Here is an essay on the ‘Training of Civil Servants’ especially written for school and college students.
Essay # 1. Meaning of Training:
William G. Torpey defines Training as “the process of developing skills, habits, knowledge and attitudes in employees for the purpose of increasing the effectiveness of employees in their present government positions as well as preparing employees for future government position”.
Its dictionary meaning is practical education in any profession, art or handicraft. In Public Administration, it means a “conscious effort made to improve or increase an employee’s skill, powers or intelligence and to develop his attitudes and schemes of values in a desired direction.”
Essay # 2. Objects of Training:
Training plays a vital part in public administration. It is essential not only for effecting efficiency of administration but also for broadening the vision of the employees. It teaches him precision, makes him self-reliant and independent and develops in him capacity to take decisions and arrive at judgments.
Training has, therefore, been described as a continuous process. It enables an employee to adjust himself to the new situations and comprehend the goals and values of the organisation in which he is to work.
The Assheton Committee on the Training of the Civil Servants in U.K. (1944) has very well explained the main objectives of training in the words.
“In any large-scale organisation, efficiency depends on two elements, the technical efficiency of the individual to do the particular work allotted to him and the less tangible efficiency of the organisation as a corporate body derived from the collective spirit and outlook of the individuals of which the body is composed. Training must have regard to both elements.”
Main aims of training as explained by the Committee are as under:
(a) It endeavors to produce a civil servant whose precision and clarity in the transaction of business can be taken for granted.
(b) It helps attuning the civil servant to the task he is called upon to perform in a changing world. It, in other words, helps him to adjust his outlook and methods to the changing needs of new times.
(c) It saves the civil servant from becoming a robot-like mechanically perfect civil servant. He is made aware of his work and the service that he is required to render to his community.
(d) It not only enables an individual to perform his current work more efficiently but also fits him for other duties. It develops in him capacity for higher work and greater responsibilities.
(e) It pays substantial regard to staff morale as the latter have to perform tasks of a routine character throughout their lives.
According to a Report, “Large numbers of people have inevitably to spend most of their working lives upon tasks of a routine character and with this human problem ever in the background training plans to be successful must pay substantial regard to staff morale.”
Besides these objectives explained by Assheton Committee, a few others can also be enumerated:
(f) For the performance of certain peculiar activities pertaining to the government training plays a significant part. For instance, Government must make a provision for training policemen, firemen and food inspectors, etc.
(g) Training helps the employees to become people-oriented and inculcates in them respect and regard for the general public.
Even Assheton Committee had observed thus, “Nothing could be more disastrous than that of the civil service and the public should think of themselves as in two separate camps. The inculcation of the right attitude towards the public and towards business should therefore be one of the principal aims of Civil Service Training.”
(h) It broadens the vision and widens the outlook of the employees by explaining to them national objectives and exhorting them to make substantial contribution towards their realization. According to Nigro, “….the function of training is to help employees grow, not only from the standpoint of mechanical efficiency but also in terms of the broad outlook and perspective which public servant need.”
(i) It is vital to a career service. It fits them for advancement which is assured to the employees when they join the government service at young age.
(j) It improves the tone and adds to the quality of organisations. Since it enhances the efficiency of the employees and develops their capacities, the efficiency and prestige of the department goes up.
(k) It fosters homogeneity of outlook and esprit de corps in the employees.
Caldwell correctly remarked, “Effective administration requires effective training towards organizational goals because of the harm that may be expected when people are left to train themselves without effective guidance or support.”
Essay # 3. Types of Training:
Broadly speaking, training may be described as of the two types—formal and informal.
A. Informal Training:
“Informal training,” according to Mandel, “occurs in the day-to-day relationship of employee and superior, in conferences and staff meeting, in employee news papers and organization publications, at meetings of professional associations and in the reading and study that the employee undertakes at his own volition or at his supervisors’ suggestion. Because, such training is connected with the regular tasks of the employee, he can best integrate with his own experience and thereby profit from it. Since there is no compulsion connected with it, his motivation is positive. Its influence whether good or bad is profound.”
Evidently, informal training is training by doing the work, learning by trial and error, and acquiring administrative skill through practice. This type of training was adopted by the British in India. “As good collections’ house,” according to Gorwala, was often a second home to the young Assistant Collector.”
Personal contacts between the senior officials and the new entrants helped the latter to learn the details about the job. Such an informal type of training stimulated qualities of initiative and administrative leadership and developed in the fresh recruits capacity to feel responsibility and rise to the occasion.
Trevelyan rightly observed, “The real education of the civil servant (in India) consists in the responsibility that devolves on him at an early age which brings out whatever good there is in a man the varied and attractive character of his duties and the example and precept of his superiors who regard him rather as a younger brother than subordinate official.”
