Debate Continuation Of Colonial Model Of IAS In India
DEBATE ON CONTINUATION OF COLONIAL MODEL OF IAS IN INDIA
Atul Chopra <email@example.com>
dateFri, Oct 9, 2009 at 1:44 PM
subjectRE: Urgent Need for an All India Debate on Continuation of Colonial Model of
I.A.S in our Seculaar Democracy
Dear Mr. Sharan,
I believe, if we look at the picture in totality, then the failures, whether they be in the
legislature or executive, stem from lack of accountability. In any well functioning system
in the world - be it democratic, communist, socialist, etc. - authority, responsibility and
accountability go hand in hand. Take away even one, and the system degenerates over
Our problems are much more widespread than just the IAS bureaucracy. What about the
police force? What about the judiciary? What about the legislature?
A common sense study of any of the well functioning major democracies of the world,
including the US, brings up some major basic differences:
1. The common people have a much greater say in the developmental and other activities
taking place in their localities.
2. Decision making is transparent and access to public information is easy.
3. Ad hoc and discretionary behaviour by the executive is rare to the point of being
negligible, and whenever present, is frowned upon.
4. Law enforcement and the judiciary function like clockwork. (On the whole)
Investigations are thorough, cases are watertight, and judgements are swift and decisive.
If we are to arrest the rapid degeneration in our Indian System, I believe it is imperative
for us to improve our lot in the above areas, at the very least. Points 1, 2, and 3 will result
in good and sensible governance, which by itself is more than half the battle won. The 4th
issue will not only introduce accountability into the system and filter out the bad
elements, but also act as a deterrant to crime.
There is a strong consensus that is emerging around the devolution of powers to local
bodies via full implementation - both in letter and spirit - of the 73rd and 74th
Amendments to the Indian Constitution.
We're fighting to win - not to just vent our feelings and make a noise. That is why, I
think, it is important for us to come together on a common platform and fight this battle
in a systematic and well strategised manner.
There are already many movements afoot in various parts of the country, targeting good
governance. Most of these movements have been initiated by well meaning citizens. Let
us all pledge to work together in a well-coordinated fashion, thereby creating a 'river'
movement from the streams. Only then shall victory be ours!
Date: Fri, 9 Oct 2009 11:56:18 +0530
Subject: Re: Urgent Need for an All India Debate on Continuation of Colonial Model of
I.A.S in our Seculaar Democracy
I sent u a short reply yesterday.as Max weber has said civil service is not peculiar to
govts but to all large organisations private or public.gOVTS ARE MUCH OLDER
THAN DEMOCRACIES, and needed a machinery to rule as per its broad guide lines.
There is a lot iinvolved in details of admin which no govt can handle. The cuivil service
is unpopular because it is paternalistic, cautious,negative and disrespectful of the
people.iN THE CHANGE OVER FROM COLONIALISM it has tried to remain a power
centre scuttling the growth of self governing institutions like panchayats.It survives
because of its commendable role in most emergencies or crises, and fights chaos by
lawless groups. No govt can dispense with the machinery. The labour party which
demanded its disbanding as its first act in power retained them because of the crisis of
post war reconstruction So did Nehru because of the post partition and rehaib crisis.The
challenge is how to turn them pro people ,honest and independent minded. They have
been all this in the past. The degradation has set in because of decline of the political
class.We have failed where the Italian civil service has succeeded We need better
recruitment,fewer induction and a wider source of recruitment from private and academic
sources. THERE SHOULD BE LATERAL INDUCTION from JS upwards and merit
based selection above it. Corruption is also the major problem .A shock therapy will be to
disband the service and make fresh recruiment of the best in various
porofessions.Arrogance can be fought by refusibng to yield to it.rural admin should be
taken out of their hands in favour of panchayats Why not discuss it in the scholars club
Shankar Sharan IAS retd and aocial activist.
Od, Oct 7, 2009 at 12:33 AM, Atul Chopra <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Dear Mr. Sabhlok,
It was great to read your thoughts, since it means that yet another Indian citizen is greatly
perturbed by the seemingly downhill movement in the Indian 'System' of governance.
And the good thing is that you seem to be applying your mind to find a solution, rather
than just harping on the problems and the issues.
Having said that, it is important to realize that there are many many other citizens in our
country who fall in the same category as you do. They are also concerned about the state
of affairs and are looking for solutions. Clearly, we need to join hands, rather than being
critical of each other, and focus all our combined energies in moving towards a workable
and practical solution to the problems. We are all well read and educated people, who
realize the value of debates and discussions, and also the importance of building
consensus. These processes remove doubts and strenghthen the conviction levels among
the people involved. In order to bring about change in our 'System', we must proceed
cautiously and take all good and well meaning people along with us.
