Cabinet approves 'Mission Karmayogi' for major reforms in bureaucracy

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved ‘Mission Karmayogi’, dubbed as the biggest bureaucratic reform initiative, aimed at capacity building to make government employees more “creative, proactive, professional and technology-enabled”, ending the culture of working in silos and ensuring transparency.

The programme will “radically” improve the government’s human resource management practices and prepare civil servants for the future, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

A council, comprising select union ministers, chief ministers, eminent public HR practitioners among others and headed by the prime minister, will serve as the apex body for providing strategic direction, while a Capacity Building Commission is also proposed to be set up.

The programme will help in overcoming existing impediments like “lack of lifelong & continuous learning environment”, “evolution of silos at department level preventing shared understanding of India’s development aspirations” and “diverse and fragmented training landscape” among others,

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said during a press briefing after the cabinet meeting.

The core guiding principles of the competency-driven programme will be to support a transition from “rules based to roles based” HR management.

To cover around 46 lakh central employees, a sum of Rs 510.86 crore will be spent over five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25 under Mission Karmayogi or the National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB), according to the statement.

Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh, who was also present at the briefing, said the scheme will help end subjective evaluation, and ensure scientifically-devised, objective and real-time assessment of employees.

“Mid-career training which was only available for All India Services will now be mandatory for all officials at all levels in all services,” he said.

Dwelling on the salient features of the new mechanism prepared after two years of labour to reform the bureaucracy, the minister said that appointing authorities will have ready-made data available for choosing “the right candidate for the right job”, while real-time evaluation will go a long way in ensuring accountability and transparency in governance.

He said that the ultimate aim of Mission Karmayogi is to ensure “ease of living” for the common man, “ease of doing business” and “citizen-centricity” that is reducing the gap between the government and the citizens, according to an official statement.

It is also proposed to set up the Capacity Building Commission with a view to ensure a uniform approach in managing and regulating the capacity building ecosystem on a collaborative and co-sharing basis, the statement said.

The Commission will also come out with an “Annual State of Civil Service Report’, it said.

An integrated government online training platform – iGOTKarmayogi – will be set up for the Mission.

“iGOT-Karmayogi platform brings the scale and state-of-the-art infrastructure to augment the capacities of over two crore officials in India,” it said.

There will be a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for owning and operating the digital assets and technological platform for online training and a coordination unit headed by the Cabinet Secretary for the program, the statement said.

“NPCSCB has been carefully designed to lay the foundations for capacity building for civil servants so that they remain entrenched in Indian culture and sensibilities and remain connected with their roots, while they learn from the best institutions and practices across the world,” it said.

The expenditure is partly funded by multilateral assistance to the tune of USD 50 million, the statement said.

Besides capacity building, service matters like confirmation after probation period, deployment, work assignment and notification of vacancies, etc. Would eventually be integrated with the proposed competency framework, the statement said. On the conceptualisation of the Mission, Singh said that it started taking shape when on October 27, 2017, Narendra Modi became the first prime minister after 42 years to have visited the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie.