Topic– Part of static series under the heading – “Role of civil services”
5) One of the neglected areas of reforms of India’s senior civil services relates to the rationalisation of its branching structure and the related debate of generalist vs specialist services. Comment.(250 words)
Key demand of the question.
The question wants us to delve into the branching structure and division of India’s higher civil services into generalists and specialists, and express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and bring out the need for reforms in this aspect of civil services.
Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon. .
Structure of the answer
Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the need for reform in India’s higher civil services. E.g need to reform method and mode of recruitment and selection, promotion and performance evaluation, tenure and stability, job security and time-bound promotion, lateral entry and equal opportunity etc.
Discuss the need rationalisation of its branching structure and the related debate of generalist vs specialist services. E.g The periodic restructuring of individual branches has hardly achieved any objective goal with a long-term reform focus. Essentially, these exercises have been reduced to the rigmarole of inter-service comparison and then trying to ensure career/promotion prospects vis-à-vis other branches, often resulting in increasing the size of the service/branch, and creating a redundant structure and superfluous posts, especially at the senior management level. The result has been that no meaningful or rational end has been achieved, to say nothing of visionary change; Further, as all these services have a theoretical parity with the IAS, the very different reality that actually prevails has a further dampening effect. A recent Government of India study itself has rightly identified that at the national level, the issue of IAS officers occupying most of the senior management-level posts is a cause of deep concern and resentment among other branches; mention that in this era of highly dynamic social and economic challenges of our country, and also in light of the fact that these challenges are no less humongous or complex than they were at the time of independence etc.
Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.