusing the real problems that the community and frontline service providers face. This is where the trained facilitators played a valuable role in making sure the scorecard process was a meaningful conversation between two groups who rarely get to meet in such a space. On the last day of the 5-day process, the community came together to construct a village action plan based on the problems and needs that emerged out of the process. These village action plans were used to inform and guide higher levels of planning. At higher levels, service providers came together to discuss and take joint action on the problems at the village level. This convergence was also a new but important shift. As described by S. Kadu Patil himself, convergence of service providers signifies a shift in the way development itself was viewed:
"The lack of toilets at schools and thus the lack of privacy forces girls to drop out once they reach adolescence. If they drop out, they are more likely to get married at an earlier age and get pregnant. During pregnancy, because she has not been educated, she is not able to take care of her health and after pregnancy, she does not have the awareness to understand how to nourish her baby. The problems of sanitation, education, maternal health and child health are all interconnected. This process takes a holistic view of development at the village level and allows important government agencies to be in dialogue to converge and better serve the poor."

Another important component of the process was iteration. The 5-day process was repeated in 6 months intervals after the first cycle to reinforce and monitor progress of service providers as well as the community in following through on village action plans.

Each district in India has an estimated annual budget of US$50 million to provide health, nutrition, drinking water, sanitation, and education to its citizens. Before the pilot project, Satara, although considered a better-developed district in terms of social and economic indices, still fell short in terms of actual service delivery outcomes. After one year of this social accountability project, Satara district has seen significant changes from the district down to the community level. Over this period, 178 villages in the district of Satara have seen a significant reduction in malnourished children, a 16 percent increase in immunized children and unsafe drinking water samples have decreased by approximately 63%. And these are just some of the changes that can be measured. This process has institutionalized spaces for engagement between citizens and government and between citizens and service providers that has led to dialogue and deliberation over local development programs and resources and increased awareness and ownership of village-level problems.

( There are some terms which needs further elaboration in this article - like 
Citizen Report Cards and Community Score Cards )

Citizen Report Cards are participatory surveys that provide quantative feedback on user perceptions on the quality, adequacy and efficiency of public services. They go beyond just being a data collection exercise to being an instrument to exact public accountability through the extensive media coverage and civil society advocacy that accompanies the process.

Community Score Cards are qualitative monitoring tools that are used for local level monitoring and performance evaluation of services, projects and even government administrative units by the communities themselves. The community score card (CSC) process is a hybrid of the techniques of social audit, community monitoring and citizen report cards. Like the citizen report card, the CSC process is an instrument to exact social and public accountability and responsiveness from service providers. However, by including an interface meeting between service providers and the community that allows for immediate feedback, the process is also a strong instrument for empowerment.

Friday, October 23, 2009

IAS Main Answer Writing: Understanding key words & tail words properly

Dear Friends ,

Got this in one of the website ,worth a reading so here it is at your disposal


In the long answer questions (Long answer = 60 Marks & short notes = 20 Marks), Candidate need to read the question carefully and try to understand the real requirement of question.  

First & Most importance thing: 
Focus on question’s requirement & its Key words (tail words).  
Meaning of Key words (Tail words): 
Explain: It is conceptual in nature. You may have to bring out one concept in a detail. 

Elaborate: In elaboration the concept or idea is already given. You have to bring out a series of logic in support of the statement. 

Discuss: you have to bring out situations surrounding the topic. 

Analysis: it refers to taking various facts of parts or a given statement into consideration and bringing to light its nature or structure, you take each part one by one and examine. 

Examine: It refers to inspecting closely and bringing out facts i.e. you bring to light various aspects of given statement. 

Critically examine: it means inspecting closely and forming or expressing judgment. The latter is of greater relevant here. 

Illustrate: It refers to explaining or making clear by giving example.  

Why: It is asking the logic of certain things. If it is followed by you, it may solicit your opinion. 

What: The answer will be factual in nature.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How Does mains Application Form looks ?

Dear Friends,

Hola some one has uploaded mains application form. The beauty of internet is you get everything or should I say almost everything.Please download and view this. Caution:This is only sample to get a feel but not to be followed/copied.

