Dalelorenzo's GDI Blog
8Mar/210

View: Why IAS needs to change to IES in spirit

In an singular( probably the first for any Indian PM) lecture in Parliament, PM Modi commented on what the IAS, or even the part civil service employees parish, could do better. Solely, he mentioned four things -- a) a need to change the negative attitudes of disdain, distrust and cynicism towards the private sector and profit-making entities, b) questioned why babus need to run everything( from fertiliser bushes to airlines, c) emphasised private sector organizations as a necessary and equal stakeholder in the country’s progress, d) asked where will India contact if the entire country is handed back in the hands of babus? Affirmations like these recommend a major displacement in how the top leadership of the country speculates, which incidentally also mirrors the thinking of millions of India’s youth. Progress, specially the “$ 5 trillion GDP goal” kind of progress, is absolutely impossible without a thriving private sector. And more, our babus has not been able to progressed as fast to fit in with the new economic goals of India. In fact,' babu’ has now become a mildly injurious text -- suggesting person old-fashioned, who creates red-tape, retards things down and enjoys harassing others with their power.The civil services community does need to take some responsibility. Nonetheless, putting the part blamed on them would neither solve anything nor will it be completely fair.There are several reasons why the IAS( and the other civil servants) are the way they are, which we need to understand if we truly want to fix things.The single biggest reason for a sub-optimal civil service is a wholly outdated and warped performance measurement structure, which incentivises the status-quo. A civil servant is never reinforced for making a big positive change. They are, nonetheless, penalised if things go wrong.Let’s say an IAS officer feels the current website of the public service he works for is terrible. A private house should be hired to re-do it. What’s the incentive to get this done? Why not just wait( or coast) in your job for three years, until the next posting and advertisement, which is essentially guaranteed if no feathers are ruffled. Now, if he were to hire a brand-new private firm, there would be a) a ton of additional part getting favors b) someone could allege bribes were made, or perhaps bribes are actually made at some elevation, c) the website may not turn out as huge or may take longer and d) you would be bothering other' coasting’ colleagues who hate you now for creating additional work, rather than just waiting it out until the next publicity. Best case, even though they are an astonishing brand-new website is made, the public interests, but the IAS person who did it all comes nothing for it. What would a typical polouse do with such trade-offs? Well , nothing. Coast, wait, publicity, posting, repeat.The problem is India as a country cannot afford to coast and wait. For while the IAS gets a promotion for coasting, India as a whole merely comes left behind. India won’t rise unless we work fast, hard-boiled, become innovative, improve things and appoint organisations that allow us to do all that.In this aspect of warped incentives, it’s not the civil servant’s fault. He or she has been told, don’t rock the boat. Ever. If the government wants to change this, the incentive arrangements of the IAS and other civil services must be overhauled.However, while systemic changes are needed, there is something the civil servants’ community needs to change too. Fact is, the system may be wrong, but civil servants haven’t exactly screamed for big change. Once they get through the insanely competitive exam, there seems to be a fondness for the current system more. Coasting could become comfortable after all. Then there’s the power, the idea that a billionaire will come home tonight and fold hands to get something -- it could get quite addictive. There’s too an acute disconnect with technology, especially amongst the older major detectives. Tech can alter governance, specified those in in-charge know the power of it. The numerous sluggish sarkaari websites tell you not many in the government know about UIs( user interface) or determining websites from the point of view of the user , not the government department itself.Some of these aspects can be fixed( modify attitudes, shape tech improve obligatory ), and need to be as they are slowing India down horribly. It is breeding chum capitalism. It is keeping us in the India of 1980 s, where a sarkari mai-baap earmarked you to do business. As the PM said, durations have changed. Civil slaves have to not just administer, but too enable progress. That’s why, it is probably better if we change the IAS to IES. From Indian Administrative Work to Indian Enabling Service , not only in name, but also in spirit.Chetan Bhagat is a bestselling author and a popular newspaper columnist.

Read more: economictimes.indiatimes.com

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