It is time to have a political service commission in India
Humans are alike and they are different. They are different in many aspects and respects. Some of the differences are independent of human wishes and desires; they are bestowed on humans by nature. They include genotypes and phenotypes, anatomy and morphology, mental makeup and body constitution and sex and sexual inclinations and affinities of humans. The rest of the differences are created, modulated and manipulated by those of the first kind, the natural ones. Caste and creed, religious and political inclinations, culture and cultural affinities and ideology and economic status are these differences which some way or the other are brought about by the natural differences in people.
Scientists and political scientists since the time of Plato, or even before, to the current times have tried to make use of the natural differences, attributes, characters and characteristics to build an ideal state and to prevent the differences of caste, religion, sex, culture and others from disrupting the order of the states. These scientists and system builders have always tried to devise techniques and schemes to put every individual at his/her perfect place in the society and the government.
In the current times to run the governments efficiently in every country, there are different service commissions and recruitment agencies. The first priority and objective of these commissions and recruitment agencies is to select the best of the people for jobs. They try to select the candidates who are naturally fitted for the jobs and make the best use of their talents, traits and skills.
In India also there is the Union Public Service Commission, State Service Commissions and other recruitment agencies. The performance of these recruitment agencies is not ideal, there are operational, structural and functional flaws in these institutions and agencies but the candidates who go genuinely through the entire recruitment processes of these commissions and agencies turn out to be well suited for the posts and jobs. No doubt omissions and commissions are committed but still lot of good work has been done by these recruiting agencies.
India is a republic, she is a democracy and the entire gamut of governance is put under the political executive under this scheme. True the political executive is directly elected by the popular sovereign, true they are the representative of the people and true theirs must be the last word in deciding the programs and policies of the government but they should at least be well suited for the important posts they hold.
A representative of a million people should be well capable of taking independent decisions in the government’s scheme of things; the representative should not be a rubber stamp that is used by the higher bureaucracy at will. One who is unaware of the files and filing, notes and noting in files and the procedure of making a decision and formulating schemes is simply incapable of ruling. In the Indian scheme if an independent survey is made the majority of the political executives are not doing justice with their jobs and roles in the government. The questions are raised even against the highest post of the political executive.
It is not that they cannot be made best suited for their posts but the current scheme has become so acceptable that hardly any alternative scheme is thought of. In fact, the representatives remain content with the perks and power they seem to hold which actually is in the hands of the bureaucracy. The high chairs in their offices, the cavalcades of cars and Z and Z+ security is all they want, give them that and the rest they are ready to put their signature anywhere where they are made to sign.
This raises two problems, one that the political executive on whose name decisions are made, in the majority of cases know not about what the decisions are and second the resultant misgoverned which is thrust on the political executive is actually the work of the people who work behind the scenes. The representatives of the people instead of working for the welfare of their constituencies end up defending the decisions and schemes which are not of their making.
The democratic system of governance already faces the problem of credibility, where minority governments are elected and the representatives of the people are not representing the majority of the electorate. So this condition where the representatives are not able to act independently puts further questions marks on the representative democracy that India is. People in the background who are neither elected nor entitled to make decisions end up conducting all the business of the government and the representatives are made to follow them.
We cannot change the system of government that India has adopted after independence. This is the best system which can work under the circumstance of demographic and geographic diversities. However, the system can be improved, it can be made better. One important step that can be initiated towards that direction is to devise a scheme where the political executive is either selected from amongst those who possess some minimum requisite qualifications or if they are elected without these qualifications they should at least be trained to be capable to run the government efficiently as real representatives of the people.
On the pattern of the Union Public Service Commission and the State Service Commissions India can establish political service commissions at both the federal and the state levels. These commissions could world to select and train people with specific talents and natural inclinations towards politics. Political executive could be exclusively selected from the people certified and trained by these political service commissions.
Unlike the public service commission, the entry to the Political Service Commissions could be kept open to all. Those who wish to pursue the courses of applied politics could be allowed to do the same after passing a qualifying test suggestive of their natural talents to serve in the political sphere in the best way possible. The curriculum for these courses and training programs is the scheme is allowed to work, would include two parts, basic information about the politics and political history of the country and training in the art of governance.
The political parties could enrol their cadres who pass the qualifying test for the courses, the students who want to go for politics could also go for the same and even the professionals and other people could go for the courses if they are found naturally fitted for politics. The political service commissions will at the end of the course and training programs certify the pass outs as capable to hold important posts in the government. Even the commissions could state on the certificates that for which political post a particular person eligible.
In a true democracy and truly representative democracy it is difficult to choose the representatives of the people from a selected few, and qualified ones only. But electing from the qualified ones could be made preferable. In case the representatives are elected otherwise, without qualifications and training, it should be made imperative upon them to go throw at least a crash course to know a little bit about governance and intricacies of governance.
In the current circumstances in India, there is a set procedure and qualifications for selecting a lower grade employee. The professionals and technocrats are made to go through strenuous courses and training. But, the people who are put above all of them need no qualifications or training. Indeed, this can be presented as the beauty of this political system but when there accrues mis-governance on account of the lack of qualifications and training, it is only a flaw, a big flaw.
In the contemporary times of specialization and super-specialization, it is time to produce specialist rulers without disturbing the fundamentals of democracy. There surely are ways by which this can be accomplished if there is political will. The moot question in the end is, is there that will.
Passionate Writer, Author and an aspiring system builder.