(Source : Indian Officer Website )


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Panchayati Raj after 15 Years : Challenges Ahead

Dear Friends ,

The article below gives an appraisal of Panchayati Raj. Please use it in your answer writing for questions concerned on Local Governance and their performance


(Source :

Fifteen years have passed since the landmark 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act was approved in 1992 by the Indian Parliament. Devolution of 29 functions, reservation of 33 per cent seats for women, similar reservation for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in proportion to their population, statutory requirement to hold periodic elections under the supervision of State Election Commissions, transfer of funds to panchayat bodies according to the recommendations of the State Finance Commissions were some of the highlights of the constitutional mandate rightly hailed as a silent revolution. Political leaders called it as ‘the greatest experiment in democracy ever’.

Since then three elections have been held and 2.4 lakh elected panchayat bodies have been in place. Nearly 27 lakh members have been elected throughout the country, 37 per cent of them being women, while 19 per cent and 12 per cent represent Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes respectively. All these figures are truly impressive unmatched by any other country in the world. As Indians we are justified in feeling proud about these achievements. At the same time we should also have an objective view of the ground reality, take note of our inadequacies and failures, and be ready to face the challenges ahead.

The crux of the problem concerning the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) is really the transfer of functions, funds and functionaries without which the panchayats cannot function effectively as the third tier of democratic government. As per the information available in November 2006, only eight States and one Union Territory have transferred all the 29 functions or subjects to the PRIs. Most of these transfers remain on paper without the support of adequate funding and functionaries. Kerala is the only State which has devolved 40 per cent of its Plan outlay to panchayats. The record of setting up the much talked about District Planning Committees is equally disappointing. Only 13 States and four Union Territories have formed such committees and many of them remain on paper without functioning as an effective tool of local planning.

There has been a significant progress on the front of women’s empowerment, but there are many hurdles in the way of elected women including the age-old male domination leading to cases of proxy roles played by the male members of the family. The Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates are duly elected but face stiff opposition and discrimination from the dominant castes to allow them to fully exercise their rights. The gram sabhas which were to function as a forum of genuine democratic participation, in most cases, do not function in the right spirit. They are often looked upon as a ritual to fulfil the formal requirement. The MLAs and MPs, along with the local bureaucracy, treat the PRIs as a threat to their authority and privilege and do everything in their power to scuttle them.

There is a hope for the PRIs to progress further if they meet these challenges with confidence and determination. They will have to work for genuine participation, fight against the opponents of the PRIs, and imbibe the spirit of democratic decentralisation.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The men who rule India: towards reforms in IAS

Dear Friends,

Here is one more article on Personnel Administration and administrative reforms. Can be linked to these both topics in upsc syllabus. Highlighted points can be part your notes



Defending the indefensible is an uphill task. Defending the indefensible when popular public perception views it as being indefensible is even harder to do. Philip Mason wrote his class many years ago by the name The Men Who Ruled India about the Indian Civil Service (ICS) and how it shaped India’s destiny. Since then, much water has flowed under the proverbial bridge, and as an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer who has travelled, interacted and negotiated with civil services around the world, I can say with a lot of pride that IAS is, even today, despite a number of fundamental flaws, world class in several respects. Sadly, India has one of the finest higher civil services in the world, sitting on top of one of the worst lower civil services, which accounts for many, but not all, of its flaws.

Let’s start with the system of recruitment: About 500,000 candidates write a year-long, multi-stage examination, competing for just 80 seats—half of which are reserved—in IAS, and is considered by many to be one of the most rigorous contests in the world. That’s a success percentage of 0.02% versus about 250,000 candidates appearing for about 6,000 Indian Institutes of Technology seats each year, with a success rate of 2.96%. No other examination in the world has odds the national civil services examination of India has. Yet, while the latter are, justifiably, celebrated, the former, often regarded as the “best among the brightest”, are today the object of scorn and disgust, blamed for the various ills that plague the country. Still, quite a few officers from IAS are wooed at astronomical salaries by the private sector for their talent, relationships, education, and rich and diverse ground-level experience, which should give some idea of their market value.

People are quick to criticize IAS, but they forget that corporate titans such as the redoubtable Russi Mody, Yogi Deveshwar and many others failed even in autonomous entities such as Air India. Many have fallen prey to the political class, handling whom and keeping them away from the spoils of office is in itself often a full-time vocation for the honest IAS officer. The classic Westminster model, on which IAS is based, expected that while politicians would debate and legislate policy, civil servants would implement policy. This has over the years been turned on its head, for politicians have found it “profitable” to get into every aspect of execution, while the civil service is left to write policy. With the advent of criminals in politics and the huge role that money plays in elections, bureaucrats prefer masterly inaction to any form of risk-taking.

