'The Steel Frame: A History of the IAS' was released at a function held at India International Centre. Published by Roli Books, the book talks about the development and role of the Indian Civil Service since its inception. The book was released by former Governor of J&K NN Vohra. Others present included former Indian Foreign Service officer Pavan K. Varma and former Delhi Chief Secretary Shailaja Chandra.
Appreciating the book, Vohra said, “It is an extremely well-written and researched book. This volume should be of great benefit to all those who are interested in the history and future of India. The argumentation is prudently presented without any bias in this book”.
The book’s author Deepak Gupta is a 1974 batch IAS batch officer who spent many years in the field in the erstwhile state of Bihar, including two districts (Saharsa 1979–80; Rohtas 1986–88) as Collector. He retired in 2011 as Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and consulted with the World Bank and UNIDO after that. He was also the Chairman of UPSC from November 2014 to September 2016.
“As part of building a documentation centre for records of all services in the UPSC, I read a lot about the ICS. It is a fascinating story of two centuries, much of it we didn’t know. I thought it would be useful and interesting to put it together,” he said, speaking about the book.
“I have explored some of the developments and reasons why there has been an apparent slide. If we believe that the service is essential for India and its democracy and it must play its role as envisaged under the constitutional design as indeed it must, then the service and the individual officer must urgently reform and reinvent and also imbibe some of the healthy traditions of the ICS,” he added.