Kiran Aggarwal Committee Report (2014) "Content & Duration of Induction Training of IAS Officers - II"



c. District Training: The Committee observes that while District Training forms a critical component of Induction Training, there is great variation across states in both its design and quality. In this regard, we would like to make the following recommendations with regard to District Training:

  1. There is a strong and felt need to standardize the design of District Training across various state cadres. The Ministry should incorporate the same in the IAS Training related Regulations to preclude any deviation by the states.

  2. The curricular instruction at the State ATI should be integrated into the learning continuum, i.e. it should build upon the learning outcomes in the professional training at the Academy. This is presently more by default than through conscious design.

  3. Training at the State ATI should entail a short debriefing (of 2-3 days) at the end of District Training before the Trainees return to the Academy for Phase II.

  4. A special workshop must be convened by DoPT and Academy with Heads of ATIs to develop a common training programme for achieving the desired outcomes.

  5. A structured mechanism needs to be evolved at the State level to select good Collectors with whom IAS Officer Trainees may be attached for District Training. This could be done by a Committee comprising of the Chief Secretary, Head of ATI and Secretary Personnel/ GAD.

  6. A system of mentorship must also be introduced wherein one or two senior officers (of middle-level seniority) may be designated as mentors for every Trainee joining the state. Such a system exists in Rajasthan and Punjab and should be emulated by all state cadres.

  7. The Committee underscores the need to provide structured independent charges (of BDPO, Tehsildar and Executive Officer of Municipality) to enable more effective learning during District Training.

  8. The evaluation structure of District Training must be reviewed and greater weightage (upto 50%) accorded to the assessment by the District Collector and State ATI. Currently it forms less than 10% which does not incentivize both Collectors and State ATIs to exercise close oversight on the activities of the Trainee/s under their respective charges. It is, therefore, suggested that all assignments done in the district should be jointly evaluated by the District Collector and the Academy. Arguably, the Collector may even be better placed than the Academy to assess the diligence and initiative displayed by the Trainee as well as to appreciate the quality of the output.

  9. A video-conference should be held by the State Counselor (at the Academy) with all Trainees (in a cadre) and the State ATI every two months during District Training for feedback and assessment of the Trainees’ progress.

d. IAS Professional Course (Phase II): The Committee observes that the present design and delivery of Phase II is not achieving the desired outcomes and would like to recommend the following:

  1. The design of the Phase II needs to be modified keeping in view the intended outcomes. The design should seek to cover through structured discussions and seminars on thematic areas taken up for coverage during Phase I. This would also help in better achieving the outcomes, albeit in reduced time of six weeks.

  2. The present system of multiple presentations by Officer Trainees should be curtailed as this has significant opportunity costs, especially in terms of time for other inputs. For assessment purposes, Officer Trainees may be asked to send a soft copy of their presentation to the Faculty Coordinator for assessment. The best or representative reports and presentations may be then taken into plenary or half-groups for discussion.

  3. The effective SDO, CEO, Municipal Commissioner and DM Seminars should be continued. These could be improved and redesigned in a more effective manner through a focus-group discussion involving the faculty and some former Trainees.

  4. The Academy should build-up a base of cadre-specific knowledge on all critical aspects of public administration which can be effectively used by Trainees in the following years.

  5. The Foreign Study Tour has been in vogue since 2010 and many other services have also provided for such visits. The Committee observes that the first four-five years of service would be better devoted by IAS officers to knowing their sub-division, district, state and country. Hence a 2-week Foreign Study Tour in the 4-5th year of service (at the end of SDM-ship) may be considered where Trainees could be taken as a batch (or in 2-3 groups of 50-60 each) for a structured tour abroad. This would enable a young IAS officer to better appreciate how things are done differently in other countries and be in a position to replicate some of their best practices in the Indian context. The Committee proposes for the Government’s consideration that a larger view needs to be taken on the rationale of sending Officer Trainees of various services abroad. Till a final view is taken on the subject, the Committee recommends reducing the duration of the Foreign Study Tour for IAS Officer Trainees to one week and covering one country instead of the present two week tour to two countries.

(iv) Delivery of training inputs: The Committee would like to accord the greatest primacy to updating the present pedagogical methods in use at the Academy. All efforts must be made to reorient the focus to the imperatives of “adult learning” and devising suitable strategies to effectively engage the Trainees, both within and outside the classroom. More specifically, the Committee recommends the following:

  1. The overwhelming reliance on lecture method must be reduced and the use of case method, seminars, role plays, films, simulation exercises and group project work must be significantly increased as part of “blended learning”.

