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What is your view on lateral entry of corporate leaders into Civil Services?

What is your view on lateral entry of corporate leaders into Civil Services?

A recent debate that has been sparked by a job-opening advertisement in the news has revolved around the entry of corporate leaders above the age of 40 (and with a PhD) into the civil services as Joint Secretaries, a very senior post in the Indian government.

The points put forth are:

For the motion:

  1. Lateral entry will bring fresh talent and enthusiasm, along with a wide variety of business leaders from a vast gamut of industries.
  2. IAS officers welcome this kind of entry, as it will bring in fresh perspective and talent to the civil services.

Against the motion:

  1. These corporate leaders, in their tenure of 3 years, will have access to government secrets and files that they can use in the future for their personal benefit as heads of their respective businesses.
  2. They will bring in corruption in the civil services, one of the most trusted government executive branches in the country as of now.
  3. IAS officers go through a rigorous admission process and are some of the brightest minds in the country, and are therefore more than capable of gaining industry expertise and do not require outsiders to work with them and guide them.

There were other points raised such as the timing of this kind of announcement and its relation to the upcoming General Elections, the work of existing lateral entries such as Montek Singh Ahluwalia, and ex-PM Dr. Manmohan Singh, the deficit of IAS officers in the government etc.

What is your view?

Your Answers