It all began when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) to address officers drawn from the various administrative services in October 2017. The officers, including from the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service, had gathered there for a foundation-level training course, but PM Modi came away with the distinct impression that there was a need for radical reform in the way they were being trained. Among the things that stuck out for him was the current emphasis on rules and regulations rather than peoplecentric governance and the need for meeting national targets and goals.
Another bugbear was the multiple training institutes—361 including the LBSNAA—that lacked both a common national vision and international exposure about best governance practices. Modi reportedly told his aides, “Our civil servants need a complete change in outlook. We need a transformational programme that changes their vision and brings out latent energies in the service of the nation.”
And when Modi says something, it usually gets done. So now, three years later, the prime minister has unveiled Mission Karmayogi, a Union government initiative to transform the way the country’s civil servants are trained and selected for departments or assignments. It will first be implemented for all 4.6 million central government employees, from peons, clerks and junior-level officers to the bureaucrats in the 37 key civil services. Subsequently, with the consent of the state governments, the mission intends to bring the 20 million employees of the state governments and Union territories under its umbrella.
The pivot of this Karmayogi transformation is the iGOT (Integrated Gov-ernment Online Training) software that will work initially in tandem with regular on-site courses and in the next three years evolve into an independent training module. Though still in the works, it was used as a pilot project in the past four months to train 1.2 million health workers to tackle the Covid crisis. Next month, a batch of officer-trainees attending the LBSNAA course will be subjected to the ‘flipped class model’ used in business schools. In this, trainees will read the theoretical construct of the course material online, so that class-time can be used more for interactive case studies and problem-solving models.
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October 05, 2020