Recommendations of VIIth CPC:Suggestions for Performance linked Incentive Schemes

 

The  VII CPC has examined the status of performance related incentive schemes presently in practise on basis of recommendations of the VIth CPC in Chapter 15 of the report and made certain important suggestions.

Tracing the evolution of such incentives it has referred to the report of 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission which had visualised such incentives as a prerequisite for an effective governance system. The issue was taken up by Vth and VIth CPC as a tool for providing incentive for effective Administration.The Scheme formulated by VI CPC covered organisations as well as individuals.

The previous Pay Commission had made the implementation of  the Scheme optional for the various units after taking into consideration the difference in functional scope of various units of Government. The implementing Departments had to draw a roadmap of activities and harmonise the same with individual achievements. It had added the condition of Departments having prepared a Results Framework Document (RFD) for two preceding years, and also several additional measures such as developing IT based attendance and performance monitoring systems.

The recommendations had failed to make  major impact in face of difficulties in making requisite budgetary provisions, absence of clear performance evaluation parameters and aberrations such as high achievers caught in mediocre environments. The Commission has also noted the failure of earlier schemes of Performance Linked Bonus (PLB) conceived for Govt. Servants due to absence of clear, quantifiable targets and performance evaluation of any individual.

The Commission in it’s report has pointed out that in public services the objectives are not quantifiable in monetary terms like private sector organisations.The task of laying down the parameters for performance evaluation and reward for different services and Government Departments is therefore rather complex. However there are precedents in other countries where such schemes for incentivising good performers through objective criteria have been implemented with success. Some countries have evolved separate set of norms for senior civil servants and junior functionaries.

Considering all factors the CPC has observed that exercise for evolving a system for performance based rewards should be preceded by proper understanding of the system, adequate planning and capacity building at various levels.The vagaries of Govt.functions makes it impossible to devise a common performance based incentive Scheme. The Commission has suggested simple and effective schemes which should have common features for the Department. It has been suggested that the reward system should be an annual feature and should not be linked to savings effected by the employee.

In conclusion the Commission has recommended introduction of Performance Related Pay for all categories of Central Government employees, based on quality RFDs, reformed Annual Performance Appraisal Reports and broad Guidelines.The Performance Related Pay should subsume the existing Bonus schemes. The Commission notes that there could be a time lag in implementing the Performance Related Pay by different Departments.In the interim period the Ministries and Departments can review the existing Bonus Schemes and create linkage  with increased profitability/productivity with definite parameters.

Another important suggestion made by the CPC pertains to weightage to be given for in the APAR to personal attributes of the public servant in comparison to his performance in achievement of results.The Commission feels that it should be in ration of 40:60 instead of current  ratio of 60:40.

It has also strongly pleaded for fixation of definite time frame for drafting, reviewing and finalising  RFDs .It would also be necessary that these timelines get synchronised with the preparation of the APAR ..”so that the targets set under RFD get reflected in individual APARs in a seamless manner.”

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Final Verdict on conviction of Juvenile

Last three years in Delhi have seen many ups and downs in the trial of  persons involved in tragic case of brutalisation of a girl in Delhi on 16th December 2012.The horrible crime committed in heart of National Capital witnessed protests from young and old in most vocal fashion. The local police and the trial court under pressure of public opinion acted swiftly and finalised the proceedings leading to conviction of six accused. Moved by the force of public resentment the Govt. tried it’s best to save the life of the young victim, even sending her for treatment abroad. There was also some show of strict action against petty Govt. servants whose negligence is believed to have created enabling conditions for bus operators with shady credentials to operate in the National Capital.The identity of victim was kept a guarded secret and name Nirbhaya (fearless) was given to the victim in appreciation of her fighting spirit.

Yet much remains to be done. The eldest of the accused among the six perpetrators of crime committed suicide -perhaps out of feeling of guilt,being a middle aged family man.The youngest having been found to be a juvenile at the time of committing of crime is now a free man having completed detention period of three years.The remaining four persons convicted by lower rungs of judiciary still evade the hangman’s noose since their appeal against the conviction is yet to be deliberated upon by the Apex court.

