Inviting suggestions for the proposed Scheme of Swantah Sukhaya
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel Public Grievances and Pensions
(Department of Personnel & Training)
North Block, New Delhi
Dated the 1st November, 2014
Subject: – Inviting suggestions for the proposed Scheme of Swantah Sukhaya
It has been decided to launch an initiative to provide a platform to Government officials to design and implement projects or schemes of their choice on voluntary basis which would give them a sense of self satisfaction and achievement. Rules permit a Government servant to take up honorary work of social or charitable nature etc.
The draft guidelines are attached.Suggestions are invited about its methodology and also its name. The existing name Swantah Sukhaya is on the lines of initiative from the Gujarat Government where it has been successfully implemented since 2004 and has also been documented. Further details can be found at http://www.spipa.gujarat.gov.in/downloads/swantah sukhaya initiatives.pdf. The comments/suggestions may be sent to the undersigned at email id firstname.lastname@example.org by 30th November, 2014.
Joint Secretary (E)
1. The scheme of Swantah Sukhaya envisages providing an opportunity to all the Government employees to use their initiative and insights for the benefit of the community and nation at large outside their structured format of work.
2. Autonomy is given to Government employees to design and implement projects or schemes of their choice which would give them a sense of self satisfaction and sense of achievement. This sense of achievement would keep them motivated and encourage personal growth and self esteem.
3. To provide the Government officials a platform to reach out to communities and translate their ideas into reality. The initiative seeks to identify, recognise, facilitate, motivate, replicate and disseminate meaningful interventions in delivery of citizen-centric services by tapping the energy and passion of the officials.
4. Swantah Sukhaya is a Sanskrit term meaning Swan tah – Oneself, Sukhaya -Happiness. The Swantah Sukhaya initiatives are meant to provide internal happiness and a sense of achievement. The Swantah Sukhaya initiative originated in Gujarat in 2003 and in Gujarat it has covered diverse areas like water conservation, eco tourism, poverty alleviation, re-enrolling of drop out students and rural library among many others. As the nature of Government’s functioning is largely similar across the States, the Good Practice is replicable everywhere. However, systematic efforts will be essential to undertake such initiative.
5. The Government is trying to meet the challenges of fulfilling diverse needs and expectations of a large number of people. However, due to structure of administration, limited freedom is available to its employees to initiate programmes or projects based on their own ideas, concepts and capabilities. There is no mechanism to take benefit of the initiative, creativity and enthusiasm of the staff in the implementation of top-driven schemes. The other major restriction is that many officers have a passion for working in different areas but are constrained as there is little opportunity to work in areas of their interest.
6. Swantah Sukhaya initiative would give autonomy to the employees to make use of their initiative, enthusiasm, energy and innovation as well as their knowledge, understanding and insights of ground level reality for taking up assignments and schemes. As the employees themselves design the projects, it creates their own stake in the implementation and thus motivates them to excel. Freedom to collaborate with agencies facilitates direct interaction with local people and stakeholders, and also ensures faster implementation of the project. The scheme is structured on the model successfully practised in Gujarat State for the past ten years.
8. PROGRAMME OWNER-The initiative should be driven by Department of AR&PG/DoPT in corroboration with the already existing Knowledge Centre and Collection of Best Practices.
9. COVERAGE-A Government servant can design and implement a Swantah Sukhaya scheme without taking prior permission or approval from his/her competent authority in Government. Leave and all other modalities would be as per Conduct Rules. The officer has to ensure that he/she is not doing any work at the cost of his routine and mandated job.
10. KIND OF INITIATIVE-The official can take up any area of work in which his/her passion lies irrespective of the Department /Cadre to which he/she belongs.
11. PLACE OF WORK-The official is free to collaborate with other Govt. Departments and others for implementation of these schemes.
12. LIST OF INITIATIVES-The list of indicative areas is suggested. In Gujarat Swantah Sukhaya initiatives were taken in the following areas:-
• Nutrition, Education, Literacy
• Irrigation , Agriculture, Economic Development
• Income generation
• Providing Govt, service facility
• Health, hygiene
• Pollution control, Environment
• Capacity building .training
• Others- General welfare
Other areas of social service may be added. The list is illustrative and the officer can take up any area as long as the work is in public and national interest, apolitical and secular in content.
13. The six thematic areas in Gujarat are as follows:-
i. Implementing existing scheme/programme in innovative/ creative manner.
ii. Formations of institutional structures and strengthen systems with remarkable improvements.
iii. Increase efficiency and remove corruption/Hurdles from public service systems.
iv. New ideas for client oriented (beneficiaries) systems/ services.
v. Best performance in disasters e.g. floods and earthquake.
vi. Provide higher level leadership to motivate employees for higher quality standards of services.
14.Nominations may be invited for recognizing Swantah Sukhaya initiatives after filtering at district level, state level and then national level so that there can be selection of some initiatives at national level.
15.The best initiatives thus selected will form part of the website being maintained at the national level .The website should be able to generate list on areas of work, region wise and also service wise.
16. For state level initiatives the compilation and maintenance of best practices can be done by State ATIs.
17. The expertise of the resource person can be sought by different departments, states.