/ / / Part 1: Good Governance through Administrative Reform

Part 1: Good Governance through Administrative Reform

In order to usher in good governance, which is one of the core ideals of the Rising People’s Party, the party mulls administrative reform as a way forward.

The state of Nagaland has its owndynamics and a way of life which non-Nagas may not understand or appreciate much. Last year, the state NCS Association was in uproar over the Centre’s Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) notification that only IAS officers should be appointed as District Collectors/Commissioners in the state. The Association hit back stating that these ‘Suitcase bureaucrats’, or the “‘IAS officers’ posted to the state would leave on any pretext they could find.” In short, the allegation is that these directly recruited IASofficers (mostly Non-Nagas) have no respect for the place norlove for the people they serve, and evenless understanding of our way of life, and a discerniblelack of finesse to handle serioussituations. Also given the geographical position of the state, most of the IAS and IPS officers don’t want to serve in the state/NER and see their postings here as ‘punishment.’

The recent uproar against the SP of Tuensang is a case in point of high-handedness and a stubborn inability to respect local sentiments. The DC of Mon threatening to stop all central and state schemes unless the two villages, Yansa and Yannu, stop their belligerent attitude is a classic instance of an officer inflaming a situation by resorting to colonial era method of issuing autocratic diktats. Unfortunately not all things can be taught in the Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy. But the state also had had the good fortune of outsiders initiating great things in the state, not the least of whom was the Late AM Gokhale, the quintessential IAS officer who implemented the concept of decentralization – the VDB,in the villages with a no holds barred attitude. Many lessons are learnt throughgrit and grind but unlike Gokhale the vast majority seek comfort by way of deputation in Delhi and elsewhere.

Given the background, it’s imperative that local officers from the NCS, NPS& allied services are given the required push to become DCs and SPs of the districts at the right age – young age rather, so that the continuity of good administration is continued. However, the normal situation in the state is to confer IASonly after about 25-30 years of service which is highly irrational. This seniority system is monotonous and a career killer. It inhibits creativity while perpetuatingthe chaltahai culture in the entire edifice of the bureaucracy. It kills the hunger, the zeal and the drive in an officer. The whole idea of conferment is to identify talented officers in their prime; officers who can truly serve the people as per their aptitude – fully motivatedand willing to grind out. Career administrative officers should find their job exciting and rewarding.  Conferment at the fag end of one’s career, on their death bed, metaphorically speaking, is a good waste save for the appendage IAS to be written on one’s tombstones. At this point late in their career, the officer, though motivated to give his best does not have the luxury of time and thoughts of ‘a little too late’ is a constant focus on their minds. Ironically conferment only serves to embitter in some cases.

Conferment based on aptitude, rather than seniority, will instill dynamism in governance and make the bureaucracy more competitive. The RPP will ensure that an officer’s performance report and talent or aptitude is given more weightage over seniority when case for conferment is made. Given the present situation where the NPSC has utterly failed to identify talented officers – thanks to the rot called manipulation in the Interview stage, it’s important that talented officers are identified in the initial years of one’s service.

The RPP willalso ensure that appropriate cadre review is carried out allowing for officers from the NCS, NPS & allied services backgroundthe opportunity to reach the top of the administrative pyramid, uptothe level of Addl. Chief Secretary, the second highest post in the administrative setup which at present is reserved only for the directly recruited IASofficers,through default of course.

IAS conferment atan early point in an officers’ career is particularly strong in the southern states. Even in states like UP conferment usually takes place after 15-20 years of service, whereas in Kerala andMaharashtra it may happen even in 10 years. Nagaland cannot be the exception, for which the Rising People’s Party will take appropriate steps if the Naga people give us an opportunity to serve them.


Issued by Rising People’s Party