Reforms in IAS are needed urgently. First, IAS must not necessarily be a lifetime appointment. The initial appointment should be for a period of, say, 15 years, after which every officer’s performance should be evaluated by a constitutional authority such as the Union Public Service Commission, based on a 360-degree kind of appraisal which is considered superior to traditional forms of assessment. Then, they should be hired on five-seven-year contracts with specific performance targets through a competitive process. The terms of the contract should incentivize performance with accountability to results, not just to process. Second, there are innumerable examples of deviants in the civil service. There have been recent examples of officers indulging in sexual harassment, shoplifting, copying in examinations and large-scale corruption. The government must not let them off or allow them to take voluntary retirement to escape punishment. It must try them in special courts and demonstrate certainty of punishment, no matter how powerful the officer is. Without demonstrable and quick punishment, there is no way to check deviant behaviour in IAS.

There is no gainsaying the fact that the contribution of IAS officers is often extraordinary but overlooked. We often forget that M. Damodaran, who turned the former Unit Trust of India around, and Y.V. Reddy and D. Subbarao, responsible for steering India’s central bank under trying global economic circumstances, are all from IAS. Rentala Chandrasekhar led India’s e-government revolution. T.V. Somanathan designed a world-class blueprint for the Chennai Metro, with minimal fiscal burden on the government. S.R. Rao cleaned up Surat in circumstances where no private sector chief executive would go for any amount of money or incentive. Countless faceless IAS officers work selflessly every day in circumstances which many of us won’t work in.

Except the civil services of Japan, China, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, there is not much to write home about most of them. In these countries, civil servants are invariably masters of their subject matter, courteous and efficient. But then, they don’t report to the kind of political masters IAS does, they don’t deal with the numbers and complexity that India offers, nor are they as poorly paid.

India cannot have a 21st century economy run by a 19th century civil service using Jurassic era rule books and laws. Unless IAS is reformed where necessary and celebrated where due, good governance will remain just good rhetoric.

Some views of CIC on RTI

Dear Friends , here is the summary of interview with CIC and his view on RTI . This article gives some +ves and some -ves also what is required to improve its functioning - which can be part of main answers .


The chief of India’s Central Information Commission (CIC), Wajahat Habibullah, is “not satisfied” with what the Right to Information (RTI) Act has been able to achieve so far. He also feels the government has benefited from it.

“No, I am not satisfied. More could have been done. Levels of awareness and slow pace of computerisation of government records are something I am not satisfied with,” CIC chief Habibullah told IANS in an interview, exactly four years after the act came into force Oct 12, 2005.

“As far as computerisation of records is concerned, the government of India and the Delhi government are still better as compared to other states,” he said.

“Inclusion of non-resident Indians is also an area of concern where the problem lies in the procedure. The issue has been taken up with the ministry of external affairs,” Habibullah added.

The RTI Act was passed by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in June 2005 after years of struggle by NGOs and civil society groups.

The CIC chief said the biggest beneficiary of the act has been the government.

“Nobody but the government, the biggest beneficiary of the act has been the government itself because it has given them a chance for self analysis. It has given the government a chance to see the public’s view’s of the entire system. Slumdwellers, particularly in Delhi, have also been major participants in the act,” he said.

Habibullah said people should be asked whether the act had helped in better governance, but it had yet to reach its full potential.

“RTI is not a weapon; it is just a tool, a mean and a part of the government system,” he said. A retired Indian Administrative Service officer, Habibullah had joined the CIC has its head when the body was set up in 2005.

Last month, the Delhi High Court had upheld the CIC’s verdict that the office of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) comes within the ambit of the RTI Act. The Supreme Court, however, appealed against the order a few days ago.

The high court, in its Sep 2 verdict, held that the CJI was a public authority and his office came within the purview of the transparency law.

Habibullah praised the apex court and the high court for taking up a lot of matters relating to public interest and against corruption. They “are the main players. The CIC is just a secondary player”, he said.

Till August 2009, the commission has disposed of nearly 33,000 cases, but there is a backlog of nearly 10,000 pending cases.

