Mission Karmayogi: Modi government's radical reforms for civil services in India
The government aims to provide training that will assist officers fulfil defined organisational goals
Stressing on the need for continuous capacity building, especially in the area of human resource development, the Narendra Modi Government has launched Mission Karmayogi, the biggest civil service reforms ever attempted, to guide civil servants to upgrade their skills to match their competencies with their respective roles.
Writing in indiainc.com, India Inc. Founder and CEO Manoj Ladwa points out that whenever there is a discourse about civil servants in India, there is a tendency to think only of the elite IAS, IPS, IFS and other Grade I services. People forget that below this very narrow apex there is a vast, nearly five-million robust bureaucracy that functions the nuts and bolts of governance across the country.
According to the article, the conduct of the government is critically dependent on the capability of those who do the real groundwork below the level of the Grade I officers. This new mission focuses on providing lifelong training, not only to the elite services but also to officers at lower grades, it points out.
Defining Karmayogi according to Indian philosophy, it says karma yoga is the spiritual practice of selfless action performed for the benefit of other people and provides a roadmap to attain Nirvana (spiritual emancipation) through work. It calls for complete dedication to one’s duty and an absolute commitment to achieving one’s goals while remaining neutral to the results that accompany success or failure. A person who follows such a path is called a karmayogi.
PM Modi’s panache for characterising projects with a link to India’s cultural or spiritual roots is prominent, and here is yet another instance, the article mentions.
According to the article, the goal of Karmayogi is similar to many large private corporations and the government is mulling over providing training that will help officers fulfil defined organisational goals to meet the requirements of the citizens they are meant to serve. It also plans to match an individual’s competencies to his/her role which would ensure more specialisation at all levels of governance.
The article argues that mission Karmayogi has apparently recognised some of the important HR issues faced by the government. For example, the training modules are too diverse and fragmented at present as every department operates within silos.
The mission seeks to improve HR practices in the Indian civil services from a rules-based order to a role-based one. It proposes to form the National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building that will facilitate, among other things, the connection of training and development to the competencies of civil servants, the transformation of civil service training institutes and Centres of Excellence, exhort ministries to invest in and co-create common learning platforms and bring in well-known experts from industry and academia to ensure quality remains intact, writes Ladwa.
He further states that mission Karmayogi is a bold and innovative initiative focused at aligning the Indian civil services with the best practices of governance in industry. If it achieves, it can amend the face of public service delivery in India and set a new template for managing the emerging challenges of governance across the globe.