Print Friendly, PDF & Email

SECURE SYNOPSIS: 21 May 2021

 

NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

1. India is trying to balance between its old ties with Palestine and growing relations with Israel. Elaborate with examples. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The article talks of the India’s role amidst the ongoing issues between Israel- Palestine.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the role being played by India in detail in the Israel- Palestine issue.

Directive:

Elaborate – Give a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with brief background of the question.

Body:

The violence started recently, when Palestinian protests began in Jerusalem over an anticipated decision of the Supreme Court of Israel on the eviction of six Palestinian families a neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem.

Israel’s operation “Guardian of the Walls” began with attacks on Hamas (a fundamentalist Palestinian group) tunnels close to the border fence with Israel.

India has adopted a balanced approach to the current Israeli-Palestine conflict that has pushed the volatile region into yet another cycle of violence.

Present the India’s long-standing position, discuss the dilemma before India.

Discuss the balancing act being played by India.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way ahead.

Introduction

At the open UN Security Council session on the Gaza conflict, India, a non-permanent member, attempted a delicate balancing act by reaffirming its traditional support for the Palestine cause without abandoning its new friend Israel.

T.S. Tirumurti, India’s Permanent Representative at the UN reiterated India’s “strong support for the just Palestinian cause and its unwavering commitment to the two-state solution”. But India was careful not to upset Israel’s sensitivities.

Body

Background to recent conflict

  • Israel has used disproportionate force against Hamas, which is fighting from Gaza.
  • The action of Hamas also reflects the growing dissatisfaction with Muhammad Abbas, the moderate Palestinian leader based in Ramallah in the West Bank.
  • Abbas has failed to conduct elections in the past 15 years. This has alienated a part of the Palestinian people and hardliners. This has also weakened the cause for a unified Palestine.
  • 20% of Israel’s population consists of Arab Muslims. The attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest shrine of Muslims has also alienated them and they are sympathizing with the Palestinian cause. Together with political instability in Israel, this may lead to a civil war in Israel.
  • The attack on the mosque has also given Islamic militants an opportunity to call for attacks across other parts of the world.

India’s stand on Israel-Palestine issue : A balancing Act

  • India has consistently voted in favour of those resolutions that promote the two-state solution with a Palestinian claim to East Jerusalem.
  • India has voted in a non-partisan manner, on UN resolutions wrt Israel and Palestine.
  • For instance, at the UN’s ECOSOC in June 2019 which ended the consultative status for a Palestinian NGO that Israel claimed had terror links, India voted in favour of Israel.
  • Whereas, India has remained “steadfast” in its support for Palestinian rights and has consistently voted in favour of Palestine at the United Nations on “15 key resolutions”.
  • India again reaffirmed its call for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and asked both sides to resolve all issues through direct negotiations.
  • India’s position on Palestine is independent and consistent. It is shaped by our views and interests, and not determined by any third country. This was proven when India did not support unilateral USA move to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel.
  • India believes that status quo must be maintained until a permanent solution is reached.

Conclusion

Looking at the ground situation, the resolution of the Israel Palestine conflict is still elusive. The only way forward is peace talks between the two countries as suggested by India and further negotiations on the two-state solution proposed by the United Nations.

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

2. Explain the possible implications for the States of the interpretation of the 102nd Amendment by the Supreme Court in the Maratha reservation case. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The article highlights the issues with the Supreme Court judgment in the Maratha reservation case.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the possible implications for the States of the interpretation of the 102nd Amendment by the Supreme Court in the Maratha reservation case.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Discuss first the brief background of the question.

Body:

Recently, the Supreme Court of India declared as unconstitutional a Maharashtra law which provided for reservation to the Maratha community.

Present the primary findings emanated from the judgment.

Then account for the Issues with the judgment.

Justify how the findings run against the values of equality and federalism, which the Court has long regarded as integral to India’s democracy.

Conclusion:

Suggest solutions and conclude.  

Introduction

On May 5, the Supreme Court of India declared as unconstitutional a Maharashtra law which provided for reservation to the Maratha community in education and public employment in the State. Four judges of the five-judge Bench wrote separate opinions, from which three primary findings emanated.

