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PRAVEEN KUMAR ON UPSC

PRAVEEN KUMAR
G B , H AY ES H AL L , H AY ES RO AD ,
B ANG AL O RE-5 6 0 0 2 5 .
( Ka r n a t a k a , I ND I A)
p r y v e e n @ y a h o o .c o m
p r y v e e n @ g m a il. c o m
Ph o n e : 0 8 0 -4 1 1 2 5 3 0 9
Mo b i l e s : 9 9 0 1 9 7 9 5 6 7 / 9 9 4 5 3 3 6 8 4 9

PRAVEEN KUMAR

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PRAVEEN KUMAR ON UPSC

PRAVEEN KUMAR

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PUBLISHED WORKS OF PRAVEENKUMAR

English writings

POLICING FOR THE NEW AGE


POLICING THE POLICE

English poems

UNKNOWN HORIZONS
PORTRAITS OF PASSION

Kannada poems

DIVYA BELAKU
BHAVANA
PRIYA CHAITRA TAPASVINI

3
COMMENTS

BHAVANA

(Poems In Kannada)

The work is a bunch of lilting poems in easy, intimate


and cosy kannada. They are the reveries of a trained
and critical mind of a mature poet with an observing
and penetrating eye and sharp sensitivity to the
world around.......the canvas for his 62 short pieces
of poetry is the whole gamut of human life, its
charms and beauty..... And is highly enjoyable.....
There is also a bouquet of the ecstatic world of
lovers and romance.

THE HINDU

DIVYA BELAKU

(Poems In Kannada)

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DR. SHIVARAMA KARANTHA

in introduction to the book

UNKNOWN HORIZONS

(Poems In English)

There is an element of delight and surprise


throughout. The poet is aware of the wonderful
world of nature and of man. So he is able to employ
telling images to portray his inner feelings of
beauty and love.

DR. M. GOPALAKRISHNA ADIGA

POLICING FOR THE NEW AGE

(Essays on Police)

Mr. Praveen kumar in this treatise has exhaustively


dealt with various aspects of policing with
reference to the new challenges.....his approach
to the various topics is refreshingly sound. He has
dealt with each subject in a thorough -and
thoughtful manner.

CHIEF JUSTICE HON'BLE S. MOHAN

(SUPREME COURT JUDGE)


in introduction to the book

5
The language is flowery.....there is a need to
appreciate his ruthless exposure of the
criminalisation of politics and the politicisation of
the police... His treatises on dowry deaths and
their investigation and on police dogs are
characteristically thorough and sound meriting
universal attention.....there is no doubt that the
author who has already acquired a reputation as
a poet is a highly sensitive and cultured person.

THE HINDU

POLICING THE POLICE

(Essays On Police)

A Police officer and a prolific writer, Praveen Kumar, has published


another anthology ……….in the form of this book.……… "Policing the police"
acquires more relevance today in the context of the criminalisation of not
just politics, but of the services as well……….Coming as a sequel to his
earlier book Policing for the New Age, the author chooses to describe
policemen as "social doctors" and policing as a "surgical operation to
systematically remove cancerous growths from the body of society”.

THE HINDU

Praveen Kumar is not only an upright police officer but also a poet and a
prolific writer.……..Policing the Police—an analytical Study of the
philosophy and field dynamics of the policing in practice highlight
various problem areas including defective selection and
recruitment,unsound training and unhealthy job culture and identifies
likely solutions for its redemption.

DECCAN HERALD

Praveen Kumar gives an insight into the Indian police set-up and analyses
the problems of the department, with interesting illustrations from the
field. Mr Kumar's book is a departure from the routine, where he not only
analyses the problems, but also suggests solutions.

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THE ASIAN AGE

The author expresses concern over sycophants climbing the ladder and
reaching the top to hold the reins and guide the destiny of the police.
The result — a spiritless culture created by incompetent
leaders…….Policing the police involves self-policing. Through the book,
the author has made an honest effort to throw some light on the state of
affairs of Indian police.

THE TIMES OF INDIA

A police officer unravels his profession.

