Thursday, September 19, 2019

27 September 2019: Talk on 'State Capacity for Cities: Staffing and Cadre Restructuring in Madhya Pradesh Municipalities'

Neelesh Dubey
Urban Administration and Development Department, Government of Madhya Pradesh

Organised by
Centre for Policy Research (CPR)

In the past eighteen years, starting in 1991 and linked to the Indian economic challenges of the time, there has been a broadly declining trend in government employment. Government departments are discouraged from creating new posts and have been expected to shed some of their operational costs by voluntary retirement, attrition (not hiring against posts vacated when incumbents retire), and by contracting out some of their functions.

However, the roles and functions of government continue to change and evolve, sometimes requiring increases and restructuring of staff. In the case of municipalities in Madhya Pradesh, this was felt to be necessary in light of the expanding profile, roles and responsibilities of municipalities in the state over the past decade.

During this period, the national JNNURM programme set a context in which municipalities could take some responsibility for planning their infrastructure needs in a socio-economic context, and secure funds to implement these projects. The programme also made state governments and municipalities commit to a set of institutional reforms which were largely to be implemented by the municipalities. Around the same time, the state government of Madhya Pradesh entered into a few large donor and multilateral funded infrastructure and governance improvement programmes, which were largely to be implemented at the city level by municipalities. The functional profile of the Madhya Pradesh municipalities also expanded, partly as a result of these programmes, to cover drinking water, urban poverty, housing and transport.

And yet, for much of this time, there was minimal change in municipal staffing. The staffing structure of municipalities is based on a structure that is approved by the state government, and any additional changes have to be approved by it. Upper-level posts are filled by the state, often by officers on deputation from other cadres or from state service employees, whereas the municipality recruits lower-level staff locally. This system has many problems, most importantly that municipalities fall short of skills, expertise and people in many critical areas.

In this context, the government of Madhya Pradesh undertook a comprehensive municipal cadre and staffing reform which has been partly implemented by the state and is the subject of this talk.

Date: September 27, 2019
Time: 12:00-1:30 P.M.

Conference Hall
Centre for Policy Research,
Dharma Marg, Chanakyapuri,
New Delhi–110021(INDIA)

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