Taking a leaf out of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s book, the Narendra Modi government is planning to open up the bureaucracy to experts in various fields. And for that, one need not be a career civil servant.
Called the lateral entry, the proposal was first mooted by Singh in June last year and a directive was sent based on the recommendations of the sixth central pay commission which advocated opening up of the bureaucracy at the joint secretary and above level to proven performers in different fields.
But the initiative failed after it met with stiff resistance from top civil servants who refused to identify the posts where experts could be appointed from outside.
On Monday, the department of personnel and training (DoPT) sent a directive to all ministries and departments inviting comments on lateral entries in the higher echelons of government.
The DoPT order read: “This department has not received any comments from ministries, it is therefore again requested to send your comments.”
An official suggested that if Modi puts his weight behind the proposal, the resistance from the civil servants could crumble.
The previous government had been toying with the idea for years. But it was the recommendation of the justice BN Srikrishna-headed sixth central pay commission (CPC) set up in 2006 that the government got serious.
The pay commission had argued the move would ensure that domain expertise becomes the major criteria for selection to a post and break the nexus between seniority and selection to such posts with emphasis on performance.