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Recasting Public Administration in IndiaReform, Rhetoric, and Neoliberalism$
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Kuldeep Mathur

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199490356

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199490356.001.0001

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Struggle for Political Control

Struggle for Political Control

(p.30) 3 Struggle for Political Control
Recasting Public Administration in India

Kuldeep Mathur

Oxford University Press

The political leadership used the civil service’s predominant role in administration as an instrument to further its own goals. This chapter provides an account of how while Indira Gandhi initiated a debate on its neutrality and commitment, the political leadership struggled to establish the subservience of the civil service. No formal change took place but informally loyalty and reliability became attributes to place bureaucrats to positions that were considered critical, giving rise to a legitimately approved transfer system. This has helped the prime ministers to take a stance critical of the civil service while freely relying on it to implement their policies.

Keywords:   Indira Gandhi, neutrality, commitment, bureaucrats, transfer system, prime ministers

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