- Centre invites "outstanding individuals" to join government
- Will be given joint-secretary postings to form policy, implement schemes
- These posts are usually filled by bureaucrats after passing UPSC exams
The idea of lateral entry into bureaucracy has been under discussion on and off for years, but this is the first time it has been acted upon. The government has said it is keen on it to bring in "fresh ideas and new approaches to governance".
The notification from the Department of Personnel Training says it is looking for 10 "outstanding individuals" who are willing to contribute towards nation building. Those eligible includes "Individuals working at comparable levels in Private Sector Companies, Consultancy Organisations, International/Multinational Organisations" above the age of 40 years and with a minimum of 15 years' experience.
The recruitment will be done on contract basis for three to five years. Recruitment will be made for 10 departments -- including Revenue, Financial Services, Economic Affairs, Commerce and Civil Aviation.
The posts are also open to officials of any state or union territory government who are already working at equivalent level, and individuals working at comparable levels in public sector undertakings, autonomous bodies, universities and research institutes.
The civil services system was considered one of the best British legacies to Independent India, given its lack of experience in governance and huge need for socio-economic development. But post-liberalisation in 1990s, the bureaucracy was seen by some sections as stagnant.
The need of the day, they asserted, was specialized knowledge and pointed to the advent of domain experts like Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Nandan Nilekani, Arvind Subramanian and Raghuram Rajan in government organisations and advisory bodies.
The government's announcement received mixed response from political leaders as well as the social media. While most hailed it as a welcome step that would bring in the much-needed field experts in governance, critics said the system can only work if the method of selection is impartial, objective and transparent.
"This is being done so that people who are with RSS or BJP come on this position and will then directly influence the decisions taken by government," said Congress' PL Punia
"This is a big deal. I had anticipated (& welcomed) this possibility in speeches/writing when i saw a cpl of yrs ago that IAS grip on JS+ posts was broken with surge in appts from other allied cadre svcs. Now true lateral entry will open up the bureaucracy with real world," tweeted Odisha political leader Jay Panda, who recently quit the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's party.
The much talked and debated reform is here now. Lateral entry to government at Joint Secretary level. Hope this reform will usher an era of good policy formulations and without getting into the trap of spoil system. pic.twitter.com/WYKqC2H6iu- Parveen Kaswan, IFS (@ParveenKaswan) June 10, 2018
Credit where due: Modi Government's decision to begin lateral entry into bureaucracy is great move to invite talent into governance- Sid (@sidmtweets) June 10, 2018
However it will only work if rules for selection are impartial, objective & transparent. Else the purpose will be defeated
"The intentions will be suspect. Plus the bureaucracy will not accept a sudden lateral entry. Doing away with entire IAS will not be easy. However, we should bring more transparency, etc to ensure efficiency and all are rewarded better," posted another user.
I totally support GoI decision to allow lateral entry of professionals at Joint Secretary level. It'll make the services more competitive and force IAS to specialise. New ideas will come in. And the fun part, that those who couldn't enter IAS when young, find a crack in the wall!- Shah Faesal (@shahfaesal) June 10, 2018