Performance in India

Dr Prajapati Trivedi recently talked about the performance appraisal system he’s developing in India. Our civil servants, some of who have already signed performance compacts, may find his insights useful.

On the importance of implementation: The big difference between the developed country and developing ones is not so much about strategising and planning but implementation.

On how performance contracts are prepared: The document is prepared with internal consultations within specific ministries, aligned with government’s annual and five-yearly plans and is vetted and approved by a high power committee on government performance led by the cabinet secretary.

On who judges performance against targets: Instead of government doing it, we have formed an independent, non-government task force of 15-20 people as knowledge partners. They are a set of IIM professors, ex-secretaries. The key to success was having a large competent and independent group of experts.

On why performance contacts will work: The biggest motivation will come from naming and shaming.

On how else performance will be rewarded: A committee of secretaries is meeting to discuss how to link up performance with pay … up to 40 percent of the basic salary could be linked to performance … Promotions, especially from joint secretary to the additional secretary level, will become more rigorous.

Dr Trivedi is the Secretary of Performance in the Indian Cabinet, and is widely considered India’s “Chief Performance Officer”. His department’s website provides a wealth of resources for governments seeking to redirect their orientation from processes to results.


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  1. Very, very interesting info, in deed!

    Wondering to myself if Dr Trivedi is aware that a very similar looking system is being experimented in Bhutan. Also, could not help wonder if he would be jealous of the McKinsey team for the big money they are making in Bhutan, when he finds out.

    I hope and pray that we succeed in achieving the noble objectives of the exercise.

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