OF TRANFERS AND POSTINGS
The buzzword in government service, it has come a long way from what it was intended to be. Transfer is a utility in favour of good governance to delink the person from the geography, the location and the jurisdiction as we call in government parlance. It is an objective tool to keep government servants on their toes and the paternalistic government / management would keep making transfers in best interest of the people who are to be served. Undoubtedly, there are some rules governing it, but the backend presumption is that it would happen in a near mechanical fashion as per those, something skin to the same happening through a software with rules as the business logic.
The government servant as per the legal mandate is not supposed to do anything, now does the government or the competent authority has anything to do with, who the person is. It was supposed to be person / official agnostic, and pristine transfers were to happen in a divine manner. Posting is another story. It was also supposed to happen in an agnostic manner, all posts in the same rank, were legally the same, carrying the same perks and salary. But posts have transformed themselves into a totally different animal, and so has postings. The nature of features attached to a post have become more like the ever-changing features of a mobile phone.
Far away from the legal mandate, today transfers and postings have become the biggest preoccupation of a government servant, a million times more important that doing justice to his job description. Political influence as per the prevalent rules are not only abhorred, it would invite disciplinary action on the official himself. The operating system of the day is that government is busy in organising for transfer and posting all the time. It has become a non-mandated super critical task of elected representatives. By now this system has become a well-oiled machine. Suffice to say, the competent authority who has been mandated to evaluate and effect transfers, now de facto is left with only the clerical job of issuing the order.
The transfer season is bureaucracies’ election time. All is fair in love, war and transfers. Transfers are nearly always associated to a specific post, that is where the magic sauce is. The transformation of transfers from an effective tool of good governance to an industry has been one of biggest accomplishments in the maturing journey of the India democracy. What a way to handle human resource? It is party, geography, culture and even level agnostic. The combination of inputs adding up to that magic influence can keep changing. To continue in the same post has its own complexities and also continuing to remain in the same area brings in further complications. But our de facto system is well equipped to handle any of these issues albeit for a price. We also queer cases of continuing beyond the retirement goal post. All this happens in public interest, with public missing as a norm.
BUREAUCRACY HAS PRIORITISED TRANSFER / POSTINGS WAY AHEAD OF DELIVERING GOVERNANCE.
Have a nice evening.