‘Lateral entry’



Without developing the broad contours of the policy of lateral entry — which will be impartial, prudent and independent — the scheme may become another tool for the government to position people in key areas in order to have greater control over administration. If one is to go by past experience of various appointments, there have been numerous instances of nepotism, with no safeguards. And what happens if a lateral entry ‘bureaucrat’ is found to be corrupt?

Lastly, governments in India are generally sluggish and there is need for a greater degree of administrative skills to get things done. A bureaucrat in the proper sense has encountered numerous administrative hurdles and would know how to solve them. One wonders whether a lateral entry candidate, with no experience in administration, would be able to function in the same manner (Editorial page, “Making ‘lateral entry’ work”, August 14).

Gagan Pratap Singh,

Noida, Uttar Pradesh

Government bureaucracy can be tough on outsiders. Even with their brilliant ideas, they might not fit in as administrators unlike a civil servant who is appointed after a rigorous selection process and extensive training.

An alternative that comes to mind is that instead of appointing private sector executives as ad hoc public servants, they could be appointed as advisers in different fields to enhance administration. They might also help in ensuring transparency in governance.

Soumya Satapathy,

Bhubaneswar, Odisha

What are the checks and balances in the scheme to stop the ruling dispensation from furthering its political agenda? There is no answer to this in the article. For this, the appointing authority must be of impeccable integrity and free of any governmental interference.

Kumar Hrishikesh,


A civil servant has a better understanding of society than a managerial-level executive of a profit-making machine. A civil servant is trained from day one to focus on social welfare. If the issue is about policy-making and expertise, one must not forget that it is the minister who will have the last say. We do need technical experts in policy, but as outside advisers.

Sagar A. Maske,


There is no need to raise a hue and cry over the plan as this is a golden chance to induct talented minds as such persons will have experience and specialisation in the required fields. This is also a chance to serve the nation. The only caution is that it should not descend into nepotism and politicisation of the bureaucracy. There should be periodic reviews of the said officers to eliminate underperformers.

Gayathri Dayanand,

Kallai, Kozhikode, Kerala

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 8:44:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/lateral-entry/article24692890.ece

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