Civil Or Evil?

Nepal’s civil service is passing through a very unstable period in its history

Aug. 30, 2014, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol: 08 No. -6 August. 29- 2014 (Bhadra 13, 2071)

An engineer working in Urban and Planning Division was arrested by CIAA while taking bribe from his client. Similarly, another senior officer working at the Money Laundering Department was arrested red handed while taking bribe of one million rupees from the public.

The case was not the last here. A week ago, the Ministry of General Administration deployed hundreds of police inside Singha Durbar secretariat to prevent angry civil servants who expressed disenchantment over the decision to transfers over 750 civil servants, up to under secretary.

Civil servants, close to Nepali Congress and other parties, were angry over the decision taken by CPN-UML controlled ministry, favoring CON-UML sympathizers for posting in lucrative ministries in the transfer.  Officers from legal service have issued a statement against the recent step of the government not to promote any joint secretary of legal service as secretary. “We will take stern actions against the decision to bypass joint secretary in the promotion list,” said Joint secretary Dr. Ravi Sharma Aryal in his statement issued on behalf of Society of Law officers.

As Nepal’s civil servants are observing the Civil Service Day, they are projected as uncivil or to some extent, evil.  At a time when Nepal has been passing through a prolonged political transition, civil service has felt much of its effects.

Paralyzed by trade unions, partisan and division and scandal of corruption, Nepal’s civil service has been facing all kinds of threat and it is going through a crucial phase of survival. If things continue to go the present way, it will crumble any time. Division and indiscipline, politicization and scandal of corruption are testimony Nepal’s civil service is in turmoil.

The recent incidents appeared in the media have completely tarnished the image of Nepal’s civil service.  Along with tarnishing the image of civil servants, the CIAA’s recent move also paralyzed the system as a whole as there is disruption in the ministry.

Divided on the basis of political ideologies, civil service is at the dead end with the future of non-political civil servants uncertain.  From promotion to transfers, political connection reportedly played a greater role than efficiency and capability.

Although there are many evil elements in civil service, one cannot draw the conclusion that everything has gone wrong. As Nepal’s civil servants are celebrating the civil service day, the time has to come to make it discipline and apolitical.

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