First time, headcount begins of all govt staff, top to bottom

Written by Surabhi Rastogi | Surabhi | Subhomoy Bhattacharjee | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 26 2014, 14:41pm hrs
Govt staffCensus: Employee details would be matched with Aadhaar numbers to create a real time repository of all employees.
THE government has begun an exercise similar to a census to map all its employees posted right down to the block level.

The exercise is being conducted by the cabinet secretariat with the responsibility, surprisingly, given to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Department of Information Technology. The I&B Ministry has, in turn, directed all central ministries to provide lists of officials working with them to create a central database.

The Government of India has decided to create a database in respect of the functionaries in the ministry and department including those in attached, subordinate, field offices and (those) under the administrative control of the ministry to enable... better coordination among the different tiers, says an official note.

This is the first time ever that the government has undertaken such a massive exercise across the country. A source involved in the exercise told The Indian Express that the employee details would be matched with Aadhaar numbers to create a real time repository of all employees. An employees performance can then be tracked on any day of the year with details of her attendance records, and the time she has spent at work.

It is being done to improve efficiency in government functioning. The exercise is at present limited only to the central government employees but will later be expanded to states as well, said a senior official.

The official said the unusual choice of the two departments to conduct the exercise was determined by the cabinet secretariat.

The details of the employees have to be submitted in an Excel format by every department, including autonomous organisations. It will include the name and designation of the employees in granular details going up to the state, district, department, block and municipalities where he or she is posted along with e-mail address as well as mobile and landline telephone numbers.

The exercise is also surprising given that the Department of Personnel and Training maintains details of all officials, including their career history. Aggregate data on the number of government employees is also used in the union budget to estimate the annual outgo on salaries and pensions.

For instance, in financial year 2015, the total number of Central government civilian employees, including Railways, is pegged at 3.6 million. The number of military and paramilitary staff is about another 2.5 million.

We are still collecting the data in an electronic format from field offices. We have written records but this is a very comprehensive exercise, said an government official who is collecting the information for his ministry.

The instructions are clear that the electronic format must be followed and all details must be in Excel format. This will allow for faster uploading of the data onto the IT platform and used accordingly.

The Centre has also recently revised and vastly expanded the format in which the employees have to furnish their asset details, including investment, in every form. The details will have to include in equal measure the investments made by their spouse and dependent children too.