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‘Catch them young’

For efficient and effective governance, the basic requirement is to place ‘right persons at right place on right time’. It needs well trained team of dynamic, responsible and visionary persons having adequate knowledge in their respective disciplines.

Seeing the deteriorating standard of education and its incapacity to equip much needed dynamism, knowledge and skills to perform their jobs in responsible manner, people’s faith is increasing in principle of “Catch them young and train them” in their respective areas of work accordingly.

The present scheme of education and training has failed in introducing dynamic and responsible people in the governance of the nation. The quality of education is such, that it hardly makes majority of students either intellectually competent or motivated to do constructive work in responsible manner. The requirement of modern education for getting white collard jobs has resulted in over crowding the institutions of education and training. The stress on quantitative increase has subverted all the attempts to improve the quality of teaching and learning. It has led to continuous fall in the standard of higher education. The examination and evaluation system tests only a narrow range of skills, especially those of memory and suffers from grave errors, so much and so, that people question the legitimacy of a modern education system itself.

Today, when other democratic institutions have lost public faith, the Defence Services are still keeping up some standard. The candidates passing out from National Defence Academy commands a high esteem in public’s eye,when they join the services. They are regarded to be the best disciplined cadre of officers – dynamic, sincere, responsible and dedicated to their duties.

The selection of army officers is done after higher secondary education on the basis of written examinations and a thorough interview testing aptitude, leadership qualities, general ability and intellectual acumen. After their selection, they get four years of rigorous training – three years in NDA at Kharakwasla, and for one year in IMA at Dehradun in the case of Army, Hyderabad in the case of Air Force and Cochin in the case of Navy.

Their training is at an age, when their minds are still in formative stage. The training is so tough and seriously imparted that either trainees come upto the desired standard or quit it in between, if they were unable to cope with the rigors of the training. The officers are given further education and initial training under strict supervision of seniors. The three years training in NDA prepares them for performing their duties as armed forces officers well. By the time they pass out, they are well equipped with basic requirements of their jobs.

Similar is the practice in the field of medicine and engineering – selection after higher secondary and then further education and thorough training in their specific discipline for a period of four years. A small band of officers for Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers are well known for their expertise and efficient performance. It is well known that Indian Engineers, especially from IITs and Indian Doctors are in great demand abroad.

Recently Kota in Rajasthan has developed into a coaching hub for IITians. It has produced many toppers and send hundreds to engineering colleges. Now-a-days competition has become so tough that it is never too early for learning. Many coaching institutes in Kota, and elsewhere in Rajasthan Assam and Punjab are planning to start special training programmes (Pre-foundation Career Care Program (PCCP) aimed at “better conceptual understanding” for students of Std VIII. It is meant to develop a “scientific temperament, mathematical aptitude, problem-solving skills, reasoning and competitive sychology” at an early age, no matter whether students pronounce/comprehend these phrases or not.

It is advisable that the cadre of officers engaged in the task of governance should be selected early to equip them with intellectual, moral and physical qualities essential to perform the complex and delicate job of development administration effectively and efficiently. While their minds are still in the formative stage, it is easier for the Government to take a purposeful approach to articulate the required thinking, attitude and knowledge in them.

 Job-oriented education and training will imbibe in them intellectual knowledge, qualities, attitudes and skills according to the increasing and diversified needs of the modern administration, such as social purposefulness, public service consciousness, ability to understand administrative, political and economic implications of a problem, resourcefulness in solving them, creativeness, dynamism, up to date knowledge in their particular discipline, capacity for team-work, good fellowship, ability to cooperate, alertness in grasping a situation and quickness in assimilating relevant facts and persuasiveness in presenting their point of view. It will deepen the awareness of professional norms. It will facilitate the Government to have right type of people required for an efficient administration.

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June 16, 2009 - Posted by | Bureaucracy/Civil Services

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