Non-performers will out –ARC

A REFORMS panel set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has recommended that non-performing bureaucrats should be booted out after 20 years of service and the upper age limit to sit for the civil services examination be reduced from 30 to 25 years.

“The services of public servants, who are found to be unfit after the second review at 20 years, should be discontinued. A provision regarding this should be made in the proposed Civil Services Law," the second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) headed by M. Veerappa Moily said in its latest report released on Friday .

The report on ‘Refurbishing of Personnel Administration’ said the first review at 14 years would primarily serve the purpose of intimating the public servant about his or her strengths and shortcomings, while the second review at 20 years would mainly serve to assess the fitness of the officer for continuation of service.

The report was submitted to the PM last month and was made public on Friday. This is not the first time that the government has received recommendations on these lines. The Y.K. Alagh committee, set up eight years ago to overhaul the civil services examination system, had also recommended reducing the upper age limit.

Government officials said they had moved files to implement this recommendation, but had to put them aside due to stiff resistance from politicians who fear a lower entry age would only benefit candidates from the metros.

The Moily-chaired panel has also favoured introduction of a formal degree course in public policy and management in the higher education curriculum for candidates seeking a career in civil services.

“This would also discourage the system of coaching centres which have tended to distort the formal education system,” the report said. Describing the recommendations as “most revolutionary”, Veerappa Moily said the commission has recommended a post-school grooming system for civil services aspirants.

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