Prajapati Trivedi, an academic who served as secretary to the performance management department under cabinet secretariat during the UPA regime, has received the International Public Administration Award from the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA). The award, considered prestigious in the field of public administration, is given to an individual who holds citizenship in a nation other than the USA; lives and works mainly outside America and contributes significantly to the field of public administration as a scholar, practitioner or both, as demonstrated by publications, awards and honours etc. Prof. Trivedi is currently a…senior fellow (governance) and professor of public policy at the Indian School of Business (ISB), Mohali. He is also a visiting fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
ASPA is a prominent association in American public administration with a diverse membership of about 8,000 practitioners, academicians and students.Prof. Trivedi served as an international civil servant with the World Bank for about 15 years. He also had two innings with the government of India — first when he was appointed as an economic adviser during 1992-94. He had then worked closely with Dr Manmohan Singh, then finance minister and Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the then finance secretary. Trivedi was the pioneer in designing and developing the policy of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Central government PSUs. The MOU is basically a contract between the secretary to government acting as the owner (principal) and public enterprise chief as the manager (agent).
Later in 2009, Trivedi rejoined the Government of India as secretary of the performance management division housed under the cabinet secretariat. What he created was a performance management system across 80 departments of Government of India and also in 14 states. He also conceptualized a system under which incentives would be provided to performing bureaucrats. But it remained largely a non-starter because of lack of any political support.
Though two successive pay commissions mentioned about performance-linked incentives, a fool proof system has not been created as yet. Performing and non-performing bureaucrats in the government draw the same salary.
Prof. Trivedi is an M.Sc in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science and is a PhD in economics from Boston University.