Experts led by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagriya discuss the aspects of the Vision document. (Source: NITI Aayog Twitter)

Concerns Over Transparency As India Plans To Hire Experts As Top Bureaucrats

The government’s invitation to ‘talented and motivated’ Indians to join the bureaucracy has raised concerns among some former bureaucrats.

The Narendra Modi-led administration sought applications from educationists, sector specialists and even private sector employees for jobs in ten ministries spanning sectors from shipping to climate change. That opens up ten Joint Secretary positions to experienced individuals.

Former Telecom Secretary MF Farooqui welcomed the move, likening the move to a ‘rap on the knuckles’ for a well entrenched bureaucracy. However, he also called for transparency in the selection process of these ten individuals.

There is definitely a good reason to think that the bureaucracy needs to re-invent itself in this changing environment.       
MF Farooqui, Former Telecom Secretary

Former Indian Ambassador to Iran, KC Singh, reiterated the question raised by several opposition leaders - is this an attempt by the Modi government to induct people who agree with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s worldview into a permanent bureaucracy that is supposed to be apolitical?

Are you bringing in people who are ideologically conformed to your thinking or are your really bringing in experts who came in four years ago in the form of NITI Aayog?
KC Singh, Former Indian Ambassador

Government think-tank NITI Aayog replaced the Planning Commission under the previous United Progressive Alliance.

The job of the Indian bureaucracy is to maintain status quo rather than be visionary and inducting a handful of experts will not change this, Singh argued.

You are making a camel run a horses race, that is never going to work.
KC Singh, Former Indian Ambassador

Watch the full interview here.