Country’s  law makers had left no stone unturned to shed crocodile tears on the tragedy. At the last stage when the juvenile accused completed his period of detention and his release appeared imminent,headline grabbing opportunities were contrived  by making a show of knocking at midnight at the doors of Supreme Court- a dramatic move  which expectedly proved to be unproductive being not supported by law.Country is still waiting for legislative action to plug loopholes which came to fore in dealing with juveniles responsible for heinous crimes.

It is a moot point whether the wide publicity given to this case has brought about any respect for law or it has helped the younger generation of women in feeling secure.Tragically in the three years which followed the mass uprising against crime against women, young women have continued to suffer in the National Capital as well as in rest of the country .

While the curtains appear to be drawing on the tragic case we are confronted with the faces of two mothers whose heart bleeds for a child lost for no fault of theirs.On one side is the face of a mother who regrets the fact that one of the offenders is walking away free due to complexity of law. She feels guilty for not having  been able to secure justice for her brutally treated daughter .On the other side is face of a mother in a remote village who had no choice when her young child was moved over to a big city in search of livelihood and got sucked into a vicious life of crime.This mother perhaps also feels guilty for not having been able to give her due to the child.

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Rediscovering Lucknow- the City of Nawabs


Lucknow the Capital of Uttar Pradesh,popularly called as the City of Nawabs,was my home town for several long years.The city has a rich historical and cultural heritage laden with art and literary works. Mythology suggests that the city has  been setup by Lord Lakshman hence named also as  Lakshmanpur.

 

The unique composite culture of doaba i.e. land of rivers Ganga and Yamuna has fostered the growth of literary traditions of Hindi literature as well as Urdu poetry known as Shero-Shairi .Colourful stories in back drop of Lucknow culture and history  have   provided inspiration and motivation to celluloid masters of Bollywood to spin some unforgettable masterpieces like Gurudatt’sChaudavin Ka Chand Rajendra Kumar and Sadhana starrer lyrical Mere Mehboob and tale of two ex Nawabs in Satyajit Ray‘s Shatranj Ke Khilari,.

Around 35 years ago I had boarded Lucknow Mail the popular train to Delhi from Lucknow’s Charbagh Railway  Station to join my new job.

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The Charbagh Railway Station

In between the city was revisited for short spells for occasional family commitments.When I had to recently make a series of short stays at the place for finalising some family matters, there was an opportunity for re bonding with the city.

Now having retired I had no time constraints, and there was ample time to freshly savour the history and culture of the town and have a leisurely trip down the memory lane.

The Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport at Lucknow is named after the famous Kisan leader and one time Prime Minister of India. Coming out of the Terminal a towering statue of former PM greets the visitor.

Initial glimpse of the city while driving through  Airpot Road is quite majestic as Mayawati regime has decked up the drive from Airport to city with lavishly built monuments and Parks.

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The Samta Chowk
 
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City Skyline from dusk to  nightfall

Our stay in Lucknow at UPTDC owned Hotel Gomti offered view of an ancient house from the window and city skyline which looked more beautiful as dusk settled and later night fell and skyline lit up with exciting colours.

 

For the morning exercises the proximity of the place to botanical garden made it the best choice.

Exotic Flowering Species at the Botanical Garden

The Lucknow Botanical Garden has been made to grow into a collection of exotic plants in back drop of  a beautiful pond with water lilies. Joggers and morning walkers spread out on the middle area for utilisation of green lawn for yoga and aerobics.

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Panormic View of The Botanical Garden
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Early bird Health freaks at the Garden
The ShahNazaf Imambara

The Shahnazaf Imambara in the vicinity is being given a facelift as if it is coming out to welcome the visitors and faithful .

Mosque at the Immabara 

A mosque in proximity gives an insight into architectural accomplishment of architects and masons in the middle ages .

 

 

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Portrait of Wazid Ali Shah

The lobby at Hotel Gomti has a large beautiful painting of Wazid Ali Shah last of the Nawabs who is remembered for his munificence and love for art forms. His regime had provided the backdrop for movie Shatranj Ke Khilari. 

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With opening of Malls all over the city the landscape appears to have changed with time, but city has still retained the old world charm. Hazratganj the less than 2 km long stretch of market in heart of town covering  land mark buildings like GPO, Northern Railway Hqs and the Press Club besides the old Hanuman temple still remains the favourite shopping destination for upmarket Lucknowites.