INDIA TODAY

Policing with a cause. Policing The Police by Praveen Kumar.…….delves


deeply on this core aspect of policing and lays bare the Indian Police
setup, sheath by sheath………He interprets police and policing through the
prism of a poet’s sensibilities.

THE HINDUSTAN TIMES

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TIME TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF CIVIL SERVICE

Published in THE HINDU daily dated March 2, 1999

(Authored by PRAVEEN KUMAR, mail: pryveen@ yahoo.com)

India wanted its All India Services of the post-independent era to break away

from the British legacy and as a first step altered the names of the services. It is an irony

that the process led to and marked a dilution of quality. The present Indian

Administrative Services is not even a poor shadow of the old Indian Civil Service; nor

does the Indian Foreign Service bears a resemblance to the Indian Political Service; and

the present Indian police service lacks the vigour of the good old Indian Police.

The old All India Services was built on the tripod of faultless selection and

recruitment, perfect training and exposures to the highest standards of professionalism

and character to sustain it throughout. But, new India just failed to give these factors the

importance they deserved.

Reasons for this deterioration are many. The first is inherent lack of passion for

quality and excellence. The agency incharge of selections, the Union Public Service

Commission, is manned by people unequal for the task either in their professionalism,

efficiency, passion for brilliance or basic character, How can the process be reversed?

Merciless pruning of the extant services to create a compact and highly

responsible core of administrative potentialities to handle a few sensitive key positions in

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the colossus of the administration is needed now. Nothing short or brilliance and highest

potentiality to handle the affairs of the country should find a place in the wing that is

responsible for constituting the nerve-centre. The administration must be kept beyond

the purview of extraneous constraints such as reservation of any kind and even age

restrictions by way of multiple point entries for different age groups. The guiding

principle here is drawing the best talents from whatever sources without restraints of any

kind for the best results. The services should not be treated as an employment

opportunity to the elite, but as the foundation and pillars of the government.

HUMAN RESOURCE

The basic source of manpower for these services has to be boys and girls below

the age of 16 years who have completed secondary education. The selection must be

made part of the final secondary examination. The UPSC must be made responsible for

grooming those recruited. The commission must handle their further academic studies at

the government’s expense for the next seven years to meet the demand of the services.

Identifying the best talents of the country at higher age groups has to be the goal

of the Establishment Cell created within the UPSC on the lines of the Establishment

Officer of the Home Department of the British Raj. The cell must get busy scouting for

best talents from whatever source for direct absorption to the All India Services at the

appropriate levels after initial training. Outstanding professionals, technocrats and

creative minds of proven calibre can be the candidates.

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Every recruit has to be put in independent charge of a subordinate job for two

years under the supervision of a competent senior officer. His performance in this

sphere must from a vital ingredient in the annual assessment. The trainee must be

judged at every stage at different levels to decide his or her suitability for various jobs.

Five years of regular service after the field training must pave the way for the first

promotion. This must function as a natural filtering process as those fit should be

promoted in the mainstream while others get elevated to higher ranks in the related

subordinate departments to man posts covered under the Central Services.

Mr.B.K.Nehru, in his memoirs “ Nice Guys Finish Second” refers to an incident

in 1950s wherein the then Finance Minister T.T.Krishnamachari, asked the chairman of

the Central Board of Revenue to show him a particular income-tax file. The latter

refused point blank on the ground that the law did not allow it. While he agreed that

T.T.K. was his superior, he contended that he himself could see the file as the chief of

the Income-Tax Department while TTK could not as he was not directly involved with

the department. India needs such spirit.

While the Ministers must lay down objectives and policies, their secretaries must

formulate programmes including drafting appropriate laws and rules to channel the

government objectives and policies. The onus of implementation of the programmes

must be left to the departments concerned.

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India, in the pre-independent years needed brilliant people to handle its

administration. British India, with all its brilliant ideas and administrative wisdom,

created the All India Services. It recruited brilliant people for the services, imparted the

best possible training to them, exposed them to the highest standards of the profession

and presented them the best of trust, powers and opportunities to carry out their

responsibilities. The Government took care of all their personal needs, provided them

with many opportunities for growth and bestowed on them a halo of invincibility.

