Bureaucracy Class 8 Civics Notes Maharashtra State Board
In the box, a few posts like District Collector, Municipal Commissioner, Finance Secretary, and Divisional Commissioner are mentioned. These are civil servants in the government’s administrative system. You might be thinking, what are their functions?
In the chapter that explained the role of the Union Executive, we learned that the Prime Minister and his Council of Ministers make proposals for new laws and also decide upon policies. ‘Bureaucracy’ is the administrative system that works under the Union Executive and has the responsibility for the actual implementation of the government’s policies. In this chapter, we will understand the importance of bureaucracy. In any country, the government carries out two fundamental types of functions.
- To defend the country from external aggression and internal threats.
- To provide various services to citizens and ease their daily lives which will enable them to develop themselves and society.
The first function is to ensure the security of the country. This is carried out by the service called the armed forces. The role of internal security is carried out as an aid to civil authority. For the second function, an administrative system is developed. We call it the ‘civil services’. The system of civil servants is also known as bureaucracy.
In Parliamentary democracy, representatives are elected by the people, and the ministers have the responsibility of administration. The functions of government are discharged by various departments. Every department has a minister who is the political head of that department. As a representative of the people, the minister has to carry out the work of the department by giving priority to public welfare. The minister may not be an expert in a particular subject but he/she is conscious of broad public interest. The Secretary of the department gives expert advice to the ministers. The secretaries are appointed from the civil service. The aspirations of the people and administrative expertise are thus put in harmony in the parliamentary system.
Characteristics of Bureaucracy
Tax collection, environment protection, maintenance of law and order, and provisions regarding social security are certain important tasks that have to be consistently undertaken by the bureaucracy. This is possible because bureaucracy is a permanent mechanism. The Prime Minister and their Council of Ministers change after every election but the bureaucracy under their control remains constant. It is permanent.
The bureaucracy is politically neutral. This means that regardless of the political party in power, the bureaucracy is supposed to carry out the implementation of their policy decisions with the same efficiency and commitment. In this regard, civil servants should abstain from taking a political stand or act according to their political views. If a political party fails to win elections, it has to leave the government and another party that wins elections comes to power. The new government may change some policies of the earlier government. Even in such cases, the bureaucracy is expected to remain neutral while discharging its duties.
Anonymity means that civil service should not be held directly responsible for any success or failure of policy. It is the Minister who is responsible for the efficient and smooth functioning of the concerned departments. It is the minister who, as the head of that department, is accountable for any inefficiency. Civil servants are never publicly criticized. The Parliament holds the Minister responsible for malpractices. In such a case, the Minister bears the responsibility and protects the bureaucracy.
Significance of Indian Bureaucracy
The structure of the Indian bureaucracy is extensive and complex. Several important reforms that were introduced during the post-independence period have been effectively implemented by the bureaucratic structure. Today we see many positive social changes reaching common people. These changes have been brought by the Indian Bureaucracy by implementing the policies made by the Government. Bureaucracy gives stability to the political system. Water supply, public cleanliness, transport, electricity, public cleanliness, health, agricultural reforms, prevention of pollution, and other services are everyday needs of the people and need to be consistently provided to them. This brings stability to the day-to-day life of the people.
Secondly, it is important to understand that bureaucracy is an important instrument of social transformation. The laws enacted by the government for the empowerment of women, child security, and plans for the marginalized sections are implemented by the bureaucracy. Social change is brought about through the implementation of such policies. The Bureaucracy also plays an important role in the democratization of society. Marginalized sections of society have been brought into the mainstream by implementing the reservation policy. Their participation has been increased in the process of decision-making. Democratization of society not only requires progressive laws and policies it also needs the effective participation of bureaucracy.
Types of Civil Services:
In India, there are three main types of civil services.
- All-India Services: They include the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the Indian Police Service (IPS), and the Indian Forest Service (IFS).
- Union or Central Services: They come under the Union Government. They include the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Revenue Service (IRS) etc.
- State Civil Services: They come under the State Government. They include the Deputy District Collector, Block Development Officer, Tehsildar (Executive Magistrate), etc. They are recruited through competitive examinations held at the state level.
Indian constitution has established autonomous institutions like the Public Service Commissions to ensure that civil servants are selected based on criteria of merit and efficiency. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts examinations for recruitment and appointment of candidates for All-India Services and Central Services. The Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) selects candidates through competitive examinations and recommends them to the government to be recruited in the state administration.
To provide opportunities to all sections of society to enter in bureaucracy and civil services, there is a provision for reservations for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Women, Other Backward Castes, and specially-abled. This provision ensures that weaker sections of society are not left out of civil services due to social inequality.
Minister and Secretaries:
The efficiency of a particular government department depends upon the interrelationship between the Minister and Department Secretaries and Deputy Secretaries. The decisions relating to the department are made by the concerned minister but the necessary information to make such decisions is given by the civil servants. Civil servants, meaning bureaucracy, have complete control over information. It is the civil servant who knows the financial provisions for a particular scheme or plan. Civil servants are aware of the history of successes and failures of policies. Hence, ministers are dependent upon the civil servants. If ministers maintain a dialogue with civil servants and develop mutual trust and transparency, it will help the departments.
Maharashtra State Board Class 8 Civics Notes Bureaucracy can be used for revisiting and reinforcing previously learned content.