Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Depoliticization of Civil Service in Nepal

Overall Productivity of Civil Service Declines in Nepal
Krishna Hari Pushkar
Depoliticization of civil service has become an urgent need for Nepal since the politicized civil service failed to fulfill the motto and goal of the democracy and contemporary need of the people. The newest international and national multi-dimensional governance related reports and indicators also shown that overall productivity of civil service is declining besides the huge efforts for betterment and professional advancement inside the system of civil service.
The experiences have already proved that politicized civil service severely lacks the basic characters and functional competences for that it stands for. Therefore, in order to make the civil service more competent, vigorous, service-oriented and responsible" Depoliticization" must be urgently internalize to neutralize the civil service from politicization.
The article explains the issues that are learned through professional experiences. Basically, the article illustrates about the basics causes of politicization, why the depoliticization is become an important issue now and how it can be done into civil service of Nepal. The article suggests some practical homegrown suggestions that would helpful to address the contemporary issues of depoliticization.
Depoliticization is a widely applied term that explains about the political neutralization. In general, it means removal of political aspects, infections, influence or control. It is an act or process of depoliticizing. Simply, the depoliticization means to deprive from political character, tendency and its malpractices. Accordingly, the depoliticization of civil service means bringing and driving the civil service into right track, right approach and right way, and bumping off the unproductive political dogmatism respectively.
The depoliticization of civil service means making free the service from overwhelming political control, influence, and ideology. It means removing the political infections, hula-hula, and enabling and restoration of the rational character, competences, qualities and nature of civil service. The depoliticization restores the professional discipline, rationale enforcement of civil service law, and support enhancement of the professional productivity. Here the productivity of the civil service covers the overall areas of tasks, responsibilities and assignments that are allocated to the civil service.
Some of the scholars also claim that productivity of democracy is directly proportional to the productivity of civil service. So, it is important to have better civil service for better democracy.
Nepal is passing though a long chaotic transition because of the political polarization and growing political communalism that may a big unfortunate for the people and the nation. It is a common phenomena of a post conflict transitional country that its' civil service is overwhelmingly politicized since the overall governance system became fragile specially for the country who are moving towards restructuring phases. The shifting nature of governance and government unrest also fuel the politicization of civil service in some extend, if the bureaucracy and its leaders are not strong enough to protect their professionalism and dignity.
Major Character of Politicized Civil Service
Politicized civil service is a major consequence of political transition, where state suffers with heavy transition and instability. Except some exceptions, politicized civil service is a symptom of anarchism, it drives the nation towards failure, it fuels conflicts, impunity, it plosives the development process and boom the corruption and authority abuses throughout the country. Politicized civil service kills the public expectations and spoils the nation and people simultaneously. The criminalization is another principal aspect of the politicized civil service, where such system performs several civil and criminal offenses in the name of political backup. The politicized civil service brutally attack on professionalism.
Major Causes of Politicized Civil Service
There are so many different causes have been identified and it depends on the country or institution specific scenario. However, some major causes include the political transition, post conflict scenario, state restructuring process, instable governance and government, over political influence, political polarization, political affiliation, deficiency in law enforcement, nepotism and favoritism, corruption and authority abuses, poor professionalism, crisis of discipline, incompetent civil personnel, unhealthy competition over strong job security, socioeconomic greed etc.
Depoliticization is an Important Issue
Depoliticization has become an important issue if the country wants to reinstate the peace, prosperity and happiness. No country wishes to suffer with such long-term chronic illnesses that are produced by the politicized civil service. Therefore, the depoliticization is considered a kind of administrative engineering and institutional therapy that can help the civil service to neutralize from the political infections.
The civil service is a modus operandi of the government and all the government plan, policy, program can be achieved through the civil service system. No government can achieve its goal and motto until civil service involve within. Therefore, it is an important that depoliticization must be enforced to help the state and government to achieve success in effective and efficient manner. The depoliticized civil service is the civil services that have huge capabilities to achieve its mission as expected by the state and its people.
The depoliticization can bring the civil service from irresponsible to responsible, incompetent to competent, anarchy to order, poverty to prosperity and many more good symptoms. Specifically, it widely supports the progressive national development process; installation and operation of competent public service deliveries. The treated system may keep the state and its people happy, healthy and hopeful.
