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Lateral Entry into Central Government

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Polity


Source: TH

 Context: The Government has decided to recruit 17 senior officers in the Central government from the private sector through lateral entry.

  • This is the fourth such recruitment drive proposed to be undertaken by the government which had in 2018 initiated lateral entry to bring fresh talent and augment the availability of manpower.


About Lateral Entry:

The term lateral entry relates to the appointment of specialists, mainly those from the private sector, in government organisations.

Committees’ recommendations on lateral entry:

  • The idea has been advocated by Surinder Nath Committee (2003), Hota Committee (2004) and Second ARC (2008).
  • NITI Aayog, in its three-year Action Agenda (2017—2020), recommended the induction of personnel at middle and senior management levels in the central government.


Arguments in Favour of Lateral EntryArguments Against Lateral Entry
Twin objective of bringing in fresh talent and augmenting manpower.Difficulty adjusting to bureaucratic work culture.
Domain expertise synthesized with the multi-sectoral wisdom of the permanent civil service.Short tenures are not conducive to holding accountability.
Increasing complexity in governance (e.g., digitalization, financial frauds, cybercrime).Lack of field experience.
Increased efficiency through competition within governance.Need for a transparent process
 Profit motive vs. public service: Balancing profit orientation with public service objectives may be a challenge.



To make lateral entry successful, it is essential to strike a balance between the advantages it brings and the challenges it poses. The selection process should be transparent and credible, with specific criteria that attract domain experts and eminent individuals. Adequate training and support should be provided to lateral entrants to help them navigate the bureaucratic work culture and ensure effective collaboration with existing civil servants.


 Insta Links:

Lateral Entry


Mains Link:

“Lateral entry into administration is a reform that needs to be better implemented”, do you agree? Give your opinion with a suitable justification. (250 words)