- GS-1: Social Empowerment
- GS-2: Governance
Learning from Politicians
Context: India’s civil service has been confronted with unique challenges in light of the ghastly coronavirus pandemic, making the existing structures and processes ineffective.
Civil Servant need to learning from politicians the following:
- The ability to communicate clearly and effectively – useful for elucidating the vision of the government, or explaining the benefits of a policy decision. Civil servant needs to framing the message to public as a story (just like politicians) to convey it more effectively.
- Ability to Listen: Politicians are better listeners, which is an art, and can listen for hours. For the ordinary citizen, just being heard is a hugely empowering experience, and bureaucrats must practice this art to make governance sensitive & responsive to people’s needs.
- Ability to simplify complex ideas, while never losing touch with its core, is another skill successful politicians have mastered. This allows them to get to the root of the problem and propose simple yet grounded solutions.
- Multi-tasking and time management is the another great quality of a successful politician
- Having a razor-sharp didactic memory greatly aids the politician. Having a strong memory comes from years of conscious practice and auto-suggestion, which bureaucrats must resort to.
- Risk-taking ability: Politics and risk-taking are synonymous. With bureaucrats, tales of policy paralysis, and passing the buck, are common, which needs to be changed.
- Emotionally Intelligence: Another great distinguishing feature of a public representative is her decisively superior interpersonal skills and the ability to provide a human touch, especially to the underprivileged and the marginalised.
- Devotion to duty: Driven by notions of public good, the ideal politician seeks to bring about transformative changes. Fulfiling the aspirations of an increasingly restless society demands an ever greater devotion to duty. This has to be replicated in civil servants also.