Sunday, April 2, 2023

Jharkhand gets a pat from PMO for NITI Aayog “Best Practice”


Ranchi, Nov. 28: On getting a patting letter from the PMO as NITI Aayog “Best Practice,” the Jharkhand bureaucrats are in high spirit. It is worthwhile to mention that Chief Secretary Mr. Rajiv Gauba received this letter.

Putting forth the State Government’s point, Chief Secretary Mr. Rajiv Gauba discussed various initiatives, schemes & plans the state govt. is undertaking.

He informed New Delhi that the past eleven months in Jharkhand have been one of continuous reforms in all aspects of governance ranging from urban development to skill development to major infrastructural projects to renewable energy.

With this philosophy of transformation, he said, two key initiatives have been launched by the government in the field of administrative reform i) the reorganization of departments with a reduction of the number of departments (from 43 to 31) and, ii) the scheme of Lateral Entry of technocrats as advisors.

A downsizing and restructuring of government departments on this scale is perhaps the first of its kind in a state government.

Likewise, he emphasized, the lateral entry to allow the best talent to help in policy development is a unique initiative. (The Prime Minister’s Office has taken note of the government’s decision spearheaded by the Chief Secretary and asked the NITI Aayog to circulate this as a best practice so that it can be replicated in other states.)

He informed New Delhi that this reform initiative of merging of departments with similar interrelated functions and goals like finance, planning and institutional finance meant to create one department in order to expedite decision-making in the critical area of sanctioning of schemes, allocation and release of funds. He said that some departments have even been bifurcated as per requirement.

He informed New Delhi that previously primary, secondary and higher education all came under the purview of one department i.e. Human Resource Development. It was felt that higher education needs special focus and hence it was separated and merged with Technical Education so that more attention can be paid to higher and technical education since Jharkhand has been lagging behind in this area.

In addition to the re-organization of the departments, the C.S. said, action has also been taken to update the mandate of the departments. For example, social media has been included in the charter of Public Relations Department, Geo Space in Information Technology & e-Governance Department, climate change in Forest Department, innovation in governance in Personnel & Administrative Reforms Department.

He said that lateral entry of technocrats as advisors is another unique policy prescription that the Government of Jharkhand in September has introduced. The government shall appoint advisors as Special Secretaries and State PSU’s MD’s.

He said that Jharkhand model has been made truly unique with aid to Search and Selection Committee by a Human Resource Consultancy Agency, which shall identify individuals recognized as area experts and request them to join the government. The agency shall also be responsible for the yearly evaluation of the work by the advisor.

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