The other steel frame | Business Standard

The other steel frame | Business Standard

This excellent analysis of the present state of affairs of the civil services should be an eye opener for those who handle Human Resources Development and Management issues in government and organizations in public as well as private sectors. Though some positive changes in approach have happened in higher education including IIMs and other management education centres, there has not been any perceptible change in the recruitment and training processes or in opportunities for career progression in government(both at the Centre and in states), PSUs, financial institutions and statutory organizations. The absence of talent in government and public sector is the product of a deliberate neglect of HR related issues by the government. The ageing top level in government and public sector is a serious issue. In the present context when performance of government and institutions in public and private sectors is being watched by the world and judged almost online, HRD at the top across sectors should become a national priority. As a fire-fighting measure, there is a need for a comprehensive look at the manpower planning and deployment of available expertise among institutions across private and public sectors and related human resources development (HRD) issues which have to be handled without further loss of time. The Government and public sector organizations may have to consider how best the ‘Cost to Company’(C to C) principles can be integrated into their existing recruitment, training, placement and career progression policies. Inter-mobility of executives at higher levels among comparable departments of government and public and private sector organizations should be possible, on transparent norms and strictly based on merits. Changes may have to come first in the recruitment and training procedures for IAS and state civil services and management trainees in public/private sector undertakings including probationary officers in PSBs. Specialized services like one for Banking/Financial Sector could be evolved for institutions including those in the private sector and all regulatory bodies in the financial sector. A transparent guidance for remuneration package based on paying capacity/need for skills for different sectors and ensuring social security should come from government without always worrying about what will be the impact on Cabinet Secretary’s salary or trade union demands. If the government secretary deserves a higher salary, government should not raise budgetary concerns for not paying it. Instead, merger of some departments and utilizing the surplus manpower for new job opportunities should be a wiser option. Time is opportune for both private and public sector organizations to have some introspection on their HR practices right from recruitment at the lowest level to selection of CEOs, remuneration packages, training facilities and social security measures for their employees. While organizations in the private sector may have to review the optimum pressure they can put on their executives and managers, government and public sector counterparts may dispassionately examine and modify their remuneration packages to ensure attracting and retaining competitive talent in the present market scenario. Let us not forget that the civil services, executives and staff of public/private sector undertakings have to supplement the skills of the increasing number of political masters who were not as fortunate to get trained or groomed. The nation is immensely dependent on them for carrying out the development agenda on hand. Till, perhaps ten years back, employers could depend on a growing population of educated unemployed from which they could hire and fire candidates on their terms. Position has changed with the opening up of the economy and sooner we realize it and act, the better. Dodging real issues could take us back to pre-reform days. M G Warrier, Mumbai


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