Civil Services Reforms

Our civil services need a reboot


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Mission Karmayogi

Mains level: Paper 2- Mission Karmayogi

The Mission Karmayogi seeks to overhaul the bureaucracy in the country. The article discusses its aims and the challenges it could face.


  • The Union cabinet’s approval of Mission Karmayogi has raised the hope of a national bureaucracy that is adequately responsive to the country’s needs.

Need for the overhaul

  • The system’s focus needs to be role- rather than rule-specific,
  • Coordination should prevail over battles for control, and IAS officers ought to be enablers instead of red-tape wrappers. 
  • There has been a near consensus in the country that our system of policy implementation needs an overhaul.

What  is Mission Karmayogi

  • It is an upskilling initiative for government officials that aims to fix and galvanize India’s administration.
  • As envisaged, the Karmayogi training mechanism will cover an estimated 4.6 million officials at all levels.
  • Due to the scale of the exercise elaborate multi-tier command structure is expected to be put in place for it.
  • At its apex would be a Human Resource Council, headed by the Prime Minister.
  • Human Resource Council shall approve and monitor various skill-enhancing programmes as well as review the performance of employees routinely.


  • Given the way our bureaucracy has operated for decades, Mission Karmayogi is likely to prove disruptive.
  • The idea of being subject to continuous evaluation by a central authority could unsettle some officers.
  • There has been some disquiet within IAS ranks over the Centre’s lateral induction of people for senior roles, perhaps the new mission will resolve such disgruntlement.


Gentralized supervision of such large numbers does not promise to be easy. Globally, centralization has been observed to militate against diversity of thought. And that’s vital to the governance of a country like India.

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