Some important information about Lateral Entry into Civil Services is:-
Why in News?
- Recently Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) has been asked to prepare a proposition on lateral entry into Civil Services.
- The decision has been taken in response to a Central Government Staffing Policy Paper in which a shortage of officers in middle ranks was admitted by DoPT. Presently the numbers to be inducted are approximately 40.
- However lateral entry to civil services is not a new phenomenon in India. Domain experts have been brought in from outside to head various committees.
- 1st ARC as early as in 1965 talked about need for specialization. The 10th Report of 2nd ARC has also recommended an institutionalised transparent process for lateral entry at both central and state levels.
- Other two committees that followed the suit were Surinder Nath Committee and Hota committee in 2003 and 2004 respectively.
Why we Need Lateral Entry?
- The Basawan Committee (2016) had pointed out that the bigger states like Bihar, MP and Rajasthan have a deficit of over 75 to 100 officers. Lateral induction is, therefore, being seen as a small step towards essential housekeeping in central government staffing.
- Shift from uniformity of centrally planned economic policy to diverse demands of competitive federalism requires specialized skills and knowledge for informed policy making.
- Various think-tanks have also explained how the IAS is hamstrung by political interference, out-dated personal procedures and a mixed record on policy implementation. There is no correlation between the postings of the Civil Service Officers and their area of specialization which comes only at a later stage.
- Although in theory the step is much needed one, but in practice it would require much more commitment and restructuring. The process has been pushed back from Bureaucrats and sheer institutional inertia of civil services.
- The work profile of a civil servant is that of a higher acumen and responsibility who need to present a well-researched and sourced information in a manner that political executives can understand, weigh and consider options before making equitable and effective policy choices.
- There are also concerns regarding politicization of this process.
- Further, in addressing problem of shortage, lateral entry may also lead to deluge of inductions in administration.
- Current recruitment process of civil servants is career based system (with tenure security) while the change is expected towards a position based system (like in Australia, New Zealand and Britain). Both have their own pros and cons which must be carefully examined.
- This intended restructuring of the induction of private members through a Position Based System if implemented properly can help in providing much needed expertise in various fields of administration. However, the job must be entrusted to a body supervised by UPSC which is the only way to ensure merit based, politically neutral civil service.
- Inductions through the competitive examinations must also expand incrementally in keeping with the country’s needs.
Lateral Entry into Civil Services and other More recent information:- Current Affairs.