Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Testy times ahead for IAS-bound state babus

Dear Friends ,

This is one more suggestion recommended by UPSC. I hope you know how a state civil servant  - like KAS ( karnataka administrative service ), RAS ( Rajstan administrative service) will be promoted to AIS ( All India Service ) cadre i.e IAS IPS IFS (forest). Generally this used to happen through ACRs ( Annual Confidentiality Report) which is like a career profile of civil servant. But not UPSC recommended that - to get promotion even state civil servants need to take test write exam and to undergo interview again. This is just a recommendation and we as a studen of public administration keep this info also.


Don’t just trust the impressive annual confidential reports of state civil officers. Test them again to harvest the best.

The Union Public Service Commission has told the government to overhaul the induction process for state civil servants into the three elite All India Services (AIS): Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFS).

In its new form, state civil service officers will have to clear, like fresh recruits to the IAS and other All India Services, a written test and face an interview panel in Delhi to make the cut.

Nearly 350 state civil service officers are inducted into the three All India Services every year.

According to existing rules, one-third of the sanctioned strength of AIS officers can be inducted through promotions from state services.

But they all make it to the prestigious services on the strength of the state government’s recommendations, backed by their Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) which rank their performance as outstanding.

Selection committees presided by a UPSC member ordinarily meet annually to select the state government officials for promotion.

“Given how a government function, it is not always a very fair system,” a senior official at the Department of Personnel and Training acknowledged. Only one in three officers — who comes with a recommendation of the state government for recruitment into the AIS — makes it.

Besides, officers need to be on the right side of the political executive of the states concerned to have their names recommended.

The UPSC recently completed a review of the present system of holding selection committee meetings based on the ACRs of state service officers and recommended a three tier recruitment process to introduce a competitive examination, an interview and an assessment of service records to fill up the promotion quota.

“This would have the salutary effect of encouraging competition and privileging merit,” UPSC chairman Prof. D.P. Agarwal said last week.

The UPSC chairman said such a system could, in time, be extended to promotions within the Central Services as well.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Aptitude Test To Replace Civil Services Preliminary Examination?

Dear Friends ,

This is the latest PROPOSAL as far as civil services examination is considered. But you dont have to panick as it is only a proposal which doesnt have any date to impliment. But keep it in your knowledge basket. And think of what are positives and negatives if it gets implimented.



The UPSC has put forward the proposal for using Aptitude Test instead of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination so that the candidates could be measured in terms with the demanding nature of civil nature.

"UPSC is convinced of the need for important changes in the method of recruitment to the higher civil services that are the vehicle for public service delivery. One of the recommendations made by the commission to the government is that a Civil Service Aptitude Test replace the existing Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination," said the UPSC chairman Prof D P Agrawal.

According to UPSC, there would be two objective type papers for all the candidates. UPSC has put forward the proposal for aptitude tests so that the ability of the candidate for meeting the demands of civil service could be measured more efficiently. Te aptitude tests will also ensure that the decision making skills of the candidate on an ethical and moral level could also be measured.

"It has also been proposed that the structure of the Civil Services (Main) Examination may remain the same till a committee of experts that may be appointed by the commission, goes into various aspects," said Agrawal while inaugurating the UPSC lecture series on governance in New Delhi.

President Pratibha Patil, who inaugurated the event, mentioned that "The system has to be made corruption free. Like a cancer, corruption is the sore which drains the strength of a nation. Corruption has deprived the nation of better infrastructure and better facilities."

The UPSC chairman said, "Careers in public service have become more attractive in the context of a better emoluments regime, as also on account of the changes in the global economic scenario. This places a responsibility on the government system to tailor procedures and careers to suit the newer vistas."

UPSC has also plans for lowering the age of entry to the civil services.

"A reduction in the number of attempts allowed at the examination, as proposed by the Second Administrative Reform Commission (ARC), is however called for, so as to remove the premium on cramming and memorisation that a large number of attempts provides," Agrawal informed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Looking Positively of North Karnataka Flood

Dear Friends ,

The following article gives some points for disaster management in the public administration syllabus. Though it speaks of the North Karnataka flood scenario it can be used for answer writing for any disaster and to find positive impacts of disaster.


