Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Path of Decentralisation - Recommendations For An Empowered And Robust Future


This blog has already presented in a previous post before its readers the important features of the 73rd & 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts for PRIs and Urban local Bodies establishment and functioning,their actual functioning and the major issues they face while carrying out their listed duties.

Now let us look forward to a few recommendations that have been listed by various studies and committees carried out in India for the same.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

1. The elected representatives of the Panchayats and Municipalities should exercise superintendence and control over govt. officials i.e. serving the Panchayats instead of playing a subordinate role.

2. An inter-zilla panchayat parishad should be constituted in every state with the Chief Minister as its chairman to thrash out legislative,financial and administrative matters of the Panchayats. The planning setup at the zilla level should be headed by the chairman of the zilla panchayat.

3. The requirements of financial accountability should be designed and supervised by the CAG and the power of dissolution as well as accountability of lower level panchayat units rest with the next higher levels of panchayats and not with the govt. officials in order to establish peer group accountability.

4. A Constitutional amendment for ensuring elections to cooperatives is a must because a vibrant cooperative system is important for successful Panchayati Raj.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Career Prospects After A Degree in Public Administration

Q: After completing my BA in political science next year, I want to pursue my Master's in public administration . What are the career prospects of this course? Kokila Sen
A: An MA in public administration will give you the option of going into teaching at the school or college level (for teaching in a college, you will have to clear the UGC-NET exam). You could also explore research jobs in institutions focusing in political and social issues. For eg, IDSA, CPR (Centre for Policy Research), CSSR (Centre for Social Science Research) or other think tanks such as USI or NGOs like NFI (National Foundation of India), among others. Public administration, as it is popularly called, is a common favourite for the UPSC Civil Services Exam (in combination with geography law, sociology , etc). If you make it to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), you can put your theoretical knowledge of the subject into practice.

Content Courtesy: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-09-10/news/33735786_1_fashion-design-footwear-design-graphic-design

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Policy Analysis - A Detailed Understanding

It is imperative for every Public Administration scholar,practitioner,researcher and enthusiast to understand the core of this discipline,which in its true essence is Policy Analysis.
It is also immensely needed to be understood by social workers,Politicians and all those involved in any subject within the realm of Social studies so that we have better policy formulations,implementations and evaluations in the present and the future by all the stakeholders involved in policy decisions as well as those who are impacted/benefited by the same.

So, let us begin.

DEFINITION:
Jacob B. Ukeles observes Policy Analysis as the systematic investigation of alternative policy options. He opines that Policy Analysis is:
"The systematic investigation of alternative policy options and the assembly and integration of the evidence for and against each option. It involves a problem solving approach,the collection and interpretation of information and some attempt to predict the consequences of alternative courses of action."

TYPES OF POLICY ANALYSIS:
1. EMPIRICAL,EVALUATIVE OR NORMATIVE POLICY ANALYSIS - This approach poses questions about past policies and analyses its causes and effects  in order to find solutions to future issues in the same or future policies.

It also evaluates the worth and value of a policy option so that future courses of actions can be recommended.


2. RETROSPECTIVE/PROSPECTIVE POLICY ANALYSIS - It does a historical analysis and interpretation of past policies in order to ascertain solutions to or infact prevention of such repetition of mistakes/miscalculations in future and future policies.

The prospective part of this approach to policy analysis focuses on the future outcomes of a proposed policy. It is anticipatory in essence.

Retrospective policy analysis approach is more beneficial than the prospective one as in the former's case there is decisive info and analysis to carve future courses of action but in the latter's case there is uncertainty to a certain level and also prone to manipulations.


3. PREDICTIVE/PRESCRIPTIVE/DESCRIPTIVE POLICY ANALYSIS-  It refers to the forecasting of future state of affairs arising from the implementation of a particular policy alternative. It recommends actions that could result in a particular outcome. When one is is unsure regarding the nature of a resolution to an issue and there is no precedent for the same then one refers to the prescriptive policy analysis.
However, this can be influenced by the policy maker's personal approach.

Descriptive part of this approach refers to historical or retrospective analysis of past policies and also evaluates a new policy as and when it is being implemented. The primary approach in this is to understand the problem rather than its resolution. It is however incorporated into prospective policy analysis frequently so that there is a detailed evaluation and also solutions found expeditiously to mend the current policy as it is being implemented.


PROCESS OF POLICY ANALYSIS:

1. Verify,define and detail the problem.

2. Establish Evaluation Criteria.

3. Identify alternative policies.

4. Evaluate alternative polices.

5. Display and distinguish among alternative policies.

6. Monitor the implemented policy.

Monday, October 28, 2013

'Time spent on the study table matters the most' - UPSC Civil Services Preparation Guidance

At least a dozen candidates from Odisha have qualified for the civil services. Three of them - Anupam Saha, Manish Agarwal and Rashi Dogra - share their motivation and secret for success of cracking the prestigious exam with Ashok Pradhan. While one was attracted by the dream of pursuing the 'top most career' in the government sector, another rued the lack of 'proper coaching' in Odisha. The biggest motivator for the third was the desire to work for society in an efficient way. They, however, agree that at the end of the day it is one's own hard work and perseverance that is responsible for success.
Anupam Saha of Kesinga (Kalahandi), rank 35
Q-How did you prepare?
A-It is a three-stage examination, i.e., prelims, mains and interview and this was my third attempt. For the prelims, I studied extensively from the syllabus and emphasized on current affairs. Clarity of concept is the key to success in the preliminary test. Intensive study, answer writing practice with emphasis on presentation is of utmost importance in the mains. At the interview, what I feel is the board tries to assess the aptitude of the candidate for a career in civil services by asking questions from diverse fields.
Q-How was your interview?
A-My interview lasted for 25 to 30 minutes. I was interviewed by Alka Sirohi's board. The questions asked were on contempt of court, knowledge economy of India and its scope and challenges, questions on challenges in higher education in India, difference of demographic problems between developed and developing world, Malthusian theory and its relevance in current era, National Sample Survey Organization and its scope and significance, whether the state government was justified in releasing the alleged Maoists from jail, why I left my previous job and to elaborate "not taking a decision itself is a very good decision."
Q-Can someone get into IAS without attending a coaching?
A-Coaching makes the preparation time-bound and keeps the competition spirit high. But it is the time one spends on his/her own study table that matters in the examination hall. I consistently studied for seven to eight hours everyday. I did take coaching. But many cleared the examination without going for coaching. So joining a coaching or not is a personal call.
Q- What are the problems for preparing for the civil services in Odisha?
A-I did my entire preparation in Delhi. I am not exactly aware about the problems faced by candidates who are preparing in Odisha. But I feel we lack an atmosphere for preparation here.
Q-What will be your advice for aspirants?
A-Plan well and work hard. Have confidence in yourself, success will be yours.
Q-What is the importance of college teaching in civil services?
A-I did my graduation in electrical engineering, but I opted for geography and public administration as optionals. I had an inherent interest in geography right from my school days and I thought public administration will be useful for me in my career. Apart from that, these subjects are high scoring and there is no dearth of study material and guidance. Good academic background is definitely helpful. But there is a big gulf between the academic curriculum followed by universities and the demand of the UPSC examination.
Q-What is your education background?
A-I did my initial schooling from Saraswati Sishu Mandir, Kesinga. I passed my matriculation from Kesinga Vidyapitha. I studied in vernacular medium till Class X. Then I studied +2 science from BJB college Bhubaneswar. After that, I joined the prestigious National Institute of Technology, Rourkela.

