in determining the eligibility and ranking for long term and short term foreign training under DFFT”, said the draft policy paper released through an office memorandum dated June 8, 2015.
Under the Domestic Funding of Foreign Training (DFFT) scheme, introduced in 2001, the IAS officers are allowed to apply for funding at any time whereas the officers of the other two All India Services, viz., IPS and Indian Forest Service and those of other Group A central civil services are eligible under the scheme only when they are holding posts on deputation under the Central Staffing Scheme.
Once selected, the government funds their study in foreign institutes of repute such as Asian Institute of Management, Manila, University of Birmingham, UK, Maxwell School, Syracuse University, USA, ISS, Hague, Netherlands, University of Duke, USA, Harvard Kennedy School, USA, Australian National University, Carnegie Mellon University, Australia, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and National University of Singapore, Singapore etc.
In order to effectively utilize the services of the officers undergoing long-term as well as short term programmes, the draft policy paper also proposed to rationalize the age and service eligibility requirements accordingly. For long-term fully-funded foreign programmes, the officers who have completed 9 years of service and up to the maximum age of 45 years, will now be eligible. For long-term partially funded foreign programmes, the officers who have completed 9 years of service and up to 52 years of age will be eligible. And for long-term domestic programme, the officers with 9 years of service and up to 55 years will be eligible.
Meanwhile, the government has also proposed introduction of mandatory in-service training programmes for IAS officers so as to “equip them to the requirements of the changing governance landscape”, according to the same draft policy paper. The proposed changes are being mooted after it was found that many IAS officer are reluctant to participate in existing in-service training programmes with a duration of 5 days to 1 year, as those are not mandatory in nature. “Further, the cadre authorities and State Govts. also do not release the officers due to non-mandatory nature of the programmes and also as there are no attendant consequences for not undergoing the training,” the draft policy paper said.
“There are large gaps at present between the Mandatory Training Programmes (Mid Career Training Programmes) that the officers have to undergo in their career. Hence, the Career Training Plan of the IAS Officers needs to be revisited to bridge these gaps by introducing mandatory In-Service training programmes (long-term or short term programmes) so as to equip them to the requirements of the changing governance landscape,” draft policy paper further said.
Also, it is proposed to reduce the training period of initial two years of appointment from current 103 weeks (15 weeks Foundation Course, 26 weeks Phase I, 54 weeks district training and 8 weeks phase II training) to 84 weeks, on the recommendations of the Kiran Agarwal panel constituted by the last government. It is also found that the 5-year-long gap between the induction training and mandatory mid-career training programme is huge. So, one mandatory in-service training programme of at least one week duration is, therefore, proposed to be introduced in this gap which an officer is required to undergo during the fifth or the sixth year of service.
All those are however at a drafting stage. The policy will be finalized only after the views of IAS and other stakeholders are taken on board.