Body

Judgement and its contours

  • By a 3:2 majority, it ruled that after the passage of the 102nd Constitution Amendment Act in 2018, the States do not have any power to identify ‘socially and educationally backward’ (SEBC) classes.
  • One of the grounds was that the Act creating the Maratha quota through a new category called ‘SEBC’ was unconstitutional because after the introduction of the 102nd Amendment, the State legislature had no power to identify any new backward class.

Possible implications for the States due to SC judgement

  • Until now, the central government and each of the State governments produced separate lists declaring communities as socially and educationally backward.
  • This division in power, which gave States, autonomy to classify groups as backward, stood in contrast to the lists of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. In the
  • case of those lists, right from the Constitution’s inception, the power to prepare them vested solely with the Union government. But the Supreme Court has now held that this distinction no longer holds good.
  • If the majority’s interpretation of the 102nd Amendment is correct, then the changes altogether dispossess States from exercising a time-honoured authority.
  • Divesting the states of a power this critical, to classify groups as backward, entitling many communities to protection under Articles 15(4) and 16(4), can be seen as anything but offensive to the “essence” of federalism.
  • The changes, as interpreted by the Court, are by no means superficial; they directly impede the ability of States to secure a just social order.

Conclusion

The Union government has already filed a petition to review the judgment insofar as it limits the power of State governments. Should the Court refuse the plea, it is imperative that Parliament amends the Constitution and grants to States an express power to determine backwardness. Any other result will offend the delicate balance at the heart of Indian federalism.

 

Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

3.  Covid-19 demands a new model of citizen-focused governance, do you agree? Comment. (250 words)

Reference:  Times of India

Why the question:

The article explains in detail how Covid demands a new model of citizen-focused governance.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the importance and need of a new model of citizen-focused governance model for the country.

Directive:

Comment– here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with brief introduction of the context of the question.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Explain first why India needs a new model of governance to tackle the menacing challenges from super cyclones to mutating viruses.

Discuss the importance of designing a smart government.

Suggest methods to inculcate better and smart governance.

Conclusion:

Conclude that a smart government is humble and lean, works with evidence-based data, is focused on citizens’ lives and livelihoods and works in partnership with citizens at every level, with a bottom-up rather than top-down approach.

Introduction

There is an urgent need to ensure citizen-focused governance in the 21st century, where problems facing humanity are grave and unprecedented. The current century is likely to hurl evermore menacing challenges from super cyclones to mutating viruses. Smart governance is then need of the hour.

Body

Citizen-focused governance in times of pandemic

  • Expert decision making: An autonomous fully-empowered task force of top doctors, epidemiologists, scientists, even logistical experts to lead India on tracking the virus, genome sequencing, transport of oxygen and vaccine procurement was needed.
  • Decentralisation and facilitation: The Centre not only needs to resist centralisation of power but also needs to facilitate the states. Decentralisation does not mean leaving states to fend for themselves as has happened with confusing vaccine policies.
  • Cooperative federalism: Centre and states must urgently bridge the trust deficit, it is a matter of life and death. Prevent tug of war as seen in Delhi and West Bengal.
  • Constant communication: In India, when semi-literate populations can fall prey to fear, superstition and irrational panic, there is a need for a fact-based communication drive to inform the public and prevent panic.
  • Fixing accountability: Less ‘bureaucratic cholesterol’ and red tape means a better-targeted, focussed and efficient system, in which responsibility and accountability can be fixed.

Thus, small government, leadership of domain experts, decentralisation, shunning over-politicisation and a communication drive could become building blocks of smart government.

Need of the hour

  • Cash transfers to the millions of the labouring poor, will shield them from slipping deeper into hunger and joblessness and also spur growth, because all of this would be spent for simple, domestically produced goods.
  • Therefore, the ‘multiplier’ effects of this public expenditure would have been much higher than if spent on infrastructure projects.
  • Free rations and meals, as mandated by the Supreme Court, though beneficial, have very little expansionary effect on the economy, since the bulk of the commodities required come from decumulation of existing stocks of food grains.
  • Thus, both the need to provide relief and the imperative to revive the economy demand that a monthly cash transfer, of about ₹7,000 per family (the rough equivalent of minimum wages), be made to people, over and above the provision of free meals and rations.
  • What the state needs to do urgently is to take a range of measures that prioritise the right to life, which also remains the surest way of initiating assured (and equitable) economic recovery today.
  • Among them are enabling expanded production and central procurement of COVID-19 vaccines, and distribution to States for free immunisation to all.
  • Universal access to free food grains of 5 kg per month to all those who require it for the next six months; cash transfers of ₹7,000 per household for at least three months to those without regular formal employment.
  • Increased resources to the Integrated Child Development Services to enable revival and expansion of their programmes; making the MGNREGS purely demand-driven, with no ceilings on the number of days or the number of beneficiaries per household; and covering urban India with a parallel scheme that would also cater to the educated unemployed.

