Badministrators -Nasty social media brawl between IAS & IPS officers points to a larger, worrying trend

Source: The post is based on the article “Badministrators -Nasty social media brawl between IAS & IPS officers points to a larger, worrying trend” published in The Times of India on 22nd February 2023.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Role of civil services in a democracy.

Relevance: About low efficiency in the public sector.

News: Recently, an IPS officer and an IAS officer from Karnataka has involved in a verbal debate on Social media. In effect, both officers were transferred. But the clash put focus on a larger, disturbing change that civil service ethos is undergoing through participation in social media.

Why the public sector is having low efficiency?

Less man power: The parliamentary standing committee last year said that there are 22% fewer IAS officers in the country than the sanctioned strength. The sanctioned strength is also not enough to begin with given the evolving needs of the Indian administration.

Not enough reforms and incentives: The government’s lack of reforms in incentives and penalties have helped incapacity, indifference and corruption creep in.

Lack of functional independence: The permanent executive suffers a lack of functional independence from the political executive.

Social media addictions: The self-aggrandisement stimulated by social media addictions is a new challenge to the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968.

In social media, promoting work takes second place and promoting the self becomes the primary motto. Social media activities of some bureaucrats make short confessions of not just “political neutrality” but “courtesy and good behaviour”.

Not attractive private sector: The private sector still isn’t attractive and big enough for breaking the charm of government services such as prestige, power and job security. This is clearly visible by too much competition for government services.

What should be done?

Governments will have to recruit more to increase manpower. To reduce the reputational damage from the social media war, serving seniors and ministers must take note and tries to end them.

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