A civil servant is like the muse of a grand constructing that by no means will get its due credit score regardless of being the ‘metal body’ that holds the construction collectively. Sadly, the one time a typical man will get to find out about a civil servant is when issues have gone incorrect, whereas his good deeds, often, fail to earn him recognition. However that’s what the civil service is all about.
A civil servant is predicted to slog it out invisibly; to do his job irrespectively. He will probably be challenged to rise as much as the event, again and again. He will probably be anticipated to carry out commendably even the severest of duties. For instance, he might need performed essential roles in occasions of grave disasters just like the earthquake in Gujarat to the floods in Kerala and now in managing the unprecedented COVID disaster; nonetheless, there’s a scant probability for this ‘invisible’ servant to get recognised for his contribution.
This appears to be altering now. Social media appears to be giving voice to the brand new breed of officers. It’s serving to invisible civil servants to drop their cloak of invisibility. Within the context of social media, the strategy is fairly clear. Can’t beat them? Be part of them! Whether or not it’s Twitter, Fb or on some other platform, numerous civil servants have chosen social media to speak with the world at massive.
In any case, one should not overlook that the civil servant has been on the receiving finish for much too lengthy. And with assistance from social media these new-age officers try to carry forth not solely details but additionally present ‘road-shows’ of their ‘achievements’. This train might be interpreted to be part of the bigger function to fight the negativity that appears to be changing into all-pervasive.
Actually, ‘Nexus of Good’ is a motion that embodies the very ethos of this train. It’s a motion to determine, perceive, recognize, replicate and scale good work that’s being accomplished by the civil servants and society as a complete. The thought is to evolve an alternate narrative to the flagrant negativity that’s rampant throughout media. The ‘premium’ on good work appears to have been misplaced within the strident din of excessive decibels used for selling negativity.
It won’t be hyperbolic to state that the ‘good’ are struggling for recognition and numerous them are combating their battles towards a way more organised set of ‘negativity mongers’. Because the poet mentioned, “The perfect lack conviction and the worst are filled with passionate depth”!
The quintessential bureaucrat, if there may be one, has been left with no possibility however to vary. He has been pressured to aim to return out of his cocoon. There isn’t any approach he can afford to stay within the ‘ivory tower’; to stay simply the silent basis. He has to make his presence felt. The query is: How?
Can the civil servants evolve as a bunch and dispel the apprehensions that the widespread man has about them? To try this, the members of the civil service could have to pay attention to the pitfalls of selling themselves as people. They need to additionally remember that simply glitz and glamour could possibly be counter-productive in the long term. There may be completely little doubt that many of the civil servants are individually brilliant and sensible once they enter the service. That is on account of the target and neutral nature of choice to the companies. The issue begins after that. Plenty of these officers discover it tough to evolve brilliantly as part of a bunch. Therefore, although plenty of them make a reputation for themselves, steadily, the establishments they man don’t get benefitted. On this sense, social media, or for that matter any media is a double-edged weapon. The important thing lies in ‘how do they use media?’.
As we glance round, we discover stellar examples of numerous establishments which are manned solely by civil servants and have accomplished everybody proud. The Election Fee, the Comptroller and Auditor Normal, the Union Public Service Fee and the Central Vigilance Fee are some such establishments (although the credibility of a few of these establishments has been questioned once in a while within the latest previous).
Can the new-age civil servants commit themselves to copy the ethos of those establishments? It is probably not simple as a result of the above-mentioned establishments are by and enormous insulated from political interference. Furthermore, these are exceptions and, sadly, not the rule. If many of the organisations purchase the ethos of those establishments, the paperwork wouldn’t have acquired the ‘identify’ it has.
There’s no denying that this can be very tough to insulate establishments from political ‘interference’. However with the growing use of know-how and the resultant transparency, the ‘in poor health results’ of such interference might be mitigated. The political grasp might be induced to make a way more knowledgeable choice. He might be made conscious of the implications of his choice in a way more conscious and clear world. A lot of sensible and dedicated civil servants are already making an attempt to do this.
There are officers like Tukaram Mundhe ( did transformational work wherever he was posted), Sudhanshu Mani (a Railway engineer whose ardour and imaginative and prescient noticed ‘Vande Bharat Categorical’ occur), Dr T Arun ( rejuvenated water ponds in Puducherry), Iqbal Singh Chahal ( efficiently grappled with the COVID disaster in Mumbai as Municipal Commissioner), Dr Dinesh Arora ( labored wonders with RSBY in Kerala and used the expertise to efficiently roll out PMJAY) and Aman Preet, the ‘pad-woman’ of India (a Income Service officer went past her name of obligation to create consciousness about sanitary pads) who made-things-happen regardless of critical limitations.
These are just some cases of the excellent work accomplished by targeted and pushed officers. Fortunately the listing of such officers is a reasonably lengthy one. And there’s no doubt that their tales have to be advised in order that others consider that regardless of political, social, technological and monetary handicaps, people can remodel establishments and usher within the subsequent degree of progress.
These officers have used their particular person brilliance to result in and maintain change. And their success is the proof of idea. The secret is first to understand the nice work that they’re doing, perceive how they’re doing it, after which try to replicate what they’re doing. The civil servant does face a dilemma although. There are sacrifices concerned and, on many events, the selection itself is tough. And the jury on that is nonetheless out!
Anil Swarup is former coal secretary, the federal government of India, and creator of the e book ‘Not Simply A Civil Servant’. The views expressed are private.