It has been more than a century for the existence of civil service in India. Though service has evolved and gone though multi-fold changes, there is enough data to analyze civil service to list it’s advantages and disadvantages. In an attempt to answer some questions related to civil service, KP Krishnan and TV Somanathan published a paper titled “The Civil Service”. Paper analyzed civil service data since independence, pointed out its effectiveness, and proposed some recommendations to improve it’s efficiency. In their paper, authors identified ten reasons for the poor performance of the civil service. These 10 points are as follows:

  1. Political interference
  2. The weakening of dual control in recent times and the inability of the Union government to protect All India Services officers
  3. The reluctance of IAS officers to make full use of the legal protections available to them due to the costs involved
  4. Arbitrary transfers and short tenures
  5. The non-tranparency of and weaknesses in the empanelment process through which IAS officers are identified for senior postings at the Centre
  6. The use of random roster system to allocate officers to cadres
  7. Drastic pay compression, that is to say, a reduction in the ratio of senior officers’ pay as compared to the junior ranks
  8. Spectacular increases in private-sector salaries and a culture of conspicuous consumption, which has led to the temptation to be corrupt
  9. Judicial leniency to civil servants who perform inefficiently through a wide interruption of the protection due to the latter under Article 311 of the Constitution
  10. The dearth of successful prosecution of the corrupt, which reduces the risks associated with turning corrupt

Above excerpt is taken from the book Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bureaucracy but were Afraid to Ask written by former IAS officer TR Raghunandan. Mr. Raghunandan is a consultant in decentralization, anti-corruption and heritage conservation.