Starting at the top
- Hardik Patel’s key aides join BJP ahead of Gujarat assembly elections
- Opec says ‘all options are open’ as compliance at record level
- Army has to remain prepared to counter Doklam-like situation: Bipin Rawat
- Put mandatory Aadhaar linking with bank accounts on hold: Bank union AIBOC
- India beat Pakistan 4-0 to enter Asia Cup final
Speaking to bureaucrats on Thursday, Civil Services Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi advised them not to work in silos but as a team; to experiment in order to bring about change. These are laudable sentiments. But the onus of bringing about structural change in the Indian bureaucracy and its methods of functioning rests as much with its political masters.
As we have written in this space, there have been various recommendations, such as in the Fifth Pay Commission’s 1996 report, for a minimum tenure for bureaucrats. In the absence of such safeguards, and with political interference rampant—the Puttingal temple tragedy seems to be the latest example—a change in the bureaucratic mindset that prioritizes not rocking the boat is unlikely.
And coordination and cooperation are tough sells when the governance structure is replete with redundant ministries and departments. Modi must start at the top in order to rejuvenate the bureaucracy.