The Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC) has reportedly recommended to the government that it hire professionals to run flagship programmes. Clearly, this is an idea whose time had come long ago.
Lack of capacity and skilled managers has been a serious problem afflicting the numerous and large government-sponsored programmes. For instance, Delhi ran 147 Centrally-sponsored schemes during the 11th Plan. At the village level too, there is a crunch of personnel who can use government funds to plan and execute projects.
The NAC reportedly wants professional managers only for the big-ticket programmes. The question is: Is it possible to rope in experienced profe-ssionals who’ve typi-cally been dissuaded by the poor pay? Plus, babus often resent the lateral entry of professionals.