DDC may become a wing of planning department

DDC may become a wing of planning department

The Delhi government is firming up plans to give additional powers to its think tank Delhi Dialogue Commission by bringing it under the planning department and renaming it as Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission.

Currently, the DDC’s functions overlap with that of some departments, especially the planning department. But it suffers from limitations like issuing notifications that can only be released in the name of bureaucrats serving in the government.

“The remodelling of DDC would also see the recruitment of half a dozen senior consultants to add to the cutting edge of the Commission,” said an official. Since there is no provision for such a think tank in the NCT of Delhi Act, the Commission’s linkage with the planning department is expected to offer it greater functional space to its consultants. 

A notification on DDC’s linkage with the planning department would soon be issued.
With Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as its chairperson, the DDC currently operates from its premises in Civil Lines and gives advice to the Delhi government on governance and offer technological solutions to various problems in the city.

Free Wi-Fi and CCTV project, solar power policy, power and water supply,  mohalla clinics, rain water harvesting and odd-even road rationing are some issues that have been taken up by the DDC so far by setting up task forces.

The remodelled Commission would strengthen its team of consultants in the field of finance, health, education, transport, power and tourism.

Under the Chief Minister Urban Leaders Fellow scheme, fellows may also be engaged to report to senior consultants.

A proposal to hire fellows for the administrative reforms is likely to be brought before the Cabinet.

“The AAP government realises that some drastic solutions needed for improving Delhi may not be available with the bureaucrats serving in various departments. Specialists like consultants and fellows may add to effective governance,” said an AAP functionary.
Some bureaucrats who have served in the city under earlier regimes disagree with suggestion that specialist consultants would boost government’s efficiency.

“The general notion seems to be that all bureaucrats are incapable of thinking aloud. There are top IITians and MBAs among the bureaucrats serving in Delhi but a feeling of distrust towards them is reducing their utility,” said a bureaucrat.

The rival BJP has on several occasions accused the AAP government of trying to benefit its sympathisers by generating jobs for them in the government. The ruling AAP has dismissed these allegations as baseless, dubbing them as political posturing by the Opposition.       

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