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Reorientation for officials at Centre

Tuesday 5 April 2005

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, APRIL 4. The Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, has approved a major overhaul of the senior civil service, according to informed sources.

In the new scheme of things, all bureaucrats belonging to the Central and allied services will be required should undergo periodic re-orientation programmes at a "centralised training institute." Such an institute will be located either in New Delhi or Mussorie.

The Department of Personnel, which has taken the initiative to get the Prime Minister’s nod, is reported to be in touch with a number of American universities, including the Harvard Business School and the Maxwell School, as well as with the various Indian Institutes of Management and the Indian Institutes of Technology.

A major feature of the new scheme is that the "marks" or "grades" scored by a bureaucrat at the "centralised training institute" would count very much in his/her promotion and eventual "empanelment," a requirement for appointment to senior positions. So far, the accent has been on "confidential reports," written by a ministry’s secretary or a minister; this has bred conformism and rewarded un-imagination among senior bureaucrats.

The Prime Minister is believed to have stressed the point that in this age of globalisation, the Indian bureaucracy should be "second to none" and, therefore, the civil servants should periodically undergo training and re-orientation programmes to keep pace with the administrative requirements in a fast-changing international environment.

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