Conclusion

A smart government is humble and lean, works with evidence-based data, is focussed on citizens’ lives and livelihoods and works in partnership with citizens at every level, with a bottom-up rather than top-down approach.

 

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

4. Although Africa has been aggressively engaged with China, it wants India to act as a balancer and net security provider. Discuss. (250 words)

Reference:  Hindustan Times

Why the question:

The article presents to us the new opportunities in India-Africa relations.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the role of India as a balancer and net security provider to Africa.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with brief introduction of India-Africa relations.

Body:

Discuss India-Africa Relations from past to present.

Emphasize on the role played by India; India’s foreign policy ideas after Independence impacted African decolonization movements. Historically, Indian traders travelled regularly to the East African coast, forming relationships with local inhabitants in ports leading to the establishment of Africa-based family businesses, some of which exist even today.

This combined with the presence of an influential Indian diaspora has meant that India has meaningful, and positive, relationships with many African countries.

Discuss the need to battle the Chinese influence.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting opportunities that India has in Africa.

Introduction

India’s modern ties to Africa go back decades. From Indian trade with and immigration to Africa during the British colonial years to India’s anti-colonial national movement, and its subsequent pioneering of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), India established many links to African nations.

In recent times, China has overpowered India in terms of economic engagement. Yet India can leverage its soft power to improve footprint on Africa and counter aggressive Chinese in our neighbouring continent.

Body

Background

  • Although India has immense social capital among African nations, it has not matched this in material ties, and China’s economic and investment presence in Africa has been outstripping India’s for many years.
  • Not only does China’s economic footprint in Africa dwarf that of India, with over 10,000 Chinese firms operating on the continent and China becoming Africa’s largest trading partner, but with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects, China is offering more than simply large infrastructure projects and investments.
  • China is essentially trying to offer an alternative authoritarian model of development to African countries. Its
  • message is that no longer is the liberal international path the only road for African countries to take and prosper.
  • Because of the social capital India has in Africa, acquired through the historical, political, economic and people-to-people ties mentioned here, its presence is welcomed by African countries in a way that China’s is not.
  • There is not a whiff, for example, of the accusations of neo-imperialism aimed at Chinese
  • Companies such as Tata Motors in South Africa, Bharti Airtel one of the largest telecom operators on the continent, and the Aditya Birla Group are seen as beneficial for Africa.

India-Africa ties in recent times

  • India-Africa trade reached $62 billion in 2018 compared to $39 billion during 2009-10.
  • After South Asia, Africa is the second-largest recipient of Indian overseas assistance with Lines of Credit (LOC) worth nearly $10 billion (42 per cent of the total) spread over 100 projects in 41 countries.
  • Ties were boosted at the India Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) in 2015.
  • Forty per cent of all training and capacity building slots under the ITEC programme have traditionally been reserved for Africa.
  • Approximately 6,000 Indian soldiers are deployed in UN peace-keeping missions in five conflict zones in Africa.
  • Bilateral cooperation includes solar energy development, information technology, cyber security, maritime security, disaster relief, counter-terrorism and military training.
  • India has also launched several initiatives to develop closer relations, including the first-ever India Africa Defence Ministers conclave in February 2020 on the margins of the Defence Expo 2020.
  • India provides about 50,000 scholarships to African students each year. The huge Indian diaspora is a major asset.

