The Union Cabinet on Wednesday announced that it has approved a new plan called “Mission Karmayogi” or the National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building to enhance skill-building in the civil services. During a press briefing to unveil the project, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar described it as the “biggest human resources development reform” in the government.

A human resources council, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and comprising of selected Cabinet minister and chief ministers, will be at the top of the new project, Secretary of the Department of Personnel and Training C Chandramouli said during the press briefing. He added that the council would also consist of academics and international experts.

The Centre will set up a Special Purpose Vehicle to enable digital learning. The plan will cost the government over Rs 500 crore. Officers enrolling for the programme will be charged Rs 431 per year.

Chandramouli added that a Capacity Building Commission will be set up to serve as a coordinator for the efforts to bring about the changes. “The Capacity Building Commission will harmonise training standards, create shared faculty and resources and will have a supervisory role over all training institutions so that there’s common understanding of India’s aspirations and development goals,” Chandramouli was quoted as saying by ANI.

The official said that India’s civil services training landscape has been fragmented. “There are inconsistencies in training priorities by various training institutions in various ministries and this has prevented shared understanding of India’s developmental aspirations,” Chandramouli said.

Chandramouli added that the new plan is based on its idea of the qualities that a civil servant must possess to tackle present-day challenges. “A civil servant should be imaginative and innovative, proactive and polite, professional and progressive, energetic and enabling, transparent and tech-enabled, constructive and creative in order to meet the challenges of the society,” he said.

Meanwhile, Javadekar said at the press briefing that “Mission Karmayogi” will help bureaucrats learn modern practices while staying close to the Indian culture. It will also serve as a post-recruitment reform for government servants, he added.

The Centre also said that the new project will focus on individual and institutional capacity building. The schemes under the new plan will be available to everyone from officers to secretaries and will mark a shift from “rules-based” to “roles-based” human resource management, the government added.

Centre approves Kashmir languages bill

The Cabinet also gave its approval to the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020. Apart from English and Urdu, Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi will now also be the official languages in the Union Territory.

Union minister Jitendra Singh, who was also at the Cabinet press briefing, said that the inclusion of Dogri, Hindi and Kashmiri as official languages in Jammu and Kashmir is “not only a fulfillment of a long-pending public demand but also in keeping with the spirit of equality ushered after Aug 5, 2019”, according to ANI.