Pune: “Bureaucracy has failed in the implementation of policies. Therefore, people are going to elected representatives to solve their problems. I don’t blame elected representatives. When one system fails, another system replaces it. The failure of bureaucracy is pushing people to approach political parties and they obviously see it as a chance to garner votes,” said retired IAS officer Mahesh Zagade in Pune on Tuesday.
He further emphasised, “Bureaucracy needs orientation programmes to improve their work and social commitment.” Zagade, a 1993 batch IAS officer, retired from Maharashtra State government services on May 31, 2018. He interacted with the members of the media in one of the function which was organised by NGO ‘Amrutwel’.
Zagade retired as a Divisional Commissioner of Nashik. Earlier, he has worked as Pune Municipal Commissioner and was the first Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pune Mahanagar Regional Development Authority (PMRDA).
While sharing his experiences, he said, “Hire and fire system is not useful to improve the performance of the bureaucracy. An orientation programme is needed to bring about a change in the work. I used that technique wherever I worked. There was a 10 per cent improvement in people’s performance.”
However, he expressed displeasure over the fact that several initiatives started by him are no longer working, such as ‘virtual office’ and ‘online building permission plan sanction’.
Confrontation with Girish Bapat
Responding to the allegation that he was transferred from his earlier post as PMRDA chief to Nashik as a divisional commissioner following a confrontation with District Guardian Minister Girish Bapat, he said, “I won’t say that it was due to confrontation. But, we had differences of opinion on several issues. I can only say, I was unable to convince him on some of these issues.”
Recruitment of joint secretaries through private sector
Reacting on government’s decision to offer 10 posts of joint secretaries to public and private sector employees, Zagade said that there will be a question of transparency if the selection process is carried out by the Cabinet Secretary Committee and not the UPSC. Zagade said there are doubts that these selected individuals may use these posts to push their own agenda to achieve their future goals.