Depoliticization prevent the nation from failure, it helps the nation building, national unity and restoration or socioeconomic harmony throughout the country. The result of depoliticization may strengthen the national images and dignity not only inside but also among international community. Therefore, now depoliticization has become unavoidable and an urgent issue for Nepal.
Instruments of Depoliticization
There is no single or specific instrument that can just help to depoliticization process. However, there are several options and tools that are available but it needs to choose in accordance with the situation and requirement. Some of them can be described as follows:
Firstly, the depoliticization process may enforce through psychological therapy, it means a kinds of brainwash program need to practice during the various pre-service and in-service training of the civil service. Mostly the brainwash training is found more effective in entry level in terms of military pre-service training. Specially, psychological treatment and therapy is essential to transform political scenario into depoliticization.
Secondly, legal and administrative therapy, it means necessary legal and administrative actions need to make more practical, effective and efficient against those who breach the code of conduct, ethical norms and values, professional disciplines and the norms and parameter that are developed to follow for the civil servants. Specially, performance evaluation and monitoring system need to tie up with pay and promotion. Particularly, the supervisors should be strengthened and equipped with necessary disciplinary powers and authority that will help to command the junior.
The existing arrangements are neither found practical nor enforceable. Thirdly, social therapy, the both positive and negative social actions against the politicized personnel need to utilize in more scientific manner since it is considered as more productive in contemporary world. It also includes social dialogues, coaching, counseling, and other. Fourthly, contingency therapy, this therapy includes various adhoc activities as per the nature and character of the target group.
It may need specific qualities, creativity and investigative mind of the management who can quickly manage and design the scenario. Occasionally, it may requires some motivational arrangements for positive handling and cautionary actions including arrest, imprisonment etc. Lastly, religious therapies (e.g. Garud Puran for Hindu) and some traditional mind management methodologies should be introduced to depoliticize the civil service and enhance ethical and moral capabilities of civil personnel.
Firstly, high-tech engineering is essential to regulate the behavioral aspects of the all civil personnel to take care and update the intelligential issues (personnel profiling) against them where it required. It will collect necessary proofs and evidences of their political episodes which may present against them in front of judicial or quasi-judicial authorities.
Secondly, administrative engineering, it is required urgently for depoliticization, as the existing system, organizational structure, governance and performance deliver system are also responsible in some extend to enhance politicization, therefore, it is an important to execute the suitable restructuring process by doing rationale and scientific organization and method (O & M) to meet the goal, target and objective of the contemporary scenario. Thirdly, customized tools and techniques (e. g. disqualification for promotion, detached from pension and allowances, bar from fringe benefits etc with justification) need to adopt to disconnect and unfasten the unnatural ties between the political and administrative domains and actors.
Also, it talks about the scientific relationship and also clear-cut enforceable limitation between the political and civil service actors. Lastly, personnel engineering should be operated and managed on professionalism and through customized mechanism in accordance with the need of the state, institution and people rather than the other parameters.
Firstly, there should be either one or no trade union in civil service, and it should be not treated equally as other trade union like other sector and rest deregistered. Trade unions must be closed down if it directly or indirectly declares or perform behavior as a sister organization of political parties. Similarly, the political parties must be declare ineligible if they found any civil service trade union as their sister organization.
Any direct or indirect political affiliation or behavior or biasness must be consider to the any members of the civil service as ineligibility for further career development that will help to stay all member of the civil service more neutral and committed. Secondly, pick-up and adhoc plough system in career development should be abolished and must be transformed into scientific self calculated predictable approached throughout the career management process of the civil service.
Thirdly, nepotism and favoritism should be abolished if anyone found guilty anywhere in an active or prejudice affiliation in favour of anyone. Fourthly, impunity, corruption and authority abuse should be kept as an issue of zero tolerance regardless the people and their positions. Specially, economic transaction between politicians and civil servants must be detached. Hello effect must be recorded, and controlled by publicizing through the media. Fifthly, activities and tendency of political people and their followers are found highly unethical, most of them considered as high impunity producers, so they must be bring under the jurisdictions of law enforcement agencies and associated to their future political career. And lastly, grievances handing and complain management must be handled by the respective superior authority and reward and punishment should be immediately allocated against the respective official, if such grievances and complain do not addressed properly in timely manner.