The training programmes for the services should be relevant to the time and

highly advanced in content. Subjects taught have to be updated every year by experts and

made challenging even to the brightest among the members of the services unlike present

training programmes which are intellectually impoverished, irrelevant to the time and do

not help tune attitudes to higher levels. Another need is making the promotional tests

mandatory and of a high standard. Overhauling the present mediocre Union Police

Service Commission to create an efficient and responsible set-up capable of handling the

enormous responsibilities under Article 320 that compels attention to arrest the

degeneration set in, in the set-up that led to blunders in identifying talents and managing

the services.

CREDIBILITY OF THE UPSC

A recent case is from Karnataka where three promising officers from the state

cadre were denied selection by the UPSC to an All India Service for no obvious reason

for ten years from 1990 while their juniors scored the elevation. The acute frustration

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and demoralisation caused led to the break-up of family life of one of the promising trio

and subsequent divorce, repeated violent behaviour by him in public leading to public

humiliation and ultimately involvement in a murder case ending in his arrest and

conviction.

The answer to unprofessional transgressions by the UPSC lies in transforming it

to a highly professional outfit managed by people of unimpeachable character, efficiency

responsibility. The objective can be achieved by suitable amendment to Articles 316 and

317 to ensure that only right and sensible people become members and chairman of the

organisation and remain in the saddle only till they retain their moral and professional

calibre.

This can be made possible by the constitution of a committee comprising the

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Chief Commissioner of Central Vigilance

Commission and Speaker of Parliament as members and the Vice-President of India as

the Chairman to clear the names for appointments as members and chairmen of the UPSC

for a fixed tenure and initiate actions for their removal by an appropriate procedure in fit

cases. Changes to this effect in Articles 316 and 317 plug the loopholes in the existing

provisions that provide too much scope for political interferences in the selection of

members and chairman of the UPSC.

All –India Services as the nerve-centre of the administration has to be made

responsible to an apex body called All India Services apex board. The board should

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oversee, supervise, study, control and manage every affair pertaining to the Services at

its own collective wisdom and discretion with powers of rewards, punishment and

placements invested with it. Sensitive posts in the governments and public undertakings

have to be identified in advance for the All India Services and once it is done,

placements have to be left to the wisdom and discretion of the apex board. The

governments concerned and public undertakings as employers must keep the apex body

constantly and periodically informed about the performances of each official placed

under it and request changes wherever necessary with reasons therefore. The final

decision on such requests has to be left to the judgement of the apex board based on its

constant research, study, enquiry and assessment.

The best bet for professional resolve and high commitment in such an apex body

is having senior most officers of the All-India Service in fine fettle as members of the

apex board under the seniormost member as the chairman, appointed strictly on seniority.

It is these members with tow-thirds majority who must be empowered to bar a competent

senior officer from becoming a member or remove an existing member of chairman from

the board by recording sufficient reasons for the act.

Under the new scheme one should be committed to service for life unless one

offers to retire on health or personal grounds or forced out by the apex board for valid

reasons. Except in cases of retirement on request before the age of 60 years for

nonmedical reasons or removal by the apex board as a punishment, every officer should

be entitled to all the benefits as in service for life even after retirement. However, once

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confirmed in the service, one should be prohibited from taking up any private or other

government jobs while in service or after retirement or even after resignation from the

service. These safeguards should be relaxed only by the apex board.

The country should take cognisance of all the legitimate needs of these officers

and provide them with the best possible living standards. Instead of salaries, these

exceptionally brilliant officers must be allowed to decide and draw emoluments against

performances every month on their own assessment which include liberal perks such as

free education for children in any kind of educational institution, free educational

supports, free medial aid of whatever kind, free club membership and other

entertainments, free foreigh tours, free housing and transportation of whatever kind,

help to earn permanent assets, free supplies of daily needs and other movable properties.

Each officer must submit to the apex board a periodical report of his performances. The

board must study each report to judge the officer. It may warn or take whatever action

found necessary.

The Government is doing nothing to arrest the decline of the All India Services

on all fronts. India is preoccupied with myriad issues of economic and social

developments and perhaps the rapid deterioration of its All India Services does not seem

important. But, the Government should realise that a strong civil service is mandatory for

the survival of India and act fast.

