2022 GS4 Answer

Q. Wisdom lies in knowing what to reckon with and what to overlook. An officer being engrossed with the periphery, ignoring the core issues before him, is no rare in the bureaucracy. Do you agree that such preoccupation of an administrator leads to travesty of justice to the cause of effective service delivery and good governance? Critically evaluate.

Question from UPSC Mains 2022 GS4 Paper

Model Answer: 

Bureaucrats and Service Delivery

Bureaucrats are responsible for implementing government policies and delivering public services to citizens. However, if they focus only on the surface-level issues and ignore the underlying problems, it can result in inadequate and ineffective service delivery. For example, a bureaucrat may focus on building new infrastructure without considering the need for proper maintenance and upkeep, leading to the infrastructure’s rapid deterioration.

Importance of Addressing Root Causes

Similarly, if bureaucrats do not address the root causes of a problem, they may end up only treating the symptoms, leading to a never-ending cycle of the same issues. For instance, if a bureaucrat only provides temporary relief to flood-affected areas without considering long-term solutions such as building dams and reservoirs, it will result in recurring floods and prolonged suffering for the affected people.

Consequences of Ignoring Core Issues

Moreover, preoccupation with peripheral issues can also lead to a lack of accountability and transparency. Bureaucrats may focus on meeting short-term targets and achieving performance metrics rather than delivering sustainable and impactful outcomes. This can lead to corruption, nepotism, and favoritism, eroding public trust in the government and hindering good governance.

The Benefits of Prioritizing Core Issues

On the other hand, bureaucrats who prioritize core issues and have a comprehensive understanding of the problems they are dealing with are more likely to make informed decisions, deliver effective services, and ensure good governance. By focusing on core issues, they can identify the root causes of problems, develop sustainable solutions, and promote transparency and accountability.

In conclusion, it is imperative for bureaucrats to have a clear understanding of the core issues they are dealing with and prioritize them over peripheral issues. Ignoring core issues can result in a travesty of justice, inadequate service delivery, and hinder effective governance. Therefore, bureaucrats must be vigilant and proactive in identifying and addressing the underlying problems to ensure the effective delivery of services and promote good governance in India.

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