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Transforming Indian Bureaucracy: Making the Steel Frame Stainless

indian bureaucracy

Since PM Modi got re-elected, the union government has continued to take several steps to transform bureaucracy into a lean and clean professional service that can take on the issues faced by the country that are unique to the 21st century.

From taking tough measures through the compulsory retirement of non-performing officers to  motivating the well-performing officers by infusing a new work culture in the bureaucracy, the government-led by PM Modi has been proactive in transforming Indian bureaucracy. We shall now look at a few recent measures the government has taken in this regard.

Induction of Lateral Entry Professionals

In a historic move, nine private sector professional specialists joined the union government at joint secretary levels. The appointments have been made for departments of revenue, financial services, economic affairs, agriculture, and farmers welfare, road transport and highways, shipping, environment, forest and climate change, new and renewable energy, civil aviation, and commerce.

These lateral entrants joined the government after a two week of induction course from September 23rd to October 4th which were addressed by top functionaries from both government as well as the corporate world with likes of Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Secretary to the PM, Bhaskar Kulbe, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, 15th Finance Commission Chairman N K Singh, Principal Economic Advisor Sanjeev Sanyal  and corporate tycoon Nandan Nilekani among others.

The Government announced its intention to further appoint outside experts to 10 positions of Joint Secretary and 40 positions at Deputy Secretary/Director level in identified Ministries/Departments.

The recruitments have been done in a bid to infuse domain expertise in key government departments and are aimed at bringing in specialized talent in various government departments, contributing to better governance.

Aarambh- Common Foundation Training Programme

PM Modi’s Government over the past 5 years had already taken several steps to ensure better all round training of Officer trainees to ensure they are well equipped to hit the ground running.

Now the PM has instituted another facet into the training by organising a six-day workshop for all 430 officer trainees at the end of their common foundation course which took place at the statue of unity.

A prominent theme of a workshop was on “how to make India a $5-trillion economy by 2024”. The keynote address at the retreat was delivered by Mr. David Malpass, President of the World Bank spoke to the probationers about the global economic situation.

Addressing the officer trainees PM Modi said that no bureaucratic posting should be seen as a punishment rather be treated as an opportunity. He asked them to work to get rid of the negative perceptions surrounding administrative services and focus on improving the ease of living for the common man. PM Modi advised that Instead of trying to solve all the problems, young officers should adopt ‘One-District- One Problem-Total Solution’ and gain people’s goodwill by solving one problem at a time.

Stressing that ‘Seva Paramodharma’ should be the mantra of civil services, the Prime Minister shared with the probationers as to how Sardar Patel demonstrated many a time that to bring about a change in the common man’s life there is a necessity of a strong will & determination. He added that the same bureaucracy helped Sardar Patel integrate princely states into the country.

PM Modi in an Interactive session with officer Trainees at statue of Unity (Source: PIB)

A new mentorship programme called ‘Nurture the Future’ was also launched where all the 430 officer trainees were assigned a youth from nearby villages to nurture and provide career and professional guidance.

Over the next five years, the initiative is expected to cover nearly one lakh youth throughout the country as part of the foundation course of probationers who have just passed the civil services exam and joined the country’s elite bureaucracy.

Iron Man Sardar Patel had described the Indian bureaucracy as ‘Steel Frame of India’ and we have seen PM Modi’s government is taking all steps to further strengthen this steel frame.