Equipping IAS officers to deal with the manufacturing sector

Source: This post is created based on the article “Equipping IAS officers to deal with the manufacturing sector” published in Indian Express on 28th December 2022.

Syllabus Topic: GS Paper 2 – Governance

News: There has been policy related issues that are blocking rapid growth of the manufacturing sector.

To become an attractive destination for manufacturing investment, India needs to solve the issues, which is making it a difficult country to manufacture and do business.

Therefore, it becomes important to analyse, why existing personnel charged with policy execution have been failing.

While the political leadership lays down the vision, the responsibilities for translating these into ground realities are that of IAS officers.

Therefore, the development of Manufacturing is only possible if the concerned civil servants in the ministries have good manufacturing domain knowledge.

IAS officers need to know how to add to or reduce the costs of manufacturing, create demand for enabling industry to achieve economies of scale, and generation of profits and internal resources for growth.

So, how to equip IAS officers to become much more effective in dealing with the manufacturing sector as well as other areas of development?

It requires reforms in our system of human resource development and bringing it in line with the best global practices.

A new wing

A wing should be created in the Department of Personnel & Training, and its counterparts in the states.

This wing should be responsible to select officers on the basis of aptitude from the IAS and other services, and train them to frame and implement policies relating to manufacturing and industrial development.

It should report directly to the Prime Minister to insulate it from pressures from various quarters.

Selection and training of officers

The selection of officers could be made after they have completed around 10 years of service.

Thereafter, selected officers would need to be trained and given postings that would enable them to gain more knowledge and experience.

For knowledge and experience, a temporary appointment to selected private companies should be made.

It would acquaint officers to market based competition and select companies in different manufacturing sectors could be able to trust the government officers.

These officers should be assessed from time to time to move them into the policy making stage for manufacturing sector.

How to resolve some past challenges?

The previous such attempts have been failed due to issues linked to promotions and postings. It has prevented some skilled officers to be appointed at right places. This problem can be resolved by Japanese model.

The Japanese model was implemented in Maruti. The model was to de-link salary scales from job responsibilities.

It means the most suitable person for the job will be posted for higher responsibilities. However, her/his pay scale will not change due to this. Annual increases in pay scales and movement from one scale to another followed a different system.

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