The CM's Good Governance Fellowship Chhattisgarh: An outsider's perspective

The Government of Chhattisgarh has recently launched the CM's Good Governance Fellowship to provide young enterprising minds with an opportunity to contribute to the development of the state by using their IT and Project Management skills.
While the nitty gritty about the application process is available online on http://cmggfcg.in, most applicants would have doubts about the job role and benefits of joining the programme. This blog post is my attempt to share my perspective on these.
For a brief background, I am a rural development professional having worked at the District and State level in Chhattisgarh (mostly on rural development issues) in a similar fellowship called Prime Minister's Rural Development Fellowship (PMRDF) over a period of 4 years from 2012 to 2016.
So, as mentioned CMGGF is looking for bright individuals to contribute to the development of Chhattisgarh by bringing in their technical  and project management skills that the government system often lacks. Fellowships (PMRDF or CMGGF) provides the best means for the government to get an outside perspective on how schemes and policies could be better implemented and the focus is completely on that. So, such fellowships should never be confused with a long term job within the administration. Since, CMGGF is being implemented by CHiPS, there would likely be greater focus on providing solutions based on use of technology.
So then, the benefits for the government are clear. But what are the benefits for the applicants? Well, other than a long settled career, the benefits are many:
1. You get to interact directly with and understand the perspective of the topmost decision makers in the state or district. Within the government system, being in the good books of any IAS officer is a very big deal and you get to have the most easiest access. Needless to say, you being the youngest amongst the coterie of officers with this access also gives your young shoulders the responsibility to use it for the betterment of the society. This is where leadership skills come in handy.
2. You will be directly impacting the lives of millions of people with every decision that happens in your department. The scale of functioning in the government is unmatched in the private or not for profit sector and that will always remain so. This impact is much better felt while you work in the district and that is what gives the kicks to many.
3.You get to work on the most pertinent problems that the country faces. The government will always be the first mover on any public issues and you get a hang of what is happening at the highest echelons of our public administration today.
4. It opens up avenues to work on areas public policy research and implementation for those that are interested. There are immense opportunities to take up research in these areas.
5. You get to interact with a multitude of stakeholders from the industries, NGOs, people's representatives, press, etc. It is completely left to you on how you use your networking skills from here. Though, obviously the priority has to be on the larger public good.
6.While a long term job is not the primary consideration, the government system is smart enough to not let the best guys/gals go. So if your contribution is appreciated in the department you will most probably be pursued to continue working as consultants in the department even after the fellowship ends.
So, I think it is a great opportunity for youngsters to get out of their comfort zone and undertake a potentially life changing experience. The great compensation offered should be the icing on the cake.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are completely from an outsider's perspective who happens to have worked in similar situations. I am in no way directly or indirectly associated with the CM's Good Governance Fellowship in Chhattisgarh.

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