“Our process of disposal is speeding up. Initially the commission was able to clear only 200-300 cases a month. The number is close to 1,800-1,900 cases a month now,” Habibullah said.

The CIC chief also raised concern over the lack of suo motu disclosures by the government departments as mandated by the act. “Suo motu disclosure by the government department is not proper, that is why people are asking for information,” he said.

RTI activists have always accused the commission of not penalising government officers. When asked about it, he said: “Imposition of penalty is not as effective as the fear of penalty. A department like the MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) which has a high number of penalties against its officers has shown no improvement in the system.”

“On the other hand, a small penalty like of Rs.1,200 on an officer in the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research galvanised the system in that organization.”

Earlier the president’s secretariat never used to send an acknowledgement, but now they do. Even the Lok Sabha secretariat is doing great work as most of the information such as the attendance of an MP is easily available on its website. Such information was earlier kept secret and wilfully not disclosed. RTI has changed that.”

The Department of Personnel and Training is the nodal department for handling issues related to RTI. The fourth RTI convention is being organised here Oct 12-13.

On the demand for more transparency in the appointment of information commissioners, he said: “It is a perfectly legitimate demand and the appointment should only be on the basis of merit.”

“But initially, the appointment of government officials helped as they knew how government functions. Now, our experience with someone like Shailesh Gandhi (an information commissioner at the CIC), who is purely an activist, has also been very good,” he said.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Administrative Reforms - Better machinery

Dear Friends ,

Came across this short and sweet article about Administrative Reforms and the problem currently facing in India.
Everything in these three paragraphs are relevant and important


Better machinery

Nothing can truly change in a pluralistic society such as India’s without political commitment to secular and liberal governance. Simple measures could begin to change the direction. The first and most important area that needs a radical overhaul and complete cleansing is the many municipalities across the country. They have collectively succeeded in making the public places in this subcontinent uninhabitable, filthy and polluted. There is absolutely no excuse in the book for this pathetic and unacceptable state of affairs. Nowhere in the world do you walk or drive through a town or a city that has muck piled high everywhere. It is shameful and needs immediate rectification. A clean, well-swept public space will instantly alter the social lethargy and helplessness that plague us as a society. This one move would trigger active public involvement in change and growth.

Citizen groups need to be empowered to work in collaboration with government bodies to devise the parameters within which civil society can operate safely. The confrontational attitude that the state takes towards citizens for whom it is mandated to function has to be done away with. A joint venture needs to be created that ensures the good of all. This is not a difficult thing to do if there is a political will that makes clear demands on its administration to deliver.

And so, the real priority is rapid and decisive administrative reforms. A vast collection of reports is gathering thick layers of dust because any attempt to introduce radical measures, which will ensure cleaner, neater and more effective governance, will rudely disrupt the cosy and cushioned existence of a moribund bureaucracy. This machine has to be overhauled, oiled and watched as it performs. It has to stop holding our nation to ransom. It has to aid the elected representative and deliver on the mandate. It must cease to act silently against the best interests of the people of India. It must be answerable to the Constitution of India.

Accountability In Administration

Dear Friends ,

I came across this lecture by N Vittal ( former CVC) delivered in Indian Institute of Public administration in 2002. The article has many relevant points which can be related to Accountability and Control topic in the syllabus. I have highlighted the important points for your reference. Caution- some of the examples or case studies he gave are old and you have to relate this to current scenario or intelligently modify the examples to look it current.

I have also added comments to the document appropriately for your reference which may give you certain idea about your study strategies. Look out for the 'note icons in the doc'.

The article is a long one runs in to 12 pages but worth a read.You can down load the article from the below link -


Police and Politics

Dear Friends ,

The article below is related to police administration. One of the major issues police facing today is political interference in their day to day administration. And this article is in favour of releasing the police from the clutches of politicians. It supports 'operational autonomy' to police. I have highlighted the important points in this article which can be part of your notes for police administration.


(The article is from 'Frontline' author RK Raghavan)

Police & politics

UNION Home Minister P. Chidambaram brings a whiff of fresh air to the tradition-bound Home Ministry. He said something recently that a run-of-the-mill Home Minister would not ordinarily have said. Speaking at the annual conference of the Directors-Gen eral of Police (DGPs), he bemoaned the fact that police officers in the country were being kicked around like football. Who were the culprits? He left this unsaid.

