Women in Indian Public Administration: Prospects and Challenges

V S Beniwal, Bulbul Dhar James


To achieve equitable development in society gender equity in civil service is sine qua non. It is crucial that the structures of authority, decision making and implementation should be modified to provide access and equity to all segments of society including women. But ironically, women inhabit only 20% of decision-making places in public and private realm. Further, worldwide their visibility is merely 1-5% at apex positions in organisations. Alike, Indian Civil Service (ICS) was manned exclusively by men before 1947. Since Independence, women have been permitted to ender in the public sector including All-India Services. AIS Rules, 1954 entitled the government to demand the resignation of a female officer after marriage on ground of efficiency notwithstanding the Constitutional parity. 1972 gender parity was introduced in the most prestigious services. Nevertheless, the percentage of women in the services is abysmally low. In 2015 women were merely 12 percent and 6.4 percent in Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) respectively. Further, analysis unambiguously exposes that women are confined mainly in the sectors that foster prevailing gender stereotypes of their innateness province of bear, rear and nurture. The proposed study probes gender equity in Indian civil services in general and AIS – IAS and IPS in particular. The study reveals that women are underrepresented in IAS in general and managerial/executive position(s) in particular. Mainly three layers of hurdles are stifling their participation in these services e.g. personal factors, organizational factors and institutional and cultural factors. 

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jpag.v9i3.10947

Copyright (c) 2019 Vijender Singh Beniwal

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Journal of Public Administration and Governance  ISSN 2161-7104

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