Q-What was the motivation to prepare for civil services?
A-It is the top most career in India in the government sector. Job satisfaction is of the highest order. It gives the opportunity to be part of the nation building process.
Q-What can be done by the government to improve state's performance in the exam?
A-The government should start thinking of promoting candidates preparing for the civil services as done by various other state governments. The state government can infuse enthusiasm into the civil services aspirants by providing financial assistance to the needy and deserving people. Such steps have paid rich dividends in some states and there has been a substantial improvement in the number of people selected from these states in the last 3 to 5 years.

Article courtesy - http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-05-11/bhubaneswar/31670135_1_civil-services-odisha-coaching
 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Human Resource: Audit

AUDIT - To make an official examination/review of the working practices & activities(a particular department/process,etc.)of a business/organisation for its effectiveness and adherence to mandates.

Audit is a pivotal and indispensable tool for the efficient,effective & accountable functioning of any organisation which would in turn also lead to the ultimate goal of building a responsive and integrated economic as well as social fabric of society.

HR Audit is an important aspect of Human Resource Management and is receiving a great deal of attention in the discipline and practice. It is an overall quality control check on HR  activities in a public/private organisation and an evaluation of how these activities support overall organisational strategy,thus, helping clarify organisational and management goals even further. It also helps crafting of new policies and emergence of new solutions or replacement/persistence of old policies in order to achieve efficiency and economy.

AREAS OF HR AUDIT:
1) Recruitment & Selection
2) Training & Development
3) Promotion,Transfer and Career development
4) Performance appraisal and Job Evaluation
5) Morale and Discipline
6) Salary,rewards & benefits
7) Personnel policies,procedures and programmes
8) Employer-Employee relations
9) Research

DESIGNING INFORMATION SYSTEM FOR AN HR AUDIT:

The steps are:

1) Collecting data for the audit
2) Asking questions of the data collected
3) Interpreting the data
4) Stimulating remedial action

APPROACHES TO HR AUDIT:
1) Comparative approach
2) Consultant Approach
3) Statistical approach
4) Compliance approach
5) Management by objectives Approach - Refer:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Management_by_objectives

COMPONENTS OF THE HR AUDIT REPORT:
1) Table of contents
2) Introduction giving statement of objectives,scope,research methodology and techniques of the audit.
3) Summary of conclusions and recommendations
4) Main report with analysis of data of each section/department concerned.
5) Summary which is general comprehensive in nature and more in comparison to the brief prepared at the beginning of the HR audit report
6) Appendix containing  supporting data.

HR AUDIT CHECKLIST:
The following rating is used while auditing a particular section of a department or a whole department,etc.-
VERY GOOD(complete,current and done well) - 3 points
ADEQUATE(needs only some updating) - 2 points
WEAK(needs major improvements/changes) - 1 point
BASICALLY NONEXISTENT - 0 points

SCORING INTERPRETATION:
60-70 points - HR activities are complete,effective and probably meeting most legal compliance requirements.

45-59 points - HR activities are being performed adequately,but they are not as complete or effective as they should be. Also,it is likely that some potential legal risks exist.

30-44 points - Major HR problems exist,and significant attention needs to be devoted to adding and changing the HR activities in the organisation.

Below 30 points - Serious potential legal liabilities exist,and it is likely that significant HR problems are not being addressed.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Human Resource Management: Discipline

DISCIPLINE:
Discipline in a more progressive,positive and inclusive sense refers to the state of employee self control,character,orderliness and effectiveness at work and overall smooth environment and coordination at work.
 In its negative aspect discipline implies punishment. However, satisfactory results cnannot be obtained if discipline is perceived only in terms of control and punishment.

Discipline may be corrective or pre-emptive.

PROGRESSIVE DISCIPLINE METHODS:
1. Oral reprimand
2. Written reprimand
3. Second written warning
4. Temporary suspension
5. Dismissal or Discharge

REQUIREMENTS OF EFFECTIVE DISCIPLINE:
1. Should be constructive viz. it should emphasise on work efficiency and not mere compliance of rules and regulations.
2. Should not be initiated unless there is imperative need for it and there are not other alternatives.
3. Not to be administered unthinkingly and specifics of each case to be taken into account completely.
4. All facts regarding a case to be collected for a proper appreciation of the same.
5. Employee should be given fair chance to explain his/her side of story and know the worker's perception and admission of mistake should be encouraged.
6. Emplyee should not be disciplined in the presence of his or her colleagues/subordinates.
7. Right timing of action is important.
8. Corrective measure should be adequately served in order to be effective.
9. Consistency in disciplinary action.
10. After disciplinary action is taken, the normal behaviour should be resumed towards the offening emplyees by other workers of the organisation.
11. Auditing of the disciplinary action should be done regularly to gauge and judge its efficacy.


REASONS OF INDISCIPLINE:
1. Non-cordial or manipulative and stressful working conditions,company policies or behaviour of co-workers/superiors.
2. Social,Economical,personal background and illiteract of the worker.
3, Corrupt practices being allowed to carry on in the organisation.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Human Resource Management: Capacity Building - Organisational and Human

CAPACITY BUILDING DEFINITION (UNDP):
  • Individual level - Community capacity-building on an individual level requires the development of conditions that allow individual participants to build and enhance existing knowledge and skills. It also calls for the establishment of conditions that will allow individuals to engage in the "process of learning and adapting to change."
  • Institutional level - Community capacity building on an institutional level should involve aiding pre-existing institutions in developing countries. It should not involve creating new institutions, rather modernizing existing institutions and supporting them in forming sound policies, organizational structures, and effective methods of management and revenue control. 
  • Societal level - Community capacity building at the societal level should support the establishment of a more "interactive public administration that learns equally from its actions and from feedback it receives from the population at large." Community capacity building must be used to develop public administrators that are responsive and accountable.

 OBJECTIVES OF CAPACITY BUILDING:
National AHEC Leadership Conference in 2003 declared the objectives of Capacity Building as follows:
1. Prioritising the areas for improvement
2. Developing specific outcomes to achieve along with strategies and tactics
3. Identifying resources required to achieve identified outcomes
4. Implementing
5. Evaluating what worked and what did not and what was learnt in the process
6. Beginning again including suitable modifications

SIGNIFICANCE OF CAPACITY BUILDING:
1. Optimum utilisation of resources through consistent application of Research and Development
2. Preparation of the organisation to face the future through assessment of prevailing logistics and the wherewithal of augmenting the same
3. Helping the organisation acquire competitive advantage in identified fields
4. Facilitating long term decisions in the organisation
5. Providing training and guidance to facilitate development of individual careers
6. Developing a database to measure and evaluate the current working capacity of the organisation


PROCESS OF CAPACITY BUILDING:
1. Preparing information material to promote the organisation's work
2. Developing and implementing job descriptions
3. Developing a formal organisational chart
4. Preparing and maintaining a core operating budget
5. Developing a routine for strategic planning and work plan management
6. Developing fund raising strategies and building a donor database
7. Developing a database to measure,trend and evaluate working activities

STEPS IN CAPACITY BUILDING:
a) Promoting overall Human Capacity Building:
1. Human capacity building within overall social and economic development strategy,recognising the critical importance of human capital by developing more integrated approaches to capacity building
2. Develop relevant programmes to enhance entrepreneurial and management skills,particularly among small and medium enterprises to meet the new demands from globalisation and new economy
3. Develop policies to provide needed incentives for business sector to participate in the development of human capacity building such as providing facilities and infrastructure ensuring that access is maintained for the development of e-commerce,etc.
4. Facilitate mutual recognition of professional qualifications in respective countries, which should be based on standard of achievement and outcomes that are mutually agreed between economies
5. Enhance industry-academic partnership between businesses as end users of the workforce as well as providers of financial resources and universities,educational institutions, and vocational training institutions as suppliers of workforces so that they produce an IT workforce that is readily available to high-tech businesses.
6. Establish mutual linkages between sectoral networks including business,education,training sectors and govt. to draw out synergy effect to the human capacity building
7. Encourage trade unions to develop and implement relevant training programmes and motivate and mobilise workers to undertake life long learning
8. Setting up life long education and learning society

STRATEGIES OF CAPACITY BUILDING:
The Agenda 21 of the UNDP Capacity 21 Trust Fund states he following strategies:
1. Participation of all stakeholders in programme development,implementation,monitoring and learning
2. Integration of economic,social and environmental priorities within national and local policies plans and programmes.
3. Information about sustainable development to help people make better decisions.