  2. The Academy should seek to harness the benefits of ICT and incorporate the pedagogy of “flipped classroom” wherein lectures are webcast (or available for online viewing) and class time is utilized for seminars to provide for closer and more intensive discussion to foster greater learning.

  3. Some aspects of the curricula, that are amenable to online viewing, may be considered for conversion to ICT-enabled online platforms. This can be used to support face-to-face classroom instruction. To illustrate, language instruction may be strongly aided by use of such techniques.

  4. The course content and reading materials as a complete learning resource should be provided ex-ante to allow Trainees to allocate their time in a course more effectively. In the case of the FC, this may be done online at least 30 days prior to the formal commencement of the programme.

  5. The Trainees must be made active partners in every training course by assessing their training gaps and individually tailoring the course in a bespoke manner.

  6. Entry-level testing in key disciplines should be done immediately upon commencement of the FC to address the individual training gaps in every Officer Trainee. Additional orientation classes may be organized outside of class hours (for slow track Trainees) in the initial weeks of the course. Some of the more proficient Officer Trainees may be involved in peer coaching for which additional credit may be given in the Director’s Assessment.

  7. Specific time should be allocated for self-study/ group work in a structured manner to foster better internalization of training inputs.

  8. Evaluation of Trainees must also be modified in accordance with the changed pedagogical approach with not more than 50% weightage for end-of-course examinations. The faculty must be trained in use of modern e-techniques to gauge and effectively assess classroom participation in a more objective manner.

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    (v) Other recommendations: In addition to the specific recommendations made on the above mentioned aspects of Induction Training, the Committee would like to propose the following changes for the consideration of Government:

     Age of entry: As the age of entry has a close linkage with training outcomes in general, the Committee observes that a healthy balance must be struck between
    affording additional opportunity in terms of age and chances to candidates with disadvantaged or rural backgrounds, with the need to make entrants more amenable to institutional training. The Committee suggests that any future decisions regarding revision of maximum age of entry should be carefully considered and must factor the consequent implications on training.

    Common Foundation Course: The Committee takes note of the unique nature of the Foundation Course and would recommend taking all necessary steps towards the conduct of a common Foundation Course for the three All-India Services and Central Services (Group A). It has been pointed out by the Academy that it may be possible to accommodate around 450 Officer Trainees in the FC after the construction of new hostels and classrooms in the next two years. The Committee is cognizant of the limitations of infrastructure at Mussoorie in accommodating the entire group of 600-plus Trainees. It, therefore, proposes that, firstly, the three All-India Services must train together given their close interaction, both at the state level and in the central government. The balance slots may be filled by Trainees drawn from other Central services. Secondly, a more strategic view needs to be taken by the Ministry and LBSNAA towards strengthening certain partner training institutions for joint delivery of the FC over the next decade, under the overall charge of LBSNAA.

    Gap Analysis: The Committee also proposes for the consideration of the Government that a Gap Analysis should be ideally carried out 30 days prior to the commencement of the Foundation Course. This could be done through an online questionnaire and would aid the respective training academies in better conducting the FC and ensuring greater customization of training inputs.

    Curtain Raiser in Delhi: The Committee observes that while it may not be logistically possible to accommodate around 650 Officer Trainees at LBSNAA Mussoorie, the need to have a structured peer group interaction is most desirable. This could be organized by way of a 2-day Curtain Raiser at Delhi where the successful candidates (belonging to civil services that undergo the FC) could interact with each other and also be addressed by senior dignitaries and functionaries of the central government. This may ideally be organized just prior to the commencement of the FC to make it logistically convenient for candidates to report immediately thereafter at their designated training academies for the FC.

    Allocation of cadres: One of the key components of Induction Training is the acquisition of proficiency in the state language of the allotted cadre. The reduction of duration of the training period, especially in the Professional Course (Phase I) and District Training, may pose significant challenges for proper language instruction for the Academy as well as the Officer Trainees. This can, however, be precluded by allocation of cadres before the commencement of the Foundation Course16. Allocating cadres before the commencement of the FC would allow for utilizing the additional 15 weeks of the FC for instruction in the respective state language. Besides, it would impart a greater sense of purpose and direction to the entire instruction in both the FC and Phase I. The Committee strongly recommends the Ministry to re-engineer its cadre allocation system and notify the cadres prior to the commencement of the FC.

    Faculty at LBSNAA and State ATIs: In this regard, we propose the following:

    1. The Committee recommends that given the increased demands of conducting Induction, In-service and Mid-Career Training at the Academy, the current faculty strength must be reviewed by the Ministry. Concerted efforts must be made to create a healthy blend of serving practitioners (drawn predominantly from the IAS within the All-India and Central Services) and academic faculty.

