Lateral entry in civil services: An attempt to dodge the gadget of reservations

by Micheal Quinn

IN June 2018, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) invited applications for joint secretary-rank posts in revenue, economic offerings, economic affairs, and several other departments. This turned into the primary example of recruitments at the extent of joint secretary being made via the lateral entry mode. 6000 individuals carried out for ten posts. 9 have been ultimately selected.


The moved quickly flow to induct bureaucrats via the lateral access route got here as a wonder to many. In August 2016, the Minister of State for Personnel had said in Parliament that there was no concept to constitute a committee to look at the feasibility of lateral entry into the civil services.

Supporters of the circulate see it as a game-changer to usher in changes inside the paperwork. Its opponents see it as a mechanism to push sympathizers of the current dispensation into the authorities. This piece seeks to study the legality of the flow and whether it can resist judicial scrutiny.

The civil provider in India

It is not unusual for constitutions to regulate politics. One of the striking features of the Indian Constitution is Part XIV that specializes in the forms. Members of the Constituent Assembly placed a extraordinary deal of significance on an independent civil provider. M. Ananthasayanam Ayyangar described a contented civil provider “as the backbone of the usa.” Sardar Patel was even more vehement. Speaking at the floor of the Assembly in October 1949, Patel harassed on the significance of the offerings, therefore:

“The Union will go you may now not have a united India when you have now not an awesome all-India service which has the independence to speak out its thoughts, which has a sense of protection that you will stand by your phrase and, that in the end there may be the Parliament, of which we can be proud, in which their rights and privileges are comfortable. If you do now not undertake this direction, then do no longer comply with the prevailing Constitution. Substitute something else.

Put in a Congress Constitution or a few other constitutions or put in RSS. Constitution – anything you want – but not this Constitution. This Constitution is meant to be worked by way of a hoop of Service which will hold the usa intact. There are many impediments on this Constitution to be able to bog down us; however, regardless of that, we’ve in our collective know-how come to a selection that we will have this version wherein the hoop of Service might be such to keep the usa below control.”

A examination of the modern authorities’ moves over the last few years indicates a systematic attempt to deny reservations policy. The wide variety of direct recruitments via the united states has fallen extensively over the last few years. The number of recruits has fallen from 1,236 in 2014 to 759 in 2018. Now, dozens of bureaucrats are set to go via the lateral entry gadget, which no longer offers reservation. If this trend keeps, and it seems it most likely will, then the reservation policy can be significantly undermined.

The final results of these debates changed into Part XIV of the Constitution, which deals with services beneath the state. Article 315 of the Constitution provides for the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and the State Public Service Commissions (SPSC).

The powers and functions of those commissions are contained in Article 320, which holds that it is their duty to behavior examinations for appointments to the Union’s offerings and the State’s offerings. Article 320 additionally affords that those commissions ought to be consulted on all subjects associated with the technique of recruitment for civil services and civil posts.

The mode of recruitment into the offerings is well known. The UPSC conducts an annual exam for which as many as a million applicants appear every 12 months. A 2d examination and an interview observe this. Some 759 candidates were encouraged to numerous offerings this 12 months. The hiring of 9 applicants this year is the primary example of recruitment through the lateral entry path.

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