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Human Resources Management - Employee Benefits

DEFINITION:
Employee benefits and  benefits in kind (also called fringe benefits, perquisites,perks,etc.) are various non-wage compensations provided to employees in addition to their normal wages or salaries.

It helps in keeping the employees contended,well balanced and physically,mentally,socially as well as at times spiritually happy as well, and all this is essential for success both on the organisational as well as individual level.

 BENEFITS OF EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PROGRAMS:
1. Efficiency in administration.
2. Commitment among employees.
3. Promotes productivity
4. Happy families
5. Harmonious relationships at the work place

EXAMPLES OF EMPLOYEE BENEFITS:
1. Legally Required Payments:-
a) Old age, survivors,disability and health insurance/social security
b) Workers compensation
c) Unemployment compensation

2. Contingent and Deferred Benefits:-
a) Pension plans
b) Group life Insurance
c) Group health insurance ( viz. Medical expense for hospitalization and surgical & Disability income for short term and long term)
d) Guaranteed annual wage
e) Prepaid legal plans
f) Military leave and pay
g) Jury duty and bereavement paid leave
h) Maternity leave
i) Child care leave
j) Sick leave
k) Dental benefits
l) Tuition aid benefits
m) Suggestion awards
n) Service awards
o) Severance pay

3. Payments for Time Not Worked:-
a) Vacations
b) Holidays
c) Voting pay allowances

4. Other benefits:-
 a) Travel allowances
b) Company cars and subsidies
c) Moving expenses
d) Uniform and tool expenses
e) Employee meal allowances
f) Discounts on employer's goods and services
g) Child care facilities


PURPOSE OF EMPLOYEE BENEFITS
1) identification and development of personal interest with the interest of the organisation.
2) Achieving integration in organisational functioning
3) Creating will and determination among members of the services for work improvement and innovation.
4) Mobilising the available manpower for productive and useful activities in the organisations
5) Keeping members of the organisation informed of latest developments in sphere of employee benefits
6) Organising informal clubs of youth,women, to serve as centers of discussion and expression of innovative ideas.
7) Providing an open forum for employees to discuss problems and find indigenous solutions which may be efficient and economical for the organisations.
8) Encourage the employee to adopt modern changes which can accelerate the efficiency of the organisation.
9) Arranging extra curricular activities t generate social awareness through publicity.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Human Resource Management - Performance Appraisal Process In The Indian Public Services

PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL:
Performance Appraisal is the entire exercise of assessment of an employee's performance on the job.


OBJECTIVES OF PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL: Performance Appraisal can be done with following objectives in mind:
  1. To maintain records in order to determine compensation packages, wage structure, salaries raises, etc.
  2. To identify the strengths and weaknesses of employees to place right men on right job.
  3. To maintain and assess the potential present in a person for further growth and development.
  4. To provide a feedback to employees regarding their performance and related status.
  5. To provide a feedback to employees regarding their performance and related status.
  6. It serves as a basis for influencing working habits of the employees.
  7. To review and retain the promotional and other training programmes.
ADVANTAGES OF PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL:
It is said that performance appraisal is an investment for the company which can be justified by following advantages:
  1. Promotion: Performance Appraisal helps the supervisors to chalk out the promotion programmes for efficient employees. In this regards, inefficient workers can be dismissed or demoted in case.
  2. Compensation: Performance Appraisal helps in chalking out compensation packages for employees. Merit rating is possible through performance appraisal. Performance Appraisal tries to give worth to a performance. Compensation packages which includes bonus, high salary rates, extra benefits, allowances and pre-requisites are dependent on performance appraisal. The criteria should be merit rather than seniority.
  3. Employees Development: The systematic procedure of performance appraisal helps the supervisors to frame training policies and programmes. It helps to analyse strengths and weaknesses of employees so that new jobs can be designed for efficient employees. It also helps in framing future development programmes.
  4. Selection Validation: Performance Appraisal helps the supervisors to understand the validity and importance of the selection procedure. The supervisors come to know the validity and thereby the strengths and weaknesses of selection procedure. Future changes in selection methods can be made in this regard.
  5. Communication: For an organization, effective communication between employees and employers is very important. Through performance appraisal, communication can be sought for in the following ways:
    1. Through performance appraisal, the employers can understand and accept skills of subordinates.
    2. The subordinates can also understand and create a trust and confidence in superiors.
    3. It also helps in maintaining cordial and congenial labour management relationship.
    4. It develops the spirit of work and boosts the morale of employees.
    All the above factors ensure effective communication.
  6. Motivation: Performance appraisal serves as a motivation tool. Through evaluating performance of employees, a person’s efficiency can be determined if the targets are achieved. This very well motivates a person for better job and helps him to improve his performance in the future. 

TECHNIQUES AND METHODS OF PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL:


