Civil Services Bill, 2009 - The end of the transfer-posting raj
The end of the transfer-posting raj is in sight. Bureaucrats are set to get new deal from the new government with the Centre readying a legislation that will not only assure babus of fixed-tenure postings but also protect them from political interference in their day-to-day functioning.
Besides, all bureaucratic appointments, transfers and postings will be subject to parliamentary scrutiny. As a consequence, the IAS and IPS officers in the country will no longer be at the mercy of the whimsical transfer and posting regime that operates currently.
However, along with these comforts will come added responsibility. The government plans to bring in a new public service code that will lay down a strict performance evaluation regime for promotions and postings of babus.
All these provisions are expected to be part of the Civil Services Bill, 2009, a draft of which is being fine-tuned. It's expected to be an improved version of the Public Service Bill, 2007 which could not see the light of the day in the previous Manmohan Singh-led government.
These provisions, officials indicated, will first be applicable for IAS and IPS officers and may later be extended to all services that come under the all India service category, including the Indian Forest Service.
The Bill, which incorporated various suggestions of the second Administrative Reforms Commission, has envisaged setting up of a new Central Public Service Authority (CPSA) which will not only professionally manage the civil services but also serve the interests of babus and citizens alike through checks and balances.
If the Civil Services Bill becomes an Act in its present form, all bureaucrats will get a minimum fixed tenure of three years. An official said if any bureaucrat is transferred before three years, he or she will have to be compensated for the inconvenience and harassment caused due to such a move.
Regarding top-level appointments in states, the draft states that the chief secretary and director general of police of the state will be selected out of a panel of suitable candidates to be drawn up by a committee comprising the chief minister, leader of opposition and home minister. Currently, the chief minister alone decides such appointments.
Similarly, the leader of opposition will also have a say in the appointment of the cabinet secretary at the Centre. The CS will be selected from a panel by a committee comprising the prime minister, the leader of opposition and the home minister.
The official said: ``If the government deviates from these norms while appointing bureaucrats, it will have to inform Parliament about the reasons for doing so. The new rules also give enough importance to performance parameters of officers considered for top posts.''
The new Bill will put in place a different kind of performance evaluation system. Unlike the current practice of annual confidential reports (ACRs) which take a panoramic view of a civil servant's work, the new performance management system will evaluate babus on their job-specific achievements and the number of tasks that they perform as a team leader in a particular department.
These system will be managed by the CPSA which will work under a chairman whose rank will be equivalent to that of the chief election commissioner. The chairman will be appointed for five years by a committee comprising the PM, a Supreme Court judge, a Union home minister and the leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha. The cabinet secretary will act as convener of the committee.
The CPSA will aid and advise the central government in all matters concerning the orgnization, control, operation and management of public services and public servants. The authority will also be the custodian of the public service code for babus.
These codes will be framed to facilitate civil servants ``in discharging official duties with competence and accountability; care and diligence; responsibility, honesty, objectivity and impartiality; without discrimination and in accordance with the law''.
The CPSA, comprising three to five members, will have the power to recommend action against the public servants who do not adhere to the codes and public services values.
The central authority will, after the end of each financial year, compile and submit a report to the government indicating the compliance with the provisions of the new legislation by every ministry and department of the government.
Comments / Opinions / Discussions -
Onkar, Mumbai,says: It is said that something is always better than nothing. I think all sections of Indian society should welcome this proposal as it will bring sea change in the way the country is run. The local administrator of country are civil servants, if there is performance is to be measured, it is also important to allow them in good environment. The ideal condition will be to place civil servants directly under the control of Central Govt rather than Chief Minister controlling their promotions, transfers, suspension etc. However, it looks very impossible at the moment. Still as I said above something is better than nothing.
Indranil, Roy,says: Finally! Whew! This was loooong due! Extremely competent bureaucrats have been wasted for ages in this country basis the whims and fancies of incompetent, corrupt, criminal-minded politicians. This, I feel, has been the greatest tragedies in independent India. It's strange that no one ever raised their voice or did anything against this most heinous crime being perpetrated on this great nation! It's heartening to know that a right-minded government, which an extremely competent think-tank, is now doing the right thing. The Mayawatis, Lalus, Jayalalithas (names just of the top of the mind - there are countless others who had taken the system for granted), etc of this country need to be now tamed by the far superior collective wisdom of the extremely talented "so-far-called-incompetent" babus of this country. For the bureaucrats/babus: THIS IS THE TIME TO SHOW YOUR METTLE AND COME OUT OF THE STEREOTYPES OF A BABU, and prove that "bureaucratic" has a lot of positive connotation to it! Jai Ho!
