Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Big reform: Modi government plans to redeploy bureaucrats and reduce patronage postings - By Vasudha Venugopal, ET Bureau

 | Mar 22, 2016, 10.57 AM IST
Officials familiar with the reform plan told ET this redeployment will coincide with a broader plan to “rightsize” the government.
Officials familiar with the reform plan told ET this redeployment will coincide with a broader plan to “rightsize” the government.
NEW DELHI: Modi Sarkar is radically reorganising the bureaucracy, and the two signature reforms will be, first, one out of every five bureaucrats in the Centre will work on PM Narendra Modi's top priority schemes — Make in IndiaJan Dhan Yojana, Swachh Bharat, Digital India and Skill India —and, two, the long-standing practice of post-retirement sinecures will come under serious scrutiny.

To start with, 1,800 bureaucrats in top ministries, excluding a few such as the defence, will be scrutinised in the first phase, of which at least 400 will be put to work on half a dozen key schemes championed by the PM— unprecedented in India's administrative history.

The reform may also kill several posts created to accommodate retired babus. Officials familiar with the reform plan told ET this redeployment will coincide with a broader plan to "rightsize" the government.

Recruiting high-skilled professionals and dedicRecruiting high-skilled professionals and dedicated specialist technology/communications team in each department are also part of this reform. Officials, who spoke on the condition they not be identified, said a task force set up by the Prime Minister's Office ( PMO) and manned by "senior, trusted bureaucrats" will give its recommendations by April-end.

Officials from the cabinet secretariat, the department of personnel and training and the expenditure department are leading the task force and analysing manpower requirements and appointments in 600 departments, over 2,000 subordinate offices and over 10,000 aligned government organisations spread across the country.

The task force has been mandated to rationalise senior positions, review roles, and take a radical look at recruitment processes and numbers. Giving an example, an official said many ministries retain posts for schemes even after schemes have been discontinued or merged. "Across ministries there are officials deployed for the previous United Progressive Alliance government's flagship schemes that no longer exist...there is no work, but posts remain. And we need more people for the present government's programmes.

We are looking at ways to partly shift this workforce to priority areas of the government." The task force will identify "patronage postings" or post-retirement postings created across ministries over many years and examine their utility. Five meetings with senior officials, with the PM present in two, have been already held on this issue. Reallocating work to states, since financial devolution to states has increased dramatically, is also a part of the plan.

"The government reduced the number of centrally-sponsored schemes to 27 from 72 last year. Now, with 42% of the central funds going to states, the central bureaucracy must be refashioned," another official closely involved with the reform plan said.

Reducing the number of steps in making government appointments is also a major goal for the task force. Officials said if implemented thoroughly, the reform will reduce the number of ministries and departments, but added that this won't be the immediate effect.

(Source - Via e-mail from Col  YR Raghavan Retd)


  1. Why the bearocarts of MIN OF DEF excluded in reshuffling. What is the justification. They do remain in the front.

  2. Modi fools everybody including us it will not remain for 5 years also

  3. There are many UPA welfares which are discontinued but the desks which are maintained by these babus are functional with no work. The PM must sit down to clear them.

  4. The bureaucrats will give him the answer he wishes. "All is Well."

  5. I think GOI will do better 1st by removing the posts & vacate. Then if required some specialist form that field can be selected & posted. We have lost faith in bureaucracy having earned bad name for themselves.