Disruption and disruptive changes have been something that define the NaMo administration appropriately. One may cite various examples to endorse this presumption.
The most interesting remark in this regard more often come from senior bureaucrats and top executive of the central PSUs is that days of certainties are over. And nothing guarantees you a smooth career progression be it empanelment for holding Joint Secretary, Additional Secretary or Secretary-level posts or PESB recommendation for board-level positions in Central PSUs.
Recently, various top-level executives of Central PSUs told Indianmandarins that earlier it used to be a deep sense of confidence and top executives used to congratulate their colleagues after PESB’s result for board-level positions are out. But gradually it faded away as selection does not guarantee ACC’s endorsement.
Similar appears to be the case of empanelment which was earlier considered as an assurance for posting at the level of JS, AS and Secretary in the government of India. 1985 batch senior IAS officers from Rajasthan and West Bengal cadre are such examples for whom posting as Secretary has become an endless wait. There are numerous such examples to endorse this assumption.
Stakeholders in bureaucracy and public-sector are often curious about this uncertainty. This is a known secret now that NaMo administration has less appetite for sharing its authority. Secondly, the ruling Govt at Centre has a strong and vast base of its cadre. Despite one meeting parameters for empanelment and PESB recommendation, it has to be in terms with certain other conditions as well. Unless these names are endorsed by the cadre framework, the end goal of empanelment and selection remains in the waiting-list but this is not the only criteria. Probably, this explains the reason behind inordinate delays in clearing various recommendations and proposals for appointment.
Interestingly, in previous regimes too getting the nod from the power-centers was in practice. In UPA and Vajpayee regime also there were certain power-centers and individuals whose endorsements were key to the top appointments. Even though access and influence played a key role as these old models not only earned disrepute but proved to be counter-productive for governance as well.
In the NaMo regime, it became almost impossible for anyone to leverage on access and influence for posting and appointment but 360 feedback system and cadre endorsements [if true] put together have made certain things quite uncertain. Indian civil services earlier used to be termed as ‘Iron Curtain’ but NaMo administration has become an ‘Iron Curtain’ in itself. This is the strength of NaMo administration and to an extent its weakness as well.
(By Rakesh Ranjan)
Such developments may be seen in its decision on creation of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), merger of existing eight Group A services of Railways into a Central Service called Indian Railway Management Service (IRMS).
Proposed National Civil Service University (NCSU) to oversee the training for all IAS, IPS, IRS and other civil services appears to have ‘integration’ as its objective.
Further, National Population Register (NPR) too appears to have emanated from NaMo’s appetite for integration of fractured framework of data.
Implementation of GST which involved high political risk, importance to Aadhar and DBT facilitated schemes have also emphasised on integration.
The Modi govt has once again
started gauging prospects of merging rail, roads, aviation and shipping into
one unified transport ministry as practiced in countries like China, Japan and
a few others. Reportedly, a panel of secretaries was constituted by the PM to
recommend transformative ideas about transport and infrastructure sectors to
provide integrated multi-modal mobility solutions. Cities like London and New
York have a single body to govern public transport.
Cabinet Secretary has already had a meeting with the panel of secretaries which may make a presentation of the proposal to the PM soon. The NaMo administration had conceived the idea of an omnibus transport ministry in its first term only which appears to continue in NaMo 2.0 as well.
Just keep matching dots ever
since NaMo administration took over the command over the system and you would
find a pattern. Modi has been a great leveler.
For Modi dispensation, everyone is made to realise that they are equal be it a commoner or a cabinet minister. No one can force any decision whatsoever their past had been as important decisions will have to be approved by the PMO and there is no guarantee that senior minister’s wish is always honored.
In the cases of appointment of bureaucrats, a senior union minister was denied officers of his choice during NaMo 1.0 but a minister close to Nagpur establishment was also very politely communicated recently that he would have to work with the same officers he was wanting to be removed despite the minister going to the extent of threatening.