I have greatest sympathy for those whose life is can no more be called as life. In this grave scenario 'WHAT WE CAN DO' carries most significance than what has been happened and HOW WE CAN BUILD is of utmost importance than what has been destructed also how we can prevent these kinds of natural disasters should be given importance than only to bring their life to normalcy.

Though this is by far the worst calamity in NK , it provides immense opportunity to nation building activities for the administration in power and can be utilised to build real 'Siri Gandhada Gudi' ( land of sandalwood)

What can be done ?

Ofcourse our priority has to be - to bring the normalcy as soon as possible but it should not be done in a hurry and only for name sake.

Instead of giving them the life that they were living why not give them a better life ?

With this unwanted flood , we can remove THE SLUMS in entire NK by good planning - as everything that has to be destroyed to remove a slum has been done free of cost ! ( sorry if it sounded surcastically but I hope you can understand what I am telling ) and an unwanted opportunity to build from the scratch has been provided So why not make the most of it?

NK needs better irrigation system badly and requires small / big dams whereever possible which are oriented towards irrigation and building dam needs lot of displacement of people and needs lot of land acquisition activity - currently we have already displaced people and why not provide them good lands and accomodation now itself so that we can build good water reservoisers in future ?

Leave aside dams , for that matter any infrastructure building activity requires land acquisition - like SEZs , roads , industrial development ..why not identify the land now and promise those displaced people of better future.

In all the above tasks there is one common challenge-to convince the people and appropriately compensate them.

Most importantly this 'act of god' should provide good opportunity for the district administration to plug the gaps in disaster management.

While all these things takes time and political will and takes good visionary to make them visualise the better future - the question is who will bell the cat. Or does the governament know this can be done.

I hear a back bench voice telling me - if the government was this wise - this calamity would not have happened !!!

People have lost faith and hope in political promises and politicians have lost credibility among people. So they are not even giving good hopes to hope less people. Now you know Obama did not win the Nobel for nothing - its here he is successful - creating HOPE.

How it can be done ?

The immediate need for those displaced is to provide shelter , food and medical facilities this can be done as Srilanka did in a recent refugee camp during its full blown assault on LTTE. So lets establish a refugee shelter on a temporary basis instead of start building the houses where they were earlier and buy time say 3-4 months. This time can be utilised for the planning and with whole of government's resource at the disposal this is not an impossible task.

Though the task is easier said than done - it is not impossible - If the money available at governament's disposal is used efficiently without corruption the task is not difficult. Then remains convincing and promising the people of better future. If government does credible job withoug politicising the issues even this is not difficult and can be achieved.

In the worst case lets think - not all of what I mentioned above is not possible but two things can be definitely achieved - administration reforms in handling the disasters and removing the slums and building better connectivity

I only wish so called IAS officers will make better use of this opportunity in bringing the light to those lives whose life has been destroyed. With the amount money at the disposal I am not sure of the people affected by the flood but more than 100% sure that SOME officers' life will prosper.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Women in Rural Development Constrains and Opportunity

Dear Friends ,

The following article can be linked to Rural Development and Development Dynamics in the syllabus. I have highlighted important points please make a note of the same.



Throughout our country rural areas are characterized by high levels of poverty limited economic and employment opportunities undeveloped infrastructure and limited services with marginalized communities economically dependent on urban areas. For decades our rural communities were denied adequate education and our youth forced to abandon their homes and seek jobs in the cities. Our people were forced out of the countryside to become cheap migrant laborers in the factories, in the cities and on the farms. Our women in rural areas have had to bear the brunt of suffering by having to walk long distances to fetch water and collect firewood, by having to eke out their living and that of their families often on barren land to which they had been removed. They have remained pillars of strength in the community and we must pay tribute to their fortitude and resilience. Further our rural communities have to contend with lack of access to government services and unintended policy implementation consequences, as the implementation of policy tended to be biased towards the urban and semi urban areas.

