| Extra efforts: Rural development minister Nitish Mishra takes a class at Walmi, Phulwarisharif. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
Rural development minister Nitish Mishra is eager to do more than just come up with plans to serve villagers . He has taken up the mantle to train civil servants responsible for delivering the services to the residents.
Mishra is training block development officers (BDO) of his department who play a key role in the implementation of various rural schemes like Indira Awas Yojana.
The training programme, which will continue till November, is being conducted in batches. Each batch will be trained in the technical aspects of their job for five days in Patna and an equal duration at the National Institute of Rural Development, Hyderabad. Mishra, who is a trainer in the Patna module, took his first hour-long class on Thursday.
Explaining why he decided to don the robe of a trainer, Mishra told The Telegraph: “I wanted to share the philosophy of our chief minister Nitish Kumar, who stands for delivering undiluted benefits of the government schemes to the people. The CM directed us to equip the BDOs with necessary skills so that they can deliver the benefits as the government wants them to.”
The 39-year-old politician, who became an MLA in 2005 after winning the Jhanjharpur Assembly seat in Madhubani, is not new to teaching. From 2002 to 2004, he taught management at LN Mishra College of Business Management, Muzaffarpur, where he was the additional director.
A Delhi University graduate, he has a management degree from the Fore School of Management, New Delhi. He also has a postgraduate diploma in global political economy from the University of Hull, UK.
The minister shared the details of what he is teaching. “Instead of going into the technical topics, which are taught by the experts, I opted to brief them (the BDOs) about the overview of the department and the role they are supposed to play. Instead of making it a one-way traffic, I ensure that the training session is interactive so that I can have first-hand information about the problems the officials face in the field and take corrective steps,” he said.
Mishra’s students are all praises for him. They claim that he ensures the trainees do not feel uncomfortable in the presence of their boss.
“I was pleasantly surprised when the minister asked us to shun inhibitions and ask questions with an open mind. It was reflected during the training session, which turned out to be very interesting,” said Rajeev Ranjan Prasad Singh, the BDO of Sidhwalia in Gopalganj.
The BDO of Triveniganj in Supaul, Anil Kumar Singh, who was also a part of the training programme, echoed Singh. “The minister was open to our ideas during the session. It was motivational,” he said.
If asked to rate their trainer, the BDOs would give a high score to Mishra. “Excellent would be the best word to define the training session conducted by the minister,” said Anwar Ahmed, a BDO in Sitamarhi.