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LBSNAA: Combat Training likely in civil services curriculum

New Delhi: The Union government is said to be toying with the idea to make some sort of ‘combat training’ (CT) part of the curriculum for new recruits to All India services and central services during their training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie.

Since CT is not a one-time affair as it has to be constantly practiced to keep one agile and versatile in the art, it’s not known how the government may execute this new idea, or at least popularize it among new recruits to turn them into believers.

It is being said that the course for CT is already defined and it may be included as part of the physical training very soon that includes horse-riding, mountain trekking, river rafting, etc.

The credit for this ‘innovative’ idea is given to PM Narendra Modi himself, while NSA Ajit Doval is credited with expounding the idea in the public.

Addressing the passing out parade of IPS officers (Dikshant Samaroh) at SVP National Police Academy (SVP NPA), Hyderabad, last week, he obliquely referred to an old Kautilyan doctrine, and spoke of enemy nations can ‘subvert civil society’ to hurt India.

Does this mean CT for civilian officers helps check the subversion of civil society? How? Since its re-arrival in 2014 and continuation in 2019, the NDA administration has been keenly pushing several projects to improve the administrative culture by way of introduction of 360-degree evaluation and assessment process, accelerated pace and weightage for lateral entry of domain experts, a revamped foundation course for trainees, a proposed university and deliberations on a separate ministry for training, posting the IAS probationers at Centre before joining respective cadres, etc.

Recent decisions on re-appointing top officials in key departments on a contract basis, forced retirement of “tainted” officers, increase in the tenures of ED, CBI, RAW, Defence Secretary & Home Secretary are also claimed as moves to create a better and efficient administration.

Whatever the merits or demerits of these innovative processes introduced in the administration, we have not been given empirical evidence of how, and to what degree, these measures have helped improve the government’s efficiency index.

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