” Development performance of countries is heavily underpinned by the quality of public institutions. When public institutions perform well, it is primarily owing to the motivation, skills and integrity of the human capital and the quality of leadership. – From the World Public sector Report “Unlocking the Human Potential for Public sector Performance”, (p.v) UN/DESA, 2005.
India is the largest democratic country in the world. It is the seventh largest by area and second most populous country with roughly one-sixth of world’s population – of about 1.26 billion. India has many challenges such as poverty, illiteracy, corruption, rising crime, nasty politics etc.
Human resources are the individuals that make up the public service workforce. Often they are referred to as “human capital” because they are the greatest asset to the public service. Human capital is not only people per se, but the collective sum of their attributes, life experience, knowledge, creativity, energy, and motivation they choose to invest in their work. It is imperative to develop and cultivate human capital in the public service to optimize its performance. Public service performance relies on the capacity of the individual servant.
Strategic Human Resource Management is critical to the public sector’s success. The public sector will only perform well if its people work at their best. And if the public sector performs well, it is better able to implement the various development programmes of the country, thus contributing to regional and global development.
At present there is large scope for the people in public service for malpractices and corruption. Reports of large scale corruption of crores of rupees involving government servants, businesses, political leaders, ministers, judges etc. are often published in local and national media. India ranks 94th among 177 countries in corruption perception index, with a Score of 36/100, as per report of Transparency International (2013).
Current Challenges in Public Service HRM in India
In India, the implementation of sustainable development programmes is mostly regulated by public institutions. A public service with low capacity is not able to lift the country from poverty in the path of well-being for all. Indian public servants therefore carry the responsibility to develop strategies and policies that facilitate progress in the country’s social and economic development. For this reason, motivated and capable public servants are India’s most critical asset in sustaining progress and achieving development goals.
Human Resource Management: Unlocking human capital
With public servants as the important asset to India’s public service, their performance is instrumental for India’s sustainable development. Therefore, the management of India’s public servants must be grounded in principles such as:
- An able public service work force is the prerequisite for meeting India’s developmental aspirations of the people.
- Knowledge, know-how, skills and attitudes of public servants are at the center of public institutions’ performance.
- HR managers are key players in ensuring that the public service has the human resources it needs to succeed.
The capacity of India’s public service to achieve development goals has yet to be fully realized. An essential stepping stone in this regard is recognizing and embracing public service HRM as a critical management function. If used as a key management tool, HRM allows the public service to strategically align its workforce with the country’s development objectives. As such, HRM can become a value creator and make a bottom-line difference for the public sector.
Sustainable development: Strategic framework for HRM
To achieve development, the public service should be staffed by public servants with the capacity to design strategies for policy analysis, formulation, monitoring and evaluation. To attract, nurture and retain such civil servants, sound human resource strategies are needed. These HR strategies must be grounded in the development objectives at the national, regional and global level. Under the able leadership of Sh. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister, India expects to excel in all spheres – services, manufacturing, infrastructure etc. in the next few years.” – Srihari Subudhi – New Delhi, India