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YOJANA August 2021


Power and Responsibility

  • Why do we need Public Administration?
  • In the Indian context, in society as vast and heterogeneous, equitable distribution of resources and services is the key to prosperity for all.
  • Public Administration is a system to ensure that the steps which are going to be taken are contemplated and implemented for the growth, well-being and prosperity of all including the poorest face.
  • Public administration is the nerve centre of any government functionary that ensures that nothing goes wrong in the system and if it does, timely intervention is done with due processes already in place.

Indian Bureaucracy

  • Civil Services:
  • Civil Services refer to the career civil servants who are the permanent executive branch of the Republic of India. It is the backbone of the administrative machinery of the country.
  • As India is a parliamentary democracy, the ultimate responsibility for running the administration rests with the people’s elected representatives. The elected executive decides the policy and it is civil servants, who serve at the pleasure of the President of India, implement it.
  • Evolution of Civil Services:
  • Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra gives seven basic elements of the administrative apparatus- Swamin (the ruler), Amatya (the bureaucracy), Janapada (territory), Durga (the fortified capital), Kosa (the treasury), Danda (the army), and Mitra (the ally). The higher bureaucracy consisted of the mantrins and the amatyas. While the mantrins were the highest advisors to the King, the amatyas were the civil servants.
  • Medieval India: During the Mughal era, the bureaucracy was based on the mansabdari system. The mansabdari system was essentially a pool of civil servants available for civil or military deployment.
  • British India: The original conception of the ‘civil service’ can be traced back to the Royal Charters which gave the East India Company, the powers to raise a cadre of troops - for both civilian and military purposes.

        v       The introduction of competitive exams in the mid-1800s was an important development which gave primacy to merit-based appointment as opposed to the privilege-based appointment through a referral system.

        v       The big changes in the civil services in British-India came with the implementation of Macaulay’s Report 1835. The report recommended that only the best and brightest would do for the Indian Civil Service to serve the interest of the British Empire.

        v       The commissions that were set up in reforming the public services - from the Macaulay Committee to the Islington Committee to the Lee Commission, strongly suggested that the Statutory Public Service Commission be brought into force.

        v       Until 1922 post the Montagu Chelmsford Reforms, the exam was conducted only in London, which greatly restricted the access of Indians to clear the examination.

  • Post-Independence: Indian civil services system retained the elements of the British structure like a unified administrative system such as an open-entry system based on academic achievements, permanency of tenure.

        v       When India was partitioned following the departure of the British in 1941, the Indian Civil Service was divided between the new dominions of India and Pakistan. The Indian remnant of the ICS was named the Indian Administrative Service, while the Pakistani remnant was named the Pakistan Administrative Service.

        v       Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was single-handedly responsible for setting up the Civil Services in Independent India and is, therefore, rightly called the ‘Iron Man of India’.

  • Early Indians in Civil Services:
  • The first Indian to clear the ICS exam was Satyendra Nath Tagore in the year 1864.
  • The notable names being Bihari Lal Gupta and Romesh Chandra Dutt, who later became the President of the Indian National Congress in 1899 and wrote the pioneering book on ‘The Economic History of India ‘.
  • Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose did not join the Indian civil service even after clearing the exam that sheds light on the strong ideological stance Bose took during the freedom struggle.
  • Sir Benegal Narasinga Rau was another eminent personality among the ICS who was appointed as the Constitutional Advisor on 1st July 1946 over a year before India became independent. Later, he became the first judge of the International Court of Justice from India.
  • Sukumar Sen, India’s first Chief Election Commissioner, who later went on to become Sudan’s first Chief Election Commissioner as well, was one such hero.
  • Constitution and the Civil Services:
  • Articles 310, 311, and 312 of the Indian Constitution pertain to Services under the Union and State.
  • Article 310 enshrines that civil servants of the Union and All-India Services are appointed by the President of India and civil servants at the State level are appointed by the Governor of the State.
  • They continue to hold office as per the pleasure of the President and Governor, respectively. Therefore, they have the security of tenure.
  • Article 311 mentions the procedures and conditions for removal, dismissal from service, and reduction in rank, thus ensuring due process of law. This ensures that civil servants are protected from political interference and undue harassment.
  • Article 312 lays down the All-India Services of India. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and the State Public Service Commissions are constitutional bodies.
  • The modern Indian Administrative Service was created under Article 312(2) in part XIV of the Constitution of India, and the All India Services Act, 1951.

        v       The Constitution has not elaborated the types and categories of services. As per the Constitution, the services are categorized into the followings categories:

                      (a) All India Services (AlS)

                      (b) State Services

                      (c) Local and Municipal Services.

        v       There are four groups of central services: Central Services Group A(Indian Foreign Service, Indian Audit and Accounts Service, Indian Statistical Service etc.), B (Central Secretariat Service, Geographical Survey of India, Zoological Survey of India etc.), C & D.

        v       The highest personnel strength among the entire civil services system in India is with Central Secretariat Service and Indian Revenue Service (IT and C&CE).

        v       Civil servants are employees of the Government of India or of the states, but not all employees of the Government are civil servants.