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THE CRUMBLING STEELFRAME OF INDIA

Published as cover story of the 1998 November issue of ALIVE monthly magazine

(Authored by PRAVEEN KUMAR, mail: pryveen@ yahoo.com)

The malleability of the Civil Services has been a cause for concern.

Once considered the backbone of administration, the steel frame

today is a pale shadow of its former self, needing urgent reorganisation. - EDITOR

The All India Service were once called the Steel Frame that held India, a country

which consisted of diverse political systems, comprising British Indian and many other

big and small princely States, together. If India is one today- though in truncated form-

the efficiency of its vintage. All India Services is as much responsible for this as the

might of the British Empire.

The credit for India having made impressive progress, both in the domestic and

international fields and having survived the uncertain, initial years of democracy, under

leaders who had no experience of ruling a country of India’s size and diversity, also goes

to the original All India Services- to its traditions and efficiency, that continued to

survive for some years even after Independence.

The sterling performances of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel in the unification of

India and the brilliant achievements of Jawaharalal Nehru in the international field are as

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much the success stories of their civil servant secretaries and advisers as of the leaders

themselves.

The fall in standards of the All India Services, in the values of their officers and

in their efficiency and performance, is symbolic of the fall India itself has experienced.

The All India Services experienced a setback after Independence. This

deterioration was in depth of ideas, quality of performance and honesty of convictions

of their officers. With this deterioration, to All India Service are no longer in a class of

their own. Its members can no longer claim a distinguished standing in society as the All

India Services have been reduced to merely good careers.

The Civil Services had inherited, as a result of their exclusive place in the higher

levels of administration, high pay packets and good perquisites, attractive service

conditions and an awe-inspiring tradition. But since this was not accompanied by

superior performance, the consequence is that the reins of democratic India are now in

the hands of people who are in no way superior in terms of intellectual worth,

administrative skill or human qualities. This is a tragedy for a democracy struggling to

progress.

The British created to All India Services to handle the administration of the

country. They recruited talented people, imparted the best possible training to them

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and invested them with the trust, powers and opportunities to carry out their

responsibilities.

They took care of all their personal needs, provided them with many

opportunities for growth and surrounded them with a halo of exclusivity by endowing

them with high social status and providing them with generous creature comforts.

Independent India needed brilliant people to handle its complex administrative

problems and to implement its developmental schemes. It is tragic that India after

independence not only failed to realise the importance of maintaining its Steel Frame

and improving upon it, but positively contributed to its collapse in a very short span of

time.

Indian leaders wanted the All India Service of independent India to break away

from the British model they had originally been based on and they gave expression to

this desire by altering the name of the Services. It is ironical that the change in name also

initiated a steep fall in the quality of the Civil Services.

At present, the Indian Administrative Services is not even a pale shadow of the

old Indian Civil Services. The Indian Foreign Service stands nowhere near the brilliant

Indian Political Service and the present Indian Police Service lacks the backbone and

professionalism of the good old Indian Police.

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A major cause for the disappearance of excellence from the All India Services of

independent India was the secret tendency of the new leaders to look at the All India

Services as their rivals in running the country, rather than as the backbone of the State. A

subtle fear of the All India Services inherited from British India days accompanied by a

sense of awe that the services inspired because of the halo worn by its predecessor, stirred

the new leaders who made every effort to cut the Civil Services to size and show them

their proper place.

SORRY STATE OF AFFAIRS

This occurred together with a fall in the standards of management of the Civil

Services because of the failure to recognise the importance of the Civil Services in

administering the nation. This fall succeeded in bringing the All India Services of the

post Independence era to its present state.

This brought the Services closer to the people of India in a way, while stripping it

of all its brilliance, excellence and efficiency to give India a mediocre All India Services

to handle its administration. And the result of this is the present state of the country.

The poor state of the Civil Services attracted people of poor calibre. This led to

all kinds of evils including corruption, opportunism and lack of moral strength to stand

by one’s values and convictions.

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This situation led to loss of face and subordinated the All India Services to the

ambitions of the political leadership. Its has been a long journey from the bold and awe-

inspiring All India Services that existed at the dawn of Independence to the present meek

and servile All India Services without any backbone to stand erect and hold its head

high.

