It was good for a change to have the state’s civil servants involved in a ‘Chintan Shivir’ with their peers instead of just wrestling with everyday matters in their respective offices. It is not easy for a young officer to be posted in remote and distant areas without the stimulation available from interaction with others on a ‘higher’ plane. In earlier times, there was enough leisure available for seniors to mentor their juniors, provide the benefit of their experience. In the present day, it has to be done in more accelerated ways such as the ‘Chintan’ initiative.
The problems faced also are more complex, because of the need to synchronise activity to meet larger goals. The very same departments that used to deliver on projects now have to factor in many other levels – the mere act of getting a drain dug requires coordination with half a dozen other agencies. Many complications have to be anticipated, while the practices and processes remain decades old. It is only through interaction with others who face the same kind of challenges that breakthroughs can be obtained and the confidence developed to perform better.
Hopefully, a start will have been made in achieving this synthesis at the Mussoorie get-together. The initiative taken by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and his senior officials is laudable and, hopefully, will be continued in various ways at different levels. And it is not just at the formal meetings that the necessary management culture is developed, the informal exchanges during breaks in the sessions and evening get-togethers also matter. Youngsters can find their role models, while seniors have a better opportunity to identify the sharp ones and their specific talents.
The challenges, particularly in Uttarakhand are many. They are also very unlike those in urbanised or industrialised states. The challenges posed by nature are enormous. Just an issue such as man-animal conflict requires not just a complex approach involving cooperation between the administration and the public, but also physical strength and courage. Those who prefer the environs of the air-conditioned offices are not suited to face such challenges. Hence, such shivirs will also help the seniors and their political bosses identify the right person for the right job. Opportunities should be liberally given to make their mark but it should go with accountability. Considering the fact that only an honest and professional approach can achieve success in such an environment, the corrupt and the incompetent will be weeded out. The results will be there for all to see.