Environment and climate change will now be a part of the basic training of India’s top administrators.
The government has decided to set up a specialised centre on climate change at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) at Mussoorie in the northern state of Uttarakhand.
The academy provides training to newly recruited Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers and offers specialised in-job courses for IAS officers at different levels. Several new courses on emerging areas in India have also been initiated in the academy in the last few years.
Latest feather in the cap is the specialised centre to attune IAS officers to the danger of climate change for India and how administrators can help in fighting the challenge which is expected to impact every region in the country.
A recent environment ministry study has indicated that the threat of climate change in India is real and adapting to the fast-changing weather will be key to fighting global warming. For that, administrators at the ground level need to know about its threats and ways it can be dealt with in a cost-effective manner.
To ensure that, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and LBSNAA have tied up to put in place an academic learning centre on climate change and environment issues.
“It will be a comprehensive knowledge base with implementable tools for administrators,” said Caitlin Wiesen, Country Director of UNDP India at a recent function.
Officials at the academy said the centre is still at a “nascent” stage and will take some time before it comes up. The centre will help the academy in widening the scope of its existing courses and start some new courses.
The climate change centre is a specialised unit coming up at the academy. The IAS officers will be receiving specialised training on rural strategy, urban management, gender equality and disaster management through these centres.
Even before the climate change comes up, the academy has tried to be a model office for future administrators. It has turned into a complete paper-less office with electronic file movement system, where even the key decisions are taken on electronic files.
“We also have all our educational resources on digital format to reduce the use of paper,” an academy official said.