ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Reforming Civil Service

manifold and simultaneously the added 'glory' of providing the stable government will help it garner its vote base to further extent. The argument that on coming to power it will expose itself, is part optimism PRABHU Ghate's article 'Reforming the Civil Service: Meeling Crucial Need for Expertise' (EPW. February 14-20) has little to offer by way of either new insight or new ideas. In fact, the article contains old generali- sations without any additional evidence to substantiate the earlier complaints. In such categories will fall statements such as India's record in implementing anti-poverty programmes comparing unfavourably with many developing countries on the count "partly for lack of commitment and partly for lack of expertise on the part of bureau- cracy" and the statement that "because civil servants so often serve the private interest of politicians at the central, state and district levels, the system has found political support". In the same category falls the other statement "India is probably the only indus- trialising country in which an elite generalist civil service virtually monopolises the top jobs with very littte expertise' and the general statement that "the lack of expertise in top positions because of generalism and doctrine of rotation is an even greater problem in the centre". A layperson might express such per- ceptions but they could not have found a place in a study supposed to have been done after 'sout searching' to provide a "challenge to the bureaucracy to attain new standards of excellence". That hierarchical layering of the system was antithetical to developmental administration or that routine administration had been completely neglected leading to "widespread apathy and corruption among lower staff' and there is "very little specialisation or concentration of developing expertise" are criticisms which are not new.

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