IIM-A, Harvard to train I-T officials to be ‘citizen-friendly’

A four-week course will see around 30 senior officials take lessons in becoming more effective and citizen-friendly.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published: July 8, 2014 1:35 pm

Around 30 senior officials from the Income Tax department are set for their “Harvard experience”. The executive education wings of the premier B-schools, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) and Harvard Business School (HBS), have joined hands for an integrated course intended for them.

A four-week course, starting from July 24, will see around 30 senior officials in the Department of Income Tax take lessons in becoming more “effective” and “citizen-friendly” at the same time. “One of our key strategic priorities is to connect with the private sector, public sector institutions and internationally renowned business schools,” said IIM-A director Ashish Nanda. “Senior government officials are confronted with gargantuan challenges of implementation that require the best of leadership and management skills.We hope that this engagement – working with HBS to design and deliver an outstanding programme for senior officials in the Department of Income Tax tailored to their needs and circumstances – is the harbinger of many more similar projects with public sector organisations.”

Senior I-T officials will spend two weeks at the IIM-A and two weeks at the HBS campus and will be taught by faculty from both the institutes.The participants will be chief commissioner and principal chief commissioner level officers. The course will offer perspective, skills and insights related to the leadership of a public enterprise, change management in a large organisation, and becoming more citizen-centric.This is among IIM-A’s two models of offering Management Development Programmes (MDPs), including open-ended ones and programmes customised as per a client’s requirement, into which this one falls.

“Public sector leaders seek to find the right balance between responsiveness and policy enforcement in terms of engaging with the public. Despite I-T officers being the enforcement arm of the government, they can’t carry an imperial outlook and have to become more citizen-centric and engage with citizens by focusing on self-compliance rather than enforcement. In this programme, we will explore the appropriate balance between service orientation and policy implementation and discuss ways to achieve that balance,” said Ajay Pandey, Dean (programmes), IIM-A.

“We have been making a conscious effort to widen the horizons of our Executive Education Programmes and particularly reach out to the public sector,” noted Abraham Koshy, chair (Executive Education) at IIM-A. “This new initiative is a step in that direction.”

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