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.

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