Joint Secretary Shri Vikas Anand and Director, IIM Ahmedabad Prof. Bharat Bhasker sign MoU to operationalize Leadership & Management Development Programme
Panchayats play a crucial role in our democratic framework, by investing in their capacity–building and training, we are investing in the very foundation of our nation to realize the vision of a Viksit Bharat by 2047 – Shri Vivek Bharadwaj
Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Shri Vivek Bharadwaj inaugurated a first-of-its-kind Leadership and Management Development Programme of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) for Elected Representatives and Functionaries of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) titled “Leadership in Panchayats for Strategic Rural Transformation (LEAP–START)” today at Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA). During the inaugural session, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed by Shri Vikas Anand, Joint Secretary and Prof. Bharat Bhasker, Director, IIM Ahmedabad to operationalize Leadership & Management Development Programme. Principal Secretary, Panchayats, Rural Housing & Rural Development Department, Government of Gujarat, Ms. Mona Khandhar, Development Commissioner, Panchayats and Rural Housing Department, Government of Gujarat, Shri Sandeep Kumar and Director, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Shri Vipul Ujwal were also present on the occasion.
In his address, Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj Shri Vivek Bharadwaj called upon Panchayats to embrace their potential as role models for effective local self-governance. He said that “Panchayats play a crucial role in our democratic framework. By investing in their capacity–building and training, we are investing in the very foundation of our nation to realize the vision of a developed India – Viksit Bharat by 2047. I urge Panchayati Raj Institutions to lead by example, becoming beacons of positive change, transparency, efficiency, and public welfare.” Shri Bharadwaj said that by working closely with institutes of excellence such as IIM Ahmedabad, we aim to create a network of standardized training programs that empower Panchayats across the nation.
Acknowledging the transformative potential of the Leadership and Management Development Programme of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Shri Vivek Bharadwaj expressed Ministry’s commitment to learning from the outcomes and fostering collaborations with other institutes of repute. The outcomes of training programme at IIM Ahmedabad will shape the plans to collaborate with other institutes of excellence /repute, and plans for collaboration will be outlined based on the insights gained, with a focus on scalability, effectiveness and inclusivity of this unique training model. The collaboration aims to create a standardized and comprehensive curriculum that can be replicated, ensuring a consistent and high-quality training experience for Panchayats in every corner of the country.
Shri Vivek Bharadwaj emphasized that it is vital that Panchayat representatives and functionaries are not only well-intentioned but also equipped with the knowledge and skills required to address the multifaceted challenges of local self-governance and to bring about substantial transformative change at the grassroots level. He congratulated the participants for joining the programme and urged them to use their time at IIMA to embrace every lesson, invest in every interaction and to return with renewed energy and a relentless drive to make a difference.
Prof. Bharat Bhasker, Director, IIM Ahmedabad said that IIMs also have a key mandate for enhancing the management abilities of officials at all the tiers and we hope that this will become a movement to be emulated by all institutions of excellence. He expressed hope that this unique program sets a new trend for engagement of premier institutions with grassroots development of the country, and IIM Ahmedabad has taken the lead in this, adding that all the key policies required for nation building at the rural level boils down to how effective and efficient the Panchayat Raj system is. Prof. Bharat Bhasker lauded the Ministry of Panchayati Raj for the collaborative efforts in making the training program a reality. The collaboration is seen as a key enabler in fostering knowledge exchange and enhancing the impact of the program.
Addressing the participants, Ms. Mona Khandhar, Principal Secretary, Panchayats, Rural Housing & Rural Development Department, Government of Gujarat underlined the direct correlation between learning new skills and improving public service delivery. The regular conduct of such training programs is seen as instrumental in empowering Panchayat representatives with the latest knowledge and tools necessary for efficient governance in rural areas.
Shri Vikas Anand, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj presented an insightful overview of the pioneering Leadership & Management Development Programme, underscoring the importance of regular training initiatives for Panchayat representatives and their critical role in elevating public service delivery at grassroots level. By bringing together the Elected Representatives and the Executive of Panchayati Raj Institutions for training, both will get the perspective of the other and there will be better understanding of policy issues and problems which will help in better policy formulation and service delivery. He added that by investing in the development of Panchayat representatives and functionaries, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj envisions a ripple effect that will positively impact communities across the country. The ultimate goal is to create a cadre of grassroots leaders who not only meet but exceed the highest standards of public service, driving positive change at the grassroots level.
IIM Ahmedabad (IIMA) faculty members Prof. Ranjan Ghosh and Prof. Rajesh Chandwani said that LEAP-START is a fruition of efforts by IIMA teachers and Ministry officials who have taken a bold step for managerial upgradation of functionaries that are critical to India’s ongoing transformation, in line with the vision of the Prime Minister.
During the programme, the exchange of MoU marked the formal initiation of this transformative initiative aimed at revolutionizing local self-governance for strategic rural transformation, and an introductory five-day programme under the Leadership / Management Development Programme commenced at Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA). Leadership & Management Development Programme titled “Leadership in Panchayats for Strategic Rural Transformation (LEAP–START)” will be conducted till 19 January, 2024 at the campus of IIMA where around 60 elected representatives and functionaries of Panchayati Raj Institutions, including Chairpersons / Presidents and Chief Executive Officers of District Panchayats from States/UTs viz. Andhra Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar Island, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand will be trained on various institutional and functional issues and thematic issues of Sustainable Development Goals.