District Training (52 Weeks)
Since its inception in 1969 when the ‘sandwich pattern’ was introduced, the IAS Officer Trainees undergo a one-year district training in their allotted State cadres. This period combines ‘Learning by Seeing’ and ‘Learning by Doing’ as the Officer Trainees also handle independent charges during this period.
The Officer Trainees seek to understand the following issues during their attachment with each Department.
1. Organizational structure, roles and responsibilities.
2. Basic understanding of Acts and Rules
3. Office procedures including understanding a file, methods of noting/ drafting, preparation of office orders and movement of files etc..
4. Budgeting and Audit for understanding the procedure and sequence of resource allocation, guidelines for expenditure, financial powers vested with officials and audit.
5. System of programme implementation, monitoring and reports.
6. Shortcomings or problems.
The key elements of District Training are a combination of the following:
Institutional Training at ATI: An important aspect of district training is the Institutional training at the state ATI. The duration of this training is subject to considerable spatial variation across state cadres and ranges from 3 weeks to 12 weeks. The positioning of the ATI attachment (within the one year of district training) also varies considerably across states. In some states, district training commences with training at the ATI whereas in some others it is scheduled in the latter half of the year.
Attachments in the District: A principal cornerstones of district training has been “learning by seeing”. Subsequently, around 25-30 weeks are allocated for a series of attachments with district-level offices. This is generally prescribed by the State Government under the supervision of the District Collector who plays an important mentoring role during district training. The principal offices and officers, where Trainees are attached, include Collectorate, Zila Parishad, SDM and Tehsildar offices, subordinate revenue officials, SSP, District & Session Judge, DFO, CMO, Engineers of the line departments, Municipal Corporation/ Council, BDPO, etc.
Independent charges: Another important, cornerstone of district training is the maxim “learning by doing”. IAS Trainees are expected to hold independent charges of subordinate positions as a sequel to their attachments in the district. Trainees are given two to three independent charges, viz. that of BDPO (ranging anywhere between 4 to 8 weeks), Tehsildar (ranging again from 4 to 8 weeks), and in some cases those of Executive Officer of a Municipal Council and even that of SDM. The premise here is that this allows Trainees the independence to work and thereby get hands on experience and understanding of the working of subordinate offices which facilitates them to hit the ground running on completion of probation.
Attachment at State Secretariat: IAS Trainees normally visit the State Secretariat for calling on senior dignitaries and officials of the State Government. This is usually for a period of around one week. They are attached to various Secretaries to obtain an exposure to the working dynamics of the State Government at the headquarters.
Assignments: The district training, like other components of probation, involves submission of monthly analytical notes sent by Trainees to their respective cadre Counsellors at the Academy as also assignments that include a village study report to be prepared through empirical field work, law cases heard and decided by the Officer Trainee, language assignments etc.