Secretariat staff to undergo 6-month mandatory training

In a major revamp of the training scheme for Section Officers (SOs) and Under Secretaries (USs) posted in various departments in the Secretariat, the government, after 25 years, has introduced a “compulsory” six-month capacity-building training to keep up with the changes in all spheres of governance.

The deputations of these officers to various districts will commence in October and the training aims to help the officers gain experience in the functioning of various State public sector undertakings and follow the trail of schemes till they reach the beneficiaries.

“At the end of the training, the trainees will make a presentation on the training experience, and based on their interaction during the presentation, an evaluation will be done and a rating will be given for each trainee. These ratings may be used while assessing the trainees’ suitability for higher responsibilities,” a G.O. issued by the Chief Secretary stated.

For Under Secretaries, the training would include a three-month classroom and city offices training programme. They would be put through classroom coaching in an eight-week capsule at the Anna Institute of Management and a one-week capsule at the State Judicial Academy here; they will also undertake visits to important offices in the city for two weeks. The officers are to be sent for training during the non-budget period in two batches a year – in July and in October.

The six-month training for Section Officers would have two components: a three-month training capsule in various offices in Chennaiand a three-month deputation to offices of various departments in 30 districts across the State (excluding Chennai and the Nilgiris).

Requests for exemption

The selection and deputation of Under Secretaries and Section Officers for training and allocation of choice districts will be only as per seniority, and requests for priority allocation of districts and for exemption from undergoing the training either in a particular batch or for total exemption “shall be summarily rejected,” the order stated.

“100% attendance shall be a prerequisite for their appointment to the posts of Under Secretaries and Deputy Secretaries, respectively, and necessary amendments to the Special Rules for the Tamil Nadu General Service will be issued separately,” the G.O. noted.

The decision of the government follows the recommendations made by a committee constituted in November last year led by the Secretary in the Personnel and Administrative Reforms (Training) Department.

The committee recommended a revamp of the training schemes (during the non-budget period) and further prescribed service qualification pre- and post-training.

Since Secretariat officials interact mostly with the Heads of the Department in Chennai, it was imperative that they were given training in the activities of the various Heads of the Departments so as to have a wider perspective on State administration, the G.O said.

The change in the training scheme for Secretariat officers comes after 25 years since the last change was effected (in 1993).

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