Bureaucracy is the backbone of any government, entrusted with the task of implementing policies of the government in the field. They are the permanent executive acting as a connecting link between the temporary executive and the people. It is, therefore, imperative that a position of such importance has to be occupied by a person of the highest calibre if the output expected is to the fullest. Thus, such positions have to be filled by meritorious people, having proven themselves through position-specific competitive exams namely, US and DSP exams in the state. This will help maintain the dignity of such positions and make the bureaucratic system highly efficient. Ultimately, this will improve the overall performance of the government.
Also, such competitive exams for high ranking positions in the state will incentivise the young population to devote the precious years of their youth to a higher goal. They will develop a mindset to help society at a young age. Needless to say, such valuable understanding in adolescence, will certainly make them a good human being who understands his/her social responsibilities, even if they don’t crack the exam. People who do will go on to occupy a position that they’re equipped to handle and hence, become a successful and worthy administrator or bureaucrat.
Yet, it is a sad reality of our times that such positions are occupied mostly through deputations in our state by people from all sorts of professions who, I agree, maybe renowned and acclaimed in their field of expertise, but when it comes to administration, not all, but most of them not do not seem to fare well, at least through what we see on the ground. They may have the intention to help the downtrodden through their position, but they lack the knowledge and training to do it. It is like teaching a fish to fly. A cliché example but an appropriate one in this case. Low quality performance in the bureaucracy has become the new normal, crippling the administrative system in the state and tarnishing the image of the ruling government.
Further, exams for such positions are not conducted on a regular basis in our state and even if they are, the vacancy is very less. The last exam conducted for US was in 2016 and the vacancy was only 12. The last exam for DSP in the state was conducted even earlier, probably in the year 2014-15. It disheartening for the youth and ends up having a huge psychological impact on his/her life.
It would be a great blessing for the whole population of Sikkim and not just the youth, if changes, no matter how small to start with, can be brought in the functioning of our state administration. No doubt, a certain proportion of such high ranking position needs to be filled through deputation. But yearly exams to fill a respectable number of vacancies can boost the morale of the youth exponentially. More importantly, young and dynamic meritorious local officers can act as a benchmark of performance for the deputed personnel and thus, improve the overall efficiency of the state bureaucracy at the ground level, and benefit our society to a large extent.
By Nawneet Chettri. The author is a lecturer at CCCT, Chisopani, South Sikkim. He can be contacted via his email email@example.com.
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