Explain the role of bureaucracy and political executive in governance.
The working of government rests on two pillars political and permanent executive. The smooth working of this system depends on the harmonious relationship between the two. In recent years, however, the administrative and political environment has changed which has produced ten§ions in the mutual relationship of the two groups.
So, let us first understand the meaning and role of bureaucracy and then analyze the relationship between the political executive and bureaucracy and finally identify the recommendations of Administrative Reforms Commission for streamlining the relationship between the minister and the civil servants and reflect upon the present scenario in India in this respect.
The conventional view of public administration is based upon the dichotomy of politics and administrator i.e. administration and politics should be kept separate. Politics or policy-making is the proper activity of the legislative bodies and administration is the proper activity of administrators who carry out policies. It is opposed to any political role of the civil servants.
It is visualizes the relationship between the administrator and the politician in terms of a neat division of labor the politician formulates the policy and the administrator executes it. The bureaucrat acts as pure adviser to his political master, presents facts of the case, suggests lines of action and implications of alternative policies. It is the prerogative of the political master to decide the policy.
The bureaucrat is expected to implement the policy faithfully, whatever the decision. He is to be anonymous and neutral in the discharge of his duty. He is expected to render impartial advice without fear or favor. The doctrine of neutrality and anonymity has been one of the fundamental tenets of the Weberian model of bureaucracy. It insulates the bureaucrat from any politicization and makes him professional in his outlook.
The planners in India too subscribed to the Weberian ideal of neutral civil service. In our country, the Civil Service Conduct Rules prohibit the government employees from active participation in political activities.
Except for the limited right of voting in secret, a government employee cannot participate in any way in any political movement or activity including election campaigns. He cannot join a political party even as an inactive member or contribute financially to its funds he cannot express any opinion on political issues and he cannot stand for election to any legislature.
An impersonal, strictly rule bound, neutral bureaucracy was expected not only to provide the necessary administrative objectivity, but also enhance the democratic Principle of equality and provide protection from arbitrary rule.