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Report of The Committee to Review In- service Training of The IAS officers

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Introduction

The Committee to Review in-service training of the IAS officers was set up in September 2001 and it submitted its Report in August 2003. The Committee consisted of seven members, all civil servants, all except one belonging to the IAS, some retired, others serving. The Committee’s chairman was B. N. Yugandhar, a former member of the IAS, and who was at one time the Director of the LBS National Academy of Administration, Mussorie. Incidentally, the committees set up since the nineties of the last century are all getting manned by civil servants with little representation from the outside public life of India . They mostly functioned like internal reflection groups.

Summary

The Committee’s terms of reference were to examine the efficiency of the existing in-service training programmes for members of the IAS and make recommendations taking into account the problems faced in the present manner of implementation and also the recommendations of previous committees set up for the purpose. The mandate given to the Yugandher Committee was thus severely limited: the Report claims purely local temporary interest.

At present, IAS officers are required to attend compulsory in-service training programmes. In addition, they also have a number of optional training programmes that they could be selected to attend. The scheme of compulsory in-service training as well as the optional programmes available are as follows :

IN-SERVICE

COMPULSORY TRAINING

Two week training in the service range of 6-9 years

Two week training in the service range of 10-16 years

Two week training in the service range of 17-20 years

One week training in each block of two years

IN-SERVICE OPTIONAL

TRAINING

One week programme under the flexible training scheme

Long duration programmes at IIPA/NDC

Short or long duration programmes abroad.

The scheme of compulsory in-service training of IAS officers was started in 1986 and comprised of a combination of 1 -week programmes to be attended every year and 4-week programmes to be attended at three different levels of seniority. The 1-week programmes also involve a kind of vertical integration, wherein officers from a wide range of seniority levels are required to attend the same programme. The objective of these 1-week programmes was to be a sabbatical during which officers would have an opportunity to, “open the windows to their mind” in an academic environment, and thus facilitate some fresh thinking On the other hand, the four-week Programmes were more broad based in coverage and were limited to a narrower band of seniority levels.

Over the years, the intensity of training has come down, with the frequency of 1-week programmes being reduced to once every alternate year and the duration of the 4-week programmes being reduced to 2-weeks. A further dilution in the emphasis on training has taken place by way of the compulsory nature of the Programmes having been whittled down as there is no visible penalty for their failure to attend the in-service Programmes. This, in turn, has led to practical difficulties in the conduct of the Programmes due to which, many of the training institutions have lost interest in ensuring high standards. The few who do treat it seriously get frustrated when attendance is far short of the number of officers expected to attend.

Another problem afflicting in-service training in India is the lack of seriousness amongst the participants, as they see no visible penalty for non-participation/poor performance. The relatively low fees paid for such programmes, especially to institutes of management has also been a reason for poor quality.

As against the above, rapid changes are taking place in public administration and the need for greater professionalisation has become very urgent. In fact, the entire career profile of an IAS officer has changed substantially over the last 50 years, with far greater emphasis on policy formulation and programme implementation now as against the emphasis on district administration earlier. The rapid advances in technology as well as the need for greater transparency have led to an urgent need to change the Civil Service mindsets and upgrade skills that would enable the IAS officers to address the new challenges before them.

The Yugandher Committee makes the following recommendations:-

The current scheme of flexible training, wherein 1-week/ 2-week programmes, offered by the Indian Institutes of Management at Hyderabad , Kolkata and Bangalore, are open for IAS officers, on an optional basis, should be expanded and offered in replacement of the current system of compulsory 1-week training. In areas of considerable importance for IAS officers, such as, Decentralized Planning, Rural Development, Ethics, Human Rights, Freedom of Information, etc. where no institute would be offering programmes in the normal course, a certain number of workshops/retreats should specially be organised by the Training Division of Ministry of Personnel. Workshops/retreats should ,moreover, be structured around a participative approach, with professional facilitation, so that exchange of experience amongst officers serves as the major source of learning. Taking into account the changing job profile in an IAS officer’s career, compulsory inputs need to be imparted at three mid-career levels to equip an officer to meet the requirements of his assignments over the next ten years or so. In order to maintain uniformity in terminology with the professional induction training (Phase-1 and Phase-11), the three mid-career programmes may be called the Phase-III, Phase IV and Phase V programmes. The Phase-III programme should be imparted in the 12th year of an officers career. This would ensure that most officers are past their district assignments and many would also have done a short spell in the state secretariat, directorate, etc. to better benefit from the inputs during the Phase-III. To avoid any practical difficulties, a precise date of commencement should be announced well in advance. Efforts should be made to get all the officers of single batch together to enhance the spirit of camaraderie as well as enhance learning through mutual exchange of experience. Considering that the job profile undergoes a significant change at around this point the Phase-III programme should be of a minimum duration of 8-weeks. This should comprise of 5-weeks of academic contents and 3-weeks of study and exposure visits to Best-Practices in India (10 days). Out of the 2-weeks of exposure visits, 1-week should be domestic visits and 1- week should be a foreign study tour. Keeping in view the likely costs involved, these visits could be largely in the South Asian/South East Asian region, whose development path is more akin to India ‘s. The criteria for selecting an appropriate institute for the conduct of this programme should be the following:-

It should be an institution of excellence and having substantive multi disciplinary faculty.

It should have a long-term commitment for continuing the courses and an interest in public administration and public management.

It should also have a record of research and publications.

It should have adequate residential facility for the participants.

It should be willing to conduct these courses and, if possible, award transferable credits towards an appropriate degree.

Phase IV programme should be given in the 20th year of service and its duration should be of 12 weeks. Phase V programme should be given in the 28th year of service.

Thus spoke the Yugandhar Committee.

Executive Summary

The Yugandhar Committee report is like an O&M study. The Committee operated within the frame work of the existing in-service training programmes of the Ministry of Personnel and media made suggestion for their improvement

Written by upsc aspirants

February 27th, 2012 at 7:27 pm

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