The reasons for the fall and the mechanism that brought about the change, are not

far to seek. Everything that made the All India Services of the British days a powerful

adminicle for the administration was just swept away while its new avatar in independent

India was brought into existence.

The glory of the old All India Services was built on the 3 basic strengths of

faultless recruitment, perfect training and the maintenance of the highest standards of

professionalism and character t sustain it throughout. These strengths held the Steel

Frame of India together for nearly a century. But independent India just failed to give

these factors the importance they deserved while constituting its version of the All Indian

Services.

The primacy British India gave to the process of selection of people of high

calibre to the All India Services is perhaps the single major factor that made the Civil

Services among the best in the world. Promising people with maturity and intellectual

superiority were selected young through a vigorous and efficient filtering process of a

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carefully devised elaborate public civil examination process under the guidance,

supervision and control of highly qualified professionals in the field.

Rarely was anything other than exceptional merit considered in the process of

selection and human weakness like nepotism, corruption and parochial considerations

rarely interfered in the process, as Britain was not prepared to compromise and accept

anyone less than the best in the higher levels of administration. These people were, after

all, to sit on equal terms with them and help in administering the country! These high

standards in the process of selection and recruitment, made the All India Services of

British days, a really superior cadre.

REASONS FOR DETERIORATION

The grand structure of British rule was to be mercilessly demolished later by

independent India. Unimaginative and messy selection and recruitment procedures,

which were poorly conceived and unskilfully executed became the order of the day.

Corruption, nepotism, narrow considerations and caste and economic reservations

corroded the foundations of the newly-constituted All India Services as time passed.

The reasons for this deterioration in the Civil Services are many. The first is the

general lack of passion for quality and excellence in the Indian psyche. The agency in

charge of the process of such selections, namely, the Union Public Service Commission,

unlike in the British period, is unfortunately increasingly being manned by people

20
unequal to the task either in terms of their professionalism, efficiency and passion for

brilliance or in their basic character itself.

As the selection of members of the UPSC became politicised, mediocre people

came to fill the slots and in the process, selections to the All India Services suffered.

Since members owed their memberships or chairmanship to their political leaders, they

could not avoid the obligatory quid pro quo. This continues to be the state of affairs

today.

The Indian Civil Service, which once produced giants like K.P.S. Menon, now

produces in its new avatar of the IAS and Allied Services only pigmies without voice or

strength of conviction. In this matter, they are like those in the crippled institution of the

union Public Service Commission who select them. The Steel Frame of the IAS has nor

become a gilded plastic frame with its steel conscience crumbling into a plastic

conscience in the present uncertain political atmosphere. A Steel Frame Civil Service

would never have permitted such a degeneration.

The degeneration is manifeast at all ranks in all services, whether it is the

administrative service, the foreign service, the police service, the forest service, the

central services or the specialised services, whether at the sub-divisional or provincial

level or at the highest levels of Central Government. The degeneration is uniform

everywhere.

21
Whether it be in creative genius, intellectual heights, strength of character, moral

values, width of human interests or noble qualities, the Civil Service of the post-

Independence era are third rate. It does not have its own voice or any originality. Its

members either as Chief Secretaries of State Governments or as Secretaries of various

ministries of departments, are at best paper-pushers and mindless approvers of reports

incompetently prepared by subordinates down the line.

Imagine people of such calibre presiding over the entire Civil Services. Thus

develops a vicious circle that promotes the degeneration of the Civil Services.

Sturdy and sterling All Indian Services are indispensable for the survival of

democratic and united India. Whether it is a cadre of generalists as the Indian

Administrative Service is, or cadres of specialists in the fields of judiciary, health care,

engineering, economics, foreign service, police etc the existence of All Indian Services

functions as the basis of governance of India and adds to the emotional bonds binding the

country together.

Also, as a pool of the cream of the people, it is supposed to bring distinguished

and brilliant people to the job of administration of the country and thereby ensure good

government to the country.

