02 Jun

Is there a conscious design to the IAS?

Amitabh Pande, a 1971-batch officer of IAS, wrote an article in India Today titled "IAS design conducive to graft" on 17 June 2011. Mr. Pande argues that there are three types of entrants in the service: firstly those who are fluent speakers of English by virtue of being exposed to it from birth by their elite parents; secondly, those that learn the language by dint of perseverance and hard work, and whose parents are middle level officers mainly from the service sectors; thirdly, the others who [Read more ...]
15 May

Beacon of hope, repression, efficiency….

Red beacons
The reason for the recent notoriety of the beacons is the decision of the Union Cabinet on 19 April 2017 to remove all beacons. Working fast, the draft Rules were issued the very next day. It was another measure to remove symbols of the so-called VIP culture in India. In the recent past certain State Governments have also issued similar notifications. Most notably Punjab, which is infamous for the overuse and misuse of the beacon policy. It can be argued that this decision of uprooting the whole [Read more ...]
15 May

Beacon of hope, repression, efficiency….

Red beacons
Beacons have always been an envious bone of contention. The beacon may be many things to many people - a status symbol, a token of having 'arrived', a relic of colonialism. What people don't like about it, they project those feelings onto the beacon. It is a beacon of desire - every one would want to sit in a car with beacon, and just live the experience for once, if possible. It is a beacon of aspiration - most mothers would aspire for their children to have the beacon one day. Of hatred - one hates [Read more ...]
15 Jun

End the IAS : Part II

This is the second part of a three-part series of articles written in response to Mihir S Sharma's article titled 'End the IAS' ____________________________________________ Sharma makes two other charges that are related. He says that, firstly, IAS officers are generalists, lack knowledge, and therefore, secondly, make blunders. He further corroborates that he seldom pays for those blunders. One additional consequence of such generalist experience is the lack of innovation that besets our [Read more ...]
13 Jun

End the IAS : Is it a solution?

"By whatever constitution India may be ruled, no government will be able to 'do without District Officer" - (Simon Commission Report, 1928) "End the IAS" - Mihir S Sharma This article is a searching response to another article by Sharma that said that the IAS must go. The article appeared on June 5, 2015, in Business Standard.   ____________________________________ PART I   The IAS is akin to the top management of an impossibly large and complex entity called [Read more ...]