gfiles magazine

May 12, 2014

Of Babus and Netas

IC Centre for Governance
by Ajit Ujjainkar
On the eve of the general election, the IC Centre for Governance (ICCFG) hosted a lecture series on the changing role of the civil services. The lectures on the critical topic of the relationship between the bureaucrats and the political leadership were delivered on April 4, 2014, at the India International Centre, New Delhi.
In his opening remarks, Prabhat Kumar, former Cabinet Secretary and Governor of Jharkhand and currently the President of the ICCFG, said that Sardar Patel, the founder of the civil services in independent India, had visualised a clear role definition for the two crucial categories of bureaucrats and politicians. The political leadership defined the policies and the bureaucracy implemented these policies. The politicians had the vision and perspective, and the civil servants the domain knowledge and institutional memory. They started with feelings of mutual trust and interdependence. But over the years, they failed to delimit their respective roles with precision and clarity and this created feelings of mistrust and suspicion among them....Read more

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