Bureaucratic reforms : Crucial need of hour

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Mayank Goel, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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There could be no two opinions about the need for the political leadership and the bureaucracy in a functioning democracy like India, to work in sync for the optimum implementation of the government’s programs.

Unless the two wings of the democratic system work in tandem, implementation of the programs would be fraught with the prospects of the watering down of the effect of the result when it trickles down to the common man who forms the fulcrum of the system of governance.

A flawed officialdom, with uncooperative civil servants in its ranks, is the biggest handicap that any government that aspires to translate into action the lofty principles of the ruling party for the betterment of the masses it is mandated to serve could be saddled with. A recalcitrant civil service is far worse than a vindictive political Opposition, which goes at the ruling party hammer and tongs at every available opportunity, with or without provocation.

While the ruling party could add, in the course of taking on a vindictive Opposition, strength to its political muscles and ideological armour by devising ingenious counter measures, a flawed administration would turn out to be its very undoing by failing or refusing to carry across to the public the government’s message of development in real terms.

And yet, it is the party in power that would be upbraided and penalized by the voters at the next round of hustings for failing to fulfill its mandate, leaving the faceless bureaucracy out of the pale of accountability. The secret of successful governance is, therefore, for the political leadership to keep an alert and watchful eye on the bureaucracy for ensuring the vindication of its raison detre.

No government worth its name could afford to be far too heavily dependent on the officialdom for the effective dissemination of its policies and programs in absolute terms among the voters; nor could it completely divest or distance itself from the motions that the administration meanders through. Aside from the inept and corrupt officials who owe their selection and induction into pivotal positions in the system and survival to an erstwhile political dispensation, a top heavy system of administration with reluctant bureaucrats at the higher levels, with ideological proclivity and leanings of loyalty towards a party in the Opposition, is fraught with the risk of the frustrated elements working against the political interests of the prevailing dispensation.

It is, therefore, important that the inept and corrupt elements in the civil services are identified and rendered harmless by a government immediately on its induction into power. It is for this purpose and in the overall interests of the nation that timely reforms in the bureaucracy assume relevance and importance.

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