The success of this system depends upon certain factors, viz., experience and seniority of the superior officer; his interest in the new entrant; persistent effort on the part of the new entrant.
Tickner, Director of Training and Education, H.M. Treasury, rightly pointed out, “It is the hard way of learning and can fully succeed only in case of the most persistent pupils. In the case of the average employee, it may lead to the formation of bad habits and breed much frustration and discouragement.”
Hence, it has been rightly suggested by Gorwala that “suitable senior officers should be posted to some districts despite their seniority with a view to make these districts training-ground for the young.”
B. Formal Training:
Formal training is a training which is carefully conceived, prearranged and conducted under the expert guidance. It is being increasingly realized that the old thinking “Administration is to man as swimming is to dog” stands falsified. Formal training is imparted with a view to inculcate administrative skill by well defined courses at proper stages in the man’s career.
In fact, training schemes are being multiplied through institution of group discussions, conferences, seminars, lectures and workshops.
Formal training may be discussed under four heads:
(a) Pre-Entry Training,
(b) Orientation Training,
(c) In-Service Training,
(d) Post-Entry Training.
1. Pre-Entry Training:
Pre-entry training as its very name suggests is a training imparted to the aspirants to public service before they enter such a service. In this sense, education imparted in schools and colleges or universities is a sort of pre-entry training which fits the individuals to seek all sorts of jobs in the government.
In a stricter sense, pre-entry training may take the shape of vocational or professional training at technical schools or colleges. The products of such technical institutions can be given jobs immediately after their coming out of the portals of these institutions.
Rajasthan Government provided for Pre-entry training in exemplary way in 1960. The candidates securing 65 per cent or more marks in the Junior Diploma Course in Secretariat and Business Training instituted in July, 1959 in collaboration with the Rajasthan University are being taken directly as upper division clerks.
The U.S.A. has made a provision of a rather comprehensive scheme of pre-entry training for administrative and managerial positions in the form of internship and apprenticeship. An internship programme is an educational method providing specially selected and specially supervised trainees with preparation for administrative and policy careers in public affairs by:
(a) Encouraging these trainees to apply previous academic and employment experience to new concrete job situations through direct participation, on a systematically planned and scheduled basis in the work of organisations appropriate to the particular interests of trainees and sponsor;
(b) Providing, if appropriate, for trainees’ participation in supplementary, academic and professional activities that will contribute further to their development.” The internship has resulted in bringing the educational institutes and the government closer and has enabled a good number of outstanding young men to join the public service.
Apprenticeship differs from internship in the sense that it is concerned with trade or craft skills whereas the latter deals with administrative or professional work. The training consists in the apprentice being permitted to see the papers and the cases that reach the desk of his boss and to watch and study orders passed by him.
He may suggest the decision in given cases and prepare a minute or report on some matter which the senior may examine and correct and explain to the trainee the lacunae of such a decision.
The Bureau of Municipal Research in New York did have such an apprenticeship scheme for many years. Quite a number of American universities and colleges in U.S.A. have provided such apprenticeship schemes for preparing students for serving in the municipalities.
Liberal or Specialized Education at Pre-Entry Stage:
It is a moot question. Should education of general type commonly termed as liberal or gentlemen’s education or technical or specialized education be imparted to the aspirants of public service? The British and continental system which makes public service as a permanent career employ persons at young age on the basis of their general mental qualifications attained through liberal education.
The Americans who do not accept government service as a life-long career believe in more specialized type of training. However, a general tendency of learning towards British system is discernible in U.S.A.
2. Orientation Training:
Orientation training aims at introducing an employee to the basic concept of his job, new work environments, organisation and its goal.
Marx has well-elaborated the importance of this type of training in the words, “It is clear that significant advances in the functional efficiency of the administrative state cannot be expected without corresponding changes in the working style of the administrative system. In this respect, perhaps, the most important thing is the acceptance within the higher civil service of a reorientation towards its role. The men of the top cadre must shift their attention from watching processes to measuring their impact, from getting things done to give each citizen his due, from the technology of administration to its effect upon the general public from utility to ethics.”
Orientation training is gaining importance gradually in India as well. This is with a view to keep the rural bureaucracy attuned to the new tasks. The National Institute of Community Development, Hyderabad, is devoting special attention to this problem.
3. In-Service Training:
In-service training, as its name indicates, is a sort of training which is imparted to the candidates after their selection to the public service. The objects of In-service Training were very well explained by the Assheton Committee (U.K.) in its report submitted in May, 1944.
“Briefly speaking, this type of training stimulates the employees to make best efforts and to improve their performance. It boosts their morale and makes them attuned to the new tasks of onerous nature. There is no denying the fact that learning by ‘trial and error’ system used to be a popular method in the past.”