 The GPO Building Lucknow
Panormic view at Press Club crossing
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Hanuman Temple at Hazratganj
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NR Hqs

While taking a stroll down the Hazratganj it was quite noticeable that with the fencing of walkways, the strolling along the footpaths (popularly referred to as “ganjing” in code book of students in old times) is no longer the pleasant experience it used to be, and popular hotspots such as lover’s lane have also vanished.Off course the addition of hotspots like Cafe Coffee Day and Aryan near Raj Bhawan has blended a new upmarket dimension to the ambience and compensated for the loss.

The Hazarat Ganj Market
It was a pleasant surprise to rediscover  the tantalising taste of tikki and pani ke batashe at MotiMahal Sweets and the malai paan at Ramasrey Halwai and to realise that skills of these masters of culinary delight have remained unchanged over the years.
Tomb of Begum Hazarat Mahal

As Hazratganj stretches towards river Gomti, historical buildings pop up from every corner.A turn to left takes us to Bara(large) Imambara and Chhota (small)Imambara.

Bara Imambara constructed in 18th Century by Nawab Asifuddaulah is also known as Asifi Immabara.There are tombs, mosques and other structures which are connected with royal activities. Chhota Imambara has a lighting Hall decorated with imported lamps.A local guide on visit to the place opens up loads of stories about royal behaviour, secret passages underneath and insight about architectural highlights.

Panormic View At Bara Imambara



There are anecdotes about royal treasures and underground tunnels which were to provide escape routes in ancient times.Close to Imambara is the clock tower with ancient picture gallery which has paintings depicting Royalty in full glory.Interesting insight into Royal charities is offered in the Wasikadar office located in the clock tower.The descendants of Royal family and other beneficiaries of Royal patronage are known as Wasikadars. The office maintains volumes of records for ensuring regular payments which may be as low as a handful of rupees.But being  a Wasikadar means being a part of royalty , something to be proud of to no extent.
History has left behind it’s footprints in shape of another land mark which are the ruins of British Fortress known as Residency- the place where families of British Resident and other Britishers stationed in Lucknow were staying when the city was besieged by soldiers of British Army under Mutiny in year 1857.
 
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The Ruins of Residency
89c38-thumb_img_4692_1024 The Museum At Residency









Residency with lush green lawns and preserved structures bears mute testimony to historic events of the era.A museum in the basement has rare collection of pictures and writings connected to uprising which was labelled as “Sepoy Mutiny” by the British.

As population increased Lucknow continued to grow beyond Gomti river as colonies of Niralanagar and Mahanagar came up.  Further stretching of city limits has added up Janaki Puram , Gomti Nagar and Indira Nagar taking the city upto outpost of Chinhat .As Metro Rail Construction Boards dominate the skyline even Wajid Ali Shah would find it difficult to locate his Lucknow.

The city of Nawabs in ancient times was famous for Nazakat and Nafasat two Urdu words meaning delicacy of style and tastes. Nazakat and Nafasat epitomised the character of Lucknowite in middle ages.The traditions have been meticulously preserved in Chickan Art works (very finely embroidered garments for both sexes) and semi solid Galouti kababs of famous Tunday Kababi in Aminabad in old city. 
 
Luckhnawi Tehzib in times of Nawabs was summed up as”Pahle Aap” culture, meaning “..Please Sir…you first”.There is a famous joke referring to two Nawabs who could not board a train as they kept on requesting each other to board the train first…”Pehle AAP..Pehle AAP”….and the train whistled and left the station.

Now as Metro Train network is coming up in the city Lucknowites shall definitely need to give up at least this one part of traditional culture  while boarding and de boarding the Metros or the slide gates would be locked !!.

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Seventh CPC: Approach for simplification and rationalisation

The Seventh CPC like other Pay Commissions had been entrusted with the responsibility of evolving pay structures which were rational and simple.It was expected that the pay packages offered should be able to attract best talent in civil and defence services and also be capable of ensuring  performance related efficiency while taking note of  the existing socio political setup in the country.The pay structure should ensure value addition to services by talent of individual employees.

