Stress management programmes for bureaucrats

In order to ensure better working of IAS officers, the government is considering an exclusive programme on stress management for them.

Updated: May 30, 2012, 15:54 PM IST

New Delhi: In order to ensure better working of IAS officers, the government is considering to start an exclusive programme on stress management for them.

Officials said the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, which acts as a nodal ministry for the matters related to IAS officers, is carrying out deliberations with all the stake holders in this regard.

They said the need of such a programme was felt after many of the officials, both at the junior and senior level, raised the matter while attending in-service training modules.

Recently, a reference in this regard was also received from a Parliamentary Standing Committee which recommended to the government to start a course on stress management.

"The Ministry has received a report from the Parliamentary Standing Committee. It has recommended a separate course on stress management. The modalities and feasibility of the recommendations is being worked out," an official in the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.

He said the report will also be shared with officials at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie, which is the apex training institution in the country for civil service officers.

"The Committee stresses upon the need for stress management training programmes to be included in the syllabus of LBSNAA," the Parliamentary Panel has recommended.

According to the official, the Committee`s recommendation will be sent to LBSNAA for necessary action as they decide on course modules for All India Service officers.

LBSNAA has basic courses on stress management under its regular training module during induction programme. However, there is no separate module on it for the officials.

"The Department would like to make stress management courses mandatory for All India Service officers while they come for probation. It will be more beneficial for the middle and senior level officials considering they face more responsibility and strain," an IAS officer, who did not wish to be identified, said.

The Department will also discuss the matter with cadre controlling authorities about the feasibility of the programme.

The DoPT undertakes regular Mid-Career Training Programme (MCTP), which acts as a mandatory programme to get career benefits, for the IAS officials at different levels.

Of late, the Department has noticed lack of participation of the officials as the cadre controlling authorities refuse to relieve officials on time citing "administrative exigencies".

"I would like to reiterate that it is mandatory for every IAS officer to complete the various phases of the MCTP...Within the given three chances...And that the officers should be granted the career benefits only after they have successfully completed the respective phases," DoPT Secretary PK Misra had said in a letter.

A list of 453 officers has been sent to Chief Secretaries of States and Union Territories last month, asking them to "timely release" the officers to attend the MCTP.