NIOS Political Science (317) Notes|Chapter-35|Political Executive and Bureaucracy

NIOS Political Science (317) Notes|Chapter-35|Political Executive and Bureaucracy. Important questions for NIOS Political Science 317 Questions Answers brings you latest queries and solutions with accordance to the most recent pointers SOS . Students will clear all their doubts with regard to every chapter by active these necessary chapter queries and elaborate explanations that area unit provided by our specialists so as to assist you higher. These queries can facilitate students prepare well for the exams thanks to time constraint . NIOS Political Science (317) Notes|Chapter-35|Political Executive and Bureaucracy

HS 2nd years Solutions (English Medium)

NIOS Political Science (317) Notes|Chapter-35|Political Executive and Bureaucracy

  Intext Questions & Answers 

Q. 1. Fill in the blanks:

 a) The parliamentary system rests on two pillars of __________ and __________ executive. (social / political /economic /administrative) 

 Ans.: Political, Administrative 

b) The Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers fall under the__________ category. (social/economic/political)

 Ans. Political 

c) Main function of the political executive is __________(decision making / film making) 

Ans.: Policy making 

d) Main function of the administrative executive is__________ (policy implementation / election campaigning) 

Ans.: Policy implementation

 e) Bureaucracy is selected on the basis of __________ (wealth / merit)

 Ans. : Merit

 f) Concept of bureaucracy was first developed by German philosopher __________ (Karl Marx/Max Weber). 

Ans.: Max Weber 

g) Max Weber described bureaucracy as the__________ and most__________ form of government.(rotten / efficient /slow / rational) 

 Ans.: Rational, Efficient

 Q. 2. Fill in the blanks: 

a ) __________is the main mechanism through which the state implements its development programmes.

 Ans.: Bureaucracy

 b) Bureaucracy no longer performs only __________ functions. It performs__________functions too.

Ans.: Regulatory, Welfare

 Q. 3. Fill in the blanks:

 a) Conventional view of public administration is based upon the dichotomy of __________ and __________.

Ans.: Administration, Politics 

b) The doctrine of__________ insulates the civil service from any __________.

 Ans.: Neutrality, Politicisation

  c) In India, Civil Service Conduct Rules __________ government employees to participate in politics. 

Ans. Prohibit 

d) It is now an accepted fact that bureaucracy contributes to both, policy __________ and policy

Ans.: Making, Implementation

 e) Minister is rarely an expert in his field so he is forced to rely on the __________ for facts and advice. 

Ans.: Bureaucracy

f) __________ referred to Indian Bureaucracy as a major stumbling block and reiterated the necessity of creating a__________ bureaucracy. 

Ans. : Indira Gandhi, Committed 

g) Bureaucracy was criticised for not demonstrating enough__________ to development needs and programmes.

 Ans.: Commitment

 Terminal Exercises 

1. Define Bureaucracy. 

Ans. The term ‘Bureaucracy’ lacks a definition that is universally accepted. Bureaucracy is sometimes used in a disparaging manner to mean unimaginative, rigid and inefficient government administrators. It is associated with red-tapism, delay and wastefulness. Many social scientists however, describe bureaucracy in a neutral way to mean a specific form of social organisation involved in administrative efforts. It is a machine, which is needed to run the government of the day. It is the only tool available to any modern government to administer. We no longer live in simple Greek city-states or tiny Indian republica Society has become more complex today. Accordingly, the government has become a huge complicated machinery which can be serviced and run only by a distinct group of officials known as bureaucracy. Some scholars have even given bureaucracy the status of “the fourth organ of the government” Therefore, bureaucracy cannot be wished away.

Bureaucracy with such formal characteristics is considered essential for running any large organisation. To quote Max Weber “the decisive reason for the advance of bureaucratic organisation has always been its purely technical superiority over any other form of organisation…precision, speed, unambiguity, reduction of friction and of material and personal costs – these are raised to the optimum level in the structurally bureaucratic administration”. 

