Public Administration Answer Writing Practice 2018 - Week 9 - Question 3

90 Days Public Administration Answer Writing Practice Question 1 for 09-Jan-2019

Instructions for Writing Answer

1. Write your answers in the comment section.

2. Experts will provide their feedback in reply.

3. Model Answers will be uploaded on this page the next day.

4. Rectify your mistakes and progress further.

5. All the Best.

09-Jan-2019 - Question 1

"Lateral entry of competent experts into the government will promte freshness and innovation, but it can create problems of accountability" Discuss (2017)

For Question 2- Click Here

Model Answer

Introduction - What are Lateral Entry and need of it

Main Body- Benefit of Lateral entry and problem or challenges in lateral entry


Some few points for references

Lateral entry in the civil services refers to a move by the government to appoint outsiders (not candidates from Civil Service Examination) in the middle rung of the ministries. The appointments are mainly to be made for the posts of Director, Joint Secretary, and Deputy Secretary. The issue of lateral entry is being considered in light of a huge shortage of officers in the middle management level of the central government that has been indicated by the Central Government.

Lateral entry brings fresh talent to the bureaucracy which brings freshness and innovation in the approach. Apart from that, there are many other benefits of the lateral entry are:-

  1. The administrative problems at the implementation level (district, tehsil, panchayat) require the intervention of specialists with domain expertise and not generalist IAS cadre who heads the department in the capacity of Secretary for a period of 3 years but lack the understanding of the ground level problems and the specific solutions required. lateral entry being domain experts in the civil services.
  2. Outside talent from the private sector is more likely to be target oriented which will improve performance to the government. Also, more competition will encourage career civil servants to develop expertise in areas of their choice.
  3. A diversity of experience and domain expertise together can ensure that policies have a better connect with ground realities, and get implemented more efficiently.
  4. When civil servants are made to compete with outside talent, the lethargic attitude and bureaucratic inertia will diminish. So the prospects of lateral entry will always propel overall efficiency.

While on one hand Lateral entry brings efficiency while on another hand it creates the problem with accountability. The other challenges related to lateral entry are:-

  1. There is a fear that lateral entry could turn into a spoils system where politically committed individuals could get handpicked into important positions that influence policymaking and program implementation in the government.
  2. Lateral entry into civil services undermines the career progression avenues of existing civil servants and also hampers the employment opportunities of young aspirants looking to enter the famed civil services for a fulfilling career.
  3. The proposal for lateral entry at senior decision-making levels will increase the disconnect between policy-making and policy implementation.
  4. Lateral entrants have struggled to find into the system and understand the processes and dynamics of government decision-making.
  5. In any sector of employment, one can attract good candidates only if there is an incentive of reaching the top managerial positions. However, this will be totally hurt if the lateral entry is allowed.

Lateral entry into civil services has been recommended by many commissions and committees and is not a new idea. In its 2002 report, the Civil Services Review Committee headed by Yoginder Alagh recommended lateral entry into other Departments as well (apart from Space, Science, and Technology, Telecommunication, Electronics etc). The Surinder Nath Committee and the Hota Committee followed suit in 2003 and 2004, respectively. In 2005, the second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) recommended an institutionalized, transparent process for lateral entry at both the Central and state levels.

Lateral entry into civil services is not a new idea but it has not been followed as an institutionalized practice earlier. Although there are some shortcomings with this approach, that need to be addressed, there are many benefits associated with the lateral entry of outside experts into the civil services which should, hopefully, catalyze the rule-bound bureaucracy to become the agents of change.

Note: There is no template for a correct UPSC answer, the model answer is only for your reference

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