It is well-known that most Indian politicians prefer loyalty to competence when it comes to choosing bureaucrats. A report on this website shows that an officer from the Indian Administrative Service is likely to spend less than a year on any specific posting in a state such as Haryana. The cost is borne by citizens—not only in terms of seeing good officers often shunted around but also because short tenures cause administrative myopia.
The Fifth Pay Commission had in its 1996 report made the radical suggestion that bureaucrats should have a minimum tenure of three years in any posting. It had also recommended cutting down the size of the bureaucracy. The Public Services Bill of 2006 had also wanted minimum tenures for officers such as district collectors. There are no prizes for guessing why politicians from across the spectrum have buried such ideas. Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs to take a wrecking ball to the transfers racket.
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