2. Explain the role of bureaucracy in development?

 Ans.: Bureaucracy has become a universal phenomenon. It is a pre requisite of modernization of every society. Most developing countries are engaged in the process of nation building and bringing about rapid socio-economic development, ie, providing social services such as health, education, infrastructure like roads, electricity, productive activities in agriculture, industry etc. The complex of such formidable activities connected with the development enterprise is essentially the government’s responsibility. Here, public administration becomes the key agency of development. Bureaucracy can immensely contribute to development by serving as an adviser, as an inventor, and a decision-maker. It can vitalize administration by building up a social environment emphasising responsibility by creating incentives, by encouraging healthy competition and self development, by organising institutional management under competent and progressive leadership and by delegating authority to lower levels for maximising development.

Bureaucracy constitutes the apparatus and mechanism through which the state realizes its purposes. It has been rightly said that a country’s life is largely shaped by the quality of administration. A plan can succeed only if its administrative implications have been worked out in detail. Hence, a high degree of bureaucratic competence is essential to push through speedy development measures. In most developing countries, the problem is not the inability of the governments to devise rational programmes for development, but their incapacity to carry them out. 

3. What are the major characteristics of Weber’s model of Bureaucracy? 

Ans.: Max Weber, the German social scientist who was the first to make a systematic study of bureaucracy, described it as rational and the most efficient form of organisation. He described an ideal-type of bureaucracy as one characterised by: 

  1. Officials organised in fixed jurisdictional areas,
  2. A hierarchical arrangement of offices (organised in a pyramid like structure with each lower office under the control of a higher one),
  3. Written documents (files) that contain rules to be applied in every case,
  4. Anonymity,
  5. Impersonality in applying rules uniformly.
  6. Political neutrality 

4. Explain the principle of politics-administration dichotomy? 

Ans.: The conventional view of public administration is based upon the dichotomy of politics and administration 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 visualizes the relationship between the administrator and the politician in terms of a neat division of labour – 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 favour. 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 politicisation 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. 

SL. No.Chapters Link
1Meaning and Scope of Political ScienceClick Here
2Nation and StateClick Here
3Distinction Between Society, Nation, State and GovernmentClick Here
4Major Political TheoriesClick Here
5Preamble and The Salient Features of The Constitution of IndiaClick Here
6Fundamental RightsClick Here
7Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental DutiesClick Here
8Indian Federal SystemClick Here
9Emergency ProvisionsClick Here
10Union ExecutiveClick Here
11Parliament of IndiaClick Here
12Supreme Court of IndiaClick Here
13Executive in the StatesClick Here
14State LegislatureClick Here
15High Courts and Subordinate CourtsClick Here
16Local Government: Urban and RuralClick Here
17Universal adult franchise and the methods of representationClick Here
18Electoral System in IndiaClick Here
19National Political PartiesClick Here
20Regionalism and Regional PartiesClick Here
21Public Opinion and Pressure GroupsClick Here
22Communalism, Caste and ReservationsClick Here
23Environmental AwarenessClick Here
24Good GovernanceClick Here
25Human RightsClick Here
26India’s Foreign PolicyClick Here
27India’s Relations with USA and RussiaClick Here
28India and its Neighbors : China, Pakistan And Sri LankaClick Here
29Contemporary World OrderClick Here
30The United NationsClick Here
31United Nations’ Peace ActivitiesClick Here
32United Nations and Economic and Social DevelopmentClick Here
33Public Service CommissionsClick Here
34Administrative Machinery at the Centre, States and District LevelsClick Here
35Political Executive and BureaucracyClick Here
36Public Grievances and Redressal MachineryClick Here

5. Enumerate the factors responsible for the break down of the concept of neutrality? 

Ans. The traditional concept of neutrality, however, has been challenged on many grounds. The earlier concept of separation of politics and administration in watertight compartments is considered no more valid. The role of the Civil Service has been changing from being a mere agent of the political executive to that of collaboration with it. The involvement of bureaucracy in the political arena is now widely prevalent. 

The breakdown of the theory of neutrality has come about because of a number of reasons. Firstly, the processes of policy making are no longer confined to the political executive. The truth is that the bureaucrats play an important role in policy formulation, perceived to be the exclusive preserve of elected politicians.

