Former Union Minister and chairman of the Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) under the UPA government, M. Veerappa Moily, has rung alarm bells over the manner in which the current government is bringing in lateral entrants into the Civil Services.
Speaking to The Hindu , Mr. Moily said: “Lateral entry into the government is not new, it has happened in an ad hoc manner in the past. But the current government should come out with a framework policy since they want to institutionalise it, they haven’t done that, simply issued advertisements,” he said.
“What are the elements of a framework policy? At the outset, selection process should be objective. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has been in charge of recruitment of civil servants, and there is a process in place, which is strict and objective. The Indian Administrative Service selection as such has not been questioned till today, except perhaps to say that there is a colonial overhang in the system,” he added.
“The way in which this government is going about the matter, straightaway advertising posts to be filled is akin to opening a Pandora’s box. It will hurt the current set of bureaucrats, who may have to report to these lateral appointees, and which is opposite of the continuity that is there in the Indian Civil Services system.
“Our system is different from the ‘spoils’ system of the United States where whenever a new President is elected, he brings his civil servants with him, a committed bureaucracy that works with a directly recruited one. The current move of the government is a back entry being granted to the ‘spoils’ system,” he said.
On the question of requiring specialised personnel to deal with Finance and other Ministries, he said he had suggested in the 10th report of the ARC that at the time of training, those with some aptitude for specialised positions can be trained in that line.
He also flagged the social obligations of government recruitment.
“What about the reservation policy in place in government jobs? We have SC/ST, OBC quotas that have to be taken into account. There shouldn’t be this kind of disruption in the system. Most importantly, what is the guarantee that this kind of lateral entry will not lead to politicisation of the civil service? There is already a pre-Civil Services exam training institute run by the RSS. When the country is going to the polls in a year, what is the hurry to recruit like this? The danger of saffronisation is very much present,” he said.