The Service of the State: The IAS Reconsidered

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9780670083817: The Service of the State: The IAS Reconsidered

Is the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) still the most appropriate institution to govern twenty-first-century India? Should a cadre of generalists head organizations as complex and diverse as industrial units, museums and rural development boards? If it had to be replaced, what is the best alternative? Drawing on his experience of thirty-six years in the IAS, Bhaskar Ghose addresses these and other major questions regarding the role, relevance and effectiveness of India s long-established but often controversial system of state administration in The Service of the State.

Ghose argues forcefully that the IAS is still the best option and one moreover that substantially fulfils its functions and fulfils them well. Though its once sterling reputation has been tarnished by allegations of corruption, political subservience and declining standards of efficiency, there are still sufficient numbers of dedicated public servants. These administrators, spanning diverse social backgrounds, seniorities and regional profiles, draw on established traditions of duty and of cooperation within the service to deliver to the best of their ability and often in the face of considerable odds the goods of development.

This reflective and luminous memoir is not only a portrait of a lifetime s service to the state; it is also a timely and persuasive argument for a system of governance that has had a critical impact on India since Independence.

A timely discussion of a civil servant s proper role and function in the light of current controversies about bureaucratic corruption. A timely look at the Indian Administrative Service when many are questioning its functions and its integrity.

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About the Author:

Bhaskar Ghose served in various capacities both in the government of West Bengal, and in the Government of India. He has held the posts of Director General, Doordarshan, Secretary, Department of Culture in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, and Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. He has been a visiting fellow of Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.

For the last fourteen years he has been a writer and columnist, and has written regularly for a number of major Indian newspapers and journals. He presently writes a column for Frontline.

He has been involved with theatre for the last fifty years and has acted in and directed over forty plays. His first book Doordarshan Days was published by Penguin/Viking in 2005.

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Bhaskar Ghose
Published by Penguin Books (2011)
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Bhaskar Ghose
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Book Description Penguin, 2011. Is the Indian Administrative Service IAS still the most appropriate institution to govern twenty-first-century India Should a cadre of generalists head organizations as complex and diverse as industrial units museums and rural development boards If it had to be replaced what is the best alternative Drawing on his experience of thirty-six years in the IAS Bhaskar Ghose addresses these and other major questions regarding the role relevance and effectiveness of India?s long-established but often controversial system of state administration in The Service of the State Ghose argues forcefully that the IAS is still the best option and one moreover that substantially fulfils its functions and fulfils them well Though its once sterling reputation has been tarnished by allegations of corruption political subservience and declining standards of efficiency there are still sufficient numbers of dedicated public servants These administrators spanning diverse social backgrounds seniorities and regional profiles draw on established traditions of duty and of cooperation within the service to deliver to the best of their ability and often in the face of considerable odds goods of development This reflective and luminous memoir is not only a portrait of a lifetime?s service to the state; it is also a timely and persuasive argument for a system of governance that has had a critical impact on India since Independence 320 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 95819

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