Related Information

  • Every year April 21 is ‘Civil Services Day’ to call on civil servants to renew their dedication and commitment to public service and excellence in work.’
  • On this day, the Prime Minister’s Excellence Awards are given to recognise and acknowledge outstanding work done by Districts/ Organisations of the Central and State Governments for outcome-oriented performance.

Reforms in Civil Services:

  • What is Civil Service Reform?
  • Civil Service Reform is a deliberate change effort by the government to improve its capacity to effectively and efficiently execute policies.
  • The purpose of ‘reform’ is to reorient the Civil Services into a dynamic, efficient, and accountable apparatus for public service delivery built on the ethos and values of integrity, impartiality, and neutrality.
  • The reform is to raise the quality of public services delivered to the citizens and enhance the capacity to carry out core government functions, thereby leading to sustainable development.
  • Latest Developments:
  • The Government of India approved the formation of the Indian Skill Development Service in 2015, Indian Enterprise Development Service in 2016. Further, the Cabinet of India approved merging all civil services under Indian Railways into a single Indian Railways Management Service as part of structural reform in the sector in 2019.
  • Various committees over the years have suggested changes and improvements to the civil services regarding recruitment, mid-career training, capacity-building, the impetus for specialisation, efficiency, accountability, etc.
  • The Second Administrative Reforms Commission (headed by Veerappa Moily) discussed the shortcomings and suggested improvements regarding recruitment, performance, and result-oriented bureaucracy.
  • In the last decade, several reforms have been undertaken. Be it the introduction of lateral entry to have expert consultants at the Joint Secretary level, the regular training programmes of training at various levels for career civil servants and a record of performance evaluation.
  • Recent Reforms: Mission Karmayogi
  • It is aimed at better service delivery to the public- “governance, performance, and accountability”. It promises a shift from rules to roles, silos to coordination, interdisciplinary movements, and a continuous capacity building exercise.
  • The focus of the reform is the creation of a ‘citizen-centric civil service’ capable of creating and delivering services conducive to economic growth and public welfare. Accordingly, Mission Karmayogi shifts the focus from “Rule-based training to Role-based training”. Greater thrust has been laid on behavioural change.
  • The National Programme for Civil Service Capacity Building has been so designed that it remains entrenched in Indian culture and sensibilities while drawing learning resources from the best institutions and practices from across the world while retaining Indian sensibilities and culture. For this, an Integrated Government Online Training- iGOT Karmayogi Platform will be set up.
  • A Public Human Resources Council under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister, with Union Ministers, Chief Ministers, eminent HR practitioners, national and international experts would oversee the entire capacity building exercise.
  • An expert body called Capacity Building Commission will be set up to harmonise training standards, create shared faculty and resources, and have a supervisory role over all Central Training Institutions.
  • A Special Purpose Vehicle, SPV will be set up as Section 8 - Not for Profit Company which will own and manage the iGOT Karmayogi platform. The SPV will own all Intellectual Property Rights on behalf of the Government of India.

        v       An appropriate monitoring and evaluation framework will also be put in place for performance evaluation of all users of the iGOT-Karmayogi platform so as to generate a dashboard view of Key Performance Indicators. The iGOT model was tried successfully during Covid-19 pandemic.

        v       iGOT-Karmayogi platform is expected to evolve into a vibrant and world-class marketplace for content where carefully curated and vetted digital e-learning material will be made available.