    2. The incentive structure provided by the 6th Pay Commission to faculty serving in central training institutions (in terms of additional 30% basic pay and rent-free housing) may not be adequate to attract the best and the brightest civil servants to serve as directing staff in the Academy, and hence deserves to be revisited.

    3. Similarly, special efforts must be made to attract top quality academic faculty from higher education institutions of national repute. This may even be on short-term contracts (of two to three years) or as visiting professors (with clearly laid down contractual obligations). If necessary, the present dispensation regarding remuneration may be reconsidered by the Ministry.

    4. There is a need to position additional subordinate officers (drawn from CSS, State civil services, etc) to discharge routine administrative functions of the Academy. This would allow the directing staff to focus on the more critical aspects of training and to strive for continuous improvement in both the content and delivery of instruction at the Academy.

    5. DoPT should also impress on State ATIs and State Governments to likewise take conscious steps to improve their directing staff and academic faculty and also proactively assist in their capacity building.

    The four-month long exercise undertaken by the Committee, with deliberations across various quarters, leads us to draw three salient conclusions. First, that the system of Induction training developed over time by LBSNAA Mussoorie is generally robust and undergoes incremental improvement with every course, thanks to a system of internal feedback and review. Second, that notwithstanding the former, there is a case for periodic external review involving multiple stakeholders. The last, and probably the more significant, conclusion is that there is a strong need for introducing specific changes in the system of training by making a departure from the “business-as-usual” approach.

    Broadly, the Committee has presented five-pronged recommendations. Firstly, it has argued for revisiting the philosophy that anchors Induction training and making it more competency-based. Secondly, it has made out a case for reducing the duration from the present two years to around one-and-a-half years. Thirdly, it has suggested some incremental changes in the syllabus prescribed by the Ayyar Committee, keeping in view the new UPSC General Studies syllabus and also to better address the felt needs of the Trainees. The fourth set of recommendations pertain to pedagogical methods being currently employed in the Academy and bringing them up-to-date with those followed in leading higher education institutions to foster greater “adult” and “participant-centred” learning. This can be facilitated by harnessing the benefits of information technology. Lastly, certain systemic changes have also been proposed for the consideration of the Ministry that may facilitate better conduct of training at the Academy.

    The Induction Training of IAS officers must be viewed as an extremely important national endeavour and little effort should be spared by both the Academy and DoPT towards ensuring its effective conduct and delivery. The delivery of quality training at the Academy will undoubtedly also have a cascading effect on the training of other higher civil services that have normally viewed LBSNAA as the exemplar in the field of training civil servants in the country. Importantly, this would go a long way in realizing the vision of Sardar Patel, the founding father of the All-India Services, for developing a professional and apolitical civil service that would keep the country intact.




    (i) Overall approach to training: The Committee considers it important to articulate the broad philosophy that has guided its approach to Induction training. This essentially embraces three broad aspects, viz. Leadership Development Architecture, Competency Development of IAS officers, and Participant-centred Continuous Learning. However, in this debate and reassessment of the type of training and development to be provided to these officers over their career lifecycle, it is important to first highlight some pre-requisite changes that should ideally precede these decisions.

    It is time for a refreshed, re-imagined purpose for the Indian civil services in the light of the profound changes that have taken place in the modern world. In this new era in India, where there is much complexity, volatility, division, rapid change and simmering discontent among large segments of society ; where some of the fundamental strengths – enduring institutions of quality – including the civil services themselves are under attack, there is also unbridled opportunity in a world transformed by technology and connectivity. There are many reasons for concern but they are ultimately trumped by the positives. There is, thus, a need to abandon cynicism and a lament for the “system” and “establishment” that will never change, and instead work towards realizing the individual civil servant’s highest potential. Many substantive advantages would accrue on this account along with the exponentially more potential advantages that India can develop. No institution is better positioned or equipped with the required talent to lead this charge to a bright future for all Indians, than the combined civil services.
    While seemingly symbolic at a larger level, it is argued that a fundamental rediscovery, restatement and reaffirmation of the higher purpose as well as the roles and responsibilities of the IAS are needed. It needs to be accomplished by the officers themselves coming together in fresh unity and a committed spirit of excellence and collaboration. The IAS must guard vigilantly against erosion of ethics and the special role it has been mandated under the Constitution. To let its functioning be corrupted, or least misdirected even in a few instances, is to sow the seeds of an inevitable diminution in its unique role and responsibility in nation-building. That is likely the last thing, those who constitute the civil service derive their identity from, and take deep pride in, may want to see happen. This pre-requisite effort is an important gating consideration to designing vanguard and global best-in-class training and leadership development interventions for IAS officers.

