Can Modi's new directives to babus stir up Indian bureaucracy?

GN Bureau | August 8, 2014



Narendra Modi has issued a set of 19 commandments to bureaucrats. Coming as part of the prime minister’s maxim of 'minimum government, maximum governance', these ask a bureaucrat to maintain political neutrality and good behaviour with the public, among others. According to media reports, these rules also mandate babus to now declare their “private interests relating to public duties”.

The 19 pointers were included by amending the all-India service (conduct) rules, 1968 for IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Service officers.
While this is seen as a way to curb corruption, as well as streamline and make the bureaucracy effective and transparent, there is also criticism of the way the new administration is handling bureaucratic transfers and shuffling. This, along with a seemingly overt dependence and trust on bureaucrats who served in the Gujarat administration led by chief minister Modi, would hardly enthuse and inspire babus, critics say.

So, can the PM’s new commandments command a sterling performance from Indian bureaucrats?

 

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