Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Openness towards private sector expertise

Have a look at the following postings in key Government positions that have been confirmed in the last 8 to 10 months.
  • Dr Sam Pitroda - Head Knowledge Commission and former head CDAC and other important institutions was appointed by GOI as Advisor to PM on Innovation, Infrastructure and Information
  • Nandan Nilekani- Ex CEO of Infosys- Chairman of the committee responsible for the implementation of UID program at a PAN India level 
  • Kaushik Basu - Former Chairman of the Department of Economics, Cornell University, US. He was also the Professor for Centre for Analytic Economics and Program on Comparative Economic Development at the same university.- Chief Economic Advisor to GOI
  • Arun Maira- Ex CEO Boston Consulting Group, India.  - Member Planning Commission and recently appointed as the Head of the committee required to figure out changes that need to be brought in at Planning Commission to make this very important division of policy formulation more effective
  • Subir Gokarn- Former Chief Economist for Standard & Poor Asia Operations along with other private sector portfolios- Deputy Governor RBI

There are few inferences that can be drawn from the above:

  1. Indian government is opening its minds to get quality talent from lateral positions
  2. The private sector leaders are willing to occupy highly responsible positions in government divisions
  3. Positions at the top in governmental divisions will be more attractive for private sector high performers as compared to middle rung where there would be a lot of sloth, inefficiency and also low income opportunities
I guess its a welcome sign on the part of the government to show indications of getting expertise from areas where government surely needs specialists as against the the generalist babus. A big change which is yet to be seen in the government human resource approach would be when the policies would allow people from the private sector to actually move in to government sector and vice versa. This osmosis might allow a lot of best practices of the private sector to be shared with government bodies and would help in strengthening the human resource machinery which is far from perfect requires fresh ideas and energy at various levels. The challenge would also be to make the culture at governmental divisions attractive enough for people who are more comfortable with the MNC work culture and professionalism.

The pace of change is too slow to be noticed or talked about but the fact is that these may be good trends which might gain momentum in the years to come. 

1 comment:

prasad said...

hi mr ujjwal,

yes, there is openness thanks to the gentlemen you mentioned. but guess, there is much more to be done now onwards. The UIDAI is a unique effort that will be a gamechanger, without doubts and needed Mr Nilekani. Hopefully the government will think of linking every transaction that an individual makes to the unique number so that there is accountability of every rupee changing hands.
but a lot still needs to be changed to clean the augean stables.
wish a system comes up where every inch of land has a clear title including agricultural rural land alongwith GPRS coordinates ( like all other countries)
hope there will come a day in our life when the likes of Mr NarayanaMurthy, Mr Tata, Mr Premjee and many others join politics and then "corporatisation" of democracy is done.