Numerous methods have been devised to measure the quantity and quality of performance appraisals. Each of the methods is effective for some purposes for some organizations only. None should be dismissed or accepted as appropriate except as they relate to the particular needs of the organization or an employee.
Broadly all methods of appraisals can be divided into two different categories.
  • Past Oriented Methods
  • Future Oriented Methods
Past Oriented Methods
1.    Rating Scales: Rating scales consists of several numerical scales representing job related performance criterions such as dependability, initiative, output, attendance, attitude etc. Each scales ranges from excellent to poor. The total numerical scores are computed and final conclusions are derived. Advantages – Adaptability, easy to use, low cost, every type of job can be evaluated, large number of employees covered, no formal training required. Disadvantages – Rater’s biases
2.    Checklist: Under this method, checklist of statements of traits of employee in the form of Yes or No based questions is prepared. Here the rater only does the reporting or checking and HR department does the actual evaluation. Advantages – economy, ease of administration, limited training required, standardization. Disadvantages – Raters biases, use of improper weighs by HR, does not allow rater to give relative ratings
3.    Forced Choice Method: The series of statements arranged in the blocks of two or more are given and the rater indicates which statement is true or false. The rater is forced to make a choice. HR department does actual assessment. Advantages – Absence of personal biases because of forced choice. Disadvantages – Statements may be wrongly framed.
4.    Forced Distribution Method: here employees are clustered around a high point on a rating scale. Rater is compelled to distribute the employees on all points on the scale. It is assumed that the performance is conformed to normal distribution. Advantages – Eliminates Disadvantages – Assumption of normal distribution, unrealistic, errors of central tendency.
5.    Critical Incidents Method: The approach is focused on certain critical behaviors of employee that makes all the difference in the performance. Supervisors as and when they occur record such incidents. Advantages – Evaluations are based on actual job behaviors, ratings are supported by descriptions, feedback is easy, reduces recency biases, chances of subordinate improvement are high. Disadvantages – Negative incidents can be prioritized, forgetting incidents, overly close supervision; feedback may be too much and may appear to be punishment.
6.    Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scales: statements of effective and ineffective behaviors determine the points. They are said to be behaviorally anchored. The rater is supposed to say, which behavior describes the employee performance. Advantages – helps overcome rating errors. Disadvantages – Suffers from distortions inherent in most rating techniques.
7.    Field Review Method: This is an appraisal done by someone outside employees’ own department usually from corporate or HR department. Advantages – Useful for managerial level promotions, when comparable information is needed, Disadvantages – Outsider is generally not familiar with employees work environment, Observation of actual behaviors not possible.
8.    Performance Tests & Observations: This is based on the test of knowledge or skills. The tests may be written or an actual presentation of skills. Tests must be reliable and validated to be useful. Advantage – Tests may be apt to measure potential more than actual performance. Disadvantages – Tests may suffer if costs of test development or administration are high.
9.    Confidential Records: Mostly used by government departments, however its application in industry is not ruled out. Here the report is given in the form of Annual Confidentiality Report (ACR) and may record ratings with respect to following items; attendance, self expression, team work, leadership, initiative, technical ability, reasoning ability, originality and resourcefulness etc. The system is highly secretive and confidential. Feedback to the assessee is given only in case of an adverse entry. Disadvantage is that it is highly subjective and ratings can be manipulated because the evaluations are linked to HR actions like promotions etc.
10.  Essay Method: In this method the rater writes down the employee description in detail within a number of broad categories like, overall impression of performance, promoteability of employee, existing capabilities and qualifications of performing jobs, strengths and weaknesses and training needs of the employee. Advantage – It is extremely useful in filing information gaps about the employees that often occur in a better-structured checklist. Disadvantages – It its highly dependent upon the writing skills of rater and most of them are not good writers. They may get confused success depends on the memory power of raters.
11.  Cost Accounting Method: Here performance is evaluated from the monetary returns yields to his or her organization. Cost to keep employee, and benefit the organization derives is ascertained. Hence it is more dependent upon cost and benefit analysis.
12.  Comparative Evaluation Method (Ranking & Paired Comparisons): These are collection of different methods that compare performance with that of other co-workers. The usual techniques used may be ranking methods and paired comparison method.
  • Ranking Methods: Superior ranks his worker based on merit, from best to worst. However how best and why best are not elaborated in this method. It is easy to administer and explanation.
  • Paired Comparison Methods: In this method each employee is rated with another employee in the form of pairs. The number of comparisons may be calculated with the help of a formula as under.
N x (N-1) / 2
Future Oriented Methods


1.    Management By Objectives: It means management by objectives and the performance is rated against the achievement of objectives stated by the management. MBO process goes as under.
  • Establish goals and desired outcomes for each subordinate
  • Setting performance standards
  • Comparison of actual goals with goals attained by the employee
  • Establish new goals and new strategies for goals not achieved in previous year.
Advantage – It is more useful for managerial positions.
Disadvantages – Not applicable to all jobs, allocation of merit pay may result in setting short-term goals rather than important and long-term goals etc.
2.    Psychological Appraisals: These appraisals are more directed to assess employees potential for future performance rather than the past one. It is done in the form of in-depth interviews, psychological tests, and discussion with supervisors and review of other evaluations. It is more focused on employees emotional, intellectual, and motivational and other personal characteristics affecting his performance. This approach is slow and costly and may be useful for bright young members who may have considerable potential. However quality of these appraisals largely depend upon the skills of psychologists who perform the evaluation.
3.    Assessment Centers: This technique was first developed in USA and UK in 1943. An assessment center is a central location where managers may come together to have their participation in job related exercises evaluated by trained observers. It is more focused on observation of behaviors across a series of select exercises or work samples. Assessees are requested to participate in in-basket exercises, work groups, computer simulations, role playing and other similar activities which require same attributes for successful performance in actual job. The characteristics assessed in assessment center can be assertiveness, persuasive ability, communicating ability, planning and organizational ability, self confidence, resistance to stress, energy level, decision making, sensitivity to feelings, administrative ability, creativity and mental alertness etc. Disadvantages – Costs of employees traveling and lodging, psychologists, ratings strongly influenced by assessee’s inter-personal skills. Solid performers may feel suffocated in simulated situations. Those who are not selected for this also may get affected.
Advantages – well-conducted assessment center can achieve better forecasts of future performance and progress than other methods of appraisals. Also reliability, content validity and predictive ability are said to be high in assessment centers. The tests also make sure that the wrong people are not hired or promoted. Finally it clearly defines the criteria for selection and promotion.
4.    360-Degree Feedback: It is a technique which is systematic collection of performance data on an individual group, derived from a number of stakeholders like immediate supervisors, team members, customers, peers and self. In fact anyone who has useful information on how an employee does a job may be one of the appraisers. This technique is highly useful in terms of broader perspective, greater self-development and multi-source feedback is useful. 360-degree appraisals are useful to measure inter-personal skills, customer satisfaction and team building skills. However on the negative side, receiving feedback from multiple sources can be intimidating, threatening etc. Multiple raters may be less adept at providing balanced and objective feedback.


PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL OF PUBLIC SERVICES IN INDIA:
The performance of civil servants is commented upon by the controlling authority which normally is the head of the department. Incumbents are rated on several parameters like competence,punctuality,efficiency,capability,ability to work with the team,leadership qualities,etc. by means of Outstanding,very good,good or fair. 
A consistent outstanding grades is given special weight for promotions.
The assessing authority rates integrity as Totally beyond reproach, of unquestionable integrity,beyond doubt or as nothing adverse has come to notice.
More concentration is given to efficiency than Integrity in Public service performance appraisals in India which needs to be changed and equalised in order to ensure probity and root out corruption.

WEAKNESSES OF PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL OF PUBLIC SERVICES IN INDIA:
1. There is a high degree of subjectivity and is used as a means to make subordinates not ethical or efficient by the superiors but "subservient".
2. Employees especially if they are due for promotion have to run after the concerned reporting,reviewing and accepting authorities to ensure that their appraisal report is written on time.
3. Appraisal reports are never written on time causing great distress and demotivating to the employees.
4. Frequently transferred employees are denied a just and proper assessment for obvious reasons.
5. Desk work officials like the secretariat employees find it difficult to write meaningful reports of theirs due to lack of targets and achievements.
6. Only adverse remarks are communicated to employees and even then it is not done on time or not done at all in many departments.
7. Number of Annual Confidential Reports being reported or reviewed should be limited to span of control test lest it become a meaningless,routine activity.
8. A uniform format is used for ACRs regardless of the job performed by the employee and his nature of functions. There are wide variations in grading of civil servants between the states and the linking of empanelment of civil servants to ACRs has led to politicisation of the process. This should be revised and updated/changed accordingly.

RECOMMENDATIONS AND PROPOSED REFORMS FOR BETTER OBJECTIVITY OF APPRAISAL:
The Karnataka Administrative reforms Commission in its interim report in 2001 proposed the following:
1. Computerisation of all ACRs to ensure there are no missing reports or level jumping in the process.
2. Different formats for ACRs for Secretariats,field and public sector employees.
3. Confidentiality should be done away with and a full copy of the ACR should be provided to the employee so that he is motivated with his/her good points and works on his.her bad points.
4. As done in the armed forces and central police organisations, a grading system on a 10 or a 7 point scale to assess individual traits and attributes of the employee could be introduced as a necessary facet of the ACR exercise.
5. Proper training of objectivity should be given to all levels of officers who have to write ACRs.
6. Counseliing should be introduced for employees who get repeated adverse remarks.
7. Time frame to be decided for ACR submission/writing and Action to be taken against officers and Ministers delaying ACRs.
8. Comments in ACR to be used as inputs for training,job assignments and career development planning.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Human Resources Management - Recruitment, Selection, Appointment And Promotion

RECRUITMENT -
It covers the entire gamut of activities relating to entertainment, acceptance, selection and approval for appointment and not the actual Appointment itself or posting in service.

