AS MANY as 83 distinguished Indian bureaucrats with a combined work experience of about 2,500 man-years are pinning hopes that a court verdict could put in place a mechanism that would insulate bureaucrats from political pressure. Former Union cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian and 82 other distinguished ex-bureaucrats petitioned in Supreme Court seeking urgent administrative reforms. Last Friday, a Supreme Court bench issued notice to the Central and state governments after showering praises on the petitioners that they raised some important questions.
Petitioners include ex-ambassador to US Abid Hussain, ex-CECs TSK Murthy and N Gopalaswamy, former Delhi police chief Ved Marwah, National Advisory Commission member and 1964 batch IAS NC Saxena, former ambassador to UN Arundhati Ghose, former Trai chairman Nripendra Misra, ex-IB director Arun Bhagat, ex-finance secretary Ajit Kumar, former Maruti MD Jagdish Khattar to name a few.
The petitioners want creation of independent Civil Services Boards or Commissions both at the Centre and state and fixed tenures for civil servants mainly to minimize political pressure on bureaucracy. They also wanted judiciary to direct that every civil servant formally records all instructions received from administrative and political superiors.
Whereas the government has made many a half-hearted attempt to bring in administrative reforms and insulate civil servants from their political masters, a judicial intervention may create a fool proof system.
Read BoI Surveys on bureaucracy
Action and Appointments
a) Girish Shankar, a 1982 batch
Bihar cadre IAS has been appointed as joint secretary in the department of food and public distribution in place of Rakesh Garg, a 1980 batch UP cadre IAS who has been appointed as additional secretary in the ministry of culture.
b) Devinder Kumar Bhalla, a 1986 batch Nagaland cadre IAS has been appointed as joint secretary in department of food and public distribution in place of Nilanjan Sanyal, a 1979 batch Orissa cadre who has been appointed as additional secretary in the ministry of women and child development.