Even the best of training has its limitations. Nevertheless, the Academy has been engaging itself steadfastly with this onerous task. However, how much of its effort gets reflected in the performance of officers remains a moot question. The correlation between the training imparted in Mussoorie and the quality of public services in the heat and dust of Indian polity should be unquestionable. Second, there has been no serious attempt to record the experiences of the trainees/officers at the field/secretariat levels and publish them in scholarly journals, enabling others to benefit from such exposures. The Academy journal, The Administrator, does not seem to have any discernible impact on the academic discourse on the various facets of our governance. Are the days of scholar-administrators gone Third, what have been the outputs of the five national centres How does such research inform the training curriculum Has the Academy realised its potential to emerge as the main think tank for civil service reforms?
Civil servants are aware that the public sometimes resent the bureaucracy, often for valid reasons. Politicians criticise the bureaucracy as blocking the course of development. These days, Ministers are not always willing to accept responsibility for their own decisions. The reputation of officers is being unduly tarnished all the time. Shouldn't the Academy help build a national consensus on these contentious issues
The challenge lies in how civil servants maintain their integrity and efficiency while serving in a system that deals with power play and corruption. Fortunately, there are umpteen instances of civil servants playing their role neutrally and resolutely. Idealism as a virtue may be on the wane, but has not vanished altogether.
In defending and expanding the constitutional values and in adhering to the spirit of various progressive legislation, the IAS and other Services have played a significant role in nation-building. Despite our 'uncertain glory', if one looks at the trajectory of independent India and compares it with that of our immediate neighbours, our higher bureaucracy appears to be a defining difference. The Academy in Mussoorie deserves some credit for that.
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