Why India’s Civil Servants Are Disaffected With The 360-Degree Empanelment Process For Top Central Government Posts
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Why India’s Civil Servants Are Disaffected With The 360-Degree Empanelment Process For Top Central Government Posts

The Caravan |
August 12, 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses secretaries of the government of India at an informal meeting in April 2015. That month, the central government introduced the 360-degree appraisal procedure for the empanelment of civil servants for top central government posts.


In April 2015, the central government introduced the 360-degree appraisal procedure for the empanelment of civil servants for central government posts. Three years on, while the government is yet to frame any guidelines for its implementation, the process has received heavy criticism for its lack of transparency and its susceptibility to discrimination. Empanelment is the process through which a pool of civil-service officers is selected for appointment to the top bureaucratic posts of joint secretary and above with the government of India. The 360-degree appraisal system, or the Multi Source Feedback—introduced as an additional overarching step during the review for empanelment—is designed to consider feedback on the candidates from peers, subordinates, and other stakeholders, in addition to superiors.

The 360-degree appraisal first came under the spotlight in August 2017, when a parliamentary committee criticised the system for its opacity and subjectivity, noting that it was also “susceptible to being manipulated.” It also came under scrutiny that month after Vineet Chawdhry, an Indian Administrative Services officer who was denied a secretary-level appointment with the central government, challenged the decision before the Central Administrative Tribunal. Chawdhry argued that the system led to discrimination against officers and that it was not governed by any legal procedure. He stated that the 360-degree system was “neither reasonable nor rational, a whimsical exercise of arbitrary executive authority far in excess of any delegated legislation, neither resting on any legislation nor any rules and neither transparent nor fair.”

Credit by- The Caravan

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