The life of any bureaucrat is comprised of a wide array of activities such as decision making,formulating plans for action, implementing them, monitoring progress, evaluating feedback etc. All of these require time which varies greatly depending upon the type of project. For the past few years there have been several instances of surprise transfers of public servants.Reasons for such transfers are sometimes vague and unacceptable.

Reasons for transfers:

1. Political interference : is a major cause of transfers and suspensions of civil servants. Some politicians who wish to have everything done their own way prefer to have dummy bureaucrats that they can bribe and control.

2. Corporate influence : Political parties that depend on large corporates to fund massive electorial campaigns are obliged to return the favour and when sincere officers attempt to protect interests of the common people, they are hastily relocated.

Consequences

1.Impact on the Nation

Important social and economic projects begin with a vision and a change in leadership may lead to four major problems

  • Distorted view of the goal that needs to be achieved
  • New appointee will need time to understand and absorb the project to reach his predecessors level of efficiency
  • Lack of experience of the replacement officer regarding the project leads to unwanted delays and related complications.
  • Forceful and unexpected change in leadership creates a negative ripple effect on the efficiency of the assignment

2.Impact on the Officer :

  • Officer morale is affected when he is not given an opportunity to complete the task that he has begun
  • Uncertainity of tenure leads to fear and instability that may adversely impact performance at work
  • Instability of tenure causes inefficiency due to demotivation when honest officers are punished instead of being rewarded

Measures needed:

  • Under Article 312, Define posts in higher bureaucracy which can’t be filled without prior recommendation of UPSC (this will stop political arbitrariness in selection of secretaries).
  • Increase age of retirement in higher bureaucracy from 60 yrs to 65yrs same as for SC judges (this will constrain necessity of bringing controversial appointment out of boxes).
  • Create Civil Services board under Article 309, for appointments and transfer in bureaucracy, with the recommendation of board has final (this will constrain role of political masters in appointments).
  • Set standards of “service records” under purview of Civil Services Board (this will help board to recommend official for higher bureaucracy).

Civil servants are the lifeline of a healthy democratic society. They are the caretakers of the peoples interests who implement ambitious political mandates. So Higher posts like: Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary and Secretaries to union Ministries being affected by moods of political masters is not acceptable.

Have a Query/Feedback; Drop it below