  • Besides capacity building, service matters like confirmation after probation period, deployment, work assignment, and notification of vacancies, etc. would eventually be integrated with the proposed competency framework.
  • To cover around 46 lakh Central employees, a sum of Rs. 510.86 crore will be spent over 5 years from 2020-21 to 2024-25. It is to be a post recruitment reform across cadres and positions.
  • The mid-career training will now be available to all government staff instead of the top officers alone, and their profile and assessment will be continuous. If there is a need for some special appointment, then authorities can do so by looking at the profile of the officers with the help of technology instead of depending on perceptions.
  • Salient Features:
  • ‘Rules based’ to ‘Roles based’ HR Management. Aligning work allocation of civil servants by matching their competencies to the requirements of the post.
  • To emphasize on ‘on-site learning’ to complement the ‘off-site’ learning.
  • To create an ecosystem of shared training infrastructure including that of learning materials, institutions and personnel.
  • To calibrate all Civil Service positions to a Framework of Roles, Activities and Competencies (FRACs) approach and to create and deliver learning content relevant to the identified FRACs in every Government entity.
  • To make available to all civil servants, an opportunity to continuously build and strengthen their Behavioural, Functional, and Domain Competencies in their self-driven and mandated learning paths.
  • To enable all the Central Ministries and Departments and their Organizations to directly invest their resources towards co-creation and sharing the collaborative and common ecosystem of learning through an annual financial subscription for every employee.
  • To encourage and partner with the best-in-class learning content creators including public training institutions, universities, start-ups, and individual experts.
  • To undertake data analytics in respect of data emit provided by iGOT Karmayogi of various aspects of capacity building, content creation, user feedback, and mapping of competencies and identify areas for policy reforms.
  • Capacity Building Commission:
  • To assist the PM Public Human Resources Council in approving the Annual Capacity Building Plans.
  • To exercise functional supervision over all Central Training Institutions dealing with civil services capacity building.
  • To create shared learning resources- including internal and external faculty and resource centers.
  • To coordinate and supervise the implementation of the Capacity Building Plans with the stakeholder Departments.’
  • To make recommendations on standardization of training and capacity building, pedagogy, and methodology.
  • To set norms for common mid-career training programs across all civil services.
  • To suggest policy interventions required in the areas of HR Management and Capacity Building to the Government.

Dynamics in Civil Services:

  • Max Weber distinguished between three types of authority (legitimate power):
  • Traditional authority (based on succession, rituals, subjective desires, etc.)
  • Charismatic authority (based on gifted quality, e.g. Swami Vivekananda, Lord Rama, etc.) and
  • Rational-legal authority i.e. bureaucracy. It was the most ideal type sought after because of its objectivity and rationality.
  • Max Weber defined bureaucracy as the ‘formal organisation’ with the following characteristics:
  • Formal selection and promotion based on well-defined norms and criteria, primarily merit and transparency.
  • Written rules, regulations, processes, and procedures so that biases and personal likes/dislikes do not favour or disfavour anyone.
  • Hierarchical structure- well defined senior, middle and junior levels so that the seniors may inspect, monitor, and give guidance to their juniors on the one hand, and may hear appeals/revisions arising against the orders of junior officers; further, feedback from below may result in changing rules/procedures/criteria/norms, etc.
  • Specialisation and division of labour and responsibility- a clear balancing of tasks, sharing power (discretion or force against others wishes), and responsibility.
  • Professionalism prevails over personal whims; and Career-orientation- To have stability and continuity, bureaucracy is by nature permanent-a long period of a career with different assignments to gain experience in diverse fields brings maturity for preparing a public policy.
  • Therefore, Max Weber preferred the rational-legal authority of bureaucracy as an ideal type to the other two types of authority in a democratic society.
  • Pathologies to the System:
  • Various pathological syndromes are seen in the everyday behaviour of officers and the system. Bureaucracy is often blamed for ‘red tapism’ (i.e. delay) and indecisiveness in many forms:

        Sometimes it is necessary to take the considered opinion of the Ministry of Law or Ministry of Finance (if the Rules are not clear or the issue is complex) for taking an appropriate decision but not always.

        v       Queries by the superiors are made in parts and frequently, not once by taking all aspects. This delays the decision-making process unnecessarily.

        v       Often a plea of ‘too much work’ is given for delay; hence more decentralisation, better division of works, and separating ‘urgent’, ‘important’, and ‘routine’ tasks is highly required.

