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Picture Courtesy: economictimes
Context: The Union government's decision to ask senior officers, including those from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), to act as Rath Prabharis or special officers to promote the achievements of the government has sparked controversy and criticism.
- The government has planned a Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, scheduled to run from November 20, 2023, to January 25, 2024, during which these officers will showcase the government's achievements up to the panchayat level.
- To execute the Yatra, the Department of Personnel and Training and the Secretary, the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, issued a directive to all government departments.
- According to this directive, senior officers including those from the prestigious Indian Administrative Service (IAS) are to be appointed as Rath Prabharis or special officers. Their role is to advertise and promote the achievements of the government over the past nine years.
Rath Prabharis' Responsibilities
- The appointed officers are tasked with showcasing the government's achievements, reaching down to the grassroots level, specifically at the Gram Panchayat level.
- Rath Prabharis, comprising Joint Secretaries, Directors, and Deputy Secretaries, are expected to coordinate the preparations, planning, execution, and monitoring of the Rath Yatra across the country.
- The move has met with criticism from the Opposition parties. They have raised serious concerns about the involvement of civil servants in what they consider pre-poll "political propaganda" for the government.
- They highlighted the issue on social media platforms, questioning the ethics of civil servants engaging in political activities, especially as the country approaches elections.
Public and Political Reaction
- The government's decision has sparked controversy, with debates arising on the ethicality of involving civil servants in political initiatives.
- The issue has become a subject of political debate, with different political parties expressing their opinions regarding the government's directive.
- The controversy highlights the tension between the government's efforts to showcase its achievements and the ethical boundaries regarding the involvement of civil servants in political campaigns. Such situations often lead to debates about the appropriate roles and responsibilities of government officials, especially in the context of democratic processes and elections.
Q. To what extent should civil servants be involved in promoting the government's achievements, and what ethical considerations should be taken into account when determining their roles in political campaigns, particularly in the context of maintaining the integrity of democratic processes?