We are in vicious circle of degeneration - the corrupt IAS and other officials go scot free
because law enforcement is poor, law enforcement is poor because law enforcement
officials are themselves corrupt. Now we are a stage where even the judiciary is
perceived to be corrupt. And, by the way, we all know how honest our politicians are.
Howsoever we may wish, there is no quick-fix to the problems we are facing. It is a long
drawn battle, and we need all the 'soldiers' we can muster. I read Col. Oberoi's
observations and thoughts (in this very email thread) and I must say I am in complete
agreement with what he has written.
Therefore, let us all pledge to work together in defeating the 'System' as it stands today.
Date: Tue, 6 Oct 2009 06:11:30 +0530
Subject: Urgent Need for an All India Debate on Continuation of Colonial Model of I.A.S
in our Seculaar Democracy
To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
CC: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mr.Tripathy and Col Oberoi,
I am happy to know that at least some citizens of India like you are happy with the rusted
brittle steel frame of Colonial Model of I.A.S Bureaucracy. I wish if you could have
given some National level, State level or even City level useful welfare works done by
I.A.S bureacracy during the last six decades.
Now I give below the views of some foreign writers, Indian Citizens (non Government
employees) etc about I.A.S. Lately MOS (Personnel) have even mentioned that we can
have a revolt in India, if these bureaucrats do not change their practices. Even Home
Minister Chidambram has talked of Foot ball kicking. This shuttle cock game is now
becoming a normal practice. Our Member of Parliament from Gurgaon has agreed with
residents of Gurgaon for GDA, Even Chief Minisiter is convinced for GDA for Gurgaon,
Rajeev Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and many others want to implement amendment
number 74 for Urban areas. Clealy I.A.S officers are stalling it.
Any now I give below views of Non government Citizens of India
Views of some Non IAS/non gvernment officials/ordinary Indian Citizens
IAS officers very well know that no where in the world (developed countries) such a
sloppy and sluggish self serving bureaucratic service exists as brought out by Sh R. K.
Mishra even many IAS officers dissatisfied with the functioning of this service and
“ They (IAS officers) project themselves expert on every thing, their concern and focus
on their own career is very high, are self, opinionated, power hungry, shrewd and
manipulative, procedure and rule focused, arrogant, inaccessible, judgmental, critical of
others by concentrating minor details of others. They are very low on positive traits such
as commitment to organization, trustworthy, risk taking, contentiousness, innovative ness
and creativity. They are the lowest visionaries and considered to be no change agents and
very poor at public policy, analysis and design… (Views of
Professor R.K.Mishra and many others)
For a society to have a good bureaucracy is almost as important as having a good political
leadership. But it falls well short of International best practice. Most surprising is that at
the time of selection IAS officers form the finest brains of India but soon system of
administrative, local and political pressures, quick transfers, perhaps sluggish incentives
quickly drain out any aspiration to have world class performance. There is no punishment
to deliver even the most basic outcomes. On the contrary there are massive rewards for
corruption and sycophancy.
Bihar citizens say” during the first five years of Service IAS officers are Garam- very
enthusiastic, after 5 years service they become Naram- indifferent and insensitive and
after about 20 years service they become Besharam- corrupt (Quoted by an IAS Officer
of Bihar cadre)
So high is the raw talent of the new IAS recruits that IAS could have become world class
Administrative Service given some care and fine tuning? As it is now it has lost faith in
itself and also lost sight of original mission. At the time of joining service they have great
ideas but soon those ideas vanish.
They are promoted without any requirement to deliver any results at all no incentive to
Now even at Secy to GOI level advise to Joint Secy level officers to GOI to be practical,
try to be popular and just manage i.e. stay put and at best function as post office. Largely
they have life long holidays (6th CPC they can get pension even over Rs. one lakh a
month) even on retirement all of them get highest pensions. If any thing goes wrong they
do not take responsibility. In Gurgaon we all know they fiddle away like NERO while
GGN is collapsing. A few exceptions could be there but never seen result oriented.
Many senior officers avoid even IT and computer skills. So they hardly compete their
skills with international standard of Administrative skills through Internet. So they are
not supported with information and knowledge sources in the world.
