State PCS

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Crisis in State Administrative Services

Crisis in State Administrative Services

Context: The biggest problem the civil services is facing is the lack of courage among bureaucrats, who also find themselves vulnerable to political pressure.

What is the problem with the State administrative services?

  • State failure to recruit an adequate number of civil servants
  • Inadequate training
  • Not fairly managed
  • Unsatisfied performance
  • Dysfunctional machinery

Shortage of officers/required staff in various departments

  • Many government departments are facing a shortage of personnel. For instance, the fire department has fewer employees than what’s consider the ideal international standard.
  • The situation is no different for healthcare professionals like nurses and doctors. In more than 20 states, the ratio of doctors to the population falls below the WHO-recommended norm of 1 doctor for every 1,000 people.
  • On average, state police forces are operating with 24% fewer personnel than their officially sanctioned strength.
  • Even the well-administered states like Karnataka are not immune to this issue. For more than a decade, Karnataka has conducted only three rounds of recruitment for the Karnataka Administrative Exam. However, one round was halted by the High Court due to irregularities, and another round, which was announced in 2015, was held in 2017 and remained incomplete.
  • This shortage of personnel is a widespread problem affecting various departments, including education, revenue officers (tehsildars), and engineering, among others.

What is the reason for the Crisis in State administrative services?

  • In India, government jobs are often used as political favors, handed out based on caste and regional considerations to support politicians in their electoral pursuits.
  • This practice of distributing government positions to serve political interests clashes with established recruitment regulations, leading to bureaucratic gridlock.
  • A major underlying issue behind the government’s inability to foster skilled and dedicated civil services is the influence of political interests on the state’s functioning and decision-making processes.

How to improve State administrative services?

A great way to address this issue is by using a common examination for both the Union and State Public Services. States can consider using the same ranking criteria as the UPSC exam for their own state-level tests. This approach can help bridge the gap in the status of officers at the central and state levels and elevate the overall quality of state officers.

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