The Indian Civil Services Association is established as a leading think tank working to make government more effective.
Practical research and learningCentral to our approach is the integration of our research and learning programmes.
Our research focuses on the big governance challenges of the day and on finding new ways to help government improve, rethink and sometimes see things differently.
Our learning and development programme provides a range of opportunities to help ministers, senior civil servants and their teams to govern and lead more effectively. To help ministers, special advisers and top officials to develop further the skills and behaviours required to govern effectively, and to help opposition parties to become better prepared for political transitions and government.
EventsOur events support our research and learning programmes and provide platforms for leading international experts to exchange ideas and share new thinking on effective government.
Expert AdviceICSA aims to undertake assignments for Government, Public Sector Undertakings and multilateral, bilateral and other international agencies on a wide range of policy related areas. We provide practical advice from people with in-depth experience of working inside government to support senior decision makers to improve performance.
The objectives of the Indian Civil Services Association are to conduct research, encourage public discussions and make recommendations for reforms in public administration and public service delivery in order to:
We aim to provide a knowledge-sharing platform with technical sessions focused on the following themes:
These sessions are expected to emerge as lively, participative discussions where delegates get an opportunity to look at and learn about unique features of each initiative and explore the possibility of adapting them to their own areas.
Need for a New Civil ServicesPrime Minister Narendra Modi has charted out an action plan to create a New India. A New India possibly requires a New Civil Services. Recent global and Indian history has been marked by greater political, social, religious, economic and even climatic flux than ever before. Delivering effective, efficient and forward-looking public service in such an unpredictable milieu is a formidable challenge. Simply restating old priorities and mission statements and treading the beaten track is not enough. A new set of competencies is required to deal with the immense challenges and plethora of opportunities simultaneously jostling for policy attention.
Where old lessons and experiences fail to show direction in the face of new and ever transforming challenges, it becomes all the more important to observe and learn from the contemporary and contextual experiments of other nations—not just the ones that worked but also the ones that failed, for there is something to be learnt from each. At the same time just replicating an idea seeded on foreign soil is foolhardy unless the local context, compulsions and realities are fully understood and all scenarios of ‘what could possibly go wrong’ and ‘why it may not work’ have been thoroughly examined.
No reform initiative irrespective of where it was seeded and incubated can bring can about lasting impact unless it rests upon the bedrock of 100 per cent stakeholder consensus. When a public administration endeavour sets out to do something new, it has to be preceded by awareness, knowledge dissemination, advocacy, training, persuasion and counselling drive, as applicable to ensure that each and every stakeholder, be it a government functionary or a member of the citizenry is fully ready to take it on. Public engagement and a collaborative approach between the government and civil society are central to the success of any reform initiative.
Extending the same argument further, any exercise in knowledge sharing—be it across government departments or between the government and the corporate sector or the government and the general citizenry—demands that processes be simplified, procedures be less layered and more accessible, and communication be unambiguous, straight forward and bereft of needless ‘officialese’.
An efficient public administration system is the foundation for a transparent and accountable government and fosters equitable growth. In a world of transitioning democracies and economies, it is imperative that nations share and support each other in building strong public service systems for economic growth, peace and stability. Finally, changing times call for an altered managerial perspective. It is important to encourage boundary-spanning skills in personnel so that they become capable of handling responsibility across roles and contribute towards the overall growth of the organisation. Also, lasting change requires sustainable institutions. In this regard, succession planning should be made part of organizational priorities.
As India globalizes under growing media glare, her administration and governance have to change with the times and respond to the high expectations of a society where the demographic pre-ponderance of youth, the increasing struggles of urban and rural India, the development-sustainability conflict and the continuing problems of poverty related malnutrition together throw up challenges that require great resilience in administration and delivery. Indian Civil Services Association takes the reality of Governance in transition into consideration in all its skill-development, research and knowledge management activities.