It was more than obvious that his finger of scorn pointed to the States, which controlled a bulk of the police force in the country. He could not have spoken more bluntly or used a more appropriate term. Do not ask me whether he would have said the same thing if he had been a serving or a past Chief Minister of a State. That is beside the point. What is relevant here is that a man who heads the all-powerful Home Ministry is so forthright, unmindful of giving the impression that he is helpless in the face of a fast deteriorating situation.

Remember, on paper, it is the Home Ministry, which is the cadre authority of the exalted Indian Police Service (IPS). (A “cadre authority” is the Ministry that lays down rules and regulations regarding the career management of an officer and ensures that these are adhered to strictly by both the Centre and the State governments where a majority of personnel of the All India Services, namely, the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the IPS and the Indian Forest Service (IFS) operate. The Department of Personnel looks after the IAS, and the Ministry of Environment and Forests controls the IFS). This is the tragedy of the Indian scene. An IPS officer is recruited by the Union government, while the arbiter of destinies of such an officer is the State government.

This is a funny arrangement that nobody outside the country will ever comprehend. If the system has not broken down completely, it is due to the wisdom and maturity of some Home Ministers and a few Chief Ministers. A certain measure of stability seen in the system can also be attributed to the generally high calibre of a large number of IPS officers, some of whom have been commendably resolute and stayed on in the service, undeterred by the grave provocation, sometimes from a few petty and vindictive elements in the ruling class. Their dedication to the public cause is praiseworthy.

The original sin for all this is, however, that of the Founding Fathers, who decided – obviously for assuring States that they were not the minions of the Centre – that “Police” should be under the State List in the Constitution of India. I predict that this arrangement will remain so forever. Politicians in many States get such a hypnotic kick (no pun intended) out of making life difficult and unstable for the DGP and his senior officers that they will hardly agree to the subject of “Police” being shifted even to the Concurrent List, what to speak of the Union List. This strange “fondness” for the police cuts across party lines and the gender divide as well.

I think Chidambaram chose the wrong audience to speak on the subject of police autonomy. He should, in fact, have appealed to the good senses of Chief Ministers and told them that their choice of a DGP and other senior officers such as the Commissioner of Police and the Inspector-General of Police (Intelligence) should be done objectively and solely on professional grounds. Caste and regional considerations or the pliability of an officer should not hold sway as they do now, often, if not all the time.

Also, Chief Ministers should be made to understand that an honest officer, who may quote the rules and be argumentative, is preferable to a “Yes man”, who offers no counsel but who stands out only for his servility and pliability, two seductive qualities that could lead a Chief Minister into difficulties in a real crisis. (A PTI report also speaks of a Home Ministry communication to the States urging more authority to DGPs in matters of internal administration. It would be interesting to speculate on States’ responses. My bet is that if and when States act, it will at best be a cosmetic exercise to appease Chidambaram, something that will not really enhance the DGP’s autonomy in operational matters.)

The politician’s proclivity to lord over the police is not just an Indian ailment. It is seen to varying degrees in many other countries as well. The only difference is that, in India, the disease takes a virulent form, with political interference extending at times to downright illegal directions to the police to change the course and outcome of a sensitive criminal investigation to suit the needs of a ruling party.

In a few advanced nations, political interference takes a subtler form. For instance, the London Metropolitan Police has lately been under some stress from a Tory Mayor, Boris Johnson, who is a maverick. He took over from Ken Livingstone, a Labour Mayor, last year. Since then, there have been distressing signs of an undercurrent of tension between the Mayor and the Police Commissioner.

First, the previous Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, a Labour appointee, was shown the door before the end of his tenure, although, strictly speaking, it is the Home Secretary who appoints the Met Commissioner on the recommendation of the Police Authority (chaired by the Mayor of London) for the Met, a representative body of politicians, civil service and the citizenry, something akin to the State Security Commission recommended by the National Police Commission way back in the late 1970s. Once Boris Johnson made it clear, even in his early days in office, that Sir Ian Blair did not enjoy his (Johnson’s) confidence, the Commissioner had no option but to bow out of office, despite the fact that he could have stayed on with the support of the Home Secretary.