Social Reformation
Castisms, social structure and communalism are also among the main causes of the politicization, so our social system needs to transform by bringing socioeconomic prosperity throughout the country. Social connections, obligations need to be revised; redefined and reorganized that will assist in depoliticization process of the civil service.
The Depoliticization process in civil service is not everything to make perfect; but it is an important instrument that helps the nation to keep its' system and people healthy, happy and prosperous. To enforce the depoliticization process into Nepalese civil service is not an easy job so all respective stakeholders need to mentally prepared in advance and should agreed to contribute positively from there level. Mainly politician, civil servants and existing trade union leaders have to play vital role.
The depoliticization will maximize the individual and institutional competencies and productivity of civil service and it will immediately start to work as an antibiotic for minimizing the unethical conflicts, unfair and unhealthy practices that provokes people and group towards to play unfair professional and power game in the name of various political ideologies, regionalism, unionism, communalism and more. Also, the Depoliticization may prove more effective in treatment process of existing BUREAUPATHOLOGY of Nepal.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Exclusion through Inclusion in Nepal

Is Nepal Practicing Faulty Inclusion Laws?

Krishna Hari Pushkar

The Government of Nepal is practicing faulty inclusion laws that have put people strategically more excluded in the name of inclusion. There are serious controversies on some of the questions over the inclusion issue, it remained unanswered till now, besides repeated pressure from the targeted group who seek inclusion due procedure of law.
It is opprobrious to illustrate that the government doesn't seem properly clear what the justification behind the inclusion are, who are the targeted people and what are the identities and its indicators that need to be considered while processing through the system of inclusion. Why and what will be the ratio of inclusion and its bases, how and where they should be included, and what are the preconditions of inclusion etc seem uncertain except few communities in inclusion process of Nepal. Everything is going erodes, rough and random, the chaotic situation has started to bring terrible consequences on the socio-ethnic harmony of Nepal but respective authorities seem careless, blind and deaf. Unbelievable!
Some of the people have already approached with various members and authorities of legislation, executive and judiciary to settle down the issue but still the case is remained unheard and snubbed.
So, it is panic to understand why state is offering such prejudiced inclusion policy to enhance more "exclusion in the name of inclusion". It is beyond the understanding that why the state is being involved in such power game that have freaking test.
The state should more clear that it should not repeat such wrongdoings and same exclusion process that were attempted in the past. State must realize that Maoist insurgency, madhesi mass movement, indigenous movement, women movement, tharu movement, various rights movement, ongoing regional insurgency etc have considered "Inclusion" as a major agenda but just after few years of partial peace process, our state again seems forgotten the main reasons that they fought and even now fighting in various regions of Nepal. State must be conflict sensitive, and should review the situation immediately that how and where it is going wrong in their promises, if they do not want to see recurrence of the same age as it was in the past.
A case of Madhesi people's inclusion in public services, there is no legal definition has produced by state yet besides there is clear antediluvian definition and well known list of madhesi casts and communities. Surprisingly, it is clear in similar case and situation of indigenous (Aadibasi and Janjati). The million dollar question raised that why state has listed the cast and communities of indigenous (Aadibasi Janjati) and why not for Madhesi? Honestly writing, there is clear-cut demarcation, any member of non-madhesi can identify the pure madhesi people in a second except few cases, but when madhesi seek legal definition, state say dramatically, it is full of confusion, why, what is the intention of state?
People argue that if Madhesh and madhesi have no specific identity than why the government makes several wanted and unwanted agreements to resolve the issues of Madhesh and madhesi saying madhesi and madhesi are integral part of Nepal, fool making! How could the same state and government can refugee to identify the same madhesi people legally when they look forward to process for inclusion, although government body perfectly identify madhesi when state make political agreement to fulfill their vested interests, does not it disappointing?
Nowadays, some of sociopolitical pundits, human parrots and self-established ancient elites explain that madhesi are those who live in Madhesh that means apx 55% populations of Nepal are madhesi because Madhesh is their home. Let's assume for a while they are right, but let me ask the question to the dullard, than why they have allotted only 22% quota for inclusion in civil service? Why not 55% quota? If they define madhesi is all those people who live in Madhesh.
