Hyderabad: The Centre’s decision to give opportunity for talented individuals from private sector to directly become joint secretaries came as a shocker for IAS officers, both incumbent and retired.
Though they are not against giving lateral entry to private sector employees, they feel outside experts could have been allowed to head government corporations involved in commercial activities but not as joint secretaries, which are regulatory jobs.
While the working IAS officers refused to come on record citing ‘service rules’, retired bureaucrats made their stand clear that this will damage the Indian administrative system.
Retired IAS officer V. Balasubramanyam, who worked in CMO during the Chandrababu Naidu’s regime in undivided AP, said, “Posts occupied by IAS officers are all about accountability. They are governed by code of conduct and service rules. If people hired on contract basis are made IAS officers, this would bring troubles in the long run. As a contract employee, they can quit whenever they want but an IAS officer is governed by code of conduct and will hang around till retirement. If contract employees take faulty decisions as joint secretaries and quit immediately thereafter, who should be held accontable for that. Their positions will be taken over by others who may modify the earlier decisions. This is create a gap in administration.”
Incumbent IAS officers opine that it’s very important for bureaucrats to know procedu-res and business rules to function in a system like Indian democracy, or else it will hamper the functioning of governments.
“Only those who clear UPSC exams and unde-rgo vigorous training in National Academy of Administration are well versed in government procedures and business rules. Individ-uals in private sector don’t possess these qualities. In corporate or business sector, the new method will work but in government sectors where they have to act as a bridge between political leadership and people, knowing procedures and business rules is a must else administration will be hit and also lead to several legal and other issues," said a senior IAS officer.
Nevertheless, bureaucrats are waiting for methodology to be adopted for selection of private individuals as joint secretaries to arrive at a clarity on how it would affect the Indian Administrative Services in the long run....