Bureaucracy Doldrums

Bureaucracy Doldrums

CSS 2021 Solved Essay | Bureaucracy Doldrums | CSS and PMS Solved Essays by Sir Syed Kazim Ali Students

Hafsa Qureshi attempts the essay “Bureaucracy Doldrums” on the given pattern, which Sir Syed Kazim Ali teaches his students, who have consistently been qualifying their CSS and PMS essays. Sir Syed Kazim Ali has been Pakistan’s top English writing and CSS, PMS essay and precis coach with the highest success rate of his students. The essay is uploaded to help other competitive aspirants learn and practice essay writing techniques and patterns.

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Thesis Statement: An inefficient and corrupt bureaucracy, exemplified by Pakistan’s system, hinders a nation’s social, political, and economic progress. To achieve an effective bureaucracy, reforms are necessary, including strengthening institutions, implementing administrative changes, and promoting meritocratic career paths with training programs.

2. Contextualizing the significance of bureaucracy for a country 
3. Culture of bureaucracy in Pakistan 
4. How the bureaucracy is in the doldrums in Pakistan 

  • ✓ Existing Colonial mindset
  • ✓ Enduring Power tussle
  • ✓ Lacking bureaucrats’ liability
  • ✓ Proliferating Political influence
  • ✓ Lacking training programs
  • ✓ Inflating absence of the sense of authority

5. How the bureaucratic doldrum influenced Pakistan’s growth 

  • ✓ Prevailing social stratification
  • ✓ Persuading the culture of nepotism  
  • ✓ Shrinking of meritocracy
  • ✓ Exalting unemployment
  • ✓ Surging poverty
  • ✓ Bulging corruption and lawlessness

6. How the system of bureaucracy can be greased in Pakistan  

  • ✓ To ensure the absolute role of concerned institutions
  • ✓ To execute administration reforms
  • ✓ To encourage training and career program
  • ✓ To devise the hierarchal check and balance

7. Critical analysis
8. Conclusion 

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A mature and efficient bureaucratic structure is indispensable for acquiring a well-versed governance mechanism, a roadmap upon which the socio-economic and political survival of the country travels. In fact, resilient officialdom is a mainstay that aids the government in prudently operating the machinery of a state and achieving its national say. On the contrary, ignorance of managerial significance can lead a country into a swamp of perpetual instability. For instance, developing nations, such as Sweden, Portugal, Denmark, and Pakistan, because of their dismal administration, are in a whirlpool of bureaucratic existential crises. Supplementing and, in some ways, overshadowing all other concerns, the doomed bureaucratic system of Pakistan has perhaps the most notorious fact about the country, making it suffer socially, politically, and economically. Ever since its inception, Pakistan has remained entrapped under the scourge of flawed bureaucratic mechanisms. The system portrays a colonial mindset and is highly obsessed with grasping power- creating a pit and paving the way for the social difference between the officials and the public. Further, the indecisiveness of bureaucrats, political alignment and interference, lack of training, and a sense of authority that is vested in it are other factors that prevent the implementation of an effective administrative mechanism. Moreover, the limited role of the state as an organization and lack of accountability has also affected the country’s economic health. According to the Transparency International (TI) report, the country stands at 140 out of 180 because of the weak rule of law and state capacity. Nonetheless, the ship has not sailed yet. The ambition to have an ideal bureaucracy can be achieved by the absolute role of responsible institutions, execution of administrative reforms, and promulgation of career progression along with training programs. This essay thoroughly explores the trembling condition of the country’s bureaucracy, the factors behind pernicious political and socio-economic health, and doable measures to tackle the menace of rotten bureaucracy.

Bureaucracy is an administrative device that ensures the country’s procedural correctness irrespective of the circumstances and goals. It is the engine that regulates the effective working of the state by providing a hierarchical division of labour, allocating jobs and resources, and promoting the accumulation of expertise along with regular service delivery. As Quaid- e -Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah aptly said, “Civil service is the backbone of the state. Governments are formed. Governments are defeated; Prime Ministers come and go; Ministers come and go, but bureaucracy stays on.” In other words, bureaucracy is an eminent pillar of the state that can mark or mar the country’s fate.

