What is Mission Karmayogi? Can It Reform Indian Bureaucracy?

The programme sets competency goals for each role in the government services, allowing for better skill monitoring. 

4 min read
The programme sets competency goals for each role in the government services, allowing for better skill monitoring. 

Touting it as the largest capacity building programme for civil servants in the history of India and of the world, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Union government on Wednesday, 2 August announced Mission Karmayogi that promises to build well-rounded professionals who “can stand up to the expectations of the people.”

Apart from setting competency levels for each role, programme also seeks to enhance skills of civil servants by allowing them specially-designed courses for a subscription of Rs 431.

The programme will be open to civil servants across all sections on a country-wide scale and will help them in performing their role better by establishing standardised competency levels for each role.

Announcing the decision, C Chandramouli, Secretary in the Department of Personnel and training, said that in order to meet present-day challenges, “a civil servant has to be imaginative, innovative, proactive, polite,transparent, tech-oriented and creative” all at the same time.

Why should you care?

In a country where implementation of policies is a major hurdle, setting competency goals for civil servants will enable them to understand their role better and serve the people better.

Why is there a need for Karma Yogi?

Fragmented Learning: Present day training landscape is diverse and fragmented, leading civil servants to think departmentally and in silos. Since thinking is parochial, there is a lack of a shared understanding of India’s national developmental aspirations and needs.

Lack of continuous learning : While courses are offered in patches for civil servants, there’s an absolute lack of a life long-learning environment. There is a need to view training and learning as a continuous process and not something that is done in bits and pieces.

Redundancy & duplication of efforts: Since the learning process is fragmented and department-wise, there’s duplication of effort and there is an absence of common shared knowledge and faculty.

What are the focus areas?

The government feels that there’s too much of focus on rules at the moment and wants to shift the attention away to stressing on role. Under this each role has been divided into functions and activities and a competency level has been set against each.

Competencies are further divided into domain, functional and behavioral aspects for the role to be better understood and thereby better served. 

Additionally, a digital platform named iGOT has been set up which would offer learning content from across the world as well as from home. Since this is a digital platform, it would enable the civil servant to measure her career growth by keeping a track of the number of courses that a civil servant takes.

What are the components?

HR Council: The programme will be headed by a National HR Council chaired by PM Modi. It will include select Union ministers, chief ministers, national-international experts, and thought and industry leaders. It will provide direction and oversee capacity building plans.

Capacity Building Commission: The commission will establish testing standards and help the HR council with reports and recommendations on capacity augmentations and development of a comprehensive national training programme. It will create shared faculty and resources and have supervisory role over all central training institutions.

SPV: The special purpose vehicle will be a 100 percent government-owned company, which will be responsible for managing digital resources and curating the best of courses from the world and India and offer it to civil servants for a subscription of Rs 431. Around Rs 510 crore will be invested in over a period of 5 years.


The goal?

The ultimate goal is better delivery of government services and to reduce the gap between the citizens and the government. The programme, through efficient capacity building, aims at better ease of living and greater ease of doing business.

This apart, it also provides the government as well as civil servants insights on their capacities and competencies.

What did PM Modi say?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter, on Wednesday, 2 September, to say that the National Program for Civil Services Capacity Building will radically improve the Human Resource management practices in the government.

“It will use scale and state of the art infrastructure to augment the capacity of Civil Servants,” he added.

Further, the prime minister said:

“The iGOT platform will enable the transition to a role-based HR management & continuous learning. Mission Karmayogi aims to prepare Civil Servants for the future by making them more creative, constructive & innovative through transparency and technology. #CivilService4NewIndia (sic).”

What did the Union home minister say?

Union Home Minister Amit Shah referred to Mission Karmyogi as a “holistic and comprehensive scheme” that will “focus on individual as well as institutional capacity building.”

Further, Shah said, “It is a landmark reform for the 21st century which will end the culture of working in silos & bring out new work culture. Goal driven and constant training will empower & sensitize the civil servants to ensure accountability and transparency in the system. #CivilService4NewIndia [sic].”

Suggesting that the reform will provide an improvement mechanism for government functionaries, as well as help them to fulfil their aspirations, Shah said, “Modi govt is fully committed towards building of a future ready civil service [sic].”

What is Mission Karmayogi? Can It Reform Indian Bureaucracy?

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