  • The second pathological syndrome is ‘too busy, hence cannot attend phone calls or give personal hearing to the aggrieved persons’. This leads to further delay, deterioration of a situation, corrupt practices by the subordinates or middlemen, inefficiency due to not attending the feedback, and a bad image of the office/officer concerned.
  • The third is the prevalence of the ‘transfer industry’ in most of the states, at different levels. The principle of three years’ tenure is hardly followed, and many officers are transferred within a year or even earlier without sufficient genuine reasons.
  • Civil Services Boards in states exist only formally, to sign on the proposal mooted by the power that i.e. ‘from the above’, hence the very purpose of objectivity and transparency is defeated.
  • On the other hand, there are instances wherein some officers continue on the same post for nine or ten years because of political connection, backing, and favour to officers of a particular caste or religious community. This deprives other competent officers to have an experience on that post as every post has its peculiarities in terms of problems, challenges, and opportunities, and the beneficiary officer develops arrogance, egoism, and connivance on the other hand.
  • Similarly, there are certain ‘shunting posts’ where no work, no file, and no facilities exist. This wastes money, time, and career. Often favoured transfers are linked with parochial consideration and money changes hands. Thus the vicious circle of corruption goes on and on.
  • Finally, there has been the triad of ‘Liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation’ (LPG), hence policy decisions are sometimes based on the hypothesis that the public sector is bad, and the private sector is good. Therefore various entities’ shares are sold and even the entire enterprise is sold under the euphemism of ‘disinvestment’. Further, the over-reporting of development works and under-reporting of losses by the civil servants is unfortunate and it betrays the oath of Constitution taken en masse at the training Academies.

Probity in Governance:

  • Ethics:
  • The word ‘ethics’ is from the original Greek term ‘ethikos’, meaning ‘arising from habit’. Ethics is a set of standards that helps guide behaviour, choices and actions of individuals. It is multidimensional as it is governed by the value system of the society including the concept of rights, obligations, fairness, virtues, etc.
  • Responsibility and accountability are integral to ethics. It refers to the framework for holding the public functionaries legally accountable for their acts of omission and commission.
  • The Committee on Prevention of Corruption (1964) (also known as Santhanam Committee) Observations:
  • The public confidence and respect which the functionaries enjoy is largely the result of collective efforts.
  • Adherence to key principles of Integrity, Honesty, and Objectivity promotes trust and confidence among the stakeholders and enhances credibility.
  • The conduct of Government functionaries should be beyond reproach in all circumstances.
  • Any deficiency in their professional or personal conduct places their personal integrity and quality of work in an unfavourable light and raises doubts about their actions.
  • Ethics in Governance:
  • Ethics is concerned with human character and conduct. It condemns all types of falsehood. The Second Administrative Reforms Commission in its Second Report on Ethics suggested the principles for ethics in the governance and stated that:

        v       “Any framework of ethical behaviour must include the following elements:

                      (a) Codifying ethical norms and practices.

                      (b) Disclosing personal interest to avoid conflict between public interest and personal gain. Creating a mechanism for enforcing the relevant codes.

                      (c) Providing norms for qualifying and disqualifying a public functionary from office.”

  • The Code of Conduct for the Civil Servants has evolved over time. A compendium of instructions containing ‘dos and don’ts’ for Civil Servants was issued in the 1930s and collectively called ‘Conduct Rules’.
  • In pursuance of the recommendations of the Santhanam Committee, the Conduct rules were revised and enlarged resulting in CCS Conduct Rules 1964 being followed today. These rules are a dynamic set of instructions for the Government servants as based on the introduction of new dimensions in the legal framework.
  • The Conduct Rules prescribe some general behavioural norms like ‘maintaining the integrity and absolute devotion to duty’ and not indulging in ‘conduct unbecoming of a government servant’.
  • It needs to be mentioned that there is no Code of Ethics prescribed for civil servants in India although such codes exist in other countries. However, we need to appreciate that our civil service system has a tradition of balanced Integrity that requires the public attitudes and approaches.

United Nations Convention Against Corruption

Nolan Committee

Code of Good Governance of Spain

It envisages that in order to fight corruption, each state Party shall,

Promote inter alia, integrity, honesty and responsibility among its public officials, in accordance with the fundamental principles of its legal system.

Establish codes or standards of conduct for the correct, honourable and proper performance of public functions.

Establish measures and systems to facilitate the reporting by public officials of acts of corruption to appropriate authorities.

Establish measures and systems requiring public officials to make declarations regarding their outside activities, employment, investments assets and substantial gifts or benefits from which a conflict of interest may result with respect to their functions as public officials.

Take disciplinary or other measures against public officials who violate the codes or standards established in accordance with this article.

Seven Principles of Public Life:









Principles of ethics and good conduct developed in the Code:








dedicated to public service


exemplary conduct





promotion of the culture and environmental environment, and

equality between the sexes


  • Framework:
  • Probity in governance is absolutely essential for an efficient and effective system of governance. Ethics and probity cannot be seen in isolation. Both are intertwined and have to be seen as complementary to each other. The Consultation Paper on ‘Probity in Governance’ issued in 2001 by the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution highlighted many legislative and institutional issues including:

          v         Need for enforcing section 5 of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act,

          v         The necessity for a law providing for the confiscation of illegally acquired assets of public servants,

          v         Enactment of a Public Interest Disclosure Act,

          v         Enactment of a Freedom of information Act,

          v         The necessity for enacting a LokPal Bill in addition to

          v         The Central Vigilance Commission Act and

          v         Strengthening of the Criminal Judicial System.