While discussing the pay structure for civilian employees the report explains the evolution of compression ratio to present level.Compression ratio is the ratio between the lowest pay  and the highest salary drawn by Secretary to Govt. of India in the pay structure.At the time of first CPC the ratio was 1:36.4(min Salary of ₹ 55 against highest of ₹ 2000.) .This came down to 1:11.4 in sixth CPC (min Salary of ₹ 7000 against highest of ₹ 80000).

There were several innovations brought about by  VI CPC which included running pay bands for both Civilians as well as Defence forces as well as  the introduction of the concept of Grade Pay as a level differentiator besides  calculation of the annual increment on percentage basis.Sixth CPC had also recommended abolition of Gr.D category posts by elevation of present incumbents to Gr.C by skill upgradation.It reduced 35 pay scales of Vth CPC to 23 (19 Pay bands +4 fixed pay levels).

However the Seventh CPC was confronted by stakeholders with several inconsistencies in Pay bands and Grade Pay structures and anomalies in Entry pay  recommended by Sixth CPC at various level . This  scenario had lead to demand for a fitment factor which may cover all cases in equitable fashion.

The recommendations of Seventh CPC are for abolishing the system of Pay Bands and Grade Pay and creation of  new functional levels  by merging the grade pay with the pay in the pay band. Commission said that it has ensured that all of the existing levels have been subsumed in the new structure; and no new level has been introduced nor has any existing level been dispensed with.The Seventh CPC has recommended a Pay matrix with distinct Pay Levels. The Level would henceforth be the status determiner as per table given below:

Pay Levels as per Pay Matrix

The Commission  has pointed out that  with this methodology of pay fixation “..any new entrant to a service would wish to be able to make a reasonable and informed assessment of how his/her career path would traverse and how the emoluments will progress alongside. The new pay structure has been devised in the form of a pay matrix to provide complete transparency regarding pay progression.”

In addition to the pay matrix the CPC has also applied concept of rationalisation of entry pay to take care of uneven pattern of  a jumps in the career hierarchy under existing pay scales in the Government of India. This system is based on the premise that with enhancement of levels from Pay Band 1 to 2, 2 to 3 and onwards, the role, responsibility and accountability increases at each step in the hierarchy.

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The  pay matrix as suggested by CPC is intended to  replace  existing system of Pay Bands and Grade Pay.The pay matrix comprises of two dimensions. ” It has a “horizontal range” in which each level corresponds to a ‘functional role in the hierarchy’ and has been assigned the numbers 1, 2, and 3 and so on till 18. The “vertical range” for each level denotes ‘pay progression’ within that level. These indicate the steps of annual financial progression of three percent within each level.”

The Commission has devised the pay matrix by calculating the sum of Basic pay and Grade Pay at various stages and multiplying the sames of  by a multiplication factor of 2.57 . While devising the pay matrix the entry pay has been calculated by adopting different multiplication factors (shown as index in table below) for different pay bands depending on respective functional responsibilities.Pay Matrix is given below.

Pay Matrix

Pay Matrix 2

The following methodology has been suggested for fitment:

“The fitment of each employee in the new pay matrix is proposed to be done by multiplying his/her basic pay on the date of implementation by a factor of 2.57. The figure so arrived at is to be located in the new pay matrix, in the level that corresponds to the employee’s grade pay on the date of implementation, except in cases where the Commission has recommended a change in the existing grade pay. If the identical figure is not available in the given level, the next higher figure closest to it would be the new pay of the concerned employee. “

The CPC report has given some working examples for calculation.Having had a brief insight into Civilian Pay Scales we shall take up Army Pay Scales shortly.