 Africa wants India to act as a balancer vis-a-vis China

  • Soft power: India was ranked higher than China in a survey wrt trust and development initiatives in Africa. India is a development partner unlike China. China’s engagement of Africa, as elsewhere, is huge but increasingly regarded as predatory and exploitative.
  • Not just transactional: India is also expanding its development assistance to African countries beyond its traditional relationships within the Commonwealth in an effort to secure access to natural resources as well as serve its broader strategic aims.
  • Developmental Assistance: Currently, India’s forte in the continent has been developmental initiatives such as Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC), Team 9, and Pan Africa e-network among others are aimed at building institutional and human capacity as well as enabling skills and knowledge transfer.
  • Humanitarian assistance: As recently as in 2019, India was the first responder to the Cyclone Idai crisis in Mozambique. This has immense potential in the backdrop of China’s String of pearls in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • Pandemic cooperation: The Ministry of External Affairs has already extended the e-ITEC course on “COVID-19 Pandemic: Prevention and Management Guidelines for Healthcare Professionals” to healthcare workers in Africa.
  • Vaccine diplomacy: India sent crores of vaccines to poor African nations as aide under its Vaccine Maitri initiative.

Conclusion

India must tie up with other nations such as Japan and fast forward joint project like Asia Africa Growth corridor. Even a Quad plus idea was mooted where Africa can play a huge role, especially Eastern African nations. Africa’s trust and faith in India can ensure India’s role as a regional net security provider in the region which may propel India as a world leader.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

5. What is retrospective taxation? What has been the trend in India with respect to retrospective amendments of taxes? Explain. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

British oil company Cairn Energy Plc is suing Air India in New York to seize its assets to enforce the $1.2 billion arbitration award it won against the Indian government in a retrospective tax dispute. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the concept of Retrospective taxation and the trends in India with respect to it.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with what you understand by Retrospective taxation.

Body:

Retrospective taxation allows a country to pass a rule on taxing certain products, items or services and deals and charge companies from a time behind the date on which the law is passed.

Countries use this route to correct any anomalies in their taxation policies that have, in the past, allowed companies to take advantage of such loopholes. While governments often use a retrospective amendment to taxation laws to “clarify” existing laws, it ends up hurting companies that had knowingly or unknowingly interpreted the tax rules differently.

Apart from India, many countries including the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Canada, Belgium, Australia and Italy have retrospectively taxed companies, which had taken the benefit of loopholes in the previous law.

Discuss in detail the trends in India.

Conclusion:

Suggest way forward and conclude.

Introduction

The issue is in context of Cairn energy dispute. India’s refusal to settle with Carin energy after their recent arbitration award has opened up a prospect of a private company having to legally seize sovereign property globally, a course of action some of shareholders are starting to recommend. The cause of the problem is retrospective taxation which India brought in 2012, via its budget.

Cairn Energy is suing Air India in New York to seize its assets to enforce the $1.2 billion arbitration award it won against the Indian government in a retrospective tax dispute.

Body

Retrospective Taxation

As the name suggests, retrospective taxation allows a country to pass a rule on taxing certain products, items or services and deals and charge companies from a time behind the date on which the law is passed.

  • Countries use this route to correct any anomalies in their taxation policies that have, in the past, allowed companies to take advantage of such loopholes.
  • While governments often use a retrospective amendment to taxation laws to “clarify” existing laws, it ends up hurting companies that had knowingly or unknowingly interpreted the tax rules differently.

Amendments in respect of retrospective taxation

  • Till date one of the major and most controversial retrospective amendment carried out was bringing indirect transfer under tax bracket by Finance Act 2012.
  • Supreme Court in the case of Vodafone held that Section 9 does not authorize tax authorities to tax capital gains derived from indirect transfer of shares of Indian company while the main transaction was between two foreign companies to acquire a foreign company which had majority shares in Indian company.
  • It may be noted that quantum of transaction and tax foregone by tax department due to this Supreme Court ruling was huge.
  • Therefore, Government of India (Ministry of Finance) amended Section 9 of Income-tax Act, 1961 vide Finance Act 2012 and provided that shares or interest in any foreign company/entity shall be deemed to be situated in India if such shares or interest derives its substantial value from assets located in India.
  • Any capital gain from transfer of such shares or interest in foreign company deriving its substantial value from assets located in India was brought under tax levy.
  • Government did not stop at this amendment of new levy but made it effective retrospective from 1962.
  • This would mean Vodafone case where entire transactions were already carried out and ruling was also pronounced by Supreme Court could be brought to tax with this retrospective amendment.

