About the Book India's governance structure a throwback to the Raj days has to meet the challenges of lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and empowering them' as citizens of a democratic polity.
The development and welfare orientation at the normative level in India does not get translated too well in positive terms into actual results of a progressive and just society. More and better plans are constantly drawn up but the bureaucracy's capacity to deliver never worth bragging about so far as development is concerned has noticeably declined over the years. Political masters and the civil service elite often resort to collusion and connivance to use public office for private gain thwarting all good intentions. Corruption and inefficiency combined with callousness in dealing with the public certainly are very serious problems. However we really ought to be looking more closely at fundamental systemic problems in administration.
Our basic civil service structure at the all-India level the focus of this book suffers from several maladies including: Lack of specialization and discrimination against specialists; insularity; lack of accountability; unsuitable recruitment and testing procedures; and faulty personnel management.
That the country persists in having such administrative setup in this day and age is nothing short of tragic. The situation is so bad that tinkering with the administrative structure even overhauling it will not do much good. The need clearly is to reform the system drastically to re-engineer it so as to have competency technical and otherwise and professionalism accountability and transparency and responsiveness and civility; let us make our civil servants civil and servants of the people. After all aren't these the imperatives of democratic governance within the overall goal of achieving rapid economic and social progress'
About the Author Ambassador Har Swarup Singh obtained a Ph.D. degree from North Carolina State University. He had a long and rewarding career in economic research including positions at Delhi School of Economics NCAER as a Director in the U. N. system and also as Deputy Executive Director at the International Cotton Advisory Committee Washington DC.
Dr. Singh took early retirement from his international civil service position in the mid-1980s to return to India where he held four high-level political appointments: Vice Chancellor of CCS-Haryana State Agricultural University; Member of the Planning Commission; Lt. Governor of Pondicherry; and India's High Commissioner to Maldives.
Dr. Singh's senior positions particularly the latter ones in India gave him an opportunity to exercise hands-on administration. Also dealing with the top political leadership in various jobs enabled him to acquire unique understanding of democratic functioning and a rich perspective on what it takes to achieve all-round progress in a developing society.
Since his retirement from a long varied and distinguished career Ambassador Har Swarup Singh is engaged in international consulting specializing in economic policy and development food security globalization and international relations and also freelances as an editor.
2 In Defense of Bureaucracy
3 Lack of Specialization in Civil Services
4 Establish Additional Technical/Specialized Services
5 Make Bureaucracy Less Insular
6 Induct More Outsiders into the Foreign Service
7 Banish Elitism from Bureaucracy
8 Introduce Greater Accountability in Civil Services
9 End Job Reservations
10 Government's Proposed Reforms
11 Summary and Conclusions
Press Release ? October 8 2004: A Rare Look at Bureaucracies: A Lecture Series with Gravitas and Shared Personal Experiences
Role of Bureaucracies in Economic Development and Foreign Affairs