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Civil servants who abdicated the beacon light

A recent piece of brilliant writing by a senior civil servant highlighted the life story of an IAS officer who gave up comfort and authority of civil services in favour of a life of spiritual leader.The graphic description of transformation in life of the much respected spiritual leader from civil servant to the guiding spirit of a much revered ashram also evoked certain questions in my mind.Questions are ultimately related to objective of human existence.Or to state it more clearly are all the human beings expected to be divine creatures involved in purification of self and remaining detached from all the weaknesses of mankind.If yes then how shall the difference between good and bad survive? Further what will  be the  fate of all those individuals or activities which are not exactly divine or to put it bluntly are not working solely for betterment or welfare of all human beings ?The answer is not difficult to find . Human beings like other creations of nature will remain as they are – a mixture of good and bad. If that is so then who will take the responsibility for fighting the demons in hand to hand fights…who will teach lessons to the criminalized politician or the   crooked businessman.Off course it will be the civil servant –the street fighter using all his inner strength and survival instincts to stay afloat and also to deliver something for betterment of lives of vast population. In my eyes he or she the Ashoks and Durgas who abdicated their prime postings showing unbending spirits  for upholding rule of law are the true heroes and heroines and hopes for future of mankind.

Public Services Bill 2007: Magna Carta for public servants in India

The Public Services Bill 2007 which is expected to be taken up by the Indian Parliament in the current session is a manifestation of the struggle of the Indian bureaucracy for devising a mechanism which could ensure efficiency and efficacy of public services . The proposed legislation attempts to set up a regulatory and protective framework for making the civil and police officers perform in a competitive atmosphere without interference and without fear of persecution for being upright and impartial. It covers All India Services namely the IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Services. State Govts. have the option to extend it to respective state public services.

The bill visualizes setting up of a Central Public Service Authority as the apex agency responsible for coordination, control and monitoring of various structural changes visualized in the proposed enactment. The matters relating to the constitution of the Central Public Authority are dealt in Chapter VI of the Bill.

The Authority is to be headed by a person of eminence with at least 25 years expertise in dealing with public service matters. However the bill prohibhits appointment of a MP or MLA or a person connected to any office in a political pand India’s arty to this post. The authority shall have between 3 to 5 members in addition to the Chairperson.

The appointment of Chairperson and members is to be done with approval of the President of India based on recommendations of a selection committee comprising of the Indian Prime Minister , Leader of Opposition, and India’s  Home Minister with  the Cabinet Secretary in the Govt. Of India as the convener. The salary and conditions of service of the Chairperson  and the members shall be at par with the Chief Election Commissioner of India and Indian Election Commissioners respectively. The tenure of appointment is proposed as five years or till attaining of age of 65 years.

The Central Govt shall have to compulsorily consult this Central authority on various matters of public services including evolution and monitoring of a Public Service Code and matters relating to ethics in public service as well as the performance management startegy for public services.

The Public Services which shall be covered by the scheme visualized in the Bill have been defined as below:

Public Services” means the All India Services, the Central Services and any other Service and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union notified by the Central Government;

The principles to be followed in the matter of recruitment to public services are contained in Chapter II which highlights that such appointments shall be on basis of merit and open and fair competition.

Chapter II of the bill deals with certain idealistic concepts such as Public Service values and Public Service Codes. Central Services and All India Services have been so far covered by Conduct Rules which have over the years become a patch work quilt of instructions related to behaviour expected of public servants and need restructuring. The bill proposes to reformulate the approach to these matters .

The Public Service Values projected in the new legislation are coined in more poetic language referring to patriotism, and allegiance to law of the nation while simultaneously making reference to other practical aspects such as integrity, honesty,  transparency etc. for the public services.

The bill seeks to ensure preparation of a Public Service Code with the objective of setting standards of good governance for ensuring that public services are carried out with integrity and efficiency. Any breach of public service ethics shall be subject to punishment as per sanctions prescribed in the law.

Chapter IV of the Bill concerns Performance Management and Accountability for the public services .For this purpose a Performance Management Code is to be evolved by the Central Authority .This code will help ensure that the Public Services function as per developmental and management requirements of the State and objective evaluation of performance is facilitated. The code is expected to inject elements of accountability, neutrality , integrity and professionalism of approach in public services.

Chapter V concerns the conditions of service and protection offered to public servants.

The bill proposes to retain the existing jurisdiction and functions of statutory bodies like Union Public Service Commission, Central Vigilance Commission and assigns several responsibilities to cadre controlling authority which include formulation of service rules and a grievance redressal mechanism for public servants.

In course of discharge of it’s mandated functions , the Central Authority can seek public opinion on policy matters . It has to also submit an annual report to Govt. on various functional  issues including cases of non consultation or non compliance of it’s directions.

