Online tests for govt recruitments, Mission Karmayogi for employees training key decisions in 2020 – education
The common online eligibility test for most government hires and Mission Karmayogi for core employee capacity building were some key initiatives for the personnel ministry in 2020.
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the ministry took timely measures to facilitate the smooth running of all central government offices and provided safe working conditions for more than 48 lakh of employees.
The concept of work from home needed due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown to halt the spread of the deadly infection, in addition to the staggered working hours and the assistance system initiated by the personnel ministry, ensured that central government organizations would continue working.
During the year, the ministry also announced several measures to ensure that central government pensioners do not face any problems when presenting life certificates, proof that they must present to pension-disbursing banks to continue with the pension.
In November, the Center decided that postmen would deliver home delivery to central government pensioners to submit their life certificates online.
“In view of the current pandemic, it is a great relief for pensioners to present life certificates while they are staying at home,” said a statement issued by the Ministry of Personnel.
The government also submitted a form for filing complaints with the anti-corruption ombudsman Lokpal.
“One of the pioneering historic decisions is to have a National Recruitment Agency (NRA) that will conduct a Common Eligibility Test (CET) for hiring for government positions,” said Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh.
He said this will provide a level playing field for job applicants by avoiding multiple selection tests at multiple locations.
“Furthermore, the government has also decided to have at least one or more than one center in each district of India so that economically disadvantaged candidates and especially women candidates do not have to deprive themselves of such opportunities due to any travel difficulties.” Singh told PTI.
He said Mission Karmayogi will once again become a pioneering decision in governance by providing a constant update mechanism for government officials.
“There will be an online facility for each official to acquire training each time they take on a new assignment or when they are assigned to a different assignment,” said the minister.
In August, the Union Cabinet decided to create the National Recruitment Agency, a multi-agency body, to conduct the CET to select or shortlist candidates for Group B and C (non-technical) positions.
The NRA will have representatives from the Ministry of Railways, the Ministry of Finance / Department of Financial Services, the Personnel Selection Commission (SSC), the Railway Contracting Boards (RRB) and the Institute for the Selection of Banking Personnel (IBPS) .
Currently, candidates seeking government positions have to sit separate examinations conducted by various recruitment agencies for various positions, for which similar eligibility conditions have been prescribed.
Candidates must also pay a fee to various recruitment agencies and must travel long distances to sit for various exams.
These multiple recruitment exams are a burden on candidates, as well as on the respective recruitment agencies, as they involve avoidable or repetitive expenses, public order or safety issues, and site-related issues.
On average, candidates from 2.5 crore to 3 crore appear on each of these exams.
A CET would allow these candidates to appear once and apply to any or all of these recruitment agencies for the upper level of examination. In fact, this would be a boon for all candidates, the government had said.
The NRA is envisioned to be a specialized agency bringing cutting edge technology and best practices to the field of central government contracting.
In September, the Union Cabinet had given its go-ahead to Mission Karmayogi, called the largest bureaucratic reform initiative, aimed at building capacity to make government employees more “creative, proactive, professional and technological.” , ending the culture of working in silos and ensuring transparency.
A council, composed of select union ministers, senior ministers, and eminent public human resource professionals, among others, and headed by the prime minister, will serve as the primary body to provide strategic direction, while also proposing the creation of a Commission on Capacity Development.
In March, the government issued a form for filing corruption complaints against public officials, including the prime minister, with Lokpal, 11 months after the formation of the anti-corruption ombudsman.
There is a vacancy of two judicial members in the Lokpal, against the force of four. Lokpal’s judicial member, Judge (retired) Ajay Kumar Tripathi, had passed away in May. Another judicial member, Judge (retired) Dilip B Bhosale, had resigned from his post in January.
When asked about these vacancies, Singh said that “filling vacancies is an ongoing process.”