The Indian administrative service, which is hamstrung by political interference and outdated personnel procedures, need urgent reform or risk institutional decline, according to a top US-based thinktank.
"Unfortunately, the IAS is hamstrung by political interference, outdated personnel procedures, and a mixed record on policy implementation, and it is in need of urgent reform," the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said in its report on 'The Indian Administration Service Meets Big Data' released yesterday.
"The Indian government should reshape recruitment and promotion processes, improve performance-based assessment of individual officers, and adopt safeguards that promote accountability while protecting bureaucrats from political meddling," said the report authored by Milan Vaishnav and Saksham Khosla.
In the report running into 50 pages, Carnegie said political interference generates substantial inefficiency: the best officers do not always occupy important positions, while political loyalty offers bureaucrats an alternative path to career success.
"Counter-intuitively, greater political competition does not necessarily lead to better bureaucratic performance," it said.