Bridge competency gaps

Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) provides cadres which become the mainstay of administrative mechanism in the State. It is almost on the pattern of Indian Administrative Service which came into being after the independence. By and large the people who clear the public service exams and declared successful for employment in the officer cadres are posted to their respective positions in the administrative machinery after preliminary training. Now these young people, usually fresh graduates from the universities, are not having much and necessary experience of dealing with public affairs. What they need is thorough training as an administrative officer and then periodic refreshing of that training adding something more to what they have already learnt and are expected to learn under the necessity of meeting the requirements of present day administration. It has to be remembered that the scope and canvas of contemporary administration has expanded much beyond the times when the curricula for KAS of IAS was laid down. We are at a stage of history where transforming of public service to become compatible with the human resource development prospect has become a necessity. This means that the Government should have a clear-cut administrative policy and strategy. Since the policy is to be implemented through the instrument of the senior rank civil servants, it is of utmost importance that the civil servants are briefed on the scope and reach of their administrative skills from time to time. The Government of India has opted for three training courses for each of the IAS officers that are made effective after 7, 15 and 25 years of active service of an IAS officer. This keeps him abreast with the latest trends and reforms in utilising the human resource to its capacity. The point is that human resource management system in contemporary times has to look at the individual as a vital resource to be valued, motivated, developed and enabled to achieve the mission and objectives. The State Government has realized the necessity of imparting training to administrative cadres and as such early summer this year, a Committee was constituted to devise the mechanism meaning curricula and implementation process of formulating comprehensive training policy for the cadres. The Committee was supposed to submit its report within two months. Nearly four months have elapsed when the Committee was constituted. In these four months the Committee, according to our information, met only once and even the results of that lone meeting were not clear. Thereafter the Committee has neither met not drafted any plan that would be the model for Government policy on training of administrative cadres. At present competency gaps exist in State administrative cadres.
In this situation we cannot expect any substantial change in the attitude and pattern of behaviour of the new recruits to higher cadres of service. Many States in the country have initiated the progamme of imparting intermittent training to the cadres taking the Centre’s module as the fine example to emulate. We regret to say that the Committee constituted for this purpose seems to be absolutely non-serious about the assignment given to it. Therefore the first stage in the task is to raise the vision of the members of the committee to the level of focusing on the proper utilization of human resource and its talent. If we want a radical change in our administrative system, there is no escape from training the civil cadres in the right direction. That is what the Government shall have to do.