Transforming the Steel Frame
by - Vinod Rai
The bureaucracy in India has been a study in contradictions. On the one hand, it represents the dream job for an entire population of Indians who take the UPSC examination to join the ‘steel frame’, keeping the country running. On the other hand, it is rife with tales of corruption and red tape, such that citizens dread any interaction with government officials of any order.
Curated by veteran bureaucrat, former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai, Transforming the Steel Frame: Promise and Paradox of Civil Service Reform examines the roles and responsibilities of the bureaucracy in modern times. It sets forth a vision of the future through an analysis and review of past attempts at reform, in the process revisiting the strengths of the systems as well as the flaws that prevent its optimal functioning. It includes the perspective of former civil servants who have been a part of this system for their entire lives and reflect on its problems while making recommendations for the future; officials who have participated in setting evaluation standards for the civil services and who have headed training academies and businesspersons who have worked both in the private and public domains and collaborated extensively with the bureaucracy.
In the breadth and thoroughness of its coverage, Transforming the Steel Frame provides an excellent overview of the civil services as they are and, more importantly, as they should be. The study that forms part of this book has been initiated by the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore.
About the Author
Vinod Rai is presently distinguished visiting research fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies in National University of Singapore. He is also a trustee on the Board of Trustees of the International Financial Reporting Standards. Starting his career in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1972, he rose to become the eleventh Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in 2008. He demitted office in May 2013. In 2016, Rai was appointed the first chairman of the newly created Banks Board Bureau (BBB).
He has authored Not Just an Accountant: The Diary of the Nation's Conscience Keeper, Rethinking Good Governance: Holding to Account India's Public Institutions, Not Just a Nightwatchman: My Innings in the BCCI and has co-edited Seven Decades of Independent India: Ideas and Relections. Rai was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2016, in recognition of his services to the nation.
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