Once there is clarity about the organisational objectives then there is a sound Manpower Planning done which the moves to its implementation stage out of which Recruitment is the first step.

The net for recruitment should be cast wide to reach out widest in pursuance of the best available talent to the extent practicable, keeping in mind the cost and time.


SOURCES OF RECRUITMENT:

1. Direct Recruitment - Sourced fresh from outside the organisation

2. Indirect Recruitment- Sourced from existing employees viz. internal promotions, deputation, delegation, transfer, reemployment, short term contract, etc.

Advantages Of Direct Recruitment:

1. Provides equal opportunity to all.

2. Induction of fresh energy into the organisation.

3. Widens the ambit of selection and makes possible to tap wider market for supply of desired human resource.

4. Motivates existing employees to keep themselves efficient and updated with latest trends lest they lose out on higher positions to outside players.
Disadvantages of Direct Recruitment:
1. New recruits lack experience and practical know-how thus leading to cost increase of the organisation on training them.

2. Kills initiative of internal candidates.

3. Places inexperience over experienced.

4. Older employees cannot compete successfully with new entrants as they are out of touch with studies,etc.

In India, both the sources of recruitment are used at the right mix for overall benefit of the organisation. Direct recruitment is done and along with that a certain proportion of posts are reserved for indirect recruitment so that there is balancing out of experience and fresh talent that keeps the organisation efficient and mobile.

STEPS IN RECRUITMENT,SELECTION,APPOINTMENT AND PROMOTION:
1. Job requisition
2. Designing the Application forms for applicants
3. Advertisement
4. Scrutiny of applications
5. Selection of candidates from applications received
6. Communication to selected candidates
7. Appointment & Placement of candidates


CIVIL SERVICE RECRUITMENT IN INDIA:
Article 309 of the Indian Constitution empowers the Central Government and State Governments to regulate recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to public services and posts through an act of appropriate legislature that is subject to limitations that it cannot override constitutional provisions else it would be declared null and void and struck down.
The Parliament passed the All India Staffing Patterns Services Act 1951 that governs the conditions of service of All India Service Officers.

EXAMINATIONS CONDUCTED OF SELECTION TO CIVIL SERVICES:
1. Essay type test.
2. Short Answer objective test.
3. Aptitude tests
4. Personality tests
5. Performance test
6. Interview.

RECRUITING AGENCY FOR THE CIVIL SERVICES:
1. Union Public Service Commission: Refer - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Public_Service_Commission

FUNCTIONS OF THE UPSC:
i. To conduct examinations for appointment to the services of the Union and conduct interviews for direct recruitment.
ii. To advise on any matter referred to them and on any matter which the president may refer to the appropriate commission;
iii. To exercise such additional functions as may be provided for by an Act of Parliament regarding the services of the Union and also with respect to the services of any local authority constituted by law; and
iv. It shall be the duty of the Union Public Service Commission if requested by any two or more states, to assist those States in framing and operating schemes of joint recruitment for any service.

Further, UPSC shall be consulted:
i. On all matters relating to methods of
recruitment to Civil service and for Civil Posts.
ii. On the principle to be followed in making promotions and transfers form one service to another
iii. On all disciplinary matters affecting a person serving under the Government of India in a civil capacity including petitions relating to such matters.
iv. On any claim for the award of pension in respect of injuries sustained by a person while serving under the government of India in a civil capacity and on any question as to the amount of any such award.


 OTHER AGENCIES OF RECRUITMENT:
1. Respective State Public Service Commissions for State Civil Services recruitment.
2.Staff Selection Commission  - To conduct examinations and/or interviews to make recruitment to Group “B” and Group “C” posts for the various Ministries and Departments of the Government of India.
3. Railway Recruitment Board
4. CSIR(Council of Scientific and Industrial Research)


PROMOTION:
Promotion is "an appointment from a given position to a position of higher grade, involving a change of duties to a more difficult type of work and greater responsibility,accompanied by change of title and usually an increase in pay" - L.D. White

PROMOTION IN CIVIL SERVICES:
1. Promotion from State Civil Services to All India Services - To the tune of 33% of the total vacancies. The promotions are made by a committee instituted for each state that comprises of the Chairman of the UPSC or his representative, a senior officer of the govt. of India,the Chief Secy to the govt. of that particular state in question, the senior Financial Commissioner in the state civil secretariat, the Development Commissioner and the Senior most Divisional Commissioner.

2. Promotion in State Civil Services From Allied Services - Promotion to the respective State Civil Services from tehsildars,persons holding ministerial appointments,block development and panchayat officers,etc. For this a committee is appointed consisting of the chief secy as chairman and two such officers as members nominated by the state government which makes a selection out of the eligible officials and then forwards to the State PSC for its views on the names of candidates thus selected for the posts to be filled. This procedure has curtailed the powers of the Commission and made it rather a rubber stamp that only endorses the decision of the state govt. This needs to be reviewed.

PRINCIPLES OF PROMOTION:
1. Merit - It is applied in cases of promotion to higher level posts.

2. Merit cum Seniority - In cases of promotion to middle level posts, here merit comes first.

3. Seniority - Promotions in lower rung posts, but even here it is ensured that exceptional merit is rewarded by quick promotion.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Human Resource Management: Job Analysis And Job Description

DEFINITIONS:

JOB - Collection of tasks, duties, responsibilities, which as a whole comprise the established assignment to an individual employee.

PURPOSE OF JOB ANALYSIS:
Job Analysis (a.k.a Job Study) - Determination through observation and study of comprehensive information regarding a job with a view to specifying tasks and necessary abilities, knowledge and skills required to perform it. It is carried out by the HR Department and aided by the respective departments of the organization.

METHODS EMPLOYED FOR JOB ANALYSIS/JOB STUDY:
1. Interview and Questionnaire with the incumbents, department Managers and other higher officials directly and indirectly related to that particular Job.

2. Observation and Collection of Data regarding the Job.

3. Participation by the HR official directly/indirectly in the Job activity till analysis period and gain information regarding the same first hand.

4. Technical Conference - Here the information regarding the Job is collected from experts, usually supervisors and not procured directly from actual Job incumbents. The drawback of this method is that at time experts might give answers based on past or outdated experiences or abstract perception since they are not in tune with the current and first hand scenario.

5. Self Recording or Diary maintained y the Job Analyst.

6. Positive Analysis Questionnaire - The HR Manager rates a Job on 194 parameters/descriptions by judging the degree to which each count is present in the Job.

7. Management Position Analysis Questionnaire

ADVANTAGES OF JOB ANALYSIS:
1.Provides with First Hand Job Related Information

2.Helps in creating right Job-Employee fit.

3.Helps in establishing effective hiring strategies.

4.Guides through performance evaluation and Appraisal Process.

5.Helps in analysing Training and Development Needs.

6.Helps in deciding compensation and benefits.



LIMITATIONS OF JOB ANALYSIS:
1. It provides only a snapshot of a particular job.
2. Since Jobs change over a period time due to internal and external factors affecting the organisation therefore, Job analysis to be effective and changes accordingly should have an in-built mechanism for periodically assessing jobs via observations, interviews or brief questionnaire/checklist. This will be much more less expensive and time consuming as compared to starting from scratch every time there is a contingency.

