By the Way

Skilling the top rung

Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) Secretary Sanjay Kothari wants to improve the skills of the top civil servants so DoPT has constituted a board of National Facilitators who will run different training programmes for officers. The facilitators on board are former Coal Secretary SK Shrivastava, former Agriculture Secretary Anup Kumar Thakur, National Shipping Board Chairman Vishwapati Trivedi and former retired Urban Development Secretaries Sudhir Krishna and Upendra Nath Bora. This high-powered group has planned “high quality” training modules in association with the United Nations Development Programme. The programme will start with the screening of Sydney Lumet’s 1957 classic, 12 Angry Men, to sharpen the leadership skills of top bureaucrats, emphasising ethics and values through this film. It offers lessons on building consensus among persons with different personalities from different backgrounds. The focus will be on bureaucrats “comprehending the power of influence in the functioning of leadership, relating to the traits and behaviours associated with leadership and dealing with multiple stakeholders in a complex and multicultural environment”. The UNDP has prepared the two-day module on leadership at the request of the DoPT. “The entire programme will have the following ethos interspersing all sessions — accountability, creativity/possibility thinking, going within, positivity, positive vision and inspiring goals, actions: What is mine to do?” as per the course module. Leading a stress-free as well as a “wholesome life in all dimensions” will also be a part of the ‘Ethics and Values’ module. The film 12 Angry Men (in 1986, Indian director Basu Chatterjee remade it as Ek Ruka Hua Faisla) is the story of how 12 jurors are asked to reach a unanimous decision on whether a person is guilty or not, with the accused set to receive a death sentence if the jury finds him guilty. The film shows how a lone juror who had doubts about the evidence manages to win over his 11 colleagues.

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