SKamath,Mumbai, says: This will hopefully motivate our babus to do the 'right thing' and not fear the politicians. Also, I think we are moving in to a more mature phase of governance by involving the opposition and Supreme Court in administrative issues.
Sunras, India,says: who will protect ordinary citizen from corrupt, uncivilized, discriminatory, and unfriendly Babus?
kannan,colombo,says: This will be a "mother of all reforms" and the the cascading positive effects would be visible soon after the implementation.
Madeswaran.,Chennai,says: First move in the right direction. This will atleast allow good IAS/IPS officers to take right action with less or no interference. In due course there could be more and more good IAS/IPS officers resulted.
krishna kishore, Hyderabad, says: If this bill is passed, we can see a real change in all our lives. But this bill may give rise to conflicts between ruling and opposition parties. This should be taken care.
nanduri ,australia, says: All these new rules have no meaning unless the government selects people on merit basis.As long as the problem of reservation is prevaling India cannot expect any corruption free governance.We all know that OBC selected cadre are protected and they amass wealth as they are beyond the general rules applicalbe for ordinary citizens.Therefore rules are not be meant to control Mayawati but rules are to be same for one and all. First of all have guts to select people on merit and calibre and not caste creed issues.Why should there be a special status for ISA nad IPS and other central govenrment cadres and reservations.People with brain are required. We have spent over 60 years with this farce of uplifiting back ward peole. Give them education,give them fiancial help but let them compepte with all others and no preferential treatment.Next will be reservation in ministry,next reservation in teams,but Never found that there is reservation in defence forces or territorial armies. Why so?
mindcraft,NYC, says: Kudos...I guess now the system might make some sense.
abhie, pune, says: Excellent news :) This is the beginning of new era.
B L Gupta, Adalhat, Mirzapur, says: This may be a good experiment.But the things shall be controlled by whims and prejudices of the ruling party.In the majority of PM/CM plus Home Minister (of Centre or the State), The role of the leader of opposition shall be just a showpiece.Why not to induct someone impartial, say from Judiciary?
Diwa,Blr,says: This is great. Wondering whether our politicians will pass the bill!
Venugopal,Sharjah/ Faridabad,says: Very good development. Since the opposition leader also involves in it, there is no reason for concern and hopefully it becomes rule very soon. Also Police Reforms should be considered on high priority by the Government
GOSH, Jabalpur,says: YES FANTASTIC KUDOS TO UPA GOVT. AND PRIMINISTER FOR SUCH STRINGENT MEASURES NOT ONLY CIVIL SERVICES BUT ALL CENTRAL GOVT MINISTRIES INCLUDING RAILWAY WHERE LOT OF CORRUPT OFFICERS AND BABUS OCCUPYING SAME OFFICE SAME STATION,DIVISION ,ZONE LIKE IN BHOPAL RAILWAY DIVISIONS IN PERSONAL DEPT.SO DEFINITELY CHANGE WILL YEILD BETTER RESULT.
Abhilash,Pune, says: Excellent thoughtprocess, I expect a good implementation for this.
vishal, Singapore, says: Great going UPA...a good bill to act upon asap.
Jitu Jain,Pune, says: Good Initiative. But I hope these planning executes before the term of present government ends.
Chithra KarunaKaran Ethical Democracy, Chennai says: Can you see massive bureaucratic gridlock, with every civil service transfer come under parliamentary scrutiny? This is asking the fox to police the chicken coop. What we need is greater transparency provided by the media (fact-based transparency, not sensationalism) in the performance outcomes of civil servants. We pay their salaries so they are accountable to We the People. I additionally support other performance- related strategies such as peer review and merit pay.
S C Kalra, Sammamish, USA, says: It is a step in the right direction but it must ensure that the officials are awarded for the right decisions/executions of policies and are also held accountable for non performance & casual approach to Public Issues
Tarun Sharma,Bangalore, says: I thnk Manmohan sir is off to a good start. Only precaution to be taken is that this bill should be passed as sson as possible. This will come as a setback for few goverments like Uttar Pradesh where these bloody politicians think that IAS officers live at their mercy but they usually forget that these officers are the only one who are running the state. I herby request all civil servant officers to discharge their duties honestly as counrty needs u and ur work. Jai Hind.