Corruption- The general perception is that many of them are corrupt. Some are partially
corrupt and some are on the way to become corrupt. Hardcore corruption is getting
endemic as perceived.
They have tendency to create more Secy level posts in the centre and state govts. In 1774
there were 3 Secys, 4 in 1833 for Home. Defence, Finance and Foreign. 10 in 1919, 18
immediately after 1947, 54 Deptts in 1978, 70 in 1993. Then the practice of a number of
Secys in some deptts started like Finance, Defence, Home etc. Thus there are now about
100 Secretaries in the Central Government and more than that in state Govts. Total
number of secretary level posts manned by IAS, are far more than annual intake of direct
IAS officers. Thus almost 100 % IAS officers reach this level when in other services it is
less than 10 percent and Defence services about 2%.
They know well it suits political Leaders also to create more departments, more Districts,
Division etc. Thus the expansion game goes on but with noACCOUNATABILITY and
No compulsion to perform. In the meanwhile Law and Order deterioaretes (Fungal
Growth of Departments)
This model was bequeathed to us by the British and was worth at one time. It has now
become fetid upon coming in contact with our sectarian caste based and geocentric
passions. In this rotting model dynamism no dynamism is left and has started stinking. In
view of articles 308 -323 of the Constitution of India particularly 312, it is cumbersome
to remove IAS officer from service and hence these jobs have become sinecure.
In 1947 it was perhaps necessary evil to continue with ICS (soon changed to IAS) and
now it has become bane as an impregnable wall of self defence by the vested interest of
IAS officers has been built and even the original purpose is lost. It now hardly fits in the
present bottom up democratic welfare state.
It was designed for revenue collection and enforcement of law and order under colonial
administration as a FEUDAL aristocracy. Their role has changed very fast and law and
order is deteriorating owing to constant bickering and ill will between IPS and IAS.
These IAS officers still continue to pursue Feudal aristocracy and refuse to modify their
role to changing times for high level policy and project management (page 170). They
refuse to give fair, free and frank advice out of fear of transfer/political pressures etc.
With this approach they have reached the stage of stagnation, lack of accountability,
transparency … with no fear of removal from service. (See on lines notes)
Every thing we see in GGN is an indication of their poor performance. Partly it could be
attributed to sycophancy of political leaders ambivalent personality but largely it is due to
their total ….The task given to them for implementation of GGN master Plans with the
help of engineers, plethora of accounts, administrative staff, even the good natured honest
IAS (Adm HUDAs) have found difficult to implement as they are not equipped with
thoughtful, analytical and delivery oriented mind.
This outstanding raw talent at the time of recruitment has become ineffective owing to
outdated system not suitable for democracy (demos-people, cracy –rule i.e rule of people
of India). They are refusing to shed their feudal aristocracy of old British rule days. They
lack humility, leadership and not keen to know what is going around in Gurgaon. Clearly
they lack will how and why to make a millennium city and are always looking tom
political leaders for their self perpetuation. During discussions with the residents of
Gurgaon they have a tendency to throw blame on their staff and even on politicians
forgetting that implementation is their role.
Do we need arrogant IAS officers as CMDs of PSUs who have never touched a screw
driver in their lives or sold a banana to run PSUs?
No function of theirs as DC/Collectors had been ever accountable to the people of district
or as Administrator Huda to the interest of the people they are supposed to serve.
To say it is sloppy, sluggish, and inefficient and therefore ineffective is underestimate. It
is now giving the impression of functioning as inert, arbitrary, heavy handed often
corrupt un-coordinated monolith (eminent Economist Pranab Burdhan). (page 164). IAS
officers do not posses the quality of leadership skills, extensive specialist policy
knowledge but also impeccable personal integrity. There self interest is not aligned to
public self interest. In spite of this almost 100% reach the top ladder Secy to govt. of
India or equivalent unlike defence services direct officers who reach top ladder about 2%
and other central services a little higher percentage.
Poor implementation and poor management are problems peculiar to IAS (Paul Appleby-
page 165). It is mainly due to lack of systems thinking and policy conceptualization.
They have no constraints of funds (GGN). But bureaucrats self interest to appease their
political bosses complicate matters so that more funds are needed than are available.