  • Probity in governance is expected to ensure accountability, transparency, and integrity in public life. In India, we have an extensive legislative and institutional framework to address the issues relating to probity as detailed below:


Institutional and Legal Framework


1. CVC

2. CBI

3. CAG

4. Lokpal and Lokayukta


1. Benami Transactions Prohibition Act

2. Prevention of Corruption Act

3. Right to Information Act

4. IPC and Cr. PC

  • Apart from the existing framework accountability and transparency can be enhanced by

        v       Minimizing the discretions in various functions.

        v       More extensive use of Information technology in all fields of governance.

        v       Making Citizens’ charter more elaborate with clear timelines for delivery of services and related activities as well as identifying the officer responsible for that delivery; further a monthly report on compliance to Citizens’ charter can be placed on the website of the organization.

Challenges/Issues in Civil Services:

  • Challenges:
  • Some of the fundamental tenets of a good bureaucracy are political neutrality, objectivity in decision-making, empathy, equity, etc. As an officer appointed to serve the public, one cannot take any political affiliation or alignment but do one’s work objectively and impartially.
  • Ethics in public administration are important because civil servants are often holding offices that give them a lot of power and authority. Therefore, an officer’s moral compass is key for good governance.
  • Poor capacity building
  • Inefficient incentive systems that do not appreciate upright and outstanding civil servants but reward the corrupt and the incompetent
  • Outdated rules and procedures that restrict the civil servant from performing effectively
  • Systemic inconsistencies empanelment in promotion
  • Lack of adequate transparency and accountability procedures
  • no safety for whistleblowers
  • Arbitrary and whimsical transfers: insecurity in tenures impedes institutionalization
  • Political interference and administrative acquiescence
  • Dominance of few elite services in promotions, work allocations, and assignments
  • Structural Issue:
  • Generalist Vs Specialist : Civil Services was designed to deliver certain core functions: Law and Order; Government programs and realizing Governments’ orders. However, changes/Causes/Reasons mentioned above led to change in the role of the state.  New Challenges: Cyber security, complex business, trade, legal aspects---> Hence demand for specialist officers.
  • Further it is felt that officers from other Specialist Services (Like IRS etc) do not get representation and opportunity to work. IAS dominates the Civil Services.



Digital India Initiative:

  • What is the Digital India Initiative?
  • The Digital India Initiative was launched in the year 2015 to bridge the gap between urban and rural areas by promoting investment in digital infrastructure, fostering digital literacy, and expanding online services provision.
  • The vision of the Digital India programme is to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy by focusing on the following key vision areas:

        v       Digital infrastructure as a core utility to every citizen.

        v       Governance & Services On demand

        v       Digital empowerment of citizens

  • Digital India is designed as an umbrella programme that covers multiple Government Ministries and Departments. The overall coordination of the Digital India Programme is done by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DietY) with a focus on nine pillars of growth areas,i.e.,

        v       Broadband Highways;

        v       UniversalAccess to Mobile Connectivity;

        v       Public Internet Access Programme;

        v       e-Governance: Reforming Government through Technology;

        v       e-Kranti Electronic Delivery Of Services;

        v       Information for All;

        v       Electronics Manufacturing; IT for Jobs and Early Harvest Programmes.

  • E- Governance:
  • India being the largest democracy in the world, started adopting e-governance in the 1970s and adopted the change quickly, and progressed towards good governance policy at a rapid speed.
  • ‘Simple, Moral, Accountable, Responsive and transparent’ (SMART) Governance became the order of the day to build effective and efficient governance.
  • The e-Governance aims to make the interaction between government and citizens (G2C), government and business enterprises (G2B), and inter-agency relationships (G2G) convenient, transparent, friendly, effective, and cost-effective.
  • Four phases of e-governance

        v       Phase I - Information;

        v       PhaseII - Interaction;

        v       Phase III - Transaction;

        v       Phase IV - Transformation.

