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The steel frame is crumbling

Amar Chandel’s hard-hitting article “Is ‘steel frame’ crumbling?” (Dec 8) is a timely and a blunt reminder to the nation that Indian governance has degraded enormously since the world class ICS steel frame was inherited by the IAS.

Indians as a race are a fractious lot and unite only when the country faces a national challenge or debacle. Ironically, the one issue on which all Indians across gender, age and social position unanimously agree is that the IAS is indeed a sad caricature of its highly pedigreed forbearers.

Tunnel vision, rank corruption, misuse of the ‘old boys’ tie for bailing out colleagues in trouble, a near total lack of commitment, ethics and morality are today their calling cards. It is the motto of “work is its own reward” that needs to be infused into the DNA of the IAS.

What we need is that the steel frame be upgraded to a titanium one; not downgraded to one made with (recycled) aluminium. Public awareness and the RTI can make that possible.

Maj Gen RAJ MEHTA (retd), SAS Nagar


Improving civil services is of paramount importance and cannot be delayed any further. About one-third of the country is already reeling under the Maoists and the Naxals due to sheer mis-governance. Besides, corruption is eating into the very vitals of the nation.

Instead of allowing the aspirants to join services up to 30 years of age, when it is difficult or even impossible to change their mind set and value system, their induction should be after plus two just as it is for the defence services, through the National Defence Academy (NDA).

It would be ideal if the NDA is expanded and a civil services wing is raised there, wherein they are trained just as their counterparts are trained for the military. Later, after acquiring proper education and ethos, they can be sent for specialised training at their academy at Mussoorie.

Brig HARWANT SINGH (retd), SAS Nagar


Mr Chandel has described the reality of Indian civil services. By and large, this service has become corrupt and has become a non-performer.

The Hong Kong-based agency in a survey has stated that the Indian bureaucracy is the “worst”, “suffocating” and “least efficient” in the world. The government has decided to table a Civil Services Bill, 2009 that performance will guide postings and promotions of IAS and IPS officers. The unholy nexus between politicians and bureaucrats leads to favouritism, cronyism and vendetta administration.

M L GARG, Chandigarh

UK’s immigration policies 

Your editorial “Indian IT professionals to suffer” alleges that the UK’s immigration policies are designed to prevent non-whites from coming to the UK and are specifically targeted at Asians. This extraordinary claim is both offensive and absolutely untrue. The UK’s policies are global and apply in a uniform manner across the world regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or skin colour.

Contrary to your claim that Britain is “selectively shutting its borders to non-whites”, 70 per cent of our total Tier 2 (work permit) visas were issued to Indian nationals in the last 12 months. In that same period more than 50 per cent of all Intra Company Transfers were issued to Indian nationals. 

 We strongly encourage inward investment in the UK’s economy and the entry of foreign workers with the skills we need. The same policies apply as much to Americans, Canadians and Australians as they do to Indians.

You also say that we are discriminating against Asian students. This is a bizarre allegation given that this year we have issued more student visas to Indians than ever before (over 50,000 this year). There are now more Indians studying in the UK than from any other country except China.

Sir Richard Stagg, British High Commissioner, New Delhi



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