Hence seemingly infinite piles of money are always found. No matter how they perform,
their salary and promotions are assured. When they fail they appoint consultants but
remain ignorant and arrogant. The only ensure that job does not become redundant and
even should become upgraded. (GGN’s GMC case). The general perception is they are
readily bought by people with vested interest or pressurized when appointed in public
welfare jobs. ......... contd
If you like I can send hundreds of more views of Private/non governmnetal citizens of
Date: Sun, 4 Oct 2009 18:41:47 +0200
Subject: Re: Urgent Need for an All India Debate on Continuation of Colonial Model of
CC: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
Dear Col Oberoi:
It is becoming a favourite habit of all retired bureaucrats to crticize bureaucracy once
they retire - not when they are in service. I would like to know how many bureaucrats
fought for change while they were in service. Instead, they continued to please their
political masters because they benefited from it. Or at most, some quit!
And if some IAS officers have quit, well many officers from the Indian army have also
quit, so have many scientists from IIT. Does that make all these institutions bad?
Irrespective of all its shortcomings, the bureaucracy is as much a job as any other. There
is enough evidence in this country that an army general can be as corrupt as a petty trader
or a professor as partial towards his favourite student as a loving parent.
Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolute! One who wields the stick always
rules...where it is the politician holding the rod, the politican rules...where it is the
bureaucrat, it is the bureaucrat that rules...where people hold the stick, they rule.
By nature, all human beings are power-hungry, wanting to keep the decision-making
power to themselves - don't you see enough examples in our RWA bodies?
When it was announced that Mr Rathee stood for elections, one of our federated RWA
heads threatend that he will make sure that Rathee loses - he promised he will personally
work against Rathee.
I think such a person is worse than an IAS officer - he is clearly against the interests of
the people of Gurgaon!
I guess Mr Sabhlok's energy would be better used if he sincerely worked for the people of
Gurgaon than spending it on abusing and accusing IAS officers.
Bhawani Shankar Tripathy
On Sun, Oct 4, 2009 at 5:13 PM, Sarvadaman Oberoi <email@example.com> wrote:
Dear Mr Sabhlok,
All those who serve the Central or State Govts, be they IAS, IRS, CSS, IDAS, HCS, IPS,
IFS and all other Ss are bureaucrats and public servants - no politician (many of whom
continue to be uneducated) can do without them.
Our (so far supine) people are slowly regaining their capacity to question the public
servants and their political masters that serve at our pleasure; witness the movements
launched for local level elected government systems required under the Constitution to be
controlled by the local people of a village, town or city.
Any attempt to tackle the problem of IAS failures in isolation would serve no purpose
other than to demoralise present and future aspirants for the civil services - reform is to
be built upon the Constitutional framework as it exists and not on some model whereby
the district commissioner as a representative of the State Govt is sought to be done away
Change has never to come from the bureaucrat - change is people driven - people must
force the bureaucrat - politician to act so as to bring change.
Unless, we the people, forcefully demand change from our system ( bureaucrat -
politician) no change is ever going to take place.
PEOPLE NEED TO REGISTER AS VOTERS WITH ECI AND SEC SEPARATELY.
PEOPLE NEED TO VOTE FOR CHANGE
PEOPLE NEED TO ASK FOR FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF 73 CAA 74CAA
PUNISH LACK OF CHANGE WITH YOUR VOTE
KEEP UP PRESSURE BETWEEN ELECTIONS
USE INTERNET, TOKEN DEMONSTRATIONS, CONFERENCES
USE THE RTI ROUTE STRATEGICALLY
USE THE PIL ROUTE STRATEGICALLY
DO ALL THIS TRANSPARENTLY IN FULL VIEW OF bureaucrat - politician - media.
Tower 1 Flat 1102, The Uniworld Garden,
Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122018 Haryana INDIA
Mobile: +919818768349 Tele: +911244227522
Jaago Re "Aaj Se Khilana Bandh, Pilana Shuru"
On Sun, Oct 4, 2009 at 6:55 PM, Prem Sabhlok <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
There is an urgent need for an all India debate on the subject of continuation of Colonial
Model of IAS in our Secular Democracy.
Views of some former IAS officers are given below.
A. Views of B.S Raghvan IAS (Retd Secy Govt of India)
Appointments based on one time competitive examination with no periodical weeding
out of the incompetent and corrupt induces smugness and militates against accountability.
2. Healthy debate on some alternate model is necessary.
3. Originally IAS was seen as replica of the ICS- incorruptible, independent, public
spirited and result oriented. Unfortunately the system did not work as originally
contemplated. All this has been eroded in the last 60 years.
4. While the Armed Forces, Foreign Service and many other Central Services are
indispensable and necessary for nation building, but without IAS country would not come
to stand still.
5. There are instances when non IAS persons when posted into top echelons usually
earmarked for IAS, distinguished themselves by their higher caliber and competence.
