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Mission Karmayogi

  • 07 Sep 2020
  • 9 min read

This editorial analysis is based on the article “Like it or not, but babudom is poised for a makeover” which was published in Live Mint on 7th of September 2020. It analyses the recently launched Mission Karmayogi by the Union Government.

Recently, the Union government has rolled out the long overdue reform of the Indian bureaucracy. Mission Karmayogi’ - the National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB) aims to transform capacity-building in the bureaucracy through institutional and process reforms.

According to the government, ‘Mission Karmayogi’ envisages to prepare Indian civil servants for the future by making them more creative, constructive, imaginative, innovative, proactive, professional, progressive, energetic, enabling, transparent and technology-enabled.

The mission has been so designed that it remains entrenched in Indian Culture and sensibilities while drawing learning resources from the best institutions and practices from across the world.

Need of The Mission

  • There is a need to develop domain knowledge besides administrative capacity in the bureaucracy.
  • There is a need to formalize the recruitment process and match the public service to a bureaucrat’s competence, so as to find the right person for the right job.
  • The plan is to begin right at the recruitment level and then invest in building more capacity through the rest of their career.
  • As the Indian economy grows, it will get more complex to govern; the governance capacities will have to be enhanced proportionately which this reform undertakes.
  • The reforms in the Indian bureaucracy is the need of the hour and It is a major reform undertaken in recent years to transform it.

Other Reforms

  • The Government has ended the hegemony of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the apex bureaucratic cadre, with respect to appointments at the level of joint secretary (JS).
    • Instead, appointments to posts have been drawn from other cadres also like the Indian Revenue Service, Indian Accounts and Audit Service and the Indian Economic Service.
    • It is estimated that now one in two JS level officers are drawn from cadres other than the IAS.
  • Similarly, the Union government has also encouraged lateral induction of personnel from the private sector.

How will it work?

  • The capacity building programme will be delivered through an Integrated Government Online Training or iGOT-Karmayogi digital platform, with content drawn from global best practices rooted in Indian national ethos.
  • The platform will act as a launchpad for the National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB), which will enable a comprehensive reform of the capacity building apparatus at the individual, institutional and process levels.
  • Officers will be evaluated on the basis of the courses they take throughout their career to enhance their skill.
  • An online database will be maintained on what courses they have completed, how did they fare, what areas does their expertise lie in, etc.
  • In case of any future vacancy or if an appointing authority is considering an officer, they can simply see what kind of training the officer has been getting.

iGOT- Karmayogi platform

  • iGOT stands for Integrated Govt. Online training’ (iGOT).
    • It is a portal on the Ministry of HRD’s DIKSHA platform for the purpose of capacity building.
  • iGOT-Karmayogi is a continuous online training platform, which would allow all government servants from assistant secretary to secretary level to undergo continuous training, depending on their domain areas.
  • All kinds of Courses from international universities will be made available on the platform for officers to take.
  • The platform is expected to evolve into a vibrant and world-class market place for content, where carefully curated and vetted digital e-learning material will be made available.
  • Besides capacity building, service matters like confirmation after probation period, deployment, work assignment and notification of vacancies etc. would eventually be integrated with the proposed competency framework.

Benefits of the Mission

  • Rule Based to Role Based: The programme will support a transition from rules-based to roles-based HR management, so that work allocations can be done by matching an official’s competencies to the requirements of the post.
  • Domain Training: Apart from domain knowledge training, the scheme will focus on functional and behavioural competencies also.
    • It will provide an opportunity for civil servants to continuously build and strengthen their Behavioral, Functional and Domain Competencies in their self-driven and mandated learning paths.
  • Uniform Training Standard: It will harmonise training standards across the country, so that there is a common understanding of India's aspirations and development goals.
  • Vision For New India: Mission Karmayogi is aimed at building a future-ready civil service with the right attitude, skills and knowledge, aligned to the vision of New India.
  • On Site Learning: It will emphasize on 'on-site learning' to complement the ‘off-site’ learning.
  • Adoption Of Best Practices: It will encourage and partner with the best-in-class learning content creators including public training institutions, universities, start-tips and individual experts.

Challenges

  • John Maynard Keynes, the economist, once said that “The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones."
  • There is a tendency in the Bureaucracy to resist the change which challenges their status quo.
    • The bureaucracy too must understand the need of domain knowledge and the importance of moving away from generalist to specialist approach.
  • In today’s world the governance is getting technical with each passing day and hence it’s important that the person in authority too should have the requisite skill and experience in that particular area.
  • Thus, there should be a behavioural change in the bureaucracy too and they must embrace the change as a need of the hour and not an attack on their status quo.
  • Moreover, these online courses must not become another opportunity for the officers to go for the sabbatical leaves.
    • It must be ensured that they are actually attending the courses and participating in it so that the purpose doesn't get defeated.

Conclusion

  • While this is a welcome move, it is also a fact that bureaucratic sloth is only one side of the coin.
  • Equally culpable is the political interference which manifests itself in transfers which must be addressed too.
  • Ashok Khemka, the IAS officer from Haryana, is a living testimony of it who has been transferred 52 times so far in his career.
  • Clearly, the reform process is not going to be easy but this is a good move in the direction.

Drishti Mains Question

Indian bureaucracy is in need of rules-based to roles-based transition. Do you agree? Discuss Mission Karmayogi in the light of the statement.

This editorial is based on “A new dimension: On India-U.S.-Australia-Japan Quadrilateral” which was published in The Hindu on September 5th, 2020. Now watch this on our Youtube channel.

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