New Delhi: The Modi government could soon split the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) into two separate departments to allow for the better training of civil servants, ThePrint has learnt.
According to sources in the government, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has asked the DoPT to explore the idea of having separate departments handle personnel matters and training. While the idea has not yet been communicated on paper, top officials in the DoPT have told ThePrint that the bifurcation is being explored by the government.
The coordinating agency for all personnel matters is the DoPT, which looks after recruitment, regulation of service conditions, posting/transfers, deputation and training of bureaucrats.
Its training division is responsible for implementing the National Training Policy, which was adopted in 1996. Its functions include sponsoring training programmes for civil servants, upgrading training infrastructure for government officials across the country and organising foreign training events for civil servants.
If bifurcated, the training department would be responsible for training, evaluation, monitoring and appraisals of all civil servants.
According to a government official who did not wish to identified, having a separate department for training will ensure that there is a separate and larger budget for training. Officers can gain domain expertise in their areas of work and training of government officials across the country can be coordinated and synchronised, the official said.
“Right now, different ministries and training institutes are responsible for the training of government officials from different services,” the official said.
“The idea is to centralise training and ensure there is better coordination of training of government officials throughout the country by bringing it under one ministry.”
Fear of over-centralisation
While the idea has been floated by the PMO and is learnt to have support within the government, its implementation could stoke some concerns regarding “over-centralisation”, an Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer currently on central deputation said on the condition of anonymity.
“In the current arrangement, all ministries report their appraisals to the cadre-controlling ministry of the service concerned,” the official said. “If that changes and all appraisals are reported to one ministry, it is possible that IAS officers are favoured over all other officers.”