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Government reforms on the way: single National Recruitment Agency & more

Apart from creating a single National Recruitment Agency for recruitment, bring all government training institute under one department and usher in a unified single foundation course for entrants to AIS, the Centre also wants to address shortfall ...

, ET Bureau|
Oct 31, 2019, 08.27 AM IST
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NEW DELHI: The Centre is likely to soon finalise and announce a single National Recruitment Agency for recruitment to all Group C and D posts in the government, bring all government training institute under one overarching Training department and usher in a unified single foundation course for entrants to All India services.

ET has gathered that the three plans being firmed up by the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) in consultation with the Prime Minister’s Office, are in final stages.

The fourth key idea to address shortfall of IAS officers at the Centre through a mandatory central deputation system, is yet to be fully firmed up, officials in the know informed ET.

It is expected that the Prime Minister may also announce some of these moves towards government reforms at Kevadia on Thursday.

All the above ideas have also been discussed at length in the Sectoral Group of Secretaries as well.

Some of them have even got started- for instance, the unified foundation course for the new entrants to the All India services.

The 800 plus successful UPSC candidates of 2019 did undergo at a 3-4 week long module of the foundation course together at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy of Administration in Mussorie this year.

The aim is to ensure greater inter service camaraderie and parity of all services- the Mussorie academy has so far largely been the preserve of IAS officers.

PM Modi will be addressing the 800 strong batch together on Thursday at Kevadia at the Statue of Unity complex in Gujarat.

The National Recruitment Agency plan is aimed at streamlining all government recruitment through a single exam instead of multiple examinations conducted by the Staff Selection Board, the Railway Board among others. The multiplicity of examinations has led to a long winding recruitment process resulting vacancies and backlogs across government departments. The National agency is expected to function as a professional organisation with time bound, transparent processes in place.

There are also plans to move all training institutes- including the Mussorie academy and the Indian Institute of Public Administration-under one umbrella to the Department of Administrative reforms and Public Grievances (DRAPG) to ensure that training protocols are in synch with reform measures.

The Pension wing is proposed to be hived off from DARPG to DoPT- the idea being that all service matters of a government servant from his entry into the system to retirement would be under one agency alone.

The plan for mandatory central deputation of IAS officers, however, is still faced with hiccups with states reporting that their cadre officers are unwilling to come to Delhi. North Eastern states on the other hand have complained that the five-year central deputation period is far too long and should be shortened to three years.

However, the issue is becoming a pressing one with a serious dearth of IAS officers right from Director/Deputy Secretary level.

As per rough assessments, only 150 of the near 400 Joint Secretary levels posts are currently filled up at the Centre and near 90 of the 800 Deputy Secretary posts are manned.

It is gathered that the Centre is attempting a consensus with the states to find a formula around mandatory deputation of IAS officers.
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