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Lessons from Sadhguru, Art of Living & TISS — Modi govt’s new skills programme for IAS officers

Civil servants are being sent for immersive training programmes in corporate sector as part of govt's Mission Karmayogi, which focusses on capacity building.

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New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government has started sending civil servants from various ministries to the corporate sector for skill development through immersive training programmes as part of its Mission Karmayogi initiative, ThePrint has learnt. 

The focus is on ‘holistic interaction and exchanges’ between the bureaucracy and corporates, with the aim of making the government’s functioning “stronger and more evolved”, according to a top official involved in the mission. 

Apart from sending civil servants to private companies, the government has been arranging motivational courses offered by the Art of Living Foundation and by yoga guru Sadhguru as well as skill development training programmes by private institutes including the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.  

For those attached with the defence ministry, the government has started motivation and stress management programmes, too. The courses include varied subjects, from artificial intelligence and cloud commuting to dealing with metaverse and global computing.  

“Such private sector training or internship was first tried by the civil aviation ministry. Looking at its success, other ministries, primarily the ones dealing with markets and corporates directly, also tried these programmes. These are holistic in nature. For ministries and officers opting for the programmes, it depends on the requirement,” said a senior IAS officer from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). 

Apart from the regulatory ministries, all other government organisations, departments and ministries that need to interact with the private sector routinely get their officials trained by corporates. However, the design and duration of the courses are needs-based, said another source in the DoPT. 

“The intent of the government is to move from rule-based to role-based functions. A lot of content has been created for the programmes. In the past two months, around 60,000 officers have enrolled with Mission Karmayogi,” Karmayogi Bharat CEO Abhishek Singh told ThePrint. 

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Public-private training programmes 

Launched in 2020, Mission Karmayogi’s primary objective is capacity building for civil servants, and making the civil services more technology driven and people-friendly. As many as 25 central training institutes, 33 advanced training institutes and 790 other government institutions are working to enhance officials’ learning as part of the capacity building programme. 

Post pandemic, the departments of civil aviation, food processing, social justice, logistics, defence and finance —  which were chosen as ‘pilot departments’ — developed their own programmes, specific to their departmental requirements. 

The civil aviation ministry first proposed the idea of sending the officers to private airline companies for training and internship. Subsequently, two batches were sent to private airlines for immersive training. After the success of such programmes, the other ministries also took it up, said a senior official in the aviation ministry. 

“It is about domain specific knowledge. The government is focused on skills and tech-friendly learning. All new emerging trends are being identified and digital content is being made accordingly for training. The ministries are accordingly entering agreements with the private companies for internship-like training programmes. We are also getting batches from the private sector who want to see how the government organisations function,” the official said, adding that the exchange was “holistic” in nature and a “positive” public-private interaction platform. 

(Edited by Tony Rai)

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