    a. Leadership Development Architecture: Induction Training at the Academy must be viewed as “a watershed training event” by all stakeholders in the training process. The Leadership Development Architecture (for detailed descriptor see Annexure C) being presented as an overall framework for the training of IAS officers comprises seven key guiding principles which are elucidated below:

    1. Purpose Affirming
    2. Comprehensive in coverage of the career life-cycle
    3. Competency-based
    4. Multi-stakeholder (including the individual in a more central role)
    5. Multi-mode and Multi-vector learning
    6. Outcome focused, Measurement-centred learning (integrated into design)
    7. Benchmarking best in class content with explicit focus on contextual and role relevance

    b. Competency-based Training: The 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission and the National Training Policy, 2012 have strongly suggested adoption of competency-based approach to the entire gamut of human resource management, including capacity building of civil services. Competency consists of knowledge, skills and attitudes or behavioral traits. These competencies may be broadly divided into those that are core skills that civil servants would need to possess with different levels of proficiency for different functions at different levels. Some of these core competencies pertain to leadership, financial management, people management, information technology, project management and communication. The other set of competencies relate to the professional or specialized skills which are relevant for specialized functions such as building roads, irrigation projects, medical care etc. For bringing transformational improvement in the civil services, it is imperative to move to a competency-based human resource management system that ensures that each job is performed by a person who possesses the required competencies for that job.

    The Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) has developed a Competency Dictionary for the Indian civil services and a tool-kit for its implementation that can be realized for designing competency training modules. The Competency Dictionary has identified 25 generic or core competencies which have been grouped in four set of basic features of civil services. These four set of basic features have been categorized as Ethos, Ethics, Equity and Efficiency.15 For more see

    For moving to competency-based approach, it would be necessary to identify the required generic competencies for first few years for performing duties and responsibilities that IAS officers will be required to do efficiently and effectively. Then these identified competencies would need to be matched with existing curriculum of the induction training programme and wherever the gap exists, the curriculum would have to be modified accordingly. This would ensure alignment of induction training program with the identified generic competencies for the first few years of service in IAS.

    Competency Framework for training of IAS officers

    c. Participant-centred Learning: One of the main cornerstones of the suggested approach is the centrality accorded to the participant in the learning system. The Committee advocates a shift from Trainees being treated as “passive” actors in their training to becoming “active” participants in the learning process. This focus on the individual should entail mapping the entry-level gaps and then taking remedial action wherein the Trainee herself/ himself is incentivized, in conjunction with the Academy, to become the leading partner. Further, it is also proposed that training and learning must not always be seen as synonymous and coterminous. Rather, learning must be viewed as “a continuous and lifelong event” where the training conditions each Officer Trainee to treat every new position and challenge as a learning opportunity.

    (ii) Duration of training period: The Committee has objectively considered the arguments made both in favour of retaining the two-year training period as well as those in support of reducing it (see part 7 of the Report) and also taken into account the general feedback received from various quarters. It must be mentioned (as stated in para 7 (ii) [e] earlier) that both the Ayyar Committee and the 2nd ARC have supported retention of the two-year training period. Director LBSNAA (who is a member of the Committee) has also expressed reservations against any proposed reduction in the duration of Induction Training, and his note has been placed on record . However, while taking note of these views, the other members are of the considered opinion that the training requirements must be in consonance with the changing profile of entrants, easier access to learning resources, and more dynamic external environment. Also, the time spent during both institutional training (at the Academy) and district training must be subjected to closer examination in cost-benefit terms, without impacting adversely in any manner on the desired outcomes.

    In view of these compelling reasons , the Committee recommends reduction in the total period of Induction Training from presently two years (103 weeks) to around one-and-a-half years (75 weeks). This is proposed to be apportioned across various components of Induction Training as follows:

    a. Institutional training at the Academy: The Committee recommends revision of the inter-se allocation of time in the training courses at the Academy as follows:

    i. Foundation Course: The Committee proposes retention of the existing duration at 15 weeks.
    ii. IAS Professional Course (Phase I): The Committee finds some slack in the total duration of Phase I and proposes reduction in it from 26 weeks to 21 weeks. This would be as follows:

    1. Academic instruction: 12 weeks
    2. Winter Study Tour: 7 weeks
    3. BPST: 1 week
    4. Block Leave: 1 week

    iii. IAS Professional Course (Phase II): The Committee finds that a large quantum of contact hours is consumed by individual presentations. It recommends reduction in the total duration of the course from 8 weeks to 6 weeks. This would include:

