In an important development, the Government of India has discontinued foreign training for civil servants in the financial year (FY) 2020-2021. The Centre removed the international component from the overall training program citing financial austerity in the wake of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, which has infected around 8 million people worldwide and killed over 4 lakh.
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions on Monday, June 15, issued a circular directing all Cadre Controlling Authorities (CCAs) and Central Training Institutes (CTIs) to not conduct foreign training. As per the DoPT, the decision was made keeping in view the safety of officers as well.
DoPT's official order to CCAs and CTIs
The circular, signed by Under Secretary to the Government of India Manoj Gupta, read, "Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and in view of the safety measures and the financial austerity, all Cadre Controlling Authorities and Central Training Institutes are informed that no Foreign Training shall be conducted during the financial years viz. 2020-2021."
Further, the order also notified that if there arises an urgent need to send civil servants overseas, the authorities will need to seek permission from the DoPT. "Under exceptional circumstances, if it is felt necessary to conduct any Foreign Training, prior approval of DoPT must be obtained," the circular said.
Here is a copy of the DoPT's order:
On a related note, the DoPT is mulling assistance from the officers of Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Revenue Service (IRS) in the fight against COVID-19 as the situation continues to get worse. According to the reports, the government officials have started making a list of all the officers who hold an MBBS degree.
"It is a known fact that a high number of civil servant officers have MBBS degrees and also undergo training related to health policy. Therefore, we are collecting more data on this to see if these officers can be used by both the state and central governments to make much more informed decisions in regards to COVID-19," an official was quoted a saying by The Print.