India Uncut

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Sunday, January 16, 2005

The chicken and egg of Indian bureaucracy

This is how, in theory, the bureaucracy should work: there is work to be done; a post is created to do that work; and a candidate is found to fill that post. But, as Vir Sanghvi explains in his excellent dissection of how India came to have a national security advisor, that process can be reversed sometimes. That post, he says, was created in order to keep Brajesh Mishra involved in foreign affairs after Jaswant Singh became foreign minister in the last government, and was retained by Manmohan Singh because "a job had to be found for [JN] Mani Dixit".

Now that Dixit is dead, Sanghvi wonders, will the government retain the otherwise redundant post? Or will "power-hungry insiders" lobby hard to be named Dixit's successor? I fear the second option, and I wouldn't be surprised if a mini-ministry evolves to support the post. Parkinson's Law, you see.
amit varma, 2:20 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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