The mentally corrupt people have allotted 22% only counting just the population of particular cast and communities of Madhesh and madhesi but they file their application shamelessly even they are beyond the member of 22%, so does not it an immense cheating? Allotting quota only for 22% and officially allowing now all 55% people? If they feel they are real product of madhesi father, than they should fight to increase the quota from 22% to 55%, do they do or have tries ever? Otherwise it will not fair to claim as madhesi product human even though they are not! Or they should not hesitate in saying their biological fathers are madhesi before to get madhesi certificate to the non-madhesi?
Secondly' they must look at the past, present structure of Nepalese politics, bureaucracy, defense and PEs and security service etc, where they find more than 60% representations are from Madhesh (Madhesbasi but not madhesi) including the 90% former prime ministers after post democracy era of Nepal, so why state need to consider the non-madhesi defined madhesi to consider under inclusion process? Yes, they know because these people represented the non-madhesi cast and communities only, but they just live and migrated to Madhesh due to fulfill their various vested interest and objectives. It is rabidity to think that someone governs automatically the same ethnicity and identified as same local communities, if someone just shifted their home from one region or ethnicity to another and one country to another.
If they are correct, can the non-madhesi consider the all Indians people as Nepali who have been living in Nepal, can they provide full identity as Newar or Bahun if they have been living in Nepal closer to Bahun or Newar community?.Yes, answer will be negative, similarly how come the non-madhesi living in Madhesh can be considered and regarded as a madhesi? The non-madhesi should rethink the letter and spirit of constitution! Are they sure that non-madhesi living in Madhesh is the target of inclusion under madhesi quota?
Nowadays, some of the CDOs are issuing madhesi certification to Non-madhesi, supreme court is begun to prove non-madhesi as madhesi ignoring the ground reality, non-madhesi has started to capture madhesi quota that are basically targeted to madhesi people. State is ignoring to hear the complaint against non-madhesi, non-madhesi leaders are happy to see the exclusion process of madhesi people in the name of so called inclusion. But they must know that history may repeat, either they or their future generation need to pay for the cost of real inclusion, if they ignore now. Their future generation has to face the war and have to bear the higher compensation, if justice is denied to madhesi people in current situation.
There are several non madhesi people have awarded madhesi certificate strategically to capture madhesi quota, several other people capturing also Aadibasi-Janjati quota by non Aadibasi Janjati, just by changing their family name similar to Aadibasi-Janjati. The complaint against forgery are being filled but found either ignored or manipulated without justification. The consequences may not affordable by state and government once it diverted into pathetic conflict, now many victims believes such growing trained as state sponsored activities, so state authority and government must be careful and awake to response the impact of such hegemony.
It is possible that communal violence expands against such non-madhesi people or they face attacks by local insurgents or aggressive madhesi community, if they abuse the identity of Madhesh and madhesi. It is hundred percents clear that such non-madhesi culprits have to pay high cost if they ignore or undermine or play with the identity and ethnicity of madhesi people. It is totally unacceptable for madhesi, so government must pay high attention to address the issues. Few non madhesi has applied and already appointed under madhesi quota but state is silent now, but what if the some guy come shamelessly and apply under women quota dressing himself as a women, does the state allow or remained silent if complaint lodged against such culprits?
The state should immediately analyze the situation and declare the list of madhesi cast and communities by a cabinet decision urgently, otherwise state may face another war or insurgency if it is not addressed in time. Our government must know that basic reasons and ground of most of the civil war and insurgency are either communal and ethic issues or exclusion. So, continuous ignorance and delayed response the ethnic and communal issue in time cannot be considered as wise. Therefore, government of Nepal must constitute the high-level taskforce to investigate the mal-practices and response the distortion and impunity as quick as possible.
If the state honestly believes that madhesi should consider under inclusion than the government must start necessary urgent treatment and handling on the issue or end the so called inclusion for the madhesi to watch and see the upcoming responses from the folk of true Madhesh and madhesi. Inclusion is pure an antithesis of exclusion, so it cannot be dared to push people into more exclusion in the name of Inclusion process.
Mr. Krishna Hari Pushkar writes about social issues, security and conflict management, often in relation to Nepal. An Under Secretary of Government in Nepal, he is well honored as a Peace, Security and Conflict Management Professional, who contributes regularly to national and international nongovernmental organizations as a peace and conflict management expert.

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