The trend of bureaucracy followed in Pakistan is the continuation of the Colonial Government of India. Since its inception in 1947, Pakistan has followed the British raj bureaucratic system with its heart and soul. Pakistan’s bureaucracy is bifurcated into Federal and provincial authorities. The federal civil servants are hired by the Federal Chief secretary and are bound to deal with federal matters. In contrast, the Provincial civil are appointed by the Provincial Chief Secretary and is liable to ensure the implementation of policies and laws followed by the role of legislative work and semi-judiciary work at provincial levels. Moreover, the civil services of Pakistan select only 7.5% of applicants by merit and 92.5% by the quota system. However, despite the organized structure, the bureaucracy of Pakistan has failed to provide its utmost delivery for the public’s welfare.

The bureaucracy of Pakistan is not, groundlessly, in torpidity. There are a number of factors which are responsible for the circumstances. Here, the light will be shed on the reasons that have jammed the wheel of the bureaucracy in the country. To initiate, breathing colonial ethos has injured the spirit of bureaucracy more than anything. After the partition, both India and Pakistan took over the bureaucratic legacy of the British. By following this, they adopted the practice of dominating every sphere of life, most prominently in politics. Though, the situation is no less different in contemporary times. Still, deep-seated colonial ideology impeded Pakistan’s progression like it has been for ages. The continuation of the oligarchic arrangement is the most evident proof of this, which continued to provide special privileges to certain groups in terms of education, military, and, notably, bureaucracy. Thus, colonialism clogs the delivery of bureaucracy.

Further, the tug of war-between influential is another factor that has rightly been considered one of the reasons behind the bureaucratic weakening in the country. The presence and persistence of prestige, influence, and power vested by the bureaucracy have manifested a remarkable sense of elitism among bureaucrats that have subdued the changing social and political circumstances to maintain their “supreme status” in the state and society. Moreover, rather than catering to the needs of emerging democracies in sovereign states, bureaucracies saw themselves as elite institutions with inalienable privileges to govern and influence governance. As Zafarullah, the former president of the United Nations General Assembly, aptly said, “The prestige, social esteem, influence, authority and permanency of tenure that a position in the prime civil service carries provided the impetus for elitism to further endure in bureaucracies.” In brief, bureaucracy has generally failed to play its deliberate role in providing essential public services; instead, it has been used as a platform for pursuing power politics by direct or indirect means.

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Moreover, the country’s bureaucracy lags a sense of liability, putting the administrative mechanism of the country on the verge of collapse. Bureaucrats are so indulged in power politics that they turn a blind eye to their responsibilities, thus, creating social and political instability. Consequently, people are suffering in long queues to get their work done. In contrast, the administrative department has been badly strangled in formalities and failed to trade effectively in a more robust communication mechanism. Thus, these practices lead the country towards bureaucratic doldrums.

Apart from inefficient service delivery, Pakistan’s bureaucracy is also under the scourge of political influence. When it comes to administration effectiveness, politics plays an important role. However, Pakistan is not blessed in this regard. Political interference is at its peak and has dwindled the bureaucratic might of the country. Whether it’s appointment vs dismissal or promotion vs demotion, everything is one phone call away from an influential authority. As a result, the nation faces the wrath of flawed bureaucratic performances to a greater extent.

In addition to political interference, one factor halting the bureaucracy’s proficient output is the lack of training programs. The brainchild of the British raj, followed by a deep-seated colonial mindset, has disturbed the country’s social fabric and created a sense of superiority in the minds of civil servants. As a result, the country’s administration lacks training and is not well-versed with modern technologies and rational policies to end the locals’ grievances and continue to live their palatial lives. Therefore, there is a need for more training mechanisms to improve the country’s progress.

Here, it would be unfair not to discuss the impacts of incompetent bureaucracy because they are too severe to be ignored. Some of them will be brought under debate. To start with, an inept administration promotes social stratification in society. Despite collecting society under one umbrella, it divides them into different classes, thus, aggrandizing societal stratification. People are getting help based on their social status. The rich enjoy the privileges, whereas the poor face the music of their debarment. This situation is leading society towards the predicament of the class system.

Similar to the prevailing social stratification, the persuading culture of nepotism is the other most well-known fact impacting the country’s administration. As Steven Magee. A world-leading expert in human science and a writer rightly said, “Political donations are a form of nepotism.” The culture of favouritism could take you to the high sky of success or dump you in the dark aisle of failure. It all depends upon the level of association one has in the administration department. This modus operandi affects the administration’s performance and harms society’s social and psychological health. Thus, the trend of favouritism hampering the efficacy of bureaucracy.