The apologists of this system applauded this system on the following grounds:
(a) Self-interest will induce the new entrant to remove the stigma of that ‘New Chap’ at the earliest,
(b) His old colleagues will also like him to pick up the job as soon as possible as that will lighten their burden,
(c) It will serve the State Exchequer from unnecessary expenses to be incurred on the training of the employees.
However, the system has its pitfalls – (a) It may impair efficiency of administration, (b) Lot of risk is involved in expecting the employee to learn by trial and error. The administration has become more complex and fairly specialized. As such, an employee will not be in a position to equip himself with the requisite administrative skill.
It is, therefore, desirable that a comprehensive system of in-service training may be adopted. In the words of Professor Willoughby, “no matter how well-grounded an employee may be in the general subject to which his work relates, there is much for him to learn in respect to the particular duties of his position.”
Recently Administrative Reforms Commission in its Report on the importance of training stated “Training should prepare the individual civil servants not only for performing his present job well but also for shouldering higher responsibilities and meeting new and complex challenges in future….”
This type of training may be organised either centrally or department wise. It may be imparted initially or concurrently with practical application to actual work.
Methods of In-Service Training:
Broadly speaking, there are three methods of In-Service Training:
(a) The services may on their own accord undertake training, making use of their own staff. In U.K. each department carries on its training programme.
There are three variations of this method:
(i) The Government may start a training school of its own. For instance, the Union Ministry of personnel in India is running its own National Academy of Administration called the Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy of Administration since 1972 at Mussoorie. The Academy has been functioning since September 1, 1959 for imparting training to the fresh I.A.S. personnel.
The Academy offers three types of courses:
(1) A one-year course for the IAS officers to cover the syllabus prescribed under the All India Services Probationers Final Examination.
(2) A six-week refresher course for senior officers of 10 to 15 years standing.
(3) A continued course of five months for all the all India services and the Central Services class I for imparting training in foundational subjects.
These courses aim at widening the outlook of the trainees. Such a general course imparts general education in liberal arts to the personnel recruited for posts of specialized nature. The I.P.S. are trained at the Central Police Training College earlier at Mount Abu but during internal emergency (25th June, 1975—21st March, 1977) was shifted to Hyderabad.
The Indian Audit and Accounts service candidates are trained at Training School, Shimla. Likewise the Income Tax Services receive training at Income Tax Training School, Nagpur.
The Railway Staff College at Baroda organizes special and refresher courses for serving officers of Railways. The Institute of Secretariat Training and Management, New Delhi imparts training to section officers and assistants. It also holds refresher courses for those already employed.
(ii) Another method offers an introductory series of lectures and arranges inspection trips to the departments and field station in order to give them a first-hand knowledge of different aspects of the service. This is termed as Vestibule Training system. Senior Forest officers in India are imparted this type of training.
(iii) Circular Training Course is the third method of In-Service Training. In India, the provincial civil servants are imparted this type of training. According to it, a new recruit is first asked to sit along with a district officer and watch the operation. He is attached with all the departments of the district administration. This is followed by minor assignment to him. As he gains experience, he is given higher assignment.
(b) The Government may request an outside training institute to impart requisite instructions. This is called internship system. In the U.S.A., the National Institute of Public Affairs undertakes internship training to the new entrants in federal services. In India, Indian Institute of Public Administration at central level and state Institutes on Public administration at state level are doing the similar job.
(c) The Government may ask the employees whom it is desired to train to work in various universities. During the British regime new recruits to the I.C.S. were asked to attend different universities in U.K.
4. Post-Entry Training:
Post-entry training is a training imparted to the employee during the course of his services.
This type of training aims at:
(a) Better performance of present work;
(b) Preparation for advancement (i.e., higher position).
This type of training can be given in two ways:
(i) Through refresher courses;
Administration being a complex affair, it is better if through periodical refresher courses, an employee is acquainted with the latest administrative techniques. The government may hold seminars for the purpose, by inviting officials of different departments separately for a series of lectures to the employees working in their respective departments.
The Government may send them abroad to make on-the-spot appraisal of the different administrative systems.
Since training is not to be treated solely a State affair, the employee concerned also may, of his own, like to add to his qualifications in order to get promotion. He should be given an opportunity to know all the available courses and be given all facilities to avail them. For this purpose, the employee may be given study leave on full or half pay and extended liberal stipends or scholarships.
Additional qualification so attained may be entered in his personal file and it be given due weight at the time of effecting promotion. The importance of post-entry training is being realized even in developing democracies like India.
Hence the Central Government is liberalizing its policy of granting study leave to its employees, for adding to their qualifications.
For instance, in 1961, the Central Government of India decided that study leave may be allowed for studies not directly concerned with the government servant’s work but aiming at improvement of his abilities as a civil servant and developing in him sense of co-ordination with other branches of the public service.