****************************************************************************


PURPOSE OF JOB DESCRIPTION:
Job Description - Well written duty statements which accurately describe what is being done on a job as well as work functions and reporting relationships helping recruitment policies as well as employees understand their jobs better and approximate performance to desired levels.

Point wise:
1. Recruiting, interviewing and selection
2. Orientation and training
3. Setting performance standards and or goal statements
4. Designing performance appraisal forms
5. Jo evaluation
6. Clarification and renegotiation of roles
7. Career progression ladders

METHOD OF JOB DESCRIPTION:
On the basis of Job Analysis a specific and taut Job Description is prepared.

ADVANTAGES OF JOB DESCRIPTION:
1.It helps specify and clearly cut out roles and performance levels for all that leads to total efficiency in the organization.
2.It helps cost effectiveness and time management and accountability and responsibility fixing in the organisation's employees.
3.Aids maintenance a consistent and rightful salary structure.

LIMITATIONS OF JOB DESCRIPTION:
Prescriptive job descriptions may be seen as a hindrance in certain circumstances:
  • Job descriptions may not be suitable for some senior managers as they should have the freedom to take the initiative and find fruitful new directions;
  • Job descriptions may be too inflexible in a rapidly-changing organization, for instance in an area subject to rapid technological change;
  • Other changes in job content may lead to the job description being out of date;
  • The process that an organization uses to create job descriptions may not be optimal.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Human Resource Planning And Strategy

Human Resource Planning is not an isolated paper exercise but an integral management function. It formally links organisational strategy with human resource practices. HR Planning is necessary to counteract pulls and pressures of globalisation and optimise the efficiency of the HR in an organisation.

HR Planning takes place at several levels :

1) Strategic Manpower Planning: Aggregated workforce Planning.

2) Tactical Planning: It addresses career planning and development needs of personnel in the organisation. Career planning of homogeneous groups of employees to maximise individual and organisational capacities and end the peculiarities and specific career needs of professions within the organisation.

3) Operational Planning System: Posting and deployment planning of individuals.


MANPOWER PLANNING:
Manpower is defined as the total knowledge, skills, creative abilities and aptitudes of an organisation's work force.
It is a process by which an organisation forecasts the quantity and requisite qualifications of persons required by the organisation at some future point and ensures that right number and kind are employed at the right time to ensure unimpeded functioning of the organisation.
It is also a technique of correcting imbalances (problem of excess supply or shortage of manpower) between manpower demand and supply in an organisation at an organisational(micro) as well as country wide economic(macro) level.

The two aspects of Manpower Planning are:
1) Quantitative - Formulation of recruitment plans to avoid unexpected shortages, etc.
2) Qualitative - Identification of training needs to avoid skill shortages.

REQUIREMENTS FOR EFFECTIVE MANPOWER PLANNING AT ORGANISATIONAL LEVEL:
1. Adequate planning and consensual personnel policy to eliminate haphazard expansion of personnel so that there is a logical forecasting of manpower needs at least ten years in advance.
2. Personnel policy must be developed at the headquarters or comparable level and better if academic guidance is sought from academic and research institutions.
3. Staffing section must be under the charge of a duly qualified and trained personnel officer who with his/her experience and academic soundness of the specialisation can guide it in the definite direction.
4. Manpower planning should involve proper mix of different categories of workers that is determined by the policy and the socio-economic status of the country.
5. Proper and accurate implementation of the personnel department policy should be facilitated by giving more responsibility to unit chiefs at head offices and in the field levels.
6. Effective evaluating system of individual and staff quantitative as well as qualitative performance.
7. Personnel department must bring in regular researches into various aspects of personnel administration in collaboration with training institutions and universities to identify future requirements and trends(futuristic approach).
8. Training programmes should be need based, task oriented and use practical simulations where trainees work and supply their skills.
9. Role clarity of officers to avoid clashes and overlapping which would only delay policy determination and implementation.
10. Manpower planning is a continuous, networked cyclical process requiring constant review and adjustments to be fruitful.

PROCESS OF MANPOWER PLANNING:
1. Clarity between Manpower plan and objectives of the organisation.
2. Assessment of the Manpower situation in the organisation so that a proper plan is laid out.
3. Projection of Manpower Requirements - Present moment and long term plans of manpower demand and supply in an organisation.
4. Classification and interpretation of information so that a clear cut policy and implementation is chalked out.
5. Developing work standards and performance norms so that each employee is clear about the minimum level of work to be put in as well as the quality of work. Also the employee should be aware of the promotion and appraisal standards so that they may work in a channelized manner and not feel frustrated.
6. Anticipating Manpower problems and resolving them.
7. Supply of Personnel.
8. A well rounded budget to carry out the same.
9. Continuing Research studies.


ASPECTS OF MANPOWER PLANNING:
1. Organisational Planning and Development.
2. Career Development.
3. Terms of Employment.
4. Employee welfare.
5. Personnel records
6. Morale and Motivation
7. Management-Staff relations
8 Personnel Research and Review
9. Effective Communication.
10.Motivation of employees through Decentralisation, Delegation and Job Enlargement.


\One can very well understand the advantages that Manpower Planning possesses for an organisation and the country. Now let us look at its shortcomings.

SHORTCOMINGS OF MANPOWER PLANNING:
1. It stresses more on quantification techniques than education requirements which is less useful to developing countries.
2. Training is need based and more organisation prone rather than the individual. Labour market analysis should be employed as an integral part of Manpower planning to keep up with the changing external and internal environment that helps assess relative priorities for training investments can lead to a training strategy more conducive to long term sustained development.
3. Pay differentiation in public and private sector should be analysed and remedied for an effective manpower planning as the shortage and unplanned exit of staff is a major outcome of this not being done.
4. There should be a greater focus on the educational profile of the workers than their occupational results so that there is a direct impact on the educational institutions of the country and would lead to their betterment as well thus leading to a greater social engineering and development as well as on the organisational level, general training which enhances the overall competencies of the trainee might be more cost effective and safer in the long run.

MANPOWER PLANNING IN THE CIVIL SERVICE:
Bureaucratic right-sizing is imperative in today's times and that calls for a sound Manpower Planning at the civil services level  and a complete overhauling.

Let's take at a few recommendations to carry out the same effectively:
1. The number of ministries should be kept low to contain administrative costs and for political considerations if new ministers are warranted then they should be appointed under Ministers with a major portfolio within an existing Ministry.

2. One administrative structure should be maintained to keep all closely related activities in the context of a government's priorities to retain the validity and integrity of a ministry to help the officials in it carry out their responsibilities effectively and be held accountable.

3. Administrative reforms recommendations should be taken with seriousness to ensure effective service delivery without any leakage or spillage and wastage of natural resources and funds.

4. Skewed staff - line employee ratio should be balanced out immediately and effectively. This can be done by an effective system of Panchayats helping in combining functions of several field departments in a single individual whose work can be supervised by higher functionaries of the Panchayati Raj system.

5. Surplus staff should be eradicates, redeployed and a liberal system of exit should be offered to surplus staff. For the time being recruitment should be limited only to functional posts while vacancies at the secretariat and clerical levels should not be filled.

6. Reduction in number of general holidays as recommended by the 5th Pay Commission should be implemented as it will help in better utilisation of existing staff. Lateral level into civil service on a contractual level should be encouraged to increase mobility and fill shortages at any point. Officers must be encouraged to join voluntary organisations of repute as well as educational and research institutions during mid-career thus help in widening the knowledge base of officers concerned.