Issues with Retrospective taxation

  • Parthasarathi Shome panel had suggested that retrospective amendment of tax laws should occur in exceptional or rarest of rare cases and with particular objectives and apply to matters that are “genuinely clarificatory” in nature.
  • Such taxation policy creation policy instability leading to reduced investments.
  • It deteriorates the confidence of business investors in India, thereby reducing capital inflows into the country.
  • Not only time but huge number of resources are spent on costly litigations and arbitrations abroad. It does not bode well for investor sentiments and acts as a disincentive for prospective investors.
  • When India promised no longer “tax terror”, such policies go against the very fabric of stated objectives.
  • Possibility of seizing sovereign property can lead to big humiliation for India.

Way Forward

  • An investment-friendly business environment would increase economic activity and help raise more revenue over time for the government.
  • It is to be hoped that tax officials’ desire to deny their defeat and to try and hang on to legally untenable revenue finds an unsympathetic hearing from politicians in the finance ministry.
  • India needs to craft meaningful and clear dispute resolution mechanisms in cross-border transactions to prevent the disputes from going to international courts, and save the cost and time expenditure.
  • Improving the arbitration ecosystem will have a positive impact on the ease of doing business.

 

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

6. Private Cryptocurrencies are best treated as risky investment assets rather than actual currencies in the age of renewed inflation fears. Analyse. (250 words)

Reference:  Live Mint

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of private Cryptocurrencies and issues related therein.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the nuances of private Cryptocurrencies and discuss the risks associated.

Directive:

AnalyzeWhen asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with what Cryptocurrencies are.

Body:

Age of Cryptocurrencies dawned in 2008, the aftermath of global financial meltdown and loss of trust in fiat currencies. Satoshi Nakamoto gave a new peer-to-peer payments system that would bypass the traditional financial system.

Discuss in detail the drawbacks of using cryptocurrency as a currency; Inability to generate liquidity during payments crisis, Immense volatility in prices, Inflationary pressures etc.

Explain the potential Significance of Cryptocurrencies.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

The age of cryptocurrencies dawned in 2008. In October that year, Satoshi Nakamoto wrote his famous proposal for a new form of peer-to-peer payments that would bypass the traditional financial system: Bitcoin. The use of blockchain technology for a payment system is without doubt one of the most exciting new developments in finance.

Body

Background

  • Cryptocurrencies are better suited to be investment assets, though they are susceptible to roller-coaster rides, since there is no way, the supply can adjust to swings in demand. We have seen a lot of this in recent months.
  • The antics of Dogecoin are only the starkest example.
  • Private cryptocurrencies should ideally be treated as risky investment assets rather than currencies, even as central banks begin work on using blockchain to issue a new form of sovereign money.
  • Many cryptocurrency enthusiasts see them as protection against the high inflation that central banks tend to unleash on the world.

Private cryptocurrencies: Risky investment assets

  • The idea of a private, frictionless payment system with 2.6 billion active users may sound attractive.
  • But as every banker and monetary policymaker knows, payment systems require a level of liquidity backstopping that no private entity can provide.
  • Unlike states, private parties must operate within their means and cannot unilaterally impose financial obligations on others as needed. That means they cannot rescue themselves.
  • They must be bailed out by states, or be permitted to fail.
  • The immense volatility in cryptocurrency prices makes them poorly suited to be either a medium of exchange or a unit of account, especially for the long-term contracts that underpin the modern economy.
  • A volatile asset can be used to buy a pizza, but is hardly useful when it comes to employment or supply chain contracts that firms sign over the years.
  • Recent years have seen attention focused on ‘stablecoins’ such as Facebook’s Libra (called Diem now).
  • These are backed by either sovereign currencies such as the dollar or physical assets such as gold, and are designed to be used for payments in the traditional financial system as well.

Conclusion

Cryptocurrency prices have soared during a decade when much of the world was battling deflation rather than inflation. In case the recent inflationary momentum picks up, it will be worth seeing which way cryptocurrency prices move. But ultimately, they are not considered stable to be widely accepted as means of payment or investment at this point, especially considering how the trajectory of bitcoin has been.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

7. Do you think the Weberian model of traditional bureaucracy in India is obsolete and beside the point in present day public services?  Examine. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The article explains the outdated nature of bureaucracy.

