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Has the faction feud exposed 360-degree method of evaluation?

By IndianMandarins- 25 Oct 2018


Following the high-decibel dramatic midnight developments (in CBI) several civil servants (across services/cadres/batches) have started raising questions over the 360-degree evaluation method which is not only opaque, but also contravenes the established institutional mechanism.  


360-degree method (verbal feedbacks as integral part of the evaluation) was started on the argument that seniors do not want to spoil their relations with juniors, hence record outstanding ACRs/APRs, even if they do not deserve. Here in CBI, the top boss, on 21 October 2017, gathered courage to object to the selection of his subordinate as No. 02 in the CBI and a year later (15 Oct 2018) filed an FIR against him. Further the second-in-command too had, on 24 August 2018, submitted a list of at least ten cases of corruption and misconduct against his chief. Further, more than a dozen of investigative officers were reshuffled at one go just to ensure natural-justice and fairplay in investigations.  


The Govt had to say that all it had vitiated the office eco-system of the premier investigative institution which had deep and visible impact on the overall governance.


Further, while sacking the top two the Govt said that ‘an extra-ordinary and unprecedented situation has arisen which demands that the Govt of India shall exercise its powers under Section 4(2) of the DPSE Act.’


One may recall that several senior officials (in Dept of Revenue & ED) slapped written charges on each other. A RAW officer too was found to be involved in hatching conspiracies against top officials.


The acts of allegations and counter-allegations were none-less than the 360-feedbacks on integrity & conduct. Surprisingly, the empanelment, selection & deployment of these senior-most officials were the outcome of 360-degree method itself which would have compelled the disgruntled officers to raise questions over the 360-method.  


What needs to be underlined here that Governments run on established and time-tested rules and regulations with institutional support mechanism and not on peripheral procedures with changes introduced frequently to both circumvent and override the existing institutional mechanism which invariably runs the risk of destroying the anchor of the ship and break the confidence of the participants and stake-holders. 

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