  • The Government of India introduced the National e-Governance Services Delivery Assessment (NeSDA) framework in August 2019 to assess the effectiveness of the e-Governance initiatives of the different government departments from the central to the local level.
  • The Online Service Index (OSI) of NeSDA is based on the UNDESA e-Government survey to develop the e-Governance structure of India at an international standard.
  • National E-Governance Plan (NeGP):
  • VISION: “Make all Government services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets and ensure efficiency, transparency & reliability of such services at affordable costs to realize the basic needs of the common man “.
  • The following strategy, approach & methodology is adopted for successful implementation of theNeGP:

        v       Common Support Infrastructure Such as SWANs, SDCs, CSCs,and Electronic Service DeliveryGateways.

        v       Suitable governance systems development to monitor and coordinate the implementation ofNeGP.

        v       Centralised Initiative,Decentralized Implementation.

        v       Public-Private Partnership

        v       Integrative elements

        v       Programme approach at the National and State levels.

        v       Facilitator role of’ DIT IIIimplementation of NeGP by various Ministries and StateGovernments by providing technical assistance.

        v       Ownership of Ministers overMission Mode Projects (MMPs)

  • National e-Governance Services Delivery Assessment (NeSDA)
  • NeSDA was launched to promote the participation of various departments and ministries at State and Central level to adopt the e-Government framework in day-to-day functioning.
  • To encourage e-participation of citizens and businesses in policymaking and to help India in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • To provide efficient public service delivery to all levels of population in the country by reducing the digital divide.
  • To develop innovative and improved public service delivery by developing ICT infrastructure capacity building and to develop a simple single entry point for all e-services at every level of governance i.e., from central to local self-governance.
  • The parameters of assessing under NeSDA are accessibility, ease of use, ‘end service delivery, integrated service delivery, content availability, information security & privacy, and status and request tracking.
  • E-Governance & Covid-19 Pandemic:
  • During the current pandemic, e-governance stepped into the central role as a necessary element of communication, leadership, and coordination between policymakers, administration, and society.
  • Digital technologies established through e-governance initiatives became an important source for sharing knowledge, encouraging collaborative research, and providing transparent guidance to the citizens.
  • E-governance became an important ICT tool for disseminating Covid-19 related data in a more transparent, safe, interoperable, and secure manner.
  • The online database of Covid-19 cases, lockdown guidelines, travel restrictions, locating the vacant beds in the hospitals, oxygen cylinders, financial assistance,and relief distribution, etc., were carried out only through e-governance infrastructure.
  • Jan Dhan Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) delivery system became the main vehicle for the distribution of the cash payments, rations of food supplies through the public distribution system, the distribution of the relief package under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan (PMGK) scheme supported the people in the pandemic.
  • Aarogya Setu App and Co-WIN App are the main e-governance tools that support the citizens and government to trace the Covid patients and manage the vaccination.
  • E-Doctor tele-video consultation facilities have been launched as an alternative to reduce hospital visits.
  • Challenges and Way Forward:
  • The scope of the e-governance projects expanded at an unexpected speed during Covid-19, by adding many new features and innovative-infrastructure. The population of India now connected with e-governance can be considered as one of the largest databases in the world having personal information of people.
  • The important challenge ahead of the sudden surge of the ambit of e-governance in the post-Covid scenario is ensuring a secure, effective, reliable, transparent system that is reconciled with the basic rights and values guaranteed in the Constitution of India.
  • Another challenge in e-governance is to adopt new methods to decrease the digital divide and to promote inclusive e-governance for achieving the promise, ‘to leave nobody behind’.
  • In the post-Covid scenario, the government is required to develop effective e-governance through:

        v       Interoperability of e-governance

        v       Infrastructure between intergovernmental departments and agencies

        v       Developing inclusive e-governance structure to make sure that there is no one is left out

        v       Legislating effective data protection

        v       Law and administrative regulations

        v       Enhancing data security levels to avoid data leakage, misuse, etc.

        v       Reducing digital divide by creating an inclusive digital ecosystem,e-literacy for inclusiveness,improving accessibility for higher uptake

        v       Mandatory sector-specific service focus to attain SDO goal

        v       Embracing New Age Technologies (NAT) for improved service delivery and focusing on integrated service delivery.

  • To overcome the challenges such as interoperability, infrastructural challenges, digital divide and Covid-19 pandemic, etc. India is taking new initiatives to develop the overall effectiveness of service delivery mechanisms from a citizen’s perspective and trying to bridge the gap between urban and rural e-governance structures.