7. Instability of tenure of civil servants has lead to a reduction in their autonomy, independence and authority and prone to political influence and coercion as well as an unfruitful and unproductive tenure marked with confusion and frustration. So there should be a mandatory fixed tenure period for all to see the true utilisation of their knowledge, skills and capacities that would lead to the true growth of the country.


 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Human Resource Management : Public and Private Organisations

To all the enlightened readers and knowledge seekers of this Blog - Thank you for the continued love, respect and support. It is deeply appreciated and valued. Keep it coming.

Here is the latest post on this Blog that will detail and make crystal clear the concept and practice of Human Resource Management that is a pivotal and integral part of every Public and Private Organisation and its robust functioning is the force behind their success.

Here it begins.

HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT:
DEFINITION (courtesy Wikipedia)  - Human resource management (HRM or simply HR) is the management of an organization's workforce, or human resources. It is responsible for the attraction, selection, training, assessment, and rewarding of employees, while also overseeing organizational leadership and culture, and ensuring compliance with employment and labour laws. In circumstances where employees desire and are legally authorized to hold a collective bargaining agreement, HR will also serve as the company's primary liaison with the employees' representatives (usually a labour union).

 Human Resources is a shift from the mechanical Personnel Administration philosophy and theory that views and treats Personnel or employees as mere cogs in the Organisational machinery.

HRM views employees as "Resources", in that tangible and intangible benefits flow from their best utilisation and how they are resourced in the right manner and at the right time for the benefit of the organisation and the employees, both.

OBJECTIVES OF HRM:
1. Societal Objectives - HRM has to keep in mind while making policies for the organisation the laws of the land, health and safety of workers, morale, ideological bias and issues of societal concern.

2. Organisational Objectives - HRM is at the forefront of organisational strategy, coordinating and harmonising organisation wide efforts and stressing on role of human resource management in contributing towards organisational effectiveness and objective attainment.

3. Functional Objectives - To keep the organisation functional in the best possible pattern by devising sound policies viz. Appraisal, Placement and Assessment polices for the welfare of the employees and their best use of their talents.

4. Personal Objectives - Assistance HRM renders to employees for achieving their personal goals and enhance their contribution to the organisation viz. Training and development, Appraisal, Placement, right compensation and Assessment, etc.


ROLE OF THE HR MANAGER:
The HR Manager has to be both a policy and a process specialist which demands both policy advise and policy implementation specialities.
He/She is the joining line or interface between the organisation and policy stimulators ( govt. strategic partners,etc) and ensure harmonisation and compliance of the two towards each other. He/She can be both a Generalist or a specialist and actual practice of the HR Manager in this regard differs from organisation to organisation.

FUTURE CHALLENGES TO HRM:
In the face of LPG in this global village that we live in today we need to understand its impact on HRM and the issues and solutions to the same.

In the future companies and institutions will invest more in health/welfare of workers and so HRM will be much more in demand.

Emergence of MNCs is bringing cross cultural work force and the consequent need to "manage diversity" in the work force efficiently by the HRM.
"
Cost constraint and the resultant emphasis on the necessity of output maximising strategies viz. total quality management, flexible management systems, etc.

Participative management for 'knowledge workers' need an active policy to retain good workers is expected to be increasingly felt in the coming years.

New technology entry, socialistic/welfaristic(reservations) via the govt. macro policies, changing customer preferences, etc, into organisations pose a greater need for training programmes and their effectiveness via the HR Department.
 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

New Technologies (ICT - Information & Communication Technologies) Employed In Public Systems Management For Better Results In Governance

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The 21st Century that we live in is described quite aptly as the "Information Era".  It is an era of Connectivity, Information sharing and Participation between the Public and the respective State/Governments the world over. This leads to a thriving and vibrant Democracy.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) aims at bringing the above mentioned objectives to life along with transparency, accountability, responsiveness in Public Governance and sustainable growth for the people.

The fruitful presence and boons of ICT in Public Systems Management (inter governmental/Intra Governmental, Govt. to business/Govt. to Citizens) is well evident and obvious to each one in the society. It is also regulated from time to time via the laws laid down in the IT Act (2000) to stop nefarious activities routed through the ICT medium.


Let's look at a basic definition of ICT :
Stands for "Information and Communication Technologies." ICT refers to technologies that provide access to information through telecommunications. It is similar to Information Technology (IT) (which focuses mainly on information access), but ICT primarily focuses on communication technologies which includes use of the Internet ( E-mail, Instant Messaging, etc.), wireless networks, cell phones(SMS services), and other communication mediums between two parties.



INDIAN CASE STUDIES ON ICT INITIATIVES IN STATE GOVERNMENTS:
1) Sachivalaya Vahini: It is the ICT Package made by the National Informatics Centre, Bangalore and employed by the State Secretariat in Karnataka in all its 40 departments connecting 1000 computers and answering the needs of the 6000 employees viz. E-Governance by facilitating policy and decision making process.
Since the State Secretariat is the apex decision making body in the state government therefore it needs to maintain utmost efficiency and accuracy as there is too much at stake ( Public Welfare & limited resources). And to maintain the same, the state Secretariat needs to hold enormous amount of communication, maintaining and processing large volumes of data files or other formats,etc. All this was being done manually in the Karnataka state Secretariat prior to Sachivalaya Vahini stepping in and that is why the work there was very slow and inefficient.

Sachivalaya Vahini's various components are:

a) Patra - Letter Monitoring System - Receives and scans letters received by the Secretariat and transfers to relevant departments of the state Secretariat for its review and action and final disposal.

b) Kadatha - File Monitoring System - maintaining and speedy disposal of files.

c) Mokaddame - Court Case Monitoring System

d) Aayayaya - Budget Monitoring System - Helps estimate Budgets and funds allocation to departments and its monitoring.

e) Sibbandi - Personnel Information System - Maintains all information pertaining to each Personnel working in the Secretariat.

f) Customer Support System - Helps in resolving technical issues of the employees regarding the software and network.





CASE STUDY OF ICT IMPLEMENTATION - INDIAN JUDICIARY (E-JUDICIARY) :
1) COURTIS (Court Information System)- Launched in 1990 for the benefit of the entire legal community and commissioned for streamlining registries of various courts in the country. All High Courts and the Supreme Court of the country have been successfully armed with the following applications through NICNET:

a) Case Status - Helps provide tracking of all pending and disposed cases statuses that can be accessed by advocates as well as litigants and legal scholars.

b) Judgement Information System ( JUDIS) - It is a CD-ROM encompassing complete texts of all reported judgements of the Supreme Court of India from 1950 to 2000. Judgements from 2001 onwards are available on the Internet. NIC markets these CD-ROMs on a membership basis. The Internet display judgements are available within 24 hours of passing of judgement.

c) Cause Lists on the Internet - Displays schedules of cases to be heard b the respective Court the following day.

d) Daily Orders on the Internet - Displays the daily orders of the SC and HC as soon as the orders are signed by the respective Judges.




CASE STUDY OF ICT IMPLEMENTATION - E - PANCHAYAT IN INDIA :
The Govt. of Andhra Pradesh has introduced the E-Panchayat software in Ramachandrapuram Gram Panchaat, Medak District as part of its E- Governance initiatives that is user friendly and citizen centric. This pilot e-panchayat project comprises nearly 20 main modules and nearly 150 sub modules in line with the 30 sectoral functions of the Gram Panchayats. It has been rolled out in several pilot villages and is to be expanded majorly to all of Andhra Pradesh's Panchayats and a National roll out plan for its implementations is also being taken up . It aims to cover all information requirements of the village Panchayat administration.





