Can IAS Officers Provide Good Governance to Citizens?

The President, Shri Ram Nath Kovind with the Assistant Secretaries (IAS Officers of 2016 Batch), at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on July 27, 2018.
The President, Shri Ram Nath Kovind with the Assistant Secretaries (IAS Officers of 2016 Batch), at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on July 27, 2018.

In today’s increasingly specialized and cut-throat world, a person needs in-depth knowledge and extensive domain expertise to handle a particular department even in a small company. But it is highly unfortunate that people with no qualification or expertise become Presidents, Governors, Prime Ministers, ministers, and bureaucrats in India to manage highly complex domains of governance. That’s why India continues to be a poor, underdeveloped country. Click here to read more.


A group of 176 IAS officers of the 2016 batch, currently posted in different Ministries and Departments of the Government of India at the rank of Assistant Secretary, called on the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind on Friday at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Addressing the officers, the President said that the IAS is our premier all-India service. It is one of those institutions that knit together our country with a common governance framework, a shared administrative ethos and by promoting a uniform culture and value system in public service.

As IAS officers in the districts and state capitals, the officers will be responsible for implementation of national and Union government programs. These may sometimes be tailored or adapted for local conditions.

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Kovind said this makes the officers an important link between the government of India and the state government. It is incumbent upon them to bring the learning, expertise, experience and standards of integrity of an elite all-India service to every rung of government in our very diverse country.

The President pointed out that many of the officers will end their careers as Secretaries in the 2040s – perhaps at about the time India celebrates the 100th anniversary of Independence. Today we are a US $ 2.5 trillion economy. By the 2040s, our GDP will be six or seven times as large.

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The President said that as IAS officers, it will be their mandate to equip our people, equip our government and equip our country to deal with the challenges and opportunities of an economy of that size.

This will call for enhancing use of technology in the way they work and function. It will call for breaking out of silos and seeing government as a seamless service provider – not as a series of closed compartments. Above all, it will call for a radical overhaul of the nature of administration – and of the interface between citizen and government.

Photo courtesy: Press Information Bureau

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Rakesh Raman