Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Public policy is a science of sciences

Business Standard | New Delhi Jun 07, 2015 09:02 PM IST
Mihir Sharma's column "End the IAS" (Ticker, June 6) is one of those pieces that crop up in media every now and them, attributing the lack of the country's progress to the "generalist, unaccountable, incapable, yet powerful" Indian Administrative Service (IAS). If someone has had any real experience with public policies in any capacity, they would know that public policy is a science of sciences, the mastery of which requires good understanding of issues and ideas that cut across many disciplines. This is all the more so in the current context of governance, which goes well beyond understanding and applying neoliberal principles worshipped by self-appointed market pundits. A true generalist with deep insight into issues and ideas associated with inclusive and sustainable development is the need of the hour, not an academic/professional specialist working in isolated silos.

As for accountability, it is a systemic problem that is being addressed systemically, though not at an expected pace. It is the civil society and citizenry that can hasten the process by identifying systemic inadequacies and generating public pressure for change in the manner the RTI Act was brought about. The process has already been set in motion, which is irreversible.
As far as the civil services examination is concerned, the examination has undergone a paradigm shift since 2013. It now seeks to assess critical understanding of issues and ideas, communication skills, lateral thinking, capacity for moral and emotional reasoning in a rigorous process of evaluation.
Mahesh Mahadarshee Bhubaneswar

I WAS born the year Frontline was born. I had no access to English print media until college, where I came across Frontline in the library. Frontline’s sustained focus on ideas and ideologies has inculcated in me a critical outlook and has in large measure shaped my own convictions. True journalism should not only educate people about issues and ideas but also shape their outlook for the greater cause of humanity. Frontline does this religiously.
Mahesh Mahadarshee
Anijo, Bhadrak district, Odisha

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