It’s an unusual year when there is a near-consensus that Comptroller and Auditor General is actually more powerful than principal secretary to Prime Minister. And the men on the street, read Anna followers, are not hesitating to publicly ridicule appointment of the CBI chief, a trend that was earlier unheard of. Even top bureaucrats in Delhi can no longer risk themselves by guaranteeing anyone that “the work will be done”. Also, taking cue from others, even corporate leaders who had earlier refrained from making any public statement against bureaucrats, are talking about policy paralysis and making strong anti-bureaucrat statements. Have the men inside white ambassadors lost the power that they wielded till last year?
The majority of bright young Indians still want to join civil service not because of any fat salary packages but for prestige, social status and opportunity to make a difference to the society. According to an official Civil Services survey undertaken in 2010 with a large sample size of over 4000 serving bureaucrats including IAS, IPS, IRS etc. “visible symbols of power” was an “important” determinant to join bureaucracy, at least for 44 percent respondents. For 18 percent respondents, “visible symbols of power” was the “very important” reason for their joining the services. As high as 56 percent respondents also agreed that they chose to be civil servants because of the “prestige and social status associated with civil service”.
But the events in 2011 have definitely shaken Indian bureaucrats and attacked the very visible symbol of power associated with civil servants.
Action and Appointments
a) Shankar Agarwal, a 1980 batch UP cadre IAS, has been appointed as additional secretary in the defence ministry.
b) Chirravuri Viswanath, 1981 batch Andhra Pradesh cadre IAS, currently joint secretary in the department of food and public distribution, has been appointed as additional secretary in the information and broadcasting ministry.
c) Suresh Chandra Panda, a 1981 batch Assam cadre IAS, presently development commissioner in SEZ, Noida, has been appointed as additional secretary and financial adviser in home ministry.d) Deverakonda Diptivilasa, a 1981 batch UP cadre IAS, has been appointed as additional secretary in urban development ministry.