Chandan Kumar Som, Kolkata,says: The bill is to be passed at the earliest and implementation by all the state governments are to be ensured after legislation to have transparency in democratic setup.It is better to take out the officials out of the clutches of political bosses at the respective state governments.Secondly,the Government also take steps to act on the recommendation of Police Reforms at the earliest.
simon fernandes, hyderabad, says: my sister is a A grade govt officer in goa.she is a chartered accountant,LLB and MBA..however she is not allowed to hold finance portfolios but instead has been made to work in the Fire Dept and the like
Himanshu ,USA, says:This a welcome change in babudom. Only how welcome by the babus is a question. There should be some provisions for promotions only on performance and senoirity or caste should not be a criteria. There is one more aspect which is very important and often neglected in govt jobs in India is the performance of the subordinate cadres. The babus with their weight can get favourable bills passed and there is no improvement for the cadre which actually works. There should be criterions for babus performance tied to his subordinates performance. Hope the condition of the subordinate class improves as babus are already sitting pretty.
Naveen Garg, Noida,says: Ab hindi pictures ki theme hi khatam ho jaayegi :-)
J,Mumbai, says: the caption on the cover page is incorrect
PB, HYD, says: Brilliant start, hope it see's the light of day and is implemented in letter and spirit.
Prem Chowdry, temporarily abroad, says: Atrocious !! It seems that the bureaucrats are trying to tighten their stranglehold of the politicians and make sure that they run the country in the pattern of the British Raj. Having succeeded in their clever grip over the Armed Forces and the Police by telling politicians to be aware of a likely coup by them in the pattern of our neighbours, it is obviously the politicians' turn to be 'put in their places'. God help our democracy if the measures suggested make any headway, and not nipped in the bud. Our politicians with all their faults, and numerous little parties bickering against each other, and,(thank the stars), the young leadership in the offing, will no doubt, deal with the crafty knife, honed over years, and aimed to their backs. Beware, my countrymen, a bureacratic dictatorship will be much more destructive to the nation than a military one.
shoaib, Bangalore says: lets talk of it when it is implemented, we got thousands of plans still on paper.
vij, usa, says: this is a welcome news. Congress-led government has been taking pro-public, clean government actions.
Dr. Mohan Swarup Saxena,Singapore,says: The proposed bill to regulate the service condions is a good proposal.It will protect the IAS and IPS from the political motivated actions.But the other terms of the proposed bill are more significant to protect the public from the wrongdoings and corruption of Babus which are larger than the politicians.There are several Akhand Pratap Singhs in Babus whose crimes,if investigated in a fair way will ashame the tainted politicians also.I may request the Parliamentarians to put some safeguards for it as the politicians can be set aside after every five years but the Babus will continue 35 ormore years once they are inducted in service. Precaution is better than cure.
vijay,US, says: I was skeptic about the cabinet, this act not only give me hope but make be believe that even now there are politicians who think out country welfare apart from vote bank politics. The plan looks good, lets await for the implementation
[9 Jun, 2009 0803hrs IST]
prasad, hydeabad,says: great initiative.we will have to wait and see its implementation in the right spirit
Jayakrishnan,Singapore,says: The advantage of having a scholar like Manmohan Singh as the PM has started showing off. This is a bill the government should have passed ages ago. Every government servant should held accountable for the work he does, and also his performance should be evaluated strictly. All his pay,perks and promotions should be based on his performance. This is an excellent move and India will benifit a lot out of this bill if it gets passed.
Dr(Prof) Vijay Kumar(Retired), Jharkhand, says: Nowadays it has become a trend that so called head clerks are very often insulted by the current Netas of india irrespective of states and party connections of NETAS with various political parties in India.
K Bhaskaran, Mumbai,says: The poroposal of reforms appear encouraging but if the framing the nitty-gritties are left to be handled by babus they will ensure that these reforms remain on paper and they continue their own way of functioning. Beware!
[9 Jun, 2009 0741hrs IST]
Sibu, USA,says: Bravo India, the government has finally woken up.....kudos to the new administration.....:)
TNN / 9 June 2009
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