Call to overhaul obsolete govt. departments

  • Padmanabhaiah stresses horizontal coordination

Hyderabad: “In the past, civil servants had absolute power; however, in the contemporary world of work their authority got diffused on account of emergence of enlightened civil society, proactive NGOs, and vigilant global organisations. This calls for an urgent need to develop such leadership skills as building widespread consensus, using participative decision making, and cultivating trust and confidence across work teams”, said K. Padmanabhaiah, former home secretary to the Government of India.

A recipient of Padma Bhushan, Padmanabhaiah shared his views on the civil service in his keynote address at the valedictory function of the 91st Foundation Course conducted by Dr. MCR HRD Institute, Government of Telangana, on Friday. The course was held under the aegis of Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussorie, and attended by 124 officers of All India Services and Central Civil Services from across the country. Six were from Royal Bhutan Police.

Padmanabhaiah said that different wings of government work in silos and there is hardly any horizontal coordination among them. He suggested that a government department, instead of working in its own watertight compartment, should come out of its shell and join hands with all other concerned departments, in order to achieve its cherished goals.

He also opined that the rules, regulations, and manuals of many government departments are obsolete and there is a pressing need to overhaul them in response to the sweeping changes that are taking place in the internal and external scenarios.

“While the civil servants’ high Intelligence Quotient is appreciated by one and all, their accessibility for pubic leaves much to be desired”, said Padmanabhaiah. He advised the civil servants to learn and perfect the art of dealing with media considering the fact that they are on their radar all the time.

Vinod K Agrawal, Director General, Dr. MCR HRD Institute, said that sole dependence on mere authority and power has become a thing of the past. “A good civil servant should not only get the work done by his team members but also take care of their overall wellbeing”, he suggested and added that a civil servant should stick to the path of righteousness, even in the face of tempting situations that call for deviations on his part from the established norms.

Anitha Balakrishna, Joint Director General and the Course Coordinator, said that the objective of the course, which involved a number of academic, outdoor, extra-curricular, and co-curricular activities, was to equip the officer trainees with a core set of values, skills, and knowledge for their success in their respective careers.

Arshee Khosla was awarded Director General’s Gold Medal for best all-round performance. – NSS

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