OP Agarwal, Nitya Kaushik write: Training Karmayogis at all levels is a must for inclusive development

News: Recently, the Government of India’s Mission Karmayogi programme to build civil service capacity received a $47 million boost from the World Bank.

History of Training programmes for capacity building of the Civil Servants?

At Senior Level

Before 1985: Higher civil servants received two-year induction training. It was done to   equip IAS officers to be good field officers.

In 1985: In addition to a two-year induction training, senior officers like IAS officers were mandated to attend a week-long training programme annually, and periodic four-week training to allow reflection and learnings.

In the early 2000s, in addition to above, the seniors’ officers had to attend a year-long professional programme in public policy. Further, the mid-career training at three different points of their career. It was introduced to increase their competencies at more senior levels.

At lower levels

Before 1985: There were no training for lower civil services.

What are the areas where capacity building framework can be instituted in the present context?

A massive scale-up in capacity-building is needed both at the political and bureaucratic levels. The representatives need to understand the nuances of policymaking.

In addition to bureaucrats, the political leaders too would need to choose areas of specialization.

It is important to build professionals in all domains, from technical experts to generalists.

Today, India is ambitious for growth. The policymaking has become more complex. It should be based on data and evidence-based decision-making.

It must equip the entire chain of command to coordinate and steer the ship towards a national goal.

The higher officers should be able to build morale and self-respect among the frontline workers like police constables, patwaris, gram sevaks, frontline clerks, office peons, postmen, etc. They should feel they are part of a larger public management system, not mere cogs in the wheel.

Way Forward

Case of a three-day programme for safai karamcharis of the Satara Municipal Corporation: This programme was conducted by In 2004, Joint Secretary (Training) in the Union Department of Personnel and Training. It instilled confidence and a sense of respect among worker staff. Thereafter, they proactively worked in their domain.

  • For example, they set up a waste segregation system by educating each household within their ward. The training programme changed the attitudes of the municipal workers.

India already has everything it needs to scale up capacity building. For example, the existing institutions and educational centres, available expertise and knowledge base, can appropriately support training for various grades of civil servants.

Source: The post is based on an article “Training Karmayogis at all levels is a must for inclusive development” published in the Indian Express on 24th June 2022.

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