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    May 2014

Modifying bureaucracy…


Can half-an-hour of interview be the basis of a person claiming superiority over others? Is it fair to give preferential treatment to officers belonging to a particular Civil Service? Again, is it logical to appoint a person at the helm of affairs of a Government department even if he has no knowledge or expertise in that particular discipline? The answer to these questions is ‘Yes’ if you are a part of the Indian bureaucratic system. But there is a growing resentment among non-IAS officers who allege that the prevailing Central Staffing Scheme (CSS) is biased and heavily tilted towards IAS officers. As per the Centre’s policy, the IAS officers have an edge vis-à-vis other Civil Services officers. Compared to other Civil Services officers, those from the IAS have the smoothest career progressions and easy accesses to levers of power. IAS officers occupy almost all senior-most posts at the Centre and in States. Strangely, the policy undermines the calibre and expertise of non-IAS officers in their respective fields and instead an IAS officer is appointed to the top echelons of a department even if he or she has no knowledge and experience of that particular discipline. However, the situation might change if the BJP-led NDA comes to power at the Centre. Credible BJP sources inform Bureaucracy Today that if Narendra Modi becomes Prime Minister, there is a strong possibility of a revolutionary reform in the bureaucratic system which will “end the hegemony of the IAS lobby” and will bring All India Civil Services officers on a par. Our Cover Story brings to light India’s flawed bureaucratic system and how the career growth of non-IAS officers is trampled by the IAS lobby through the highly skewed process of empanelment under the Central Staffing Scheme.  Also in this issue, BT brings its readers an exclusive report on the ONGC which tells a sordid saga of the largest integrated petroleum company in India. Confidential documents in possession of Bureaucracy Today reveal that former ONGC CMD Sudhir Vasudeva, who retired on February 28 this year after Oil Minister Veerappa Moily’s recommendation for a one-year extension to him was rejected by the Government, has left behind him a legacy of failure and a severe compromise of efficiency, neglect and cost overruns in the nation’s largest oil PSU.   CBI Joint Director (Policy) Javeed Ahmad who is known for his honesty and integrity shares his experiences with Bureaucracy Today and is candid enough to admit the loopholes in the policing system. The professional journey of the bureaucrat who believes that a police officer gets “an opportunity to wipe the tears of a person everyday” is an inspiration to the new generation of IPS officers who strive to bring a change in the police-public relationship. 

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