Right people for right job

This rampant adhocracy does not augur well for us.

This write-up should not be interpreted as special liking for any particular section of administration or discriminatory attitude towards others. An efficient system of governance always runs in line with time tested traditions, set rules, procedures and a job chart prescribed for every designated entity within the system as per the qualification and level of learning. Any deviation for no reasons other than vested interests makes the whole administrative setup inefficient and faulty. In modern system of administration technocrats play a vital role in development and progress of nation and societies. Every person contributing in good governance with scientific knowledge and approach is a technocrat. Contribution of doctors, engineers and agriculture scientists is quite visible in administrative activities, but beyond this there are many other technical experts who are involved in administration at different levels. Quality human resource is unable to deliver efficiently to the best of their capability unless they are not provided congenial working conditions and level avenues of professional excellence in a dignified way. Technocrats under hostile working conditions are more often susceptible to inefficiency and disgruntlement.

Unfortunately, for the last more than two decades most of the technocrats within our administration have either been marginalized or the system shaped in a way so as to belittle this lot. Some departments and sections of administration cannot deliver or run without the exclusive scientific intervention and administration of technocrats. For that matter other specialized units of administration like education and social welfare can only be run efficiently by qualified and trained educationists and social scientists. Likewise a police department or emergency and disaster management units cannot be managed by any person who is not trained police personnel or well versed with managing emergencies and disasters. A particular administrative entity or section of administrative personnel cannot be ‘jacks of all trades’ and end as ‘master of none’.

Since long, throughout the country there are instances were instead of prominent educationists retired police or army officers are appointed as vice chancellors of universities. Is there dearth of distinguished academicians or able civil administrators that compel authorities to opt for such unjustified selections? If such appointments will be analyzed in right administrative and scientific perspective then all these fall under favoritism. Anyway, we are here to focus on technocrats and their diminishing role in affairs of administration. Recently, state government in a bid to fill up the vital post of director SKIMS (Sher-i-Kashmir institute of medical sciences), which was overdue for long, resorted to its favored delaying art of adhocracy. Yes, government was under tremendous pressure while selecting some qualified technocrat out of the existing lot within the state because of ongoing acrimony and hostilities among SKIMS faculty and other scientists. But, handing over the charge of most sensitive technical post to a person who may be qualified and experienced in managing routine administrative matters, but knows nothing about field of medical sciences and hospital administration is not only unjustified but unfair as well. Brushing aside hostile atmosphere within SKIMS government could have widened its net of selection and spread it far and wide to other parts of the country and chosen a much qualified director. A part-time and nontechnical head of the institution is unable to understand the requirements and difficulties of the faculty, scientist and other technical staff. Thus a demoralized technical human resource at SKIMS won’t be able to deliver to the satisfaction of hundreds of patients who visit the hospital.

The story of ‘kari najar ba dastie gilkar’ does not exist in SKIMS only. It has been going on for years now, in almost all technical and other specialized departments and units of administration. How can an arts knowing officer run agriculture marketing and processing section or manage command area development scheme for soil conservation and water management? How will a tourism expert steer technically complex and scientifically elaborate department like agriculture and horticulture development? How come a law knowing officer heading social welfare department can understand the needs of underprivileged and other socially deprived people without basic knowledge of social science. These are some stark realities of faulty human resource management in our administrative setup. Undermining the technocrats by promoting adhocracy and favoritism is one of the worst flaws in administration that breeds inefficiency and acrimony within the ranks.