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Ministry of External Affairs seeks to recruit laterally. What will be...

  Dec 24, 2016

Ministry of External Affairs seeks to recruit laterally. What will be the impact? Suggest more such reforms.

The Ministry of External Affairs has decided to take academics and private sector candidates in its Policy Planning and Research. It represents a significant movement towards a more interactive, open-minded approach on augmenting capacity and innovation within the Ministry of External Affairs. It is good that boundaries between the MEA and the world outside are made less rigid so as to permit innovative thinking in various areas, political, economic, developmental and cultural.

Over the last few years, particularly since 2010, the MEA has inducted into its offices at headquarters, deputationists from other central services of government.

A carefully calibrated expansion in the scope of lateral entry would be an appropriate strategy to infuse fresh talent into the country’s bureaucratic system.

It is suggested that some young officers should be permitted to work outside government – in corporates and nonprofits – for short periods enabling important exposure to new ideas and innovative management techniques and providing more energy, talent and dynamism in the functioning of the ministry. Even more importantly, there should be a much more active interchange of officers between the Ministries of External Affairs, Defence, Home Affairs, Finance and Commerce given the critical and interlinked nature of the areas of policy they deal with.

The MEA could also  take from state governments as the role of such governments in the execution and determination of foreign policy is becoming more substantive and important.