Delhi once again follows Gujarat!

Delhi once again follows Gujarat! The BJP-led NDA government is launching a new programme to tap “creativity and enthusiasm” of employees on the lines of a Gujarat government scheme initiated by Narendra Modi when he was Chief Minister.

The new initiative allows officials to “design and implement” projects close to their heart that would give them a sense of self-satisfaction and achievement. The officials need not take prior permission or approval for such work but has to only ensure that the “routine and mandated” job is not affected.

Modelled on the “Swantah Sukhaya” (One’s Happiness) scheme launched in Gujarat in 2003, the proposed scheme seeks to “identify, recognise, facilitate, motivate, replicate and disseminate” meaningful interventions in delivery of citizen-centric services by tapping the “energy and passion” of officials. Prime Minister Modi was Chief Minister in Gujarat when the scheme was launched.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has now asked ministries to suggest a name for the scheme, which is “successfully practised” in Gujarat for the past ten years. “The initiatives are meant to provide internal happiness and sense of achievement,” it said.

The rationale behind the scheme is to clear a “major restriction” on many officers who have trouble in pursuing their passion while at government work due to “little opportunity to work in areas of their interest”.

“The government is trying to meet the challenges of fulfilling diverse needs and expectations of a large number of people. However, due to structure of administration, limited freedom is available to its employees to initiate programmes or projects based on their own ideas, concepts and capabilities,” the DoPT said in its concept note.

It believes that the new initiative would give autonomy to employees to make use of their “initiative, enthusiasm, energy and innovation as well as their knowledge, understanding and insights” of ground level reality for taking up assignments and schemes.

“Autonomy is given to government employees to design and implement projects or schemes of their choice which would give them a sense of self satisfaction and sense of achievement… It creates their own stake in the implementation and thus motivates them to excel,” the DoPT said.

Officials could take up projects in diverse areas like water conservation, eco tourism, poverty alleviation, re-enrolling dropout students and rural library among others.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Nov 2, 2014)


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