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Why Bureausracy Fails

Author – Kalyan Ray IAS (Retd.)ISBN -978-81-7049-400-3 PRICE-Rs.695/-

This book explores some of the little known areas of the bureaucracy. It analyses the functioning of bureaucracy in a historical perspective and its symbiotic relation with the society at large. The system of governance we inherited was suited to a colonial system, with rulers and subjects. However, the same system, which was devised for colonial governance was transplanted on a democratic system. This immediately created a problem of incompatibility. It is easier to rule than administer. This has not helped in developing a healthy political system or an efficient administrative structure.

Bureaucracy is also a successor to the courtier system. With dominant feudal elements in the society, the gap between both has narrowed. Spoils system has also made its inroads in the system, where personal preferences give way to objectivity. This has also eroded the credibility of the system and compromised the neutrality of the civil services. While, there has been no dearth of individual bureaucrats with talent; a viable system of neutral an efficient bureaucracy in a democratic polity has failed to evolve.

Globalization and economic reforms have created a close nexus between government and private business. This has created a situation of huge corruption. Present reported scams are only the tips of huge icebergs of corruption. Government system, which was designed to prevent any wasteful expenditure, has been allowed to deteriorate to personalized system. Dismantling of the system of checks and balances over the years has degenerated public administration to private administration. Any organization can function effectively, if there is an internal system of checks, without which. It degenerates into a personal fiefdom. It is necessary to put in place proper checks in the government system, instead of over policing it.

Book explores the evolving relation between the political system and the administrative machinery. In the tussle between the political executive and the bureaucracy, the bureaucratic element seems to be gaining ground. This is evident from the proliferation of various quasi-judicial bodies, which are bureaucratic in nature and have usurped many of the powers of the Parliament. There is a distinct trend of bureaucratizing the system, rather than democratizing it. There has been also development of a parallel bureaucracy. All these have curtailed the power of democratic institutions, which are vital to the functioning of a democratic polity, as envisaged in the Constitution.

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