The Incidence of Babus Index

The author brings to you an index on  the incidence of administrative civil servants in India. 


By Siddharth Singh, 5th August, 2013

Recently, a young Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, Durga Shakti Nagpal was in the eye of a political storm in India. She was suspended by the government of the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) for allegedly “flaring tensions among muslims”. However, the media brought to light that she had taken on the sand mafia in her administrative region (who illegally extracted and sold sand for construction and other purposes) , and this – in all probability – led to her suspension. The implied allegation is that politicians from the ruling political party in that region are hand-in-glove with the sand mafia.

When the Central Government was supposedly giving signs that it may take on these suspension orders, a leader from the state of Uttar Pradesh directed a barb towards the central government, via the media: “the government of Uttar Pradesh would say we need no IAS officers in our state. Withdraw them all, we will manage with our state officers.”

Possibly reacting to this, Sidin Vadukut, a writer and columnist, wondered on Twitter,

IAS officers are often casually referred to as babus. Babus are the most elite class of administrative officers in India. There are other tiers of bureaucracy, but babus wield the most political clout.

So here it is, the Incidence of Babus Index. It measures the number of IAS officers per 10 million (1 crore) population. Unsurprisingly, Uttar Pradesh – India’s most populous state – has the fewest babus per capita.

State (Cadre) Population (2011 Census) IAS Officers (2011 Civil List) Incidence of Babus Index (2011) – Number of IAS officers per 10 million or 1 crore population
Uttar Pradesh 199581477 341 17.1
Bihar 103804637 198 19.1
West Bengal 91347736 231 25.3
Maharashtra 112372972 297 26.4
Rajasthan 68621012 182 26.5
Jharkhand 32966238 107 32.5
Andhra Pradesh 84655533 284 33.5
Karnataka 61130704 215 35.2
Gujarat 60383628 216 35.8
India 1210193422 4331 35.8
Odisha 41947358 151 36.0
Tamil Nadu 72138958 281 39.0
Madhya Pradesh 72597565 290 39.9
Chhattisgarh 25540196 113 44.2
Kerala 33387677 156 46.7
Punjab 27704236 164 59.2
Assam + Meghalaya 34133279 204 59.8
Haryana 25353081 176 69.4
Jammu and Kashmir 12548926 90 71.7
Uttarakhand 10116752 83 82.0
AGMUT 24013870 218 90.8
Himachal Pradesh 6856509 104 151.7
Manipur + Tripura 6392788 142 222.1
Nagaland 1980602 54 272.6
Sikkim 607688 34 559.5

Note: AGMUT stands for Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Union Territories (including Delhi)

Disclaimer: The population is from the 2011 census and the number of IAS officers is per the Civil List of 2011. The reported number of officers in each state may be inaccurate owing to in-transition posts. 

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