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Coming, grading system for ministries

The government kick-started a month-long exercise on Tuesday to finalise the first real test for central ministers and their bureaucracy, the latter spoilt by a liberal grading system, reports Aloke Tikku.

india Updated: Nov 03, 2009 23:19 IST
Aloke Tikku

Does Jairam Ramesh’s Environment Ministry work better than Mamata Banerjee’s Railway Ministry? You will know by next year.

The government kick-started a month-long exercise on Tuesday to finalise the first real test for central ministers and their bureaucracy, the latter spoilt by a liberal grading system.

By this month-end, the five-dozen departments will firm up targets that would enable experts to grade and rank them on their performance next year.

“In the absence of any systems in place, it was so far only the media that graded ministers once in a while…. But that grading was grounded in perception than performance,” a senior government official said.

The new system, devised by cabinet secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar’s secretariat, will be the first objective exercise.

The departments would be evaluated for their performance vis-à-vis their targets and graded by a panel of experts at the end of the financial year.

For example, one of the factors that would go into the health ministry assessment would be the drop in deaths due to, say, infant mortality.

“This would be the first time that ministries would be assessed for their deliverables, rather than financial spending,” a source said.