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IIM Ahmedabad to boost Panchayat financial management for zila parishad leaders


With most panchayats drawing robust funding from the Centre and states, a new challenge of effective and targeted financial management in the third tier of governance has risen. And, the Centre is looking to IIM Ahmedabad to help out.

Starting this month, the first batch of 60 office-holders across zila parishads from Kishtwar to Udayagiri (nearly half of them women) will head to IIM Ahmedabad to be trained in financial management, public private partnerships, planned development, leadership ethics, digital governance and conflict resolution.

The Leadership/Management Development Programme for the Elected Leaders as well as Functionaries of Panchayati Raj Institutions is part of the revamped Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan by the panchayati raj ministry.

The first such residential course will be conducted by the Centre in collaboration with IIMA from January 15 and will be followed by more elaborate training modules across IIMs, other business schools like ISB and IITs, senior officials told ET. States will also be encouraged to plan such courses on their own.

Great care has been taken in selection of candidates, keeping in mind the course requirements and rigour. A key factor is that the chosen elected representatives must have at least one year of term left, officials said.

Those below 40 years are the preferred category and with nearly 40% elected panchayat heads now women, their representation is imperative. Education criteria and working knowledge of English are also desirable.Accordingly, the postgraduate lady chairperson of the District Development Council of Kishtwar in Jammu & Kashmir is part of the first team headed to IIMA. She is joined by the chairperson of the Chamba zila parishad — a woman, and a PhD holder. The zila parishad president of Nandurbar, is a lady with an MBBS degree while Chhotaudepur’s president holds a master’s degree.The introductory IIMA training program has multiple modules with primary focus on financial management and panchayat finances, project management and monitoring, digital transformation and ICT use. It will also dwell on effective communication, leadership ethics and self-awareness, among others.

The Centre is particularly keen on training elected representatives on village development planning by identifying community needs, mobilising resources and convergence and integration of plans and schemes.


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