Key Demand of the question:

One is expected to detail upon the Weberian model of traditional bureaucracy and its relevance in today’s times.

Directive:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with explaining – COVID-19 has tested the resilience of all public institutions. Despite its efforts, bureaucracy has emerged as a major concern for the ineffective response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Explain first the Weberian bureaucracy; Traditional bureaucracy is still stuck with the leadership of position over leadership of function. Leadership of function is when a person has expert knowledge of a particular responsibility in a particular situation. The role of the leader is to explain the situation instead of issuing orders.

Discuss how Bureaucracy has become an end in itself rather than a means to an end.

Explain the issues and concerns associated – the rigid adherence to rules has resulted in the rejection of innovation etc.

Conclusion:

Take hints from the article and suggest what needs to be done.

Introduction

In the classical approach to administration, Weberian model of bureaucracy finds a central place. Max Weber is the first thinker who has systematically studied the bureaucracy. He has provided a theoretical framework and basis for understanding bureaucracy. Max Weber’s analysis influenced many modern writers on bureaucracy. The Weberian ideal type bureaucracy continues to be the dominant paradigm in the public administration.

Body

Weber gave features of ideal-type bureaucracy.

The features of the “ideal-type” of bureaucracy as organization are as follows:

  • Administration is carried out on a continuous basis, not simply at the pleasure of the leader.
  • Tasks in the bureaucratic organization are divided into functionally distinct areas, each with the requisite authority and sanction.
  • Offices are arranged in the form of a hierarchy.
  • The resources of the bureaucratic organization are distinct from those of the members as private individuals (that is, administrators do not own the means of administration).
  • The officeholder cannot appropriate the office (that is, the office cannot be sold by the official or passed on by heredity).
  • Administration is based on written documents.
  • Control in the bureaucratic organization is based on impersonally applied rational rules. Thus, it is not simply the existence of rules but the quality and mode of application of those rules that distinguishes the bureaucratic organization.

Relevance in contemporary times

  • In spite of criticism from the several scholars, the ideas of Weber on bureaucracy continue to be relevant to understand the present administrative system. So
  • far we have not been able to evolve an alternative model to Weber’s bureaucracy. Weber is right in saying that when we are accustomed to the bureaucracy we cannot think of any other alternative. It is highly useful for managing large-scale organisations.
  • His ideas on selection of officials based on qualifications, utility of written documents in administration, hierarchy etc., can be seen in any administration of the present day.
  • The monocratic bureaucracy proposed by Weber is superior to all other forms of organisations in achieving the prescribed objectives.
  • To overcome some of the problems of the bureaucracy, we can only bring reforms in it, but cannot replace it with any other organisation.
  • Whether it is capitalist society or a socialist society, irrespective of the nature of economy, we find the bureaucracy playing a very important role.
  • The people who talk about the de-bureaucratisation of the society have not been able to find a viable alternative to the bureaucracy.
  • Even in the present context of liberalisation and privatisation, which emphasises on a minimalist state, cannot escape the necessity of bureaucracy to perform some of the functions of the state.
  • We cannot think of the implementation of all the welfare and developmental programmes without the help of bureaucracy.
  • The voluntary organisations and other forms of people’s organisations can only supplement the bureaucracy, but they cannot substitute the bureaucracy.
  • In the context of developing countries, people look to the bureaucracy for their day-to-day requirements.
  • Hence, the bureaucracy of Weberian type continues to find its relevance even today.

Conclusion

Weber can be considered as one of the eminent thinkers of twentieth century. Though he has written extensively on various subjects, his contribution to the theory of bureaucracy is highly valued. Today we can see it in practice in all the societies of the world. Weber being proved correct when he said that the societies once governed by the bureaucracy can never get rid of it. His ideas on authority, rationality of bureaucracy continues to be relevant for the present-day society. Most of the time, those who criticise the Weberian model are not actually criticising Weber, but the present-day bureaucracy, which reflect the changes that are taking place in the contemporary period. Bureaucracy might need certain reforms to make it more relevant to the society.


  • Join our Official Telegram Channel HERE for Motivation and Fast Updates
  • Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE to watch Motivational and New analysis videos