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2017 batch IPS officer-trainees with President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, in New Delhi on October 12.

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Friday, February 28, 2014

In a first, IAS officers now allowed to write their appraisal online

Launch of online appraisal at the PMO
WHAT could be described as a major step forward in correct appraisal of India’s top officers, the government on Thursday introduced online filing of Performance Appraisal Report (PAR), for IAS officers from the current assessment year, 2013-14. As the software developed by government-owned National Informatics Centre (NIC) was formally launched in New Delhi by minister of state in PMO V Narayanasamy in New Delhi, it heralded a…
new era where no more complaint for loss of appraisal forms could come any longer. Further, it is expected to bring more transparency in the recording of PAR, ensure better monitoring and timely completion of PARs and easy and immediate access to the PARs by the authorized users, an official statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said.
As all officers participating in this exercise have to digitally sign the forms, the majority of officers posted in states as well as in Central ministries or departments have already been issued the dongle for Digital Signature Certificate (DSC).
Performance Appraisal Report is an annual exercise where an officer is appraised out of 10 marks. But unlike in private sector, majority of government officers get 10 out of 10 marks, making this entire exercise virtually meaningless. The question remains, how everyone in a team could be either a Dhoni or a Kohli?
The online system won’t address many of these issues. Though the government officers’ salary and increments are predetermined with a thin line existing between performers and non-performers, an outstanding appraisal is indispensable for getting empanelled for high-ranked Central government posts or even getting nominated for foreign posting.
The software for new online appraisal system will be linked to the Executive Records available on DoPT’s website indicating the name of the officer, the state where attached, present posting, etc. The officers, initially only the IAS, could start filling up the online forms from the last week of March, 2014.
The form will move from the reporting officer to reviewing authority and then finally to accepting authority. Let’s explain the system with an example for those who are not familiar with the government. If a director in a Central government ministry (reporting authority) is writing his appraisal, it would move to his immediate senior i.e. a joint secretary (reviewing authority) who will review the director’s performance. Once the JS writes his comments, the form (earlier a file) will be opened by an additional secretary-ranked officer who will be the final accepting authority in case of a director. For a JS, additional secretary will review his appraisal and his secretary will be an accepting authority. For additional secretary and secretary, the concerned minister is the accepting authority.
The newly developed software has an inbuilt system of generating auto-alerts which would go to the concerned officers with whom the PAR would be pending for more than the specified time and thus would ensure better monitoring of the writing of PAR, the statement said.
Each officer would have to digitally sign the report before forwarding it to appropriate authority. The officer writing the appraisal could upload the summary of medical reports, certificate of training, academic courses, appreciation letters, etc.

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