Tenure erosion?: Infused insecurity at the top
M G Warrier
My media response:
August 1, 2019
This refers to the piece “Tenure erosion can be a subversive tool” (Business Standard, Without Contempt, August 1) by Somasekhar Sundaresan. Not sure, the debate opened in the article will be taken forward, as instability at the top is consciously built-in into government and public sector organizations in India.
The need for continuity at the top, from board-level down to middle management level is part of quality management practices recognized world over. In India, insecurity of incumbency at the top became a tool to make strong-willed executives who respected rules more than the rulers ‘amenable’ since mid-1970’s.
Though there is no case for parity with judicial appointments in higher courts where judges, once appointed, can be ‘removed’ only by following impeachment procedure, there is urgency in considering longer tenures for top level appointments in regulatory bodies and to positions like Election Commission and Information Commissioners. The appointments should be after suitable screening and once appointed they should not be under perennial threat of removal for political reasons. It is also desirable to provide job security to the incumbents by way of a decent remuneration package which comprises reasonable post-retirement benefits so that they will not be remaining on the fences improving their CVs for their next jobs.
M G Warrier, Mumbai