Not that Blair was faultless. He got involved in several controversies during his tenure, including the defence of his officers in 2005 when they shot and killed an innocent Brazilian worker at the Stockwell tube station when they were looking for a terrorist suspect. It was a case of mistaken identity. The manner in which Blair was eased out was, however, in poor taste and smacked of political vindictiveness. It was a frontal assault on the independence of Scotland Yard (the Met’s hallowed other name) about which we had been repeatedly told in our younger years.

More recently, an undiplomatic, if not a tendentious, statement by one of Mayor Johnson’s deputies generated a new controversy. It all started with the Deputy Mayor in charge of policing, Kit Malthouse, claiming in a statement to the Guardian that he and Mayor Johnson had their “hands on the tiller” of Scotland Yard, suggesting that they had seized operational control of the Metropolitan Police. This drew a sharp reaction from the Met Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson (who succeeded Sir Ian Blair), who promptly wrote to the newspaper a letter disabusing the public of any wrong impression that he had abdicated his responsibility. I will be doing justice to Commissioner Stephenson only if I quote him verbatim:

“I do not want anyone to be under the misapprehension that Scotland Yard or the Metropolitan Police Service is under the operational control of any political party…. [Tories claim: we have seized control of Scotland Yard, September 3.]

“While the Home Office and the police authority have a right and duty to set priorities, budget and hold us to account, I set the operational strategy and direction for the Met.... All operational decisions are taken without fear or favour for any individual, political or other interest. I can reassure you that I have no intention or expectation of this changing – now or in the future.”

The controversy has somewhat died down with respective sides showing a measure of discretion and maturity. But the point I want to make here is that the system in the United Kingdom permits a professional police officer to assert his authority in public and say that, in matters of police operation, it is he who calls the shots and not his political bosses. It will be centuries before the Indian political executive will appreciate the brilliance and the logic behind such an arrangement. Until this happens, a police chief in India will necessarily have to bend if not crawl in his daily interaction with the political executive. I am not sure when that glorious day will come when we can witness the same courage that a Metropolitan Commissioner can display in thwarting attempts to inject politics into policing.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Police Administration - what is the problem

Dear Friends ,

The following article gives some insight in to problem faced police. We always tend to blame the police and public has altogether different impression of police. Today people fear police more than rowdies. ( this may be an exaggeration but this is true in some cases). But at the same time the working condition of police is also not good . They are expected to work under hostile conditions and are not compensated well for that.
I have highlighted some facts below which can be part of your notes from this article.


(Source of the Article is outlook magazine.The article is in Vijay Nambisan's words)

Handcuffed In Khaki

It was good of Manmohan Singh and P. Chidambaram to cheer up the top brass at the conference of inspector-generals and director-generals of police in New Delhi. Of course, the home minister must have got a silent horse laugh when he said top officers should protest against frequent transfers. The civil services can hinder or render government but can’t stand up to politicians.

Does it occur to these statesmen that they are patting the wrong backs—backs and backsides so patted and petted their owners can live comfortably even when not in their bosses’ best books, which can be said of no other job? To politicians, the DGPs, IGs and SPs may represent the police. We citizens know a completely different face—and back—of the keepers of law and order.

Rudyard Kipling noted in Kim: “Native police mean extortion to the native all India over.” He was careful not to probe any deeper. The native police were the tool of a force whose business was extortion. It ceased to matter whether they extorted on their own behalf or on behalf of their masters. To us natives, alas, the symbolism of the police constable has not vastly changed in a century.

India’s administrative system is essentially one that Sher Shah Suri designed nearly 500 years ago. Akbar fine-tuned it, the British altered it to suit their ends, but its main purpose was always the same —efficient tax collection. Justice came a tardy second when it figured at all. The chief innovation of the Raj was the creation of the district collector, an autocrat in his fief.

After independence, we retained the system devised to extract the most juice out of us. (A thick-headed press still uses the word “rule” instead of “govern” to describe the political function!) For more than 30 years, the district collector continued to be a petty despot. Now, I understand, collectors are designated district magistrates, and the post is considered very junior in the heirarchy. That is only because the breed has proliferated. There are so many more IAS officers than there used to be, or need to be.

The police was used by the Raj to keep a subjugated people beneath the yoke. There were no citizens of India. “Law and order” meant the tax-gatherer’s law, the conqueror’s order. (It still does—see how the home minister speaks of first destroying the Naxalite threat and then addressing its causes.) Justice was something to be bought and sold. (It still is—look at the celebrity hit-and-run cases.)