    1. Presentations, Seminars, Group Work, et al: 5 weeks
    2. Foreign Study Tour: 1 week

    b. District Training: In view of the strong feedback received from recent batches of IAS officers about the relatively sub-optimal effectiveness of attachments in the district and the relatively higher utility of independent charges for on-the-job learning, the Committee has revised the duration of attachments and independent charges. The Committee recommends reduction of the period of District Training from 54 weeks to 33 weeks which is as follows:

    1. Joining time from Academy to State: 1 week
    2. Institutional training at State ATI (including State Darshan, Debriefing, et al): 5 weeks
    3. Attachment with Collector and subordinate revenue offices: 4 weeks
    4. Attachment with miscellaneous district offices (of line departments): 4 weeks
    5. Attachment with State Secretariat: 1 week
    6. Departmental Examinations: 1 week
    7. Independent charge of BDPO: 8 weeks
    8. Independent charge of Tehsildar: 6 weeks
    9. Independent charge of Executive officer of Municipality: 3 weeks

    The details of the revised training cycle (over 75 weeks) have been provided in Annexure E.

    The Committee would like to specifically comment on the issue of award of PG Diploma to the IAS Officer Trainees in the event of a reduced training duration of 75 weeks. In all likelihood, this may not present any complication with regard to the award of a PG Diploma by the Academy. However, in case AICTE considers a 2-year period as mandatory, the Trainees could be given an additional assignment over the next 6 months (post completion of training) and the Diploma certificate could be awarded (after evaluation) upon completion of the stipulated period of two years.

    (iii) Content of training courses: The Committee recommends the adoption of the syllabus prescribed by the Ayyar Committee with some modifications made therein. This has factored the feedback received from Officer Trainees and IAS officers from various states. This is given at Annexure B and may be gainfully utilized by the Academy while preparing future course designs. The revised syllabus, as suggested by the present Committee for the Foundation Course and Phase I is given at Annexure F. With regard to each of the training courses, the Committee would like to make the following recommendations:


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    a. Foundation Course: The recommendations qua the content and design of the course are as follows:

    1. The design of the course and curricula must be outcome-based, i.e. what the Academy expects an Officer Trainee to achieve at the end of the course, and which could be evaluated.

    2. The design of the course, in addition to the curricular inputs, must focus on developing the desired competencies. Maximum importance must be placed on inculcating the right values among Trainees at the start of their service careers. In particular, Officer Trainees must be sensitized more effectively on ethics, on gender issues and to the needs of the differently-abled. An effective module covering these aspects should be developed in the context of challenges of public management in India.

    3. The FC should work towards developing a spirit of teamwork in the Trainees and effectively utilize the presence of other services for taking up problems of inter-service relevance, especially utilizing the presence of police and forest service officers.

    4. Officer Trainees that have an advanced degree in a particular discipline (eg. Economics, Law, etc) must be screened through an entry-level testing system and, if required, be assigned well-designed project work in lieu of attending certain basic classroom lectures.

    5. Teaching in all disciplines must blend theoretical instruction with more skill-and application-oriented inputs (eg. drafting affidavits or affidavit-based replies in Law) to better prepare the Trainees to deal with the challenges of real life situations.

    6. Cases or projects from the Academy must be used to effectively demonstrate the practical aspects of project management.

    7. Greater emphasis must be placed on improving both written and oral communication skills as well as the presentation skills of Officer Trainees.

    b. IAS Professional Course (Phase I): The Committee recommends the following:

    1. As in the FC, the Academy must clearly enunciate the learning outcomes for the professional course against which the Trainees could be tested. The design (including the course content) must clearly be aligned with the learning outcomes.

    2. The focus of learning must shift from delivering informational content to focusing on administrative challenges, inter-state variations across sectors and the reasons thereof, studying best practices and associated adaptive challenges, and acquiring proficiency in the required skills sets.

    3. Values and Ethics must form a strong focus area for the overall course design. Specific instructional content should be developed using experience of delivering specific programmes on ethics in the government and corporate sector. In addition, emphasis on development of soft skills should be continued in Phase I.

    4. Specific inputs on dealing with the media and exposure to processes related to the lower and higher judiciary should also form a focus area in the teaching curriculum.

    5. The Winter Study Tour should cover, as part of its itinerary, North East and Jammu & Kashmir to sensitize Officer Trainees to the special challenges of these regions.

    6. The number of attachments may be reviewed (or reduced) by the Academy and attempts must be made to incorporate exposure to Trainees to well-acclaimed interventions (that have received PM Awards in the last 3-4 years) as part of the itinerary of the tour.

    7. In physical training, a specific module on yoga and meditation may also be included.