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Root of bureaucracy

by Vijay Garg
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The big change in the India of the twenty first century would be possible only through reforms in the bureaucracy.  It is very important to change it with time.  Neither Indian Railways nor any other institution can run with the work culture of the fifties.  From Europe to America, the bureaucracy of all the developed nations has reformed itself by taking lessons from the private sector.
There will hardly be any country in the world which lives in the contradiction of bureaucracy like India.  On the one hand the bureaucracy has to go through reproach, oppression and humiliation from all sides, on the other hand every youth even dreams of joining it.  It includes every government institution from government schools, universities to courts.  A few days ago in Patna and Allahabad, youths took to the streets in anger for railway recruitment exams and caused huge damage to government property.  By the way, his point is also true to some extent that why there is a delay in recruitment in railway jobs?  At the same time, these youths also pointed fingers at the examination system of recruitment.
The pain of these young people is justified.  The poor and unemployed have been hit the most by the Corona tragedy of the last two years.  Even more so in the Hindi region, because people are not able to start even small works here and there is no hope of it in future.  But some cracks are clearly visible in this protest as well.  He has called the bureaucracy indolent, indifferent, corrupt not knowing what to do.  When such an allegation is made, the bureaucracy is not the name of a single person sitting at the top, but an entire institution consisting of several levels of staff-officers.
If seen, this charge is applicable at every level.  The responsibility of the senior officers is definitely more.  But the posts, which will be recruited under the examination of Railway Recruitment Board, are equally infamous for their worklessness, negligence, indolence.  Who does not know that in the railway administration, the maximum number of passengers without ticket, incidents of poisoning, theft, delay, loss of railways belongs to North India and especially in those areas where there have been disturbances.  After all, what society is this which is making such citizens who when they are out of the system are ready to ruin and break it and if they reach inside, to save it at any cost.  There is also delay in recruitment from the railway administration and some lapses have also happened.
Due to this protest, the railway administration has lost its sleep and is ready in principle for further reforms.  The committee has been formed and it is expected that such steps will be taken so that such a situation does not happen in future also.  But in the light of such incidents, there is also a need to look at the entire system.  This recruitment for thirty five thousand posts was for the youth of the whole country including Assam, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Kashmir to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar.  What is the reason that the riots happened only in Allahabad and Patna?  In the figures that are coming out, the highest number of unemployed are from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
The entire country was affected by the Corona period.  But the southern states are fast coming back on track due to their better education system, skills, work culture, whereas in the northern states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, the eyes of the youth are only towards government jobs.  In cities like Allahabad, Lucknow, Patna, Bhagalpur with ten children living in one room, training in very few resources and working hard especially to improve English, are there so many government jobs left for these youths?  Has the education system not reached more than fifty percent in private hands?  Are such steps not being taken continuously in the railways?
Not only in the last five years, but over the last twenty years, a lot of activities of the Railways are moving towards the private hands under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model and by many other names, whether it is the maintenance of rest houses or development of stations or production units.  Lots of work.  In the past, preparations have been made to hand over about a hundred railway routes to private trains.  In spite of this, when will this knowledge come in the school, university or society of Hindi states like Uttar Pradesh Bihar that when will you stop giving up hope of a government job on the basis of fake general knowledge and memorizing the spelling of English?  Why not learn to do farming, industry or other skill or labour-intensive work?
The serious question is also of bureaucratic reforms.  In any case, his crime is no less.  Indian bureaucracy is considered to be the most corrupt and comfortable bureaucracy in the world.  And the state responsible for this is no less.  Although the current government has addressed this problem and implemented some good transparency measures for reforms, they are all more about the use of technology.
Remember there was a time when there were long queues for train tickets.  From electricity office to telephone and passport office, work could not be done easily.  But the digital technology world of the twenty-first century has done much better to reform or cut down on bureaucracy than our power.  The ruling authorities seldom raised their voice against red tape, corruption, nepotism, but there was a tendency to patronize them more and more.
Certainly a major change in the India of the twenty-first century would be possible only through reforms in the bureaucracy.  It is very important to change it with time.  Neither Indian Railways nor any other institution can be run by the work culture of the fifties.  From Europe to America, the bureaucracy of all the developed nations has reformed itself by taking lessons from the private sector.  In the past, our bureaucracy has also been hit repeatedly by the Supreme Court very harshly.
Recall that Chief Justice of India NV Raman said in November last year on air pollution that ‘a kind of inertia has developed in the bureaucracy.  They don’t want to take decisions.  how to stop the car  How to seize the vehicle?  Will the court do all this.’ He made similar remarks in the case of non-payment of dues of an employee of Uttar Pradesh.  He had told the Chief Secretary that ‘You are depriving your own employee of his legitimate dues.  You should be given strict punishment.’ The Supreme Court has even said that ‘even God cannot save this country now’.
In the light of such serious observations of the Supreme Court, we need to think why the bureaucracy is becoming so inert?  Take the example of the recent incident of railway recruitment, then these candidates had gone to Patna to meet the senior officers, but they did not give any satisfactory answer.  Why?  Is there a lack of transparency?  Why delay in taking the right decision at the right time?  Do you lack courage?  Is Tantra slowly making them so paralyzed and inactive?  Contrary to lakhs of claims, all these have declined very sharply in the last few days and its effect will be disastrous for the entire country.  Politicians also need to understand that if you make the bureaucracy indolent and sycophantic, then in the long run its consequences will be similar to those seen at Patna station recently.


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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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