To put it in perspectives, BoI wrote an article based on Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer P Satya Prasanth's personal blog post. The young officer argued how setting up and implementation of a scientific direct taxes policy and administrative system have become a cardinal need, for which the political leadership must look beyond “the half cooked platter of facts (read lies) presented by the administrative leadership (read IAS)”. We received an overwhelming response from our readers, many of whom were well-informed officers, preferring to post their comments anonymously. We did not however accept a large number of comments where the writers did not follow the basic grammar of decency and went overboard.
Commenting on the IRS officer’s argument against an IAS being posted as Union revenue secretary, one reader said: “He forgets that when he filled the UPSC form he too put IAS as his first choice. This is just sour grapes”. Immediately there was a counter-argument: “Almost everybody keeps IAS as first option while filing the UPSC form. That doesn’t mean that IAS officers should head every department like finance, revenue, animal husbandry, environment, defence, human resources, sports, commerce, science & technology, audit, etc…This is the age of specialisation. I think the IAS should be abolished immediately and specialists are given a bigger role. We are still following the erstwhile British system even now. The British have already reformed their civil services. It’s high time we also reform ours.”
“Rubbish”, the reply came. “British still have generalists running every department; every corporate CEO is a generalist not a specialist.”
Another reader said if such demands continue, there would be a day when every service might demand the coveted post of cabinet secretary, India’s top bureaucrat. “Can anyone imagine how things will move and at what pace if we have, say IFoS as Forest Secretary, IPS as Home Secretary and then IRS as Revenue etc...Next even one fine day people would start asking for Cabinet Sec from their own service. This would literally put our country in total chaos. As per Foreign Affairs it’s from Allocation of Business Rules and there is parity which has been maintained right from its inception between IAS and IFS and hence they have their own secretary,” the reader said.
“There is enough space and canvass for all service to work in their own domain and serve the country…” the reader continued.
BoI views that every cadre was created with some basic logic. But Indian civil service, and the rules and processes therein, must remain dynamic. But let’s sort out the issues with a broad smile. As George Eliot says, “Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles.”
Why IRS should not be under IAS