Moily panel suggests drastic changes to make bureaucrats accountable

December 13th, 2008 - 12:43 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 12 (IANS) Suggesting drastic changes in the service rules of government servants, an official panel headed by senior Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily has recommended that government servants should be sacked after 20 years of service if found unfit to continue. The Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC), in its latest report released Friday, suggested two intensive reviews to make civil servants accountable.

In its report ‘Refurbishing of Personnel Administration’, the commission said the first review should be at 14 years and inform the public servant about his/her strengths and shortcomings. The second review should be at 20 years, and assess the fitness of the official for continuing in service.

“The services of public servants, who are found to be unfit after the second review at 20 years, should be discontinued. A provision regarding this should be made in the proposed Civil Services Law,” the ARC said.

In its 377-page report, it said that for new appointments, it should be provided that the period of employment shall be for 20 years. “Further continuance in government service would depend upon the outcome of the intensive performance reviews,” it said.

In another major change, the Moily Commission suggested that civil services aspirants in the general category should get only three chances, one less than they are allowed at present, to take the Union Public Service Commission examination.

It said that OBC candidates should get five chances, two less than present, while SC/ST candidates who have no ceiling now on the number of times they can appear for the UPSC, should get six chances.

The report also favoured reducing the upper age limit for the Civil Services Examination from 30 to 25 years for general candidates, from 33 to 28 years for the OBC, and from 35 to 29 years for SC/ST aspirants. The minimum age remains at 21.

Physically challenged aspirants, who are at present allowed unlimited attempts, should be allowed only six attempts, the commission said.

Physically challenged aspirants would be able to appear only up to the age of 29 years, compared to 40 years for those belonging to general category, 43 years in OBC category and 45 years in SC/ST category at present.

The report said every government servant should undergo a mandatory training at the induction stage and also periodically during his/her career.

The successful completion of this training should be a minimum necessary condition for confirmation in service and subsequent promotions.

It suggested that all civil servants should undergo mandatory training before each promotion and each officer should be evaluated after each training programme.

The panel also favoured introduction of a formal degree course in public policy and management in the higher education curriculum for a person seeking a career in civil services.

“This would also discourage the system of coaching centres which have tended to distort the formal education system,” the report said.

Describing the recommendations as “most revolutionary”, ARC chairman M. Veerappa Moily said the commission has recommended a post-school grooming system for civil services aspirants.

The panel recommended that the government establish National Institutes of Public Administration to run a Bachelors’ Degree course in public administration.

In the long term, these specialised centres of excellence would evolve as a major sources of civil services recruitment, it said.

Besides, selected central and other universities should be assisted to offer such graduate level programmes in public administration, the report said.

The commission also recommended that graduates in other disciplines would also be eligible to appear in civil services examination provided they completed a ‘bridge course’ in public administration.

An expert committee would work out modalities of the proposed system, it said, adding that the special courses should be started in a few institutions from the coming academic year.

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