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Discuss the need for lateral entry in civil services.


Discuss the need for lateral entry in civil services.


  • Explain lateral entry in introduction with current progress.
  • Discuss its need in civil services.
  • Then give negatives of lateral entry in civil services.
  • Conclude with suggestions.
Model Answer :

Recently, the PMO has instructed the department of personnel and training to prepare a proposal for middle-rung lateral entry in ministries dealing with the economy and infrastructure. Many committees like SurinderNath, Hota and 2nd ARC have already recommended for that.

Need of Lateral Entry:

  1. Need for specialized skills and knowledge-In a 21st century economy, a quarter century after liberalization, need for specialized skills and knowledge for policy-making and administration is vital. For example-Digital India, Artificial Intelligence.
  2. Shortage of officers-The Baswan Committee (2016) has shown how large states such as Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have a deficit of 75 to over 100 officers. So, Lateral entry is the right step in direction of filling vacancies.
  3. For Better Governance and efficiency-The lateral entrants will infuse new ideas in system and adopt the best practices of private sector management. It will help in improving the performance and efficiency of administration.
  4. International Experience– Australia, Belgium, New Zealand, the UK, the Netherlands and the US identify specific senior positions that are open to appointments from a wider pool of civil servants as well as private-sector executives with relevant domain experience.

Why this may not be good idea:

  1. Discontent among the government personnel– Large-scale lateral induction would affect the motivation and dedication of talented officers.
  2. Previous experiences– Whiz-kids from the private sector that ran Air India, Indian Airlines and Vayudoot proved to be failures. The best managerialcapability may not be able to deliver results in an adverse operatingenvironment.
  3. Chances of favoritism-lateral entry would open the gates for a spoils system, drive talented people away from a civil service career.
  4. Difficulty in assessing performance– It would be as difficult to measure the performance of lateral entrants as it would of career civil servants.

Way forward:

  • The government could contemplate hiring outside talent to head certain projectsand public-sector entities where private-sector expertise could be invaluable.
  • A credible agency like UPSC should be entrusted with the responsibility ofrecruitment.
  • The recruitment and service rules for such posts have to be clearly defined andmade incentive-compatible.

Although reforms in civil services are much needed but for that political willand involvement of bureaucracy is necessary.

Subjects : Governance

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