Some thoughts from the First Few Days of our New PM Shri Narendra Modi
The appointment of Principal Secretary and also the National Security Advisor : Both these are retired officers with good track record and talent- competent and committed.
Lesson for HRD Ministry:
Competent people are a great resource to the country. Retired people, if competent and active carry with them a lot of experience and wisdom. As they are senior citizen's and have achieved all that they wanted to achieve in life, they are less likely to be greedy and more likely to put larger interests ahead of them. University Professors carry a lot of wisdom when they retire. Once they retire, they cease to be Ph. D. Guides and also are not allowed to lecture. Which means the country is losing a lot of wisdom by its bureaucratic processes. Can we change the rules of the game and show respect for the wisdom of the competent professor. Most Universities have Ph. D. programs which have not taken off, for want of guides. Can the Universities appoint the senior Professors as Professors of Eminence and encourage them to guide and also offer courses and share their wisdom. Catch could be about compensation. If they are on pension there is no need to pay them big salaries and they could be made honorary. I know for sure many IIT and IIM professors and others are more than happy to serve their institutions for free. All that they need is the recognition of services and their wisdom. Even if they are not on pension they could be given a place, an office, a common facility and perhaps some incidentals to take care of their travel etc. or a token honorarium. The Universities and higher education institutions get a lot in return.
Lesson for PSUs and Public Sector Banks:
In one of the PSUs I was working with, several retiring Deputy General Managers said that once they retire they are jobless. They have a lot of technical knowledge which will be wasted. They also said if some of the MNCs are allowed to be in the business in which their company is, they could be taken by the MNC corporations with five to ten times the salaries. Imagine the number of Banks and other PSUs who were not recruiting officers till a few years ago. They face a situation where a large number of top level managers are retiring and there is no second line. The young officers recruited lack experience and also are job changers. Under these circumstances it will be wise to screen out competent retirees and senior citizens of these corporations and use their wisdom. They could be used as mentors and advisers etc. Most of them are on pension. For example it is said that in some of the Public sector banks, there are as many pensioners as the employees and most HR effort goes to serve the pensioners. It is a legitimate expectation of the organization from the pensioners to serve their organization with a small incentive. This way the PSUs and PSBs will benefit a lot with low cost.
Lesson For the Country: Department of Personnel and Adminsitrative Reforms and HRD Ministry
The HRD Ministry so far very rightly concentrated on the HRD of young people from child to college graduates. Human Resources Development means not only spotting, nurturing, and developing the competencies (knowledge, attitudes, values, skills etc.) of people but also utilizing them. In all these, the current scope of HRD is limited to only education of the youth. Can it now extend to all categories of people. Can it treat the entire country and its people as a resource and focus as much on utilization of human resources or talent of people besides developing their knowledge base. Is it possible to develop a information base of competencies of older people and senior citizens from various professionals and make it available for use by the any one who needs them. This can be monitored by a cell specially created for this purpose. This may be a great source of support to the HRD Ministry. They can be used for various nation building purposes and also to monitor and guide various schemes and projects in HRD. Like the Performance Management department of the Cabinet secretariat is suing retired IAS officers and civil servants to monitor the Result Framework Document (RFD), HRD, Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms can use such senior citizens forums for assistance in implementation of various projects.
The biggiest lesson form Shri Modiji is competent and commitment to country do not have a retirement age and competent and committed people should be used for the benefit of the country.
Hope our new Ministers will use this wisdom.