Karmayogi Mission for reforms in civil services

/ Guest Column / Tuesday, 15 September 2020 18:20

By-Keisham Damaru Singh

“Building capacity dissolves differences. It irons out inequalities.”- APJ Abdul Kalam
The above line was said by former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam during the releasing function of his book titled “Target 3 Billion — PURA: Innovative Solutions towards Sustainable Development” in 2011. Kalam said, “It’s true we have a society with differences. Differences arise from (inequality of) capacity. Building capacity dissolves differences. It irons out the differences.”
Dubbed as the biggest bureaucratic reform initiative, the Union Cabinet on September 2 approved ‘Mission Karmayogi’, a new capacity-building scheme for civil servants aimed at upgrading the post-recruitment training mechanism of the officers and employees at all levels. It is meant to be a comprehensive post-recruitment reform of the Centre’s human resource development, similar to pre-recruitment changes in the form of the National Recruitment Agency.
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the new National Architecture for Civil Services Capacity Building called “Mission Karmayogi” that aims to transform the capacity building apparatus at individual, institutional and process levels at Government of India. The scheme is believed to lay the foundation for capacity building for Civil Servants so that they remain entrenched in Indian culture while they learn from best practices across the world.
The subject of administrative reforms is of profound contemporary concern and is ever valid, at any point of time. Since independence, over the past few decades, there have been subtle and covert, as well as overt changes in administration, some with quick results, and many bearing a long gestation period.
Need for Karmayogi Mission:
Many would say that change has been very slow and not far-reaching because the audience and recipients of service are much more aware and demanding than in 1947. There is indeed, in the government, evidence of an endeavor to combine administrative skills with the modern management techniques for greater effectiveness and responsiveness in administration. Karmayogi Mission is one such initiative of the government after the major administrative reforms brought by the Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC II), 2005.
Capacity of Civil Services plays a vital role in rendering a wide variety of services, implementing welfare programs and performing core governance functions. Mission Karmayogi will be a new capacity building paradigm for training civil servants. The following are the agenda of this mission:
· Prescribe Annual Capacity Building Plan for all departments and services
· Monitor and implementation of Capacity Building Plan
· Massive capacity building initiative to ensure efficient service delivery
· To promote technology-driven learning pedagogy
· To strengthen common foundations and remove the departmental silos
· Setting benchmarks in learning for public servants
· Democratization of learning to cover all categories.
Salient features:
To serve the need of the hour and the nation adequately, National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building will bring a shift in the human resource management from ‘rules-based’ to a ‘roles-based’ approach. This shall put great emphasis on the role of ‘on-site learning’ while complementing the ‘off-site learning’ methodology. Linking training and development of competencies of civil servants will be targeted through Mission Karmayogi.
Aimed at building a future-ready civil service with the right attitude, skills and knowledge, aligned to the vision of New India, the objective of the mission is to prepare Indian civil servants for the future by making them more creative, constructive, imaginative, proactive, innovative, progressive, professional, energetic, transparent, and technology-enabled.
The Mission Karmayogi will be steered by four major and newly formed bodies which are as follows; 
· Prime Minister’s Public Human Resources Council
· Capacity Building Commission
· Special Purpose Vehicle- that will own and operate the digital assets and technological platform for online training, 
· Coordination Unit
To cover around 46 lakh central employees, a sum of Rs 510.86 crore will be spent over a period of 5 years from 2020-21 to 2024-25.
Working of Karmayogi Mission:
The Karmyogi Mission will be delivered by setting up an Integrated Government Online Training (iGOT) Karmayogi Platform, which is a continuous online training platform that would allow all government servants from assistant secretary to secretary level to undergo continuous training, depending on their domain areas. Courses from international universities will be made available on the platform for officers to take any time.
The platform is expected to evolve into a vibrant and world-class market place for content where carefully curated and vetted digital e-learning materials will be made available.
There will be a wholly-owned Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), which will govern the iGOT-Karmayogi platform. It will be set up under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013.
The SPV will be a “not-for-profit” company and will own and manage iGOT-Karmayogiplatform.
The SPV will create and operationalise the content, market place and manage key business services of iGOT-Karmayogi platform, relating to content validation, independent proctored assessments and telemetry data availability.
In a series of tweets, Prime Minister Modi said that Mission Karmayogi will radically improve the Human Resource management practices in the Government.  The Prime Minister said, the Mission will use scale and state of the art infrastructure to augment the capacity of Civil Servants.  
Hailing the approval of Mission Karmayogi by the Cabinet Home Minister Shri Amit Shah said it is a landmark reform for the 21st century which will end the culture of working in silos and bring out a new work culture.
The country has constituted several commissions and committees for bringing administrative reforms. A number of recommendations made by these committees have been executed while many of them have been buried due to lack of political will, status quoist bureaucratic system, resources constants and more importantly lack of capacity building to implement the recommendations. However, experts are of the view that Mission Karmayogi has both political will and vision for bringing a radical change in the administrative system of the country.

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