Indian civil services need urgent reform: US thinktank

WASHINGTON: The Indian administrative service, which is hamstrung by political interference and outdated personnel procedures, need urgent reform or risk institutional decline, according to a top US-based thinktank.

“Unfortunately, the IAS is hamstrung by political interference, outdated personnel procedures, and a mixed record on policy implementation, and it is in need of urgent reform,” the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said in its report on ‘The Indian Administratio ..

“The Indian government should reshape recruitment and promotion processes, improve performance-based assessment of individual officers, and adopt safeguards that promote accountability while protecting bureaucrats from political meddling,” said the report authored by Milan Vaishnav and Saksham Khosla.

cppstIn the report running into 50 pages, Carnegie said political interference generates substantial inefficiency: the best officers do not always occupy important positions, while political loyalty offers bureaucrats an alternative path to career success.

Noting that individual bureaucrats can have strong, direct, and measurable impacts on tangible health, education, and poverty outcomes, the report said surprisingly, officers with strong local ties — thought to be vulnerable to corruption — are often linked to improved public service delivery.

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