INTERNATIONAL ICT IMPLEMENTATION CASE STUDY - MALAYSIAN E-GOVT PROJECT:
The Multimedia Support Corridor's advent in Malaysia has helped the Public Service there leverage the potential revolutionising service delivery through seamless and integrated govt. via its e-govt. flagship applications. Smart partnerships between local and international consortia working together with the govt. in developing leading edge e-govt. solutions has produced the first set of e-govt. pilot projects that have been implemented successfully which include: e-services, e-procurement, electronic labour exchange, generic office environment, human resources management information system and project monitoring system.

We will focus on the E-Services Project here in this case study.

E-services is the capability that enables citizens and businesses to conduct transactions through a one-stop service window and provides easier access to govt. agencies such as the Road Transport Dept.,Ministry of Health and utility companies.
It provides the citizens with a multiple delivery channels with 24 hour access that is available anywhere at their convenience;citizens are no longer limited to conducting these transactions at agency branches and utility offices. It also caters to the various languages spoken in Malaysia and is extremely user friendly even to the elderly and physically and visually challenged.
All this has helped in making services more efficient, corruption free and people becoming more participative and responsive as well as sincere in terms of paying bills on time,etc.
A large part of this success comes from the Malaysian government's aggressive encouragement of wider ownership of personal computers,tax deductions and providing IT facilities in rural areas such as the Internet.



PROBLEMS IN ICT APPLICATION:
1) Minimal Internet Penetration n rural areas
2) Computer illiteracy in urban areas
3) Untrained or improper training given to employees working on these softwares in govt. systems and organisations.
4) Govt. not implementing schemes to help the rural areas develop affinity with ICT via services like tele-medicines, tele-marketing and e-commerce.
5) Lack of will to share and disclose information with citizens/beneficiaries of schemes for them.
6) Inadequate infrastructure, language barriers, lack of capacity building initiatives, absence of grievance mechanisms, non-availability of information and variations in utilisation of information.


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Monday, May 6, 2013

Public Systems Management : Socio - Economic Context

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PUBLIC SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT IN INDIA- SOCIETAL CONTEXT:


A country's political life, Constitutional laws, and Administrative rules and regulations and relations are greatly influenced by its societal traditions, culture and values. In Indian society, many Public systems/ Public Organisations are created especially to manage and relate to it with special reference to :

1) RELIGION

2) CASTE

3) LANGUAGE

4) JOINT FAMILY SYSTEM

5) WOMEN

6) GROWING VIOLENCE

7) RURAL - URBAN INTERFACE




PUBLIC SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT - ECONOMIC CONTEXT IN INDIA:

1) AGRICULTURE - BASED ECONOMY

2) POVERTY

3) UNEMPLOYMENT

4) INDUSTRIAL POLICY RESOLUTION AND MONITORING

5) MIXED ECONOMY

6) WEEDING OUT CORRUPTION



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Public Systems Management : Constitutional Context

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Fred Riggs so forcefully advocated that Public Administration should be sensitive to the environment it functions in and should develop methods of administration that would alleviate the latter of its issues, as only that would be a successful administrative setup that would lead the country on the road to development.

Therefore Constitution or the law of the land is of utmost importance which is to be studied and its directives and principles followed to the tee by the Public Administrative setup of that country in order to fulfill its true objectives of public welfare and development since the constitution is framed by the political class who are basically the representative of the people of that land and thus know their needs intrinsically.

The following parts of the Indian Constitution determine and direct the functioning of Governance and Public Systems in India:

1) PREAMBLE - The Preamble is the key to the minds of our freedom fighters and Constitutional founders and thus introduces the reader to the overarching philosophy of Constitutional governance specifying the source of authority , the system of government , the objectives to be attained by the political and administrative systems. It has been declared as a valuable part of the Indian Constitution and if one wants to understand the spirit of the Indian Constitution then this has to be read.

2) PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY - In this form of Government, the executive is an integral part of Parliament and is responsible to it.

3) FEDERATION WITH STRONG CENTRE - India is a Union Of States which is unique federalism and may be aptly described as a new experiment in this area for ensuring national unity and growth on one end and regional autonomy at the other.

4) FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES - It is very necessary for any Public Administrator to understand these Fundamental citizen rights and duties before embarking on its course of work else it would end up in litigation perpetually.
Refer in detail:
Fundamental Rights And Fundamental Duties - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_Rights,_Directive_Principles_and_Fundamental_Duties_of_India

5) DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY - It indicates the Responsibilities of the State/ Government in promoting the rights and benefits of the individuals while formulating policies and also in translating the basic values of the Constitution in real life.
DPSP in detail, refer - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Directive_Principles_in_India


6) INDEPENDENT JUDICIARY - The terms and conditions of the judges are regulated by the Constitution and not at the whims and fancies of the Politicians, hence it remains out of their clutches and autonomous, non biased and just.

7) JUDICIAL REVIEW - It implies the powers possessed by the courts to pronounce Constitutional validity of the acts of Public Authorities, both executive and legislative.

CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITIES - To carry out the objectives enlisted in the Constitution which have independent power given by the latter in order to perform impartially and uninfluenced executive:

1) Comptroller And Auditor General: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comptroller_and_Auditor_General_of_India

2) Finance Commission: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finance_Commission

3) Election Commission: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Election_Commission_of_India

4) UPSC: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Public_Service_Commission

5) Attorney General: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attorney_General_of_India

6) National Commission for Scheduled Castes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Commission_for_Scheduled_Castes

7) National Commission for Scheduled Tribes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Commission_for_Scheduled_Tribes

8) Official Languages Commission: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Official_Languages_Commission

9) Special Officer for linguistic minorities: http://www.advocatekhoj.com/library/bareacts/constitutionofindia/350b.php?Title=Constitution%20of%20India,%201949&STitle=Special%20Officer%20for%20linguistic%20minorities



10) Administrative Tribunals: Refer to a post on this blog :  http://publicadministrationtheone.blogspot.in/2012/08/administrative-law-meaning-scope-and.html


OTHER IMPORTANT COMMISSIONS:
These are not Constitutional but created by an Act Of Parliament but of great importance and power:

1) National Commission For Women: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Commission_for_Women

2) National Commission For Backward Classes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Commission_for_Backward_Classes

3) National Human Rights Commission & State Human Rights Commission of India: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Human_Rights_Commission_of_India



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Difference Between Traditional Public Administration And Public Systems Management

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Differentiation Points of Traditional Public Administration And Public Systems Management -



TRADITIONAL PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

1. Public Service is considered an exclusive task performed by the government.

2. Citizen avoiding and secrecy in governmental business.
 
3. Public – Private Distinction.
 
4. Rigid, rule – bound and hierarchic model.
 
5. Process accountability.
 
6. Anonymous bureaucracy.
 
7. Structure – oriented.
 
8. Emphasis on rationality in decision making process.
 
9. Adoption of centralised strategy.
 
10. Authoritative approach.
 
11. Politics – Administration Dichotomy.
 
12. Focus on Structures and Processes.
PUBLIC SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT

1. Public Service is considered as a collaborative exercise involving Government, NGOs and Private firms, etc.
2. Citizen friendly, transparent and accountable.
 
 
3. Public – Private partnership.
 
4. Flexible Organisational Design and Practices Model.
5. Result Accountability.

6. Accountable Bureaucracy.
 
7. People – Oriented.
 
8. Emphasis on bounded rationality in decision making process.
 
9. Adoption of decentralised strategy.
 
 10. Participatory approach.
 
11. Politics – Administrative confluence.
 
12. Focus on performance and results.

 

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