A Committee constituted by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has recommended that the total training period for IAS officers be brought down from two years (103 weeks) to one-and-a-half years (75 weeks), despite opposition from the director of the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) towards the move.
The Kiran Aggarwal Committee, tasked with reviewing the content and duration of induction training of IAS officers, has recommended reducing the district training from the current 54 weeks to 33 weeks “in view of the strong feedback received from recent batches of IAS officers about the relatively sub-optimal effectiveness of attachments in the district and the relatively higher utility of independent charges for on-the-job learning.”
It has been argued that, given the rising median age of IAS officer trainees (around 28 years), the training duration must be reduced as many enter service with significant work experience and less potential years of service.
Introduction of a structured mid-career training programme and opportunities to avail short-term refresher courses after four years of service have also been cited to back the case for the reduction in training period. It has also been argued that any reduction in training or probation period would be welcomed by state governments given the general shortage of junior-level IAS officers. This would allow for longer tenures of IAS officers as SDMs, the report says.
LBSNAA director Padamvir Singh has expressed reservations against the move. “I do not entirely endorse the decision to reduce the duration of training period from 2 years to 1.5 years or thereabouts,” he wrote in an email to Aggarwal in January.
“The reason is that the feedback received from various quarters has not pointed in any significant manner to the need to reduce the duration from 2 years. Even in our discussions with State Government, and ATI representative and pass-outs from recent batches, the general refrain was more towards improving the content and delivery of training and refocusing it to the needs of adult learning.”