This has happened because the statutes passed by the parliament are not clear enough. The legislative behaviour follows no consistent pattern. Whereas, some measures are too detailed, some only identify the problem. The minister is rarely an expert in the work of his department or the techniques of public administration. He merely has general ideas in line with the political ideology of his party, but he often is not sure what is the best solution to a particular problem. He is therefore forced to rely on his permanent staff for facts and advice. In effect then, it is the administrator who has a major role in framing the policy. 

Secondly, the decline of neutrality can be attributed to the demands and pressures of coalition politics. In coalition governments, ministers are busy in the power game and manoeuvring for their survival, and have neither time nor inclination to guide, direct and control their department or bureaucracy. Also at times, the legislative process is so stormy and full of diverse views that a statute passed incorporates a number of contradictory policy guidelines. The necessity of reaching a compromise solution to hold the coalition together leads the legislators to use vague language and the administrator has to use his own judgement to interpret the policy. Therefore, bureaucracy has clearly made inroads in policy making and despite the regulations governing the civil servants they have been politicised considerably. 

Thirdly, according to some political commentators, the classical theory of civil service neutrality presupposes agreement on principles fundamental to democracy. In other words, neutral, value-free bureaucracy is possible only in a society where consensus exists on values; but in transitional societies like India, where dissent and conflict exist, it is too much to expect anyone to be neutral. 

For a developing country like India where speedy socio economic development has to be steadily pushed through, the nature and character of bureaucracy assume special significance. The involvement of civil servants in numerous decisions, be it the location of a steel plant or a school building in a village, makes them partners in development along with the politicians. Their value preferences get inextricably mixed up with technical advice.

In the context of large-scale welfare programmes therefore, neutrality is not possible. In fact a certain commitment to the goals and objectives of the state on the part of bureaucracy is inescapable. Neutrality cannot be allowed to degenerate into disinterestedness. The successful carrying out of developmental tasks requires on the part of administrators not only qualities of initiative and leadership but also a sense of emotional integration with the policies and programmes and identification with the interests of the common man. The idea of bureaucracy as a neutral instrument in the conduct of public affairs thus stands refuted.

 6. What do you mean by ‘Committed Bureaucracy’? Is it desirable for India? 

Ans.: Weber’s model of bureaucracy was found inappropriate to effect the social transformation in many developing countries. In India, it received a good amount of criticism for its failure to meet the growing demands of social legislation. After two decades of independence, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister, advocated the concept of committed bureaucracy. Not only did she express her dissatisfaction with the performance of bureaucracy, she expressed doubt about the relevance of the basic assumptions underlying the Indian bureaucracy that of neutrality, impartiality, anonymity etc. and she alleged that the bureaucrats lacked commitment. She disgustingly referred to the administrative machinery as ‘the stumbling block in the country’s progress’ and reiterated the necessity of creating an administrative cadre committed to national objectives and responsive to Indian social needs. She found in ‘committed bureaucracy’ the answer to the ills of neutrality that crippled the development process in India. She had an earnest belief that only a committed bureaucracy can bring about the desired change. 

The concept of ‘committed bureaucracy’ was much contested in the political and administrative circles. It was alleged that it would permanently damage the fabric of the services. It would create a breed of pliable civil servants who would always say “Yes Minister” and would be ready to crawl when asked to bend by their political masters. It was also alleged that in the name of commitment the ruling party was seeking bureaucracy’s alignment with the party’s ideology in order to perpetuate its rule. However, it was later clarified by the government that commitment did not mean attachment to the ideology of the party in power, but a commitment to the development of the country and personal involvement of bureaucracy in the tasks as opposed to ostrich-like withdrawal and isolation from politics. 

Thus, if committed bureaucracy stands for a non-partisan, socially sensitive civil service, which can empathize with the politician who is genuinely interested in progress and development of the country, then a committed civil service is more appropriate for a developing nation than having an insensitive neutral one. 

7. Mention the causes of stress in the minister-civil servant relationship?

 Ans. In practice however commitment has assumed the perverted form of politicization and sycophancy. Commitment to social objectives is one thing and dancing to the tune of a political party is another. Very often it is seen that bureaucracy simply acts according to the dictates of the political executive without any independent examination of issues. This trend can be attributed to the ever-growing political interference in the affairs of administration. Political interference and impartial administration cannot co-exist.

