Young IAS Officers Praise Modi Govt’s Assistant Secretary Programme

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New Delhi: The Narendra Modi-led Central government last week appointed a fresh batch of IAS officers as assistant secretaries in different ministries- the fifth batch to be given exposure to the workings of the central government right after their induction into the civil services.

In the past, IAS officers went directly to their state cadres on completion of their preliminary training after induction, but now, they work for a period of three months in the central government before heading to their respective state cadres.

During this three month period, officers are required to work on projects, which may include any new policy in their areas, and present it to their ministries on completion of the programme.

The reform was introduced by the Modi government in 2015, with the 2013-batch IAS officers being the first to be appointed as assistant secretaries.

“Earlier, it would take up to nine years for an officer to come to the central government. But this programme allows the youngest officers to establish a camaraderie with the senior-most officers from the beginning,” said Athar Aamir Khan, a 2016-batch IAS officer who completed his three-month programme last year.

“It is a wonderful reform,” he added.

“Initially, 36 projects are selected out of all the projects to be presented to all the secretaries in the government. Subsequently, 16 are selected to be presented to the cabinet secretary, and finally, eight are presented to the PM,” said Khan, whose project was one of the eight to be presented to the PM.

The new programme, known to be a brainchild of Prime Minister Modi, has also given the opportunity to young officers to network with the most senior officers from across services.

Young officers believe this reform has helped them tremendously in understanding the central government’s functioning, networking with senior officers and demystifying the power corridors of Delhi.

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