In like manner, flawed managerial devices also paved the way for shrinking the meritocracy in the country. It is a widely known fact that nepotism and meritocracy cannot move hand in hand. Breathing nepotism has murdered the meritocracy, and ill-eligible appointments have become the norm in the system. Whether it is an educational department or a judicial appointment, references are the strongest credentials one can possess. Back in 2018, there were cases of murder of merit by the Sindh Public Service Commission (SPSC). The department was identified to be involved in malpractices, and extra marks were granted to the ‘chosen one’. Hence, unsound administration is also impacting meritocracy as a whole.

The unsound bureaucracy is hurting the meritocracy and exalting the country’s unemployment and poverty. Heaps of people are jobless because of deep-rooted political influence and nepotism. Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) reported that over 31 per cent of Pakistan’s youth are unemployed. Of this figure, 51 per cent are females, while 16 per cent are males, with many holding professional degrees. The report also revealed that a large working-age group is not even a part of the labour force; there are either discouraged workers or underpaid because of the circumstances. Moreover, unemployment also makes way for surging poverty in society. As per the World Macro Poverty Outlook, 22% of Pakistan’s total population lives below the poverty line. Therefore, inefficient bureaucracy impacts the social and economic stability of the country.

Last but not least, bungling officialdom helps corruption and lawlessness to boom in society. However, it destroys the country’s economic outlook and consumes social wealth. The same is the case with Pakistan; corruption and prevailing lawlessness halt Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and disrupt the country’s social fabric. The leading businesses are hesitating to invest in the country because of rampant corruption and deteriorating law and order. According to Transparency Index, Pakistan ranked 140 out of 180 countries regarding corruption. This leads to a low GDP ratio because of low investments and businesses.

However, bureaucracy is at the core of Pakistan’s political, social, and administration downfall. Its repercussions are deep, but it is not an impregnable issue to resolve. Just like, if there is a will, there is a way. Some practicable measures may prove to lessen the intensity of the crisis. To begin with, all authoritative institutions must perform their duties with all their heart and soul for the betterment of the state. Moreover, collaboration is the key to achieving sustainable progress in the country. If legislative, executive, and judiciary work together for the public’s welfare, the country can easily be out of this menace within no time.

Second, the 21st century is all about reforms and innovative ideas, as with bureaucracy. Our bureaucratic system is in dire need of reforms as old practices are proved to be lethal for the existing system. Reforms in the administrative department are at the top of the priority list, supplementarily with resource utilization and society management. Reforms that provide impetus to utmost performance and delivery of the officialdom.

Third, there is always room for betterment in every sphere of life. To ensure the performance of Pakistan’s civil services department, authorities must devise different training and career programs to uplift the bureaucratic institution in the country. Training and career awareness will benefit the bureaucrats, create ease for the nation, and motivate the locals to be better assets to their country rather than moving out.

Lastly, bureaucracy is an organization that lays its foundation on hierarchy. Ensuring accountability at all levels is indispensable to keeping the bureaucracy in check. It is a widely known adage that transparency is not about restoring trust in institutions. On the contrary, transparency is the politics of managing mistrust. Therefore, an absolute need exists to devise a hierarchal check and balance to make the bureaucracy unbeatable. Rigorous observance and exemplary punishment are helpful in this regard. Thus, the differentiation of power reduces dishonesty and ensures prosperity.

Admiring the success of others will not help you to touch the glory of success. It needs hard work and dedication to end the miseries. Despite the important role of bureaucracy in the development and sustainability of the country, concrete efforts have yet to be made so far in Pakistan. Bureaucracy is rightly considered the keystone on which the edifice of a polity rests. The state must take initiatives to counter the malice of colonialism and power hunger among the institutions. Moreover, check and balance should be regarded as a basic right and not a favour to the nation. Not only bureaucrats but politicians should perform their duties honestly to make society unbeatable. Although the road to stability is a little bumpy, consistency could help pass the sea of crisis. However, the collective efforts of all institutions are all that Pakistan needs to touch the high sky of organizational development and progression.

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