We have done nothing to change this system. The “native” police, under the Raj, were the enforcers, the sharpest weapons of oppression. They still are and use methods devised to suppress freedom fighters. The forced confession, the custodial death, the intimidation of relations, the very lathi—nothing has changed.

I have the utmost sympathy for the policeman. Ill-trained, ill-paid, set to menial work by his officers, reviled by the masses he has sprung from, his lot is not a happy one. In Delhi, in the mid-80s, I hobnobbed with a good number of cops, from DCPs down through SHOs to constables. (I even interviewed then police commissioner Ved Marwah.) The DCPs were slick and well-fed and spoke of their commitment to the public weal and the wonderful modern training policemen were being given. They still do this. What that really means is that IPS officers who are good boys get to do their MBAs on public funds, or go to academies abroad for a couple of years. The only public weal the constable knows is one inflicted with a lathi.

In those days, head constables, asis and other supervisory ranks got Rs 1,000-1,500 a month. They had to provide themselves with two sets of uniforms out of this. Many of them were from rural Uttar Pradesh and sent what money they could to their families, with which they spent a month or two every year if they got leave. Their “training” amounted to some lectures by the brass.

I am not in touch, but I don’t see any material change. The police mean extortion all over India. Doctors are also coming to mean the same. But doctors are relatively empowered. Do constables get to make representations to the various police reforms commissions? Do the eminent people on these commissions visit the thana unannounced? An honest IPS officer can make a deal of difference. The home minister is idealistic in asking top officers to protest transfers, but he is in the right. So is the prime minister, when he speaks of focusing on the thana. I only wish they would take a turn at cheering up the constables.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Personnel Administration Stuff

Dear All ,

Here below is an article from business standard related to personnel administration. The article talks about some terminologies teeth - tail ratio which is nothing but decision makers and decision implimenters which has to be part of our answer writing to make the difference in our answer.

 Fat In the wrong Place

The generally accepted view is that the government runs a bloated bureaucracy. Its current employee strength is 3.32 million. But over 80 per cent of this number is accounted for by specific service departments: posts, central police forces and the railways. Logically, these should not be counted as part of a “bureaucracy”, which as a consequence stands reduced to a relatively modest 600,000. Since the overwhelming majority of even that consists of clerical and support staff, the operational part of the government is quite simply too small. In almost any direction one looks, there is a shortage of the required people. India has too few judges, one of the smallest foreign offices in the world, overworked officials dealing with trade negotiations in the commerce department, and desperate under-staffing at regulatory bodies in charge of areas like pollution control and drug safety. If service delivery is to improve in important social sectors like healthcare, water supply, education and irrigation (many of which involve state governments as well), governments need to hire more people. Governance standards too will improve if India’s jails are not over-crowded, its police forces not so stretched, and its district administration staffed adequately to deal with multiple responsibilities. Be it teachers, health workers or policemen, the level of employment in each of these areas is inadequate by any contemporary yardstick, and certainly well short of international norms. Matters are made worse by the fact that, in almost every branch of government, there is a large number of vacancies—in the courts, in the defence services, among policemen, in the game parks, in the forest department, and elsewhere.

An associated problem is the misallocation of resources, limited as they are. There is no reason why the commerce department should have a strength of 7,000, or the ministry of civil aviation as many as 1,100 people on its rolls. Commerce has actually seen an increase in its staff strength by over 30 per cent since the reforms began, yet other countries are able to mount much bigger negotiating teams to handle the intricacies of talks at the World Trade Organisation, while India fields a handful of officials. The department of civil aviation has seen its size shrink somewhat, but it is nowhere near fulfilling a former civil aviation minister’s promise that his primary task was to preside over the liquidation of his ministry!

The unfavourable teeth-to-tail ratio (between decision-makers and clerical/support staff) is made worse by a remuneration policy that rewards junior employees more than what the market is willing to pay, while the compensation package for senior employees is far too low to attract people of the required quality—as testified to by the steady drop in the calibre of those joining the all-India administrative services. Lateral induction too is made virtually impossible by the vast gap between government and private sector salaries. While many administrative reforms are required in the country, an essential component has to be a re-invention of the government itself.