Promises administrative reforms in State
DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 13: Even as Nagaland Assembly elections are still one-and-a-half- years away, the Rising People’s Party (RPP) has promised to effect administrative reforms ~ which includes pushing local officers of the NCS, NPS & Allied Services to become DCs and SPs of the districts at young age; and appropriate cadre reviews ~ if they come to power.
The Party issued a statement on Monday, asserting that administrative reforms are needed to achieve good governance in Nagaland.
“The State of Nagaland has its own dynamics and a way of life which non-Nagas may not understand or appreciate much. Last year, the State NCS Association was in uproar over the Centre’s Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) notification that only IAS officers should be appointed as District Collectors/Commissioners in the State. The Association hit back stating that these ‘Suitcase bureaucrats’, or the ‘IAS officers posted to the State would leave on any pretext they could find.’
“In short, the allegation is that these directly recruited IAS officers (mostly non-Nagas) have no respect for the place nor love for the people they serve, and even less understanding of our way of life and a discernible lack of finesse to handle serious situations. Also given the geographical position of the State, most of the IAS and IPS officers don’t want to serve in the State/NER and see their postings here as ‘punishment'”, the statement read.
According to the Party, the recent uproar against the SP of Tuensang is a case in point of high-handedness and a stubborn inability to respect local sentiments.
The DC of Mon threatening to stop all Central and State schemes unless the two villages, Yansa and Yannu, stop their belligerent attitude is a classic instance of an officer inflaming a situation by resorting to colonial era method of issuing autocratic diktats, it added.
“Unfortunately not all things can be taught in the Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy. But the State also had had the good fortune of outsiders initiating great things in the State, not the least of whom was the late AM Gokhale, the quintessential IAS officer who implemented the concept of decentralisation ~ the VDB, in the villages with a no holds barred attitude. Many lessons are learnt through grit and grind but unlike Gokhale the vast majority seek comfort by way of deputation in Delhi and elsewhere”, it stated.
Given this “background”, the Party stated, it is imperative that local officers of the NCS, NPS & Allied Services are given the required push to become DCs and SPs of the districts at the right age – young age rather, to ensure the continuity of good administration.
However, the normal situation in the State is to confer IAS only after about 25-30 years of service which is highly irrational, it maintained.
“This seniority system is monotonous and a career killer. It inhibits creativity while perpetuating the chalta hai culture in the entire edifice of the bureaucracy. It kills the hunger, the zeal and the drive in an officer. The whole idea of conferment is to identify talented officers in their prime; officers who can truly serve the people as per their aptitude ~ fully motivated and willing to grind out. Career administrative officers should find their job exciting and rewarding. “Conferment at the fag end of one’s career, on their death bed, metaphorically speaking, is a good waste, save for the appendage IAS to be written on one’s tombstones…Ironically conferment only serves to embitter in some cases”, the Party stated.
Conferment based on aptitude, rather than seniority, will instil dynamism in governance and make the bureaucracy more competitive, it added.
“Given the present situation where the NPSC has utterly failed to identify talented officers – thanks to the rot called manipulation in the interview stage, it’s important that talented officers are identified in the initial years of one’s service. The RPP will also ensure that appropriate cadre review is carried out allowing for officers of the NCS, NPS & Allied Services background the opportunity to reach the top of the administrative pyramid, up to the level of Additional Chief Secretary, the second highest post in the administrative setup which at present is reserved only for the directly recruited IAS officers, through default of course”, the Party said.
It stated that the practice of IAS conferment at an early point in an officers’ career is particularly strong in the southern States.
“Even in states like UP conferment usually takes place after 15-20 years of service, whereas in Kerala and Maharashtra it may happen even in 10 years. Nagaland cannot be the exception, for which the Rising People’s Party will take appropriate steps if the Naga people give us an opportunity to serve them”, it asserted.
(Page News Service)