The scheme of governance conceived in the bill if accepted and sincerely implemented could metamorphose the picture of public services . Besides offering protection and performance based encouragement it could create a mechanism which is committed to deliver while taking away the interference and pressure tactics which reduce the bureaucratic performance. This will mean depriving the politicians of the unfair advantage which they enjoy today. It is to be seen whether the lawmakers would approve of the suggested changes. Let us keep our fingers crossed.

Do all human beings survive on opiates

Recently one of the leading magazines in India published an article which brought out the fact that gossiping was a favourite pastime of most of us human beings and it added to social networking abilities of human race. While social networking may be one the fallouts of this activity the reason for the indulgence into gossip seems to be something beyond this analysis. Close analysis of day to day human behaviour appears to lead to the inference that human brains appear to need regular dose of stimulation in order to keep us in a state of positive thinking and survive against ups and downs of our struggle for survival in a harsh world. Different members of human species have in the process developed our respective opiates on which we depend for doses of happiness   or excitement .

Take the case of cricket lovers. Nowadays since the game is on round the year in one or another part of the world and innovations like the T20 format of  cricket offer instant results, the cricket lovers seem to have  evolved a continous source of stimulation in shape of ball to ball commentary,  accompanying fanfare and analysis . Other joys and sorrows of day to day life have secondary importance in life of a genuine cricket fan whose brain cells are regularly  tickling with the details on tumbling  records and updates on fluctuations in fortunes of teams and the men who toil between the performance of cheerleaders.When it comes to minute to minute account , another breed of human beings are those interested in ups and downs of share market index. Far too many of us keep track of online tradings without having any worthwhile stakes in the share market.The thrill of being a part of speculation keeps a good proprtion of us glued to laptops when life becomes less exciting for a while.

Not close behind in the reliance on stimulants are the human species practising the avocation which is branded as last refuge of scoundrels. Sheltered behind dignified terminology of politicians these men and women need continuos injection of ego inflating monuments and statues which give  them a temporary impression of towering over ordinary mortals. Take away the stonelaying ceremonies and public felicitations from a politician and the person sinks into depression , becomes  social anarchist and tends to attack everything within sight whether it is a railway budget or a photographer taking snaps.

Religion -another widely used source of stimulation offers allurement  of having higher quality of life after death or in rebirth. That keeps so many of us professing different religious beliefs, busy in continous process of offering our prayers to whichever power we consider to be supreme. In practical terms it gets translated to sporting prominenetly one  religious symbol or other and considering religious duties as something which should take precedence over our professional commitments and social responsibilities. But it does surely keep a large chunk of humanity in state of contentment and sometimes also busy in dreams of conquering all other religions to establish a supremacy of our own religion.

This discussion cannot be complete unless we think of those for whom pay revisions , promtions and transfers are the opiates which keep their minds and hearts preoccupied on 24X7 basis. The Govt. servants  of all hue survive   on calculation of pay benefits,  discussion over supremacy of respective service over others  and the unfair treatment meted out to them by the employer . Hoping for a better posting, anticipating release of next installment of DA or awiting the meeting of Departmental Promotion Committee keeps our brother hood in a state of intoxication which makes them tick in a otherwise treachorous environment.

Bloggers have their own galvanising force.When I statred blogging, the first thing which I usd to do in the morning was to check the hit counter and accordingly would feel happy or depressed if hits were too many or too few during the night. For months together I kept analysing the statistical details to find out as to which readers came from where and read which posts. Thank god I ultimately  realised the absurdity of all this analysis and gave up blog writing for a long time in order to become deaddicted to hit counter.Things are back to normal now i.e. I am more preoccupied with routine addictions of Govt. servants mentioned above.

While  opiates certainly seem to have taken a firm grip over our intellectual behaviour, this situation  has thrown up  some complications and  challenges too.  The recent tragic end of a famous Pop star has exposed the risks involved in  taking of too many anti depressants  since the combination produces unpredictable outcomes.The same complication sometimes occurs when a peron gets addicted to more than one  opiate like a govt servant getting interested in politics or a politician becoming deeply religious .The system and society has to then put in extra efforts to survive the mutants.