[Answered] “Indian citizens hold relatively low trust in the civil services and bureaucracy.” Discuss various reasons behind this. Suggest some measures to enhance bureaucratic efficiency in India.

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Reason for trust deficit in civil services. What should be done?
Conclusion. Way forward.

Bureaucracy and civil services in India is a colonial institution. Today bureaucracy is seen as someone against social development by the common man. It is often considered to be synonymous with redundancy, arbitrariness, and inefficiency. Common man lack trust in bureaucrats as a medium to solve their problems and issues.

Reason for trust deficit in civil services and bureaucracy:

  1. Inability to solve problems:Bureaucracy has lost its shine in solving common man’s problem. With many regions still waiting for electricity, electricity connections etc., people consider bureaucracy as burden which is unable to provide even basic services and solution to common man problems.
  2. Poor accountability: Bureaucracy is hamstrung by political interference and outdated personnel procedures. Lack of accountability and no answerability to non-performance of one’s duty has led to loss of faith of people in civil services.
  3. Attitude: Some bureaucrats behave like they are God and born to rule but not to serve. Their attitude has caused people to shy away from the, even from common problems. Abuse of power without being penalised has become a trend with common man lost faith in them.
  4. Lack of empathy: Non-empathetic behaviour of civil servants and inability to acknowledge common problems of people has led to development of trust deficit in civil servant as a problem solver.
  5. Corruption: Wide corruption and scams like 2g scam has eroded faith of general public. Bureaucracy is seen as institution of bribery and corrupt officials exploiting public resources. A lingering view that corruption and politicisation of the civil services have become more entrenched.
  6. Delays and red-tapism: Working with the civil servants in India is a slow and painful process. Unnecessary delays, moving from one department to next for solutions has led to development of belief that bureaucracy is inefficient and unable to cater common man’s problems.

Measures to enhance bureaucratic efficiency:

  1. Immediate reforms should be brought about by the Government to reshape recruitment and promotion processes of civil servants. Lateral entry is a right step in this direction.
  2. Improving service through performance-based assessment of individual officers is needed.
  3. Adoption of safeguards that promote accountability while protecting bureaucrats from political meddling is must to keep bureaucracy clean.
  4. A bureaucracy must be an enabler and not a hinderer that clogs the decision making pipeline.
  5. With the focus on public welfare we need bureaucrats with a new ethos, more attuned to performances on the ground, and not just policy designs.

Public bureaucracies are less efficient in many of their activities. This is generally attributed to the inefficiencies of public bureaucracies and lack of transparency and the weaker governance. What needed is a reform in civil services institution and political will to clean the system.

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