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

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Perform or Perish?

The Administrative Reforms Commission makes radical suggestions, but who will implement them?

The term “public servant” as applied to the bureaucracy would be questioned in a country where anything slow-moving, corrupt and inefficient is described as “bureau-cratic”. That a sarkari naukri (government job) spells security no matter what the performance has long been a matter of resent-ment among people subject to a public servant’s lack of service. Now the second Administrative Reforms Commission’s (ARC) tenth reportRefurbishing of Personnel Administration: Scaling New Heights has recommended two intensive reviews of govern-ment staff on completion of 14 and 20 years, respectively, contin-uance beyond which would depend on the results of the review.

This report comes close on the heels of the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission which hiked the pay of nearly 50 lakh government employees by 21% with retrospective effect from 1 January 2006. Nearly 1.35 crore state government employees all over the country demanded and succeeded in getting parity with their central government counterparts. The public discourse occasionally demands accountability and performance-linked salary structures for government employees. Perhaps in response to such concerns, the ARC has suggested enactment of a civil services law with the performance-based continuation of service provision.

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