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Leadership and Management Development Program Launched for Panchayati Raj Representatives

Leadership and Management Development Program Launched for Panchayati Raj Representatives

Ahmedabad: Shri Vivek Bharadwaj, Secretary of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, inaugurated a groundbreaking Leadership and Management Development Programme titled “Leadership in Panchayats for Strategic Rural Transformation (LEAP–START)” at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA). The event marked the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Shri Vikas Anand, Joint Secretary, and Prof. Bharat Bhasker, Director of IIM Ahmedabad, to operationalize the program.

Attended by prominent figures such as Ms. Mona Khandhar, Principal Secretary of Panchayats, Rural Housing & Rural Development Department, Government of Gujarat, and Shri Vipul Ujwal, Director, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, the inauguration focused on fostering collaboration between the government and educational institutions.

In his address, Secretary Shri Vivek Bharadwaj urged Panchayats to become role models for effective local self-governance, emphasizing their pivotal role in the democratic framework. He highlighted the importance of investing in capacity-building and training for Panchayats, envisioning a developed India, or “Viksit Bharat,” by 2047. Shri Bharadwaj expressed confidence that collaborations with institutes like IIM Ahmedabad would create standardized training programs for Panchayats across the nation.

Acknowledging the transformative potential of LEAP–START, Shri Bharadwaj affirmed the Ministry’s commitment to learning from the outcomes and collaborating with other reputed institutes. The collaboration aims to create a comprehensive curriculum for consistent, high-quality training experiences for Panchayats nationwide.

Ms. Mona Khandhar stressed the correlation between learning new skills and enhancing public service delivery, underscoring the instrumental role of regular training programs in empowering Panchayat representatives for efficient rural governance.

Prof. Bharat Bhasker, Director of IIMA, lauded the collaborative efforts and emphasized the institute’s mandate to enhance the management abilities of officials at all tiers. He expressed hope that this program sets a new trend for premier institutions engaging in grassroots development.

The Leadership and Management Development Programme, LEAP–START, commenced with a five-day introductory program at IIMA, aiming to train around 60 elected representatives and functionaries from Panchayati Raj Institutions. The participants, including Chairpersons/Presidents and Chief Executive Officers of District Panchayats from multiple States/UTs, will undergo training on various institutional, functional, and thematic aspects of Sustainable Development Goals.

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