We have to recognize women as the driving force for rural development. Women farmers are main food producers in developing countries and yet they are one of the most vulnerable groups. Their economic empowerment to produce more and to participate in policy formulation is critical to addressing poverty and food insecurity.

Before rural development can be successful, the important role of women has to be acknowledged. Moreover, they have to be fully integrated and given the possibility of acquiring knowledge and skills, and of utilizing them as well.

The government should also abolish the legally based discrimination of women fixed in inheritance rights; give them equal access to land, livestock, and means of production; make it possible for them to participate in business activities; and guarantee them a right to membership and voting in labor organizations, credit associations, and similar organizations.

The number of women in training and extension programmes should be increased, especially in posts from which they have been excluded until now. The contents and subjects of training and extension programmes should be expanded so that the role of women in production, processing, and marketing can also be taken into account.

To achieve participation equal to that of men in public institutions, the women's cooperative activities should be promoted. To achieve this goal, it will be necessary to create a system for ascertaining the obstacles hindering the participation of women in schools, health services, employment, and general development. Statistical data showing women's contribution in production should be compiled and published. Measures facilitating household work and care of the children increase the chance for women to participate in economic, training, and political activities. Men should also be obligated to do their share of household work.

Training facilities of equal quality for girls and women, with the same subject matter as for men, should be established and made attractive by offering scholarships. These institutions should be followed up by possibilities of earning an income with the guarantee of an equal salary for equal work. Training possibilities for women are especially important not only in the fields of agriculture and in non- agricultural gainful employment, but also in the sectors health, nutrition, children's education, and family planning. It is necessary to make sure that, during the transition from a traditional economy to the modern technologies; the negative implications for women are minimized.

The face of the farmer and natural resource manager is primarily female in most of the developing world. Knowledge, technology, policies, institutions and programmes must therefore be developed by putting women at the centre to orient structures and processes to address their needs as food producers and environmental managers through gender mainstreaming and investing in women and girls to bridge the existing gender gaps. The prevailing misunderstanding and neglect of this fact has contributed to a significant loss of opportunities and investments in women farmers and thus has had major consequences for food security and poverty alleviation. Rather than being regarded as a vulnerable group, women’s knowledge, experience and substantial roles make them experts in agriculture and natural resource management; they are key agents in the way forward for sustainable development.

As women bear the brunt of poverty, it is just and fair that the bulk of our programmes be targeted towards them. We have to ensure that they also enjoy the fruits of freedom. We need to formulate tangible programmes that will take women issues to the centre of our agenda. The consolidation of democracy in our country requires the eradication of social and economic inequities, especially those that are systematic in nature, which were generated in our history.

Though agriculture has a central role to play in the rural community, it is not an end in itself but a means to an end which is rural development. It remains one of the important ingredients which include access to healthcare, education and other government services such enabling documents. Therefore the project planning for rural development needs to take these factors into account. Although significant progress has been made in restructuring and transforming our society and institutions, systematic inequalities and unfair discrimination remain deeply embedded in social structures, practices and attitudes, undermining the aspirations of our constitutional federal democratic republic.

Civil servants goes judges’ way, declares assets

This is a great positive step from IAS officers towards achieving accountability and transparency in administration.This example can be used in answer writing while giving the positive view of the administration.


Taking a cue from the judiciary, two IAS officers and an IPS officer of the UP cadre have disclosed their assets and made it available on the website

Those who have disclosed their assets includes UP Additional Cabinet Secretary Vijay Shanker Pandey (Batch 1979), Sunil Kumar (Batch 1987), who is the vice-chairman of the Inland Waterways Authority of India, Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways and Jasvir Singh (Batch 1992), DIG, Training.

The three civil servants have already sent their letters declaring their assets to the Cabinet Secretary of the Central government, K M Chandrashekhar.

In his letter to the cabinet secretary, Pandey has written: “As officers of the Indian Administrative Service, we sincerely believe that there is an urgent need to introduce greater accountability, and transparency in administration and as a first step towards that end, the property return of all the IAS officers should be made public.”