Transforming India’s Public administration:

  • The government has made its core agenda to reform and transform India’s public administration apparatus to match the needs and expectations of a rising global economic power.
  • Be it reducing the number of compliances or announcing the formation of a national recruitment agency for conducting exams for government recruitment, this space is undergoing reform unlike any other.
  • In the same context, the Prime Minister recently asserted in the Parliament that the government had no business to be in business- and stressed upon the need for a reduction in bureaucratic procedures where none are required.
  • It is worth mentioning here that the creation of a national recruitment agency (NRA) to conduct examinations for the middle and lower rungs of government service is another example of streamlining public administration within the country and replacing the current web of agencies and examinations.
  • On the back of the technological changes taking place globally, the government’s aggressive push towards digitising governance processes has been widely praised.Beginning with the umbrella campaign, ‘Digital India,’the country has witnessed a massive surge in digital services, ranging from digital payments to JAM Trinity And DBT.
  • With record low prices of data and record-high consumption of data, India has grown leaps and bounds in terms of digital infrastructure and access to and variety of available digital resources such as SWAYAM portal (online education), e-Aadhaar services, online PAN, Voter card,and Income Tax Return (ITR) services, online banking, and portals like MyGov, DigiLocker, Udyami, and e-visa services.
  • The mammoth network of government presence in digital space is a testament to the importance given by the PM to putting e-governance at work for the common people and to simplify governmental processes for them to the extent possible.
  • Roles of Public Sector Enterprises:
  • A major marker of the government’s presence in the country is the state-owned enterprises commonly known as Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs), present in areas ranging from banks to telecom and from insurance to coal.
  • Over the years, the highest echelons of government machinery including the PM, have called for a divestment of the government’s majority share in these enterprises and corporatizing them to achieve higher productivity and promote better business practices in these vast institutions.
  • The government’s ambitious targets on divestment and an impressive result in achieving them in the past bodes well both for the government and the citizens in that it not only reduces government’s costs arising out of administrative functions, monetary leakages,and sub-optimal utilisation of its resources but also benefits the public through better and more transparent use of taxpayers’ money and higher competitiveness.





India is the largest producer of generic medicines accounting for 20 percent of global production and also manufactures more than 60 percent of all vaccines sold across the globe.

India is the world’s second largest exporter of Ayurvedic and Alternative Medicine with compound annual growth Rate (CAGR) of 22% during 2015-20 in the healthcare sector.

India’s Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) rank according to the World Bank of Ease of Doing Business Report 2020 is 63rd among 190 countries.

The Asia-Pacific region is home to 60% of the population. 263 million poor live in this region on $1.90 per day and another 1.1 billion live on $3.20 per day. The region contributes to 41% of Under-five deaths, 44% maternal deaths, 56% newborn deaths, 60% stunting and 2/3rd of Low-Birth-Weight babies..

  • Steps taken by the Indian Government during the pandemic:
  • Ensured timely lockdown.
  • Creation of extensive support system through setting up COVID-19 warriors’ network and a national task force.
  • Aatmanirbhar Bharat economic stimulus relief package of 20 lakh crore amounting to 10% of GDP.
  • 80% people being given free food grains under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana.
  • 20 crore women Jan Dhan holders being given Rs.500 per month for three months.
  • MGNREGA wage rate was increased to Rs. 202 per person per day and is benefiting 13.62 crore families.
  • Support to Indian vaccine manufacturing companies.
  • National Digital Health Mission (NDHM):
  • It was launched by the PM on India’s 74th Independence Day in August 2020 and is being implemented by the National Health Authority (NHA) under the ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • The plan is to create a digital health ecosystem for India featuring health ID, personal health records, Digi Doctor and health facility registry. E-pharmacy and telemedicine services are planned to be included later.
  • NDHM syncs with Ayushman Bharat, a flagship scheme launched by PM in 2018.



  • National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2020:
  • Through this bill, a central commission with the provision of ten separate councils will regulate fifth-six highly skilled professions in the healthcare industry and will also protect and enhance the overall standard of healthcare in the country.
  • The bill is aimed to regulate and maintain standards of education and services by allied and healthcare professionals in India.

Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium:

  • The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium(INSACOG) is a national multi-agency consortium of Genome Sequencing Laboratories (RGSLs) laboratories established by the Government of India on 30th December 2020.
  • There are 28 laboratories under this Consortium that monitor the genomic variations inSARS-CoV-2.
  • INSACOG was established to expand whole-genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 virus across the nation, aiding our understanding of how the virus spreads andevolves.
  • INSACOG has the following specific objectives:
  • To ascertain the status of Variants of Interest (Vol) and Variants of Concern (VoC) in the country.
  • To establish sentinel surveillance and surge surveillance mechanisms for early detection of genomic variants and assist in formulating effective public health response.
  • To determine the presence of genomic variants in samples collected during super-spreader events and in areas reporting increasing trend of cases/deaths etc.

