Former bureaucrat Anil Swaroop has called for reforms in civil services with a focus on leadership skills and not analytical skills. He has said that expertise and analytical skills can be outsourced but attitude has to be developed.
Swaroop, who is the ex secretary, School Education and Coal and founder chairman ‘Nexus of Good’ movement has said that at present right from selection to the time of retirement handling of civil servants is not worthy of mention. ‘’In our manner of selection of civil servants there are only accidental leaders. We select people who can write the exam in those three hours. The nature of questions is such that they test analytical skills but not leadership skills.” He was in a webinar with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now
Responding to a question on if the government allowing lateral entry in bureaucracy and Niti Ayog bringing down the retirement age limit to 60 years at the state and central levels will help improve governance, Swaroop said, ‘At Niti Aayog they have become ‘Rai Sahabs’. The problem in civil services is not about expertise but about approach and that is critical. The ethos has to change.
Because as you rise up the ladder you need to manage men and women so you need leaders not experts. I am not against their lateral entry but if they are not brought in a manner that is objective and transparent in process there could be serious trouble.” He also criticized the fact that no thought is given before postings.