Vimarash Talk by Sh V Srinivas, Additional Secretary, Deptt. of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, August 20, 2021

Welcome to today’s talk on Admisntrative reforms 1990-2021.

I would like to thank Mr V Srinivas, Additional Secretary DOPT, who will tell us about the history of administrative reforms in India and how they have impacted our administration and the public.

Mr. Srinivas is the Additional Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances. He holds additional charge of the Director General, National Centre for Good Governance.

He has a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the College of Technology, Osmania University. This is his 33rd year of distinguished service in the Indian Administrative Service.

He has held senior positions in the Government of India and Government of Rajasthan, having served as Chairman of the Board of Revenue for Rajasthan, Ajmer and as Joint Secretary & Deputy Secretary in Government of India.

He is a recipient of the Digital India Award 2020 for implementation of e-Office, has published 2 books, 171 papers/ articles and delivered 72 orations on public administration and public finance.

We at the VIF have been fortunate to have interacted with him in the past. We released one of his books at a function organised in 2020, just before Covid lockdown.

Mr Srinivas has written on IMF, G20 and Pakistan's economy also.
He is a senior administrator, a respected academician and an institution builder par excellence.


You would agree that an efficient, responsive and professional administration is a must for India. India requires a new governance model for the 21st century.

We have been fortunate that Sardar Patel was able to lay the foundation of a robust administrative system that has stood us well in our journey as an independent nation.

No reform is worth the salt unless it is implemented properly. The bureaucracy has a major role to play in timely implementation.

Despite its many faults, India can justly be proud of its administrative system. Indian administrators are respected the world over for their skills and calibre. All India services play a significant role in holding the country together.

Yet, there is widespread impatience about the functioning of the bureaucracy. It is widely felt that its footprint and stranglehold need to be lightened.

Corruption, delays, insensitivity, lack of required skills, politicization to name a few have been the bane of administration.

It may come as a surprise that the union government constituted more than 50 commissions and committees to look into administrative and civil service reforms. That is a huge number! There is something amiss in our system. What needs to be changed is the bureaucratic mindset, conditioned to ask questions rather than deliver outcomes.

Are we changing fast enough? In the last few decades, there has been an effort to introduce technology, innovation, efficient management into the governance model. Some positive results are visible.

But the country is in a hurry. Our governance model needs to be transformed. The widow of opportunity is closing in. China which was behind us in the 1950’s is way ahead. The carbon space, needed for development, is limited. Pressure is coming on us to adopt zero-emission governance. That restricts the room for manoeuvre.

Mr Srinivias will touch upon some of these issues during his talks.

I would request him to speak for about 45 minutes and then take questions from the audience.

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