Additional Information:

  • Catch the Rain:
  • The initiative “Catch the Rain ‘’ seeks to substitute the use of available groundwater with rainwater by employing rainwater harvesting techniques across the country.
  • Catch The Rain with the tagline “Catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls” is to nudge the states and stakeholders to create appropriate Rainwater Harvesting Structures (RWHS) suitable to the climatic conditions and subsoil strata before monsoon 2021.


  • The average annual per capita availability in India in the years 2001 and 2011 was assessed as 1816 cubic meters and 1545 cubic meters respectively which may further be reduced to 1486 cubic meters in the current year.
  • Annual per-capita water availability of less than 1700 cubic meters is considered a water stressed condition.
  • The per capita water storage capacity in India is about 209 cubic meters which is meager compared to per capita storage capacities in countries like Australia (3223 cubic meter), The USA (2193 cubic meter) and Brazil (2632 cubic meter).
  • According to UN statistics , globally 72% of all water withdrawal is used by agriculture, 16% by municipalities for household and services, and 12% by industries.


  • The Campaign will include drives to make check dams, water harvesting pits, and rooftop RWHS, etc. while removing encroachments and desilting tanks to increase their storage capacity.
  • It also seeks to repairstep-wells and uses defunct bore-wells and unused wells to put water back to aquifers.
  • To facilitate these activities, states have been requested to open ”Rain Centres” in each district- in Collectorates/ Municipalities or GP offices. These Rain Centres will have a dedicated phone number and will be manned by an engineer, or a person well trained in RWHS. These centres will act as a technical guidance centre for all in the districts.
  • The Rebellions of Palayakkars:
  • In this context three Palayakkar Rebellions ultimately paved the way for the South Indian Rebellion which started at Coimbatore.
  • This South Indian Rebellion of 1799 to 1801 ended with the Vellore Mutiny of 1806. According to this version, the period from the First Palayakkar rebellion to the Vellore Mutiny was called the First and Early war of Independence.
  • In the Palayakkar Marudhu Pandyan was the first to call the people of India to fight against the British authority. The Palayakkars rebellions took place before the establishment of the British Power in India.
  • The Ramanathapuram and Sivagangaiwere the biggest Palayams and Ramanathapuram served as the headquarters of the southern Palayakkars.
  • The chief of the Palayams had the status of the princes of states andThis Nicholas B.Dirks called them ‘Little Kings’.

UPSC Previous Years Questions

  1. Initially Civil Services in India were designed to achieve the goals of neutrality and effectiveness, which seems to be lacking in the present context. Do you agree with the view that drastic reforms are required in civil services? Comment. (GS- 2: 2017)
  2. Has the cadre based Civil Services Organisations been the cause of slow change in India? Critically examine.                     (GS- 2: 2014)
  3. What do you understand by probability in governance? Based on your understanding of the term, suggest measures for ensuring probity in governance.                                                                                                     (GS- 4: 2019)
  4. What do you understand by the terms ‘governance’, ‘good governance’ and ‘ethical governance’? (GS- 4: 2016)
  5. What do you understand by ‘probity’ in public life? What are the difficulties in practicing it in the present times? How can these difficulties be overcome?                                                                                                                (GS- 4: 2014)
  6. What does ethics seek to promote in human life? Why is it all the more important in public administration?                        (GS- 4: 2014)
  7. Explain the process of resolving ethical dilemmas in Public Administration.                                           (GS- 4: 2018)
  8. “Non-performance of duty by public servants is a form of corruption.” Do you agree with this view? Justify your answer.                                                                                                                                                                               (GS- 4: 2019)

Mains Practice Questions

  1. The Indian civil services system retained the elements of the British structure like a unified administrative system. Discuss.
  2. What is the National E-governance Plan? Discuss how it will help make all Government services accessible to a common man in his locality and ensure efficiency, transparency & reliability of such services.
  3. Probity in governance is expected to ensure accountability, transparency, and integrity in public life. In India, we have an extensive legislative and institutional framework to address the issues relating to probity. Comment.
  4. What is Mission Karmayogi? Critically analyze how it will help better service delivery to the public, governance, performance, and accountability.
  5. “The human resource of a nation is one of the core pillars on which rests its future potential and journey.” Do you agree with this view? Comment.
  6. “Where do the evils like corruption arise from? It comes from the never-ending greed. The fight for a corruption-free ethical society will have to be fought against this greed and replace it with ‘what can I give’ spirit.” - Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Analyze.