A Two-day Long Conference Examines Approaches to Competency-based Performance Management for the Indian civil service

28 Nov 2011

New Delhi - A two-day long conference organized by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and UNDP examined approaches to competency-based performance management for the Indian civil service to enable individual officers to respond to the emerging needs of their roles.

Rapid economic and political change, new technologies and citizens’ expectations from governance systems and service delivery, pose many challenges for India’s government. The capacity of public administration to respond to these critical issues will depend largely on an increased focus on human resource management in the civil services. As of 2005, India’s public administration is the largest bureaucracy in the world with about 18 million employees at all levels of government and in public sector entities. 

A series of policy initiatives aimed at governance reforms have been taken in the last few years. There has been a clear shift from conventional command-and-control oriented personnel administration to a development oriented human resource management (HRM) recognizing "employees as people."

Mr.V. Narayanasamy, Minister of State-Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and Prime Minister’s Office pointed out in his inaugural statement that, "As managers and administrators of the country, we need to  change fast, and preferably faster, than the environment. Competency-based human resource management systems can enable individual officers to respond to the emerging needs of their roles."

The Approach Paper to the 12th Five-Year Plan has also highlighted the need for better implementation of government programmes through innovative approaches, quality management and strengthening of governance institutions.

This consultation is part of a recently launched year-long  preparatory project initiated by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and UNDP which is aimed at developing capacities of civil servants and building an enabling environment towards a more effective, efficient, transparent and accountable public administration at national and state levels.

According to Mr. Patrice Coeur-Bizot, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, "UNDP’s focus is on supporting effective programme implementation that can enable the realization of rights of the persistently excluded and marginalised groups. Human resource management is critical in motivating and empowering civil servants to address issues of inclusion."

A competency-based approach to HRM, i.e. one which appreciates performance standards and sets expectations at various managerial levels, requires an enabling environment, organizational change through policies and frameworks and change at the individual level through skills, knowledge, attitudes and values.

Ms. Upma Srivastava, Joint Secretary (Training), Department of Personnel and Training called the conference a great success and a promising beginning for the joint effort to strengthen Human Resource Management in the Civil Service.

As a result of the conference with participants from the Union Government, training institutions, states, and various Civil Service cadres, the Department of Personnel and Training and UNDP India have committed themselves to explore in more detail how the competency-based approach to HRM can be implemented in the Indian Civil Service.

Contact Information

Sumeeta Banerji
4653 2292
Nandita Surendran