How Bureaucrats Are Destroying India

Narendra Modi interacting with the Secretaries to the Government of India, in New Delhi on December 31, 2015.

Narendra Modi interacting with the Secretaries to the Government of India, in New Delhi on December 31, 2015.

While most politicians are illiterate, the bureaucrats – including IAS, IPS, IFS officers – lack expertise in the departmental domains that they are supposed to manage.

By Rakesh Raman

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the bureaucrats of India to help develop the country, it was a case of blind asking the blind for help to cross the road.

Modi had a 70-minute discussion Thursday with the Secretaries to Government of India to find ways that could help the country come out of the persisting dire straits.

Union Ministers Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, and Nitin Gadkari were present at the meeting.

If after even seven decades of its independence, India is still an underdeveloped country, it is mainly because politicians and bureaucrats are clueless about the evolving paradigms of governance.

While most politicians including Modi are illiterate, the bureaucrats – including IAS, IPS, IFS officers – lack expertise in the departmental domains that they are supposed to manage.

These bureaucrats somehow clear the Civil Services Exam that has a very low eligibility criteria and a poor assessment mechanism which cannot evaluate a candidate’s ability to manage the affairs of a country. It is basically a clerical test for simple graduates.

In a country where graduates, postgraduates and even Ph.D. holders fail to get even peons’ jobs, these simple graduates become bureaucratic rulers and treat the commoners like slaves.

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While you cannot expect Indian politicians to have communication skills because almost all of them are uneducated, even bureaucrats are clueless about the use of English language to communicate among themselves and with the public.

In fact, bureaucrats cannot write even three original sentences in English. They are mostly dependent on the documents that were created by the Britishers when Indians were slaves to them.

As their language and communication skills are horrible, bureaucrats prefer not to respond to citizens’ requests and the citizen services have always suffered in India.

[ How India Abuses Children’s Right to Education ]

Now, strangely Modi is asking these incompetent bureaucrats to help India progress. Modi said that the vast expertise of the Secretaries in various domains of the governance, should now be leveraged to bring about “breakthroughs, rather than incremental change.”

He advised Secretaries to come up with ideas for progressive change in areas such as good governance, employment generation, education and health, farmer-centric initiatives, budgeting, inclusive growth, Swachh Bharat Campaign, etc.

Modi – who believes in hype rather than substance – emphasized that in each of these areas, the focus should be on measures which will improve the lives of people. He laid stress on people’s participation in governance, and empowerment of the common man.

Secretaries will now interact among each other, in sub-groups over the next two weeks, after which they will present their ideas and suggestions to Modi.

By Rakesh Raman, who is the managing editor of RMN Company and runs free schools for poor children under his NGO – RMN Foundation.

Photo courtesy: Press Information Bureau

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