Can’t we change this rotten system ?

via GSK Menon published on July 12, 2010

The problem in India is that the IAS has cornered for itself all the important posts to the detriment of all other services including the Armed Forces. Very few people know that the term “All India Services”  is an absolute misnomer. In fact it is a State Service. The cadre system has ensured that an IAS/IPS officer remains in the state capital for a majority of his service life. The most unwanted and reject material is packed off to Delhi, alternatively, depending on the election verdicts corrupt officers keep migrating to Delhi and back. This is also one of the reasons why our public services are in a mess. Take any institution – Planning Commission, Central Election Commission, Central Vigilance Commission, Central Information Commission, Central Administrative Tribunal, UPSC, Air India etc etc are all packed with IAS officers without any proper selection.
During Rajiv Gandhi’s time he put forth a brilliant proposal that all posts of Joint Secretary and above at the Central Government would be on the basis of a written exam/interview. Predictably the IAS lobby sabotaged  the proposal because it was to be a selection from all the Central Services also as well as specialists like Chartered Accountants. Why should the Finance Secretary be only an IAS man, why can’t our country have a specialist Chartered Accountant as the Secretary ? Why should Air India be headed by an IAS, when it needs to be headed by a Aviation specialist ? Why are the Indian tax payer’s getting such a raw deal ? Should we not be having the best of brains to head our public organisations ?
When even America has an Army officer as its National Security Adviser, why are we having an IFS officer ?
As regards the IPS they have borrowed all military trappings and symbols but our entire law and order is in a mess. In Mumbai we saw officers of the rank of ADGP go into hiding at the sign of terrorists. Not a single IPS officer is willing to lead the CRPF jawans against the Maoists. Everbody wants to sit in the air conditioned comfort of their safe offices in Delhi. A whole host of Police organisations have been created so that each and every IPS officer retires smoothly as a DGP rank officer. The organisations are State Police, CRPF, CISF, BSF, ITBP, IB, CBI,RAW,BPRD,NPA,SSB apart from other deputation posts. RAW itself has more than 100 odd postings abroad. All these organisations are top – heavy only to accomodate the IPS officers. They get time bound promotions irrespective of performance.
Compare the above perks with those of other Central Services and Armed Forces. There are brilliant officers having the same qualifications as these IAS/IPS, but they are deliberately denied promotions, poor service conditions, transfers to every nook and corner of the country every three years and ultimately denied even their minimum due.
The service conditions of the Armed Forces are pathetic. They have to undergo a Medical Fitness condition, if they have any ailment it is curtains for them. Why the same condition is not there for the IPS ? An army officer hardly gets his due, why ?
Worst, I feel very bad when the Army officers have to be charged by the State Police for firing in Kashmir ? These Army officers who are bearing the brunt of the terrorists have to demean themselves before a Station House Officer ? Cant we change this rotten system ? For defence contracts politicans loot from foreign arms agents but the CBI books the officers of the Army. Even the IAAS officers working in the CAG office, of course headed by an IAS chap who is the CAG, bully the Forces for entering into a defence contract. Have you ever heard of any IAS officer working in the defence ministry being questioned by any agency.
It is high time that our politicans need to restructure the entire bureaucracy and introduce uniform parity in service conditions. As for the Armed Forces they need a complete revamp in service conditions and betterment of promotion avenues. There should be a separate body to which they should be answerable, be it a firing, allegation of rape, purchase of weaponary etc. Insulate the Armed forces from the Police as it creates unhealthy rivalry and bitterness. It is not good for our country. A visit to any of our Airports is revealing in this regard. The CISF personnel do not show even the basic courtesy of a salute even if they see a senior officer in uniform, be it of the Armed Forces, State Police, Customs etc. What culture are we inculcating in our uniformed men ? Each organisation behaves like it is the most superior. Apart from their arrogance  there is nothing else to show.
I hope our MP’s take up these issues and not be influenced by IAS/IPS lobbies. A terrorist does not care for IPS/CISF distinction. We cannot be calling upon our Army to substitute for our Police in Kashmir, Chattisgarh,Jharkhand,Orissa etc. If the IPS officers are found wanting like it happenned in Mumbai then we should have a mechanism like Court Martial to weed out cowards.
Let us hope that at least one sensible MP will at least move a Private Bill to restructure our Civil Administration and bring service conditions of Army on par with that of the IPS.

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