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Lateral Entry into Indian Civil Services



  Mar 02, 2024

Lateral Entry into Indian Civil Services



What is lateral entry in the context of the Indian government?
Lateral entry refers to the process of appointing individuals from the private sector, state government, autonomous bodies, or public sector undertakings directly to mid-level and senior positions in the government. This initiative targets positions such as joint secretaries, directors, and deputy secretaries, aiming to bring in domain-specific expertise and fresh perspectives to enhance governance.

Why has the Indian government introduced lateral entry?

The government introduced lateral entry to diversify the pool of talent in its administrative machinery. By bringing in specialists with proven expertise and experience in specific domains, the initiative seeks to bolster policy formulation and implementation with innovative ideas and best practices from the private and public sectors outside the traditional civil services.

Who can apply for lateral entry positions?

Individuals working in the private sector, state governments, autonomous bodies, or public sector undertakings with domain expertise and a proven track record in relevant fields are eligible to apply for these positions. The selection criteria typically emphasize professional accomplishment and subject matter expertise.

How are candidates selected for lateral entry positions?

The selection process for lateral entry positions is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) or other designated bodies. It usually involves a combination of application screening, personal interviews, and assessments designed to evaluate the candidate’s expertise, experience, and suitability for the role in the government.

How many private sector specialists have been appointed through lateral entry so far?

As of the latest update, a total of 38 private sector specialists have been appointed through the lateral entry scheme. This includes appointments to the positions of joint secretaries, directors, and deputy secretaries across various government departments.

What impact has lateral entry had on the Indian bureaucracy?

The lateral entry initiative aims to enhance the efficiency, responsiveness, and effectiveness of the Indian bureaucracy by integrating external expertise and fresh perspectives. While it’s still relatively early to measure the long-term impact, the expectation is that these appointments will lead to more innovative policy-making and improved governance outcomes.

Can lateral entrants become permanent government employees?

Lateral entrants are typically appointed on a contractual basis, with the terms of their employment specified by the government at the time of their appointment. The possibility of their absorption into permanent government positions depends on the policies and discretion of the government.

What are the challenges associated with lateral entry?

Integrating private sector specialists into the government poses challenges, including cultural assimilation, navigating the bureaucratic framework, and ensuring seamless collaboration between career civil servants and lateral entrants. Additionally, there are concerns about the transparency and fairness of the selection process, which the government aims to address through rigorous assessment and selection procedures.
 


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