18 Sep 2020 20:37 IST

IAS officer discusses public administration during a pandemic

