"It is a total waste of human resource to retire a man at the age of 60 if he is delivering his services in a perfect manner. Why to retire an officer who has vast knowledge of governance and he could deliver his services to the citizenry. This thinking should be stopped," he said.

Desai was delivering a keynote lecture on 'Indian Civil Services and Economic Development of India' here to the officers of Delhi government.

He also asked the civil servants to get rid of "colonial mentality of mistrust on its citizens".

"They (Civil servants) should get rid of this mentality of mistrust and it should vanish for transactional culture. Only then, they can transform our economy and remove the social disparities to achieve the goal of balanced economy.

"Reduction of social disparity is the need of the hour because by doing so they can bring a social change and give the due rights to OBCs, Dalits and the poorest among poor to bring them and ensuring them social equality," he said.

During his address, Desai also mentioned about how the Chinese civil services failed to meet the challenges of modernisation and fell apart in the 20th century.

"Earlier, it was believed that the Civil Services have the knowledge to guide the citizens and their political bosses to give a new dimension to the society for ensuring social change," he said.

"This is no longer valid. Citizens are less passive, more educated and more demanding. Countries have life cycles – post independence they are in child-phase – they splurge as much as they want. But then they gain maturity and know that they are accountable – and India has now reached that phase.

"Now the state has to confront more intelligent citizenry. And the market has to confront more intelligent state," Desai added.

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