‘Minimum government maximum governance’ is defrauding Dalitbahujan youth

In the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Narendra Modi promised “minimum government, maximum governance” if voted to power. Now, the government itself has created an environment in which the basic provisions of the Constitution are being undermined, says Shyam Rajak

The union government is recruiting officers to senior posts through the backdoor or “lateral entry”, as it is known. They are being appointed without having to sit for any any competitive exam, thus defrauding the talented, competent Dalit, Adivasi and OBC youth. This is a conspiracy to reintroduce the Manuvadi social order.

In February 2017, a committee of secretaries to the Government of India had submitted a report to the government making several recommendations for reforming the bureaucracy. The report said that competent individuals from the private sector should be given the opportunity to join government service on a contractual basis to overcome the shortfall in the number of joint secretary-level officers. These officers, the reports said, would contribute to nation-building. Accordingly, 10 vacancies in different ministries were advertised and appointments made.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

In the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Narendra Modi had promised that if voted to power, his party’s government would follow the principle of “minimum government, maximum governance”. Now, the government itself has created an environment in which the basic provisions of the Constitution are being undermined. The bureaucracy undeniably has played a key role in the development of the nation. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) at the central level and the State Public Service Commissions in the states hold competitive exams for recruiting officers and picking the best talent. Posts are reserved for different categories and so, today, we have Dalits, Adivasis and OBCs among the ranks of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS).

Lateral entry is designed to deny the reserved categories their due. The gradual drop in the number of vacancies advertised by the UPSC proves that the dearth of senior IAS officers was created. Instead of making more appointments to the IAS, the government made less. In 2014, the UPSC had advertised 1,364 posts. In 2021, the number was halved to 721.

Vacancies in the IAS advertised by the UPSC

YearNo of vacancies advertised
20111001
20121091
20131228
20141364
20151164
20161029
2017980
2018782
2019896
2020796
2021712

 

Lateral entry is a direct assault on the Constitution, which provides for recruitment of IAS and IPS officers through the UPSC. Article 315(1) of the Constitution contains the relevant provision. Lateral entry will hurt the candidates not only from the reserved categories but also from the general category.

There is no provision for lateral entry into the IAS in the Constitution and no transparent process has been developed for the purpose. The government argues that the plan is to induct specialists into the government set-up to accelerate development. Is this not tantamount to insulting the IAS and IPS officers? The country’s GDP is falling, banks are sinking, the unemployed are getting increasingly desperate and suicides are growing. Does the government not want to accept responsibility and instead put the blame on the members of the IAS?

The government is making a mockery of the Constitution drafted by Babasaheb Dr Ambedkar. Privatization has been initiated with the purpose to end reservations provided for by the Constitution.

(Translation: Amrish Herdenia; copy-editing: Anil


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