THE REMEDY

22
Any dilution of the high standards of these services is certain to throw the country

to the wolves. British India knew this and perhaps, independent India also knows it. But

it does nothing to arrest the dangerous fall in the standards of its All India Services.

India is preoccupied with myriad issues relating to economic and social

development and perhaps the rapid deterioration of its All India Services does not

appear to be important in comparison with these burning issues. But such a feeling is

wrong. All India Services are a precondition for the survival of India. India must realise

this fact and act fast.

This brings us to the quintessential question as to how the Civil Services can be

brought back to their original standards and glory. How can we get back the original

ideas, quality and performances and honesty of convictions that existed earlier?

The first and foremost task in this regard is pruning the Civil Services to a small

brains trust of brilliance and commitment which will steer the country in the right

direction by giving competent advice on statecraft and actually running the

administration to political leaders.

A TINY SELECT GROUP:

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Merciless pruning of the extant services to create this tiny, efficient and highly

responsible core is a priority task. Only brilliance and the highest potential should be the

criteria for membership in this nerve-centre.

This brains trust must be kept beyond the purview of extraneous constraints like

reservation of any kind and even age restrictions. The guiding principle here is bringing

together the best talents without restraints of any kind, for ensuring best results. The

services should not be treated as an employment opportunity for the elite, but as the

foundation of the Government.

INTELLECTUAL CALIBRE:

The training programmes for the services have to be made relevant today. Matter taught

has to be updated every year by experts and made changing evento the brightest among

the new recruits, unlike present training programmes which are intellectually

impoverished, irrelevant to the times and which in no way help ensuring the right

attitudes at the higher levels.

Another need is to make the passing of a promotional test, of a very standard,

held by the UPSC or a similar Central agency, mandatory for promotion at every level.

Only such tough measures will keep the Civil Services fit and productive as is required

for the sound health of the administration of the country.

TONING UP THE UPSC:

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Overhauling the present mediocre Union Public Service Commission to create an

efficient and responsible set-up capable of handling the enormous responsibilities under

Article 320 of the Indian Constitution, is essential in order to arrest the degeneration that

has set in, in the set-up. This has led to blunders in identifying talent and in managing

the Civil Services.

CREDIBILITY OF THE UPSC:

In a recent case, 3 promising officers from the State cadre of a southern State of India,

were denied selection by the UPSC to an All India Service for no obvious reason for 10

years from 1990, while their juniors were elevated. The acute frustration and

demoralisation caused by this led to the break-up of the family of one of the promising

trio.

Violent behaviour by him repeatedly in public led to very embarrassing public

humiliations, and ultimately involvement in a murder case led to his conviction. This is

how a reckless and irresponsible UPSC ruined a promising life for no reason at all.

However, another of the trio was an officer of enormous inner strength as well as

a poet and an intellectual of the highest calibre. He weathered the frustration of the 9

years to rise to a very high level in individual achievement and public esteem to the

shame of the irresponsible UPSC.

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The incident created much resentment in the State against the recklessness of the

UPSC and considerably lowered its credibility. Such transgressions are common these

days with the present state of affairs in the UPSC and the overhauling of the

organisation should be aimed at preventing such irresponsible actions that can have such

tragic consequences.

REORGANISATION OF THE UPSC:

The way to prevent such unprofessionalism on the part of the UPSC lies in transforming

it to a highly efficient outfit managed by people of unimpeachable character and

efficiency. This objective can be achieved by suitable amendment to Articles 316 and

317 of the Indian Constitution to ensure that only suitable people become Members

and Chairman of the organisation and remain in the saddle only as long as they retain

their moral and professional calibre.

This can be made possible by constituting a committee comprising the Chief

Justice of the Supreme Court, the Chief Commissioner of the Central Vigilance

Commission and the Speaker of Parliament as members. The Vice-President of India

should be the Chairman and clear the names for appointment as Members and as the

Chairman of the UPSC for a fixed tenure. These people should also be empowered to

initiate actions for their removal by an appropriate procedure in fit cases.

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Appropriate changes to this effect in Articles 316 and 317 of the Indian

Constitution are likely to plug the existing loopholes that allow too much political

interferences in the process of the selection of Members and Chairman of the UPSC and

thereby in its fair functioning.

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