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Doing Business in India For Dummies® by Ranjini Manian

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Networking and Navigating the Indian Government

As you set out on your business path in India, you’re going to need to work with various levels of the Indian government to get things done. Securing approvals, working within regulations, and acquiring specific information all require that you play ball with Indian government officials. To succeed, you need to know the key players and be familiar with the details of the playing field. I explain both in this section and highlight a few other important rules of the game.

Getting to know Indian government officials

The political administrative system in India has been modeled on the British system and therefore has two key components: the ministers and the civil servants, called babus. You need to understand the importance and roles of both to work with the government efficiently.

Being a minister

In India, you don’t have to have any minimum qualifications or skills to be a Minister in the central or state cabinets. The only essential criterion is the ability to get the people to vote.

Becoming a civil servant

To become a member of the civil service in India, a person has to pass a stiff competitive examination at the post-graduate level. He or she then becomes a member of that elite force called the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). (Irreverent Indians say that the acronym can stand for other things, including Invisible After Sunset!)

The successful civil services candidates are also absorbed in specialized categories like the ...

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