Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Kiran Aggarwal panel recommends inputs on media dealing, yoga in IAS training; suggests reduction of training duration

A GOVERNMENT-appointed panel headed by 1964-batch retired IAS Kiran Aggarwal has recommended the inclusion of inputs to deal with media in the teaching curriculum of IAS probationers, apart from adding yoga and meditation in their physical training. “Specific inputs on dealing with the media and exposure to…
processes related to the lower and higher judiciary should also form a focus area in the teaching curriculum,” the panel which reviewed the content and duration of the training of IAS officers, said in its report submitted to the DoPT last month.
The panel which also included LBSNAA director Padamvir Singh has recommended reduction of induction training from two years to one and half years, and curtailing of the foreign study tour introduced only in 2010, from two weeks to one week with a suggestion that such a tour should be undertaken for officers with four to five years of experience, as “the first four-five years of service would be better devoted by IAS officers to knowing their sub-division, district, state and country”.
LBSNAA director Singh however did not fully endorse the recommendation of the reduction of the duration of the training as “feedback received from various quarters has not pointed in any significant manner to the need to reduce the duration from 2 years.” In an email written to chairperson Aggarwal which was added in the report as an annexure, Singh however said that he fully endorses the committee’s decision to reorient training and concentrate on pedagogical methods more amenable to adult learning.
On age factor, the panel has suggested that any future decisions regarding revision of maximum age of entry should be carefully considered and must factor the consequent implications on training, as the age of entry has a close linkage with training outcomes in general. In fact, a healthy balance must be struck between affording additional opportunity in terms of age and chances to candidates with disadvantaged or rural backgrounds, with the need to make entrants more amenable to institutional training, the panel said in its report.
Only recently, the government approved two additional attempts for aspirants to crack civil services examinations with relaxation of upper age by two years in an apparent pre-election move that reportedly had Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s hand.
On yoga, the panel said the following: “In physical training, a specific module on yoga and meditation may also be included.” 
The panel also recommended that the winter study tour should cover, as part of its itinerary, North East and Jammu and Kashmir to “sensitize Officer Trainees to the special challenges of these regions”.
The other committee members include DoPT’s additional secretary (represented till January 2014 by JP Prakash), MHA’s additional secretary (represented by Prashant Nikam, Director), additional secretary, MoEF (represented by Smt Rekha Pai, IG Forests), joint secretary, training division, DoPT (represented by Alok Kumar), Director of Tata Management Training Centre, Dr Shubhro Sen, Joint Director of LBSNAA Mussoorie (represented by Tejveer Singh). Dr Rathin Roy, director of NIPFP formally expressed his inability to be a part of the committee whereas Santrupt Misra, director HR of Aditya Birla Group also expressed his regrets in not being able to join the committee’s deliberations due to his official engagements.

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