B. Views of Dr. S. Sanjeev PhD Ex IAS Secretary and Commissioner
If IAS as Service do not want to be ousted, it must establish as its role mission the
delivery of world-class standard…. Otherwise IAS is destined to be guillotined in the not
too distant future.
2. Today IAS is a smashed up auto-riksha. They are busy in filling TA/DA forms,
chasing after their pay slips, ensuring their pay scales remain higher than other services,
chasing car/house loans and other bits and pieces of Personnel ministry, local treasury
pursuing with Accountant General office lest they have trouble on retirement in getting
right amount of Pension.
3. Most of the IAS officers confirm their own poor ability of leadership by passing the
buck to politicians. There are umpteen areas where political leaders do not play any role
in their work and functioning….S. Sanjeev has mentioned a large number of such areas in
his well known book Breaking Free of Nehru. Let’s Unleash India available on Website
4. Whole world public services are evolving and reforming. In IAS it is total stagnation in
We apply principle of competition and merit in assembling cricket team but do not apply
in IAS bureaucracy.
5. Till date in the last six decades IAS officers have not made any distinction between
Independence, Freedom and Swaraj (governance to citizens). This lack of distinction has
led to ineffective and weak local governments. Cities after cities are becoming urban
nightmare under their non accountable and non transparent administration.
Many Newspapers mentioned during recent Parliamentary Elections that in Mumbai
many urban voters’ names were eliminated in the Voters lists. A study was made for
Gurgaon Parliamentary Constituency. For a population of over 20 lakhs, the voters in the
lists were about 8.5 lakhs i.e about 40% of the population against all India 71% of the
population. Again out of 8.5 lakhs urban voters were 2.36 lakhs and over 6 lakhs were
rural voters. Thus Gurgaon a Millennium Urban City became a rural village as per Voters
Lists. Clearly about 6 lakhs urban voters names (about one lakh having voters ID cards)
were removed by the District Electoral officer i.e. D.C Gurgaon (an IAS officer)
CEC of India on residents’ complaint removed the D.C and asked the new DC to prepare
an up to date correct Voters list. New DC also could not do so. He was also removed on
complaint from residents/political parties. Let us see the present new DC can manage to
face the vested interests.
In future Murder of Democracy is likely to happen if vested interests over take the
democratic rights of the citizens. IAS officers need to become transparent, accountable,
public spirited and result oriented.
Some more views received from IAS officers (Retd)
1. Millions of the confused socialist bacteria swarming in the brain of Indian leaders and
IAS bureaucrats has become the cause of national cancerous disease of corruption and
2. ICS officers were never accountable to the people of India but ton British rulers. IAS is
trying to perpetuate the same and have become non transparent and non accountable to
people of India but only to their political bosses Thus feudal structure continues.
3. IAS officers’ interest is not aligned with public interest and they feed public on false
4. There is no internal competition and as such 100% reach thee top level in bureaucracy.
Now lately they have started grabbing Head of the Department posts of Central Services
as well- it can lead rebellion within the different services.
5. We are not making IAS as whipping boy but IAS as service. It is now neither a Service
nor Administration. Need to have accountable, specialized contractual officers on hire
and fire basis at the Top in ALL services. (Retd. Secretary to government of India)
6. Malady is far deeper than projected in terms of simple IAS bashing. British style
colonial service neither civil nor service should be replaced by American style Civil
Service. IAS is no longer the first/top choice of bright candidates. Revenue Services are
becoming the top choice. All services should terminate at Joint Secy level or even
Director Level. (Retd IAS Chief Secy Maharashtra)
7. Sardar Vallabh Bahai Patel saw IAS as Steel Frame of Bureaucracy like replica of ICS-
incorruptible, independent, public spirited and result oriented.
Now after 60 years all this has been eroded and the perception is self serving, insensitive
and non accountable. (Retd IAS Secy to Government of India)
8. If IAS as service is scrapped country would not come to stand still. (Ex Dy. Army
I have received umpteen more views BUT not a single in support of continuation of IAS
as Public Welfare Service.
The country is anxiously waiting for some remarks in favour of IAS as Public service
even from retired/serving IAS officers.
Mission Gurgaon Development
A People's Movement supported by GCC-FORWA,
In Association with Delhi NCR Residents Front
B-49, New Railway Road, Main Gate Miyanwali Colony, Gurgaon
Tel: 9810110426, 9810748945, 9312404269, 9818768349