India’s babu culture

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 6/14/2019 12:07:51 PM IST

 In a major development, the finance ministry has sacked 12 senior officials who have been embroiled in cases of corruption, sexual harassment, disproportionate assets etc that included a chief commissioner, principal commissioners and commissioner of the Income Tax Department, under Rule 56(j) of the General Financial Rules (GFRs). This is being seen as a major clean up drive by the Narendra Modi-led NDA government on bureaucrats and officials to rid the country’s vast bureaucracy of corruption and illegal activities. The Rule 56(j) of Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972 provides for periodical review of performance of government servants with a view to ascertain whether they should be retained in service or retired from service in the public interest. The decision is also in line with the recommendations of the Administrative Reforms Committee which recommended that inefficient and corrupt officers should be sacked after giving notice. Later in 2011 the government had decided that inefficient IAS and IPS officers would soon forfeit the luxurious comfort of remaining in service for at least 30 years, or till they turn 50, before the government can send them home. The government has decided to amend the rules of All India Service Officers so that incompetent or unproductive officials could be retired after they completed 15 years of service by serving a three month notice or give three month’s pay and allowances in lieu of a notice, asking the officer(s) to retire from service in “public interest”. Therefore, if any IAS, IPS of IFS (forest) officer found inefficient in serving the people, they that officer(s) could be “retired early” after completion of 15 years of service. The usual retirement age is 60 years. Inefficient babus who were inefficient and corrupt was also raised in 1983 by the Santhanam Committee on prevention of corruption constituted by the Government of India. The committee recommended that the Government should have the power to retire compulsorily a Government Servant who has completed 25 years of qualifying service or on attaining 50 years of age, if his/her continuance is against public interest. Based on the above recommendation, the Government also issued orders in March 1972 to the effect that the appointing authority shall, if it is of the opinion that it is in the public interest so to do, have the right to retire any Government Servant found inefficient or corrupt on attaining the age of 50 years or after completion of 25 years of qualifying service, whichever is earlier. The point that may be noted in the above is, that the appointing authority may decide who has to go. However, the sacking is to be done through a transparent manner and with evidences which have to stand the scrutiny of the law. After independence, it was believed that having a central service manned by dedicated officers, shielded from arbitrary action by the political class would ensure and preserve national integrity. That may have worked in those days when most of those who joined the civil services, still had the qualities imbibed by the colonial administrative services. However, decades later, the ‘babudom culture’ in India, a legacy of the colonial era, has been evolving into a privileged class of self seekers. Central service officers today are indeed a class of glorified babus whose contributions have certainly not been for public interest.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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