most failures, whether more than 30 percent of population below the poverty line or rampant corruption in public services, can be attributed to poor administration. here we need to know that administration is not governance, which involves policy actions and legislative tasks, and it is the liability of civil servants, not politicians. thus, the salaried employees of the state, with fixed jobs and perks, are answerable for misadministration and implementation lapses.
the constitution talks of all-india services, the personnel for which are hired through competitive exams conducted by upsc. an ias acts as the topmost functionary in the area under her jurisdiction, an ips heads the police department and so on.
isn’t it then reasonable to hold these heads of different departments accountable for any lapse in services? indian bureaucracy is, time and again, regarded as red tape and the only task they are hired for – implementation of government policies and schemes and overall administration – still awaits their perusal.
it is time that radical reforms such as de-notification of higher currency notes and roll-out of new indirect tax regime are accompanied with remaking of our administrative wing, the most crucial department which if underperforms in implementing the proposed idea or plan leads to failure of the entire exercise. here are a few measures to initiate with.
one, set a deadline. a deadline to deliver on social aspects, to illustrate, 1 month time to get all the inhabitants in the region registered under the aadhar scheme, 1 month time to assure all sewage blockages are made a thing of the past, 1 month time to fill potholes on roads and so on. the government needs to oversee that these deadlines are met and have a mechanism in place where under-achievers are penalized, by way of demotions in both position as well as payout.
the best plan is to send all ias and ips officers to their home districts for 6 months and rank them after this period on measurable deliveries. it is time we name them, make them part of a popular competition so as to infuse in them the spirit to deliver on their liabilities. with these officials performing their part, the subordinates would themselves fall in line.
the exercise needs political will, alliance by all 3 tiers of government; the result will surely be excellent.