LEAP-START: IIMA launches first of its kind programme for Panchayati Raj institutions

NewsDrum Desk
New Update

Ahmedabad, Jan 15 (PTI) The prestigious Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) on Monday launched a first-of-its-kind residential programme to equip participants with leadership and managerial skills for effective functioning of Panchayati Raj institutions (PRIs).

The first batch of the programme, titled 'Leadership in Panchayats for Strategic Rural Transformation (LEAP-START)' will run between January 15-19 and will have 60 participants comprising chairpersons and senior functionaries of district panchayats from various states and Union Territories, an IIMA release said.

It has been developed by IIMA in association with the Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR), and aims to equip its participants with leadership and managerial skills for effective utilisation of resources and functioning of Panchayati Raj Institutions, the release informed.

"This ground-breaking initiative, for the first time, will bring elected representatives and bureaucrats into the same classroom to harness their combined expertise and, thereby, impact rural policy making in the long run," it added.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, IIMA director Bharat Bhasker said the programme sets a new trend for engagement of premier institutions with grassroots development of the country.

"All the key policies required for nation building at the rural level boils down to how effective and efficient the Panchayati Raj system is," Bhasker said.

"IIMs also have a key mandate for enhancing the management abilities of officials at all tiers. We hope this will become a movement to be emulated by all institutions of excellence," he added.

The LEAP-START programme will provide its participants exposure to various modules, including Leadership and Teamwork, Financial Management and Panchayat Finances, Effective Communication, Project Management and Monitoring, Digital Transformation, ICT, etc., the IIMA said.

"These modules will help enhance their skills in village development, identifying community needs, mobilising resources, and ensuring convergence and integration of plans and schemes," it added.

Vivek Bharadwaj, Secretary, MoPR, urged participants to use their time at IIMA to embrace every lesson, invest in every interaction and to return with renewed energy and a relentless drive to make a difference.

PRIs can become effective change agents and it is upon them to ensure rural areas are developed speedily, he said.

IIMA faculty members Ranjan Ghosh and Rajesh Chandwani, who have developed the programme, said they hoped access to the best management lessons from the best teachers in the field will direct Panchayati Raj functionaries towards a newer type of engagement with multiple stakeholders in the complex district, block and village level governance system of the country.

Skills and cases the participants will be exposed to will help them in better, empathetic, inclusive and collective day-to-day decision-making, and usher in a generation of self-sufficient and well-informed rural development executives, they said. PTI KA BNM BNM