While the administrators do not perceive their role in policy making as subservient to the political leaders because of their knowledge and expertise, yet they have to conform to the prerequisites of representative politics. The political leaders claim to be the true representatives of the people and know what is good for them and because of their superior position succeed in dictating the terms to the bureaucrats. The bureaucrats who are not obliging enough soon find themselves in trouble. The political masters have many means of coercion – both overt and covert. Political interference in all matters including those where the statutory power is vested in the civil servants is a constant phenomenon. There are numerous instances of use of transfer, promotion, supersession and compulsory retirement from service by elected politicians as tools to silence the voice of dissent and expression of difference of opinion. 

Well, politicisation works the other way round also. Many administrators use political influence or forge alliance with the politician to brighten their own career prospects. They take advantage of the amateur politician; exploit his weakness particularly in times of a fluid political situation and turn out to be autonomous and irresponsible. This is an equally grim scenario. What emerges from the analysis is that whether there is collision or collusion between the political executive and the bureaucracy, in both cases it leads to organisational imbalance and ultimately the governance suffers. 

8. How does politicization of bureaucracy affect the political system?

 Ans. In practice however commitment has assumed the perverted form of politicisation and sycophancy. Commitment to social objectives is one thing and dancing to the tune of a political party is another. Very often it is seen that bureaucracy simply acts according to the dictates of the political executive without any independent examination of issues. This trend can be attributed to the ever-growing political interference in the affairs of administration. Political interference and impartial administration cannot co-exist.

While the administrators do not perceive their role in policy making as subservient to the political leaders because of their knowledge and expertise, yet they have to conform to the prerequisites of representative politics. The political leaders claim to be the true representatives of the people and know what is good for them and because of their superior position succeed in dictating the terms to the bureaucrats. The bureaucrats who are not obliging enough soon find themselves in trouble. The political masters have many means of coercion – both overt and covert. Political interference in all matters including those where the statutory power is vested in the civil servants is a constant phenomenon. There are numerous instances of use of transfer, promotion, supersession and compulsory retirement from service by elected politicians as tools to silence the voice of dissent and expression of difference of opinion.

 9. Outline the various suggestions made by the Administrative Reforms Commission for improving the minister-civil servant relationship?

 Ans. Expressing concern over the deteriorating administrative standards, the government appointed the Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) in 1966 to conduct a comprehensive study of the administrative system and suggest remedies. The two most important areas touched upon by the ARC in its reports were: (a) Minister – Civil Servants relationship, wherein the ARC emphasized the need for the de-politicization of the services, and (b) the creation of a climate and culture of administration that would help assert the growth of unhealthy personal relationship between Civil Servants and Minister. 

The ARC took cognizance of the fact that proper relationship between the political executive and bureaucracy is a matter of highest importance to the administrative performance of government. It observed that the existing pattern of relationship was different from what was envisaged. More and more cases of deviation were coming to notice. For instance the extent of bureaucratic involvement in politics was exceptionally high, there was frequent use of transfers and postings to manipulate bureaucracy, there was unholy nexus between politicians and bureaucracy etc. which was taking its toll on administrative efficiency. 

Therefore, corrective measures were required to restore the health of the system. The ARC stressed the urgency to prevent bureaucracy’s aggressive role in politics and also a need to check arbitrary interference of politicians in administrative affairs. It believed that both Minister and Civil Servants must appreciate rather than belittle each other’s work and attempt maximum accommodation of one another’s views. On the part of the political executive there should be, in the words of the ARC, 

  1. a proper understanding of the administrative functions and recognition of its professional nature. 
  2. as little interference as possible in service matters, eg postings, transfers, promotions etc
  3.  no requests for departures from declared and approved policies to suit individual cases. 

Similarly, on the part of the civil service it asserts

  1. there must be a sincere and honest attempt to find out what the political head wants and make the necessary adjustment in policies and procedures to suit his wishes.
  2. readiness to fall in line with his political chief in all matters, unless strong grounds indicate a different course. In other words, it means an emotional and mental acceptance by the bureaucracy of the ideology of the government policy to be executed by it.

This Post Has 4 Comments

Leave a Reply