Vidarbha Literature Festival is back with another interesting interaction- with the former UPSC Chairman and the author of The Steel Frame: A History of the IAS. The Steel Frame is a rich magnum opus of the history of the civil services. Gupta former UPSC Chairman, a retired IAS from 1974 batch, has given a comprehensive account of Indian civil services from the past, its present, and also the future of the IAS.
The Indian civil service was created by the British to provide an intellectual grounding for the empire’s need to “improve India”. The early recruits were fed heavily on the dose of liberalism and utilitarianism. The principal of civil services was based on a belief that the triumph of science and reason, of political economy and of law and government, that had made the West superior, would also help India strip herself of the shackles of despotism, custom, and tradition.
Gupta holds Masters from St Stephen’s College and MPhil in International Relations from JNU. He retired in 2011 as Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and post-retirement, served as a consultant with the World Bank and UNIDO.
The story of Indian Administrative Service is a fascinating and intriguing tale. Gupta insists that the imperial civil services (ICS) was the first civil service in the modern world where recruitment was on the basis of open competition and not through patronage. Though much criticised, it developed its own character and traditions.
It is really unusual that such a service — defined as the ‘steel frame’, on which depended the fortunes and the survival of a huge empire — continued essentially with the same structure and traditions, along with the administrative systems developed over a century, into Independent democratic India.
Although much has changed, even today the Indian Administrative Service retains some basic characteristics from the past. This system of governance as it evolved in India is indeed a fascinating story.
Vidlitfest is emerging as a major literary force in the region. It is a non-profit organisation formed by prominent intellectuals of the city, with the aim of organising various literary events in the city which will culminate into the annual Literary Festival planned on 8th and 9th February 2020. This will be the biggest literature event in Nagpur with the participation of authors and publishers from all over the country and participants from all over the region.
The litfest will celebrate the books and the authors, offer space for debates and discussions, will aim at growing the tribe of readers, and will be an excellent opportunity for the authors and publishers to launch their books, and conduct book-signing events.
The interaction with Gupta will be held on Saturday 9 th November at 7 PM at Chitnavis Centre, Civil Lines, Nagpur. Registration is free, but it is mandatory for all participants to register themselves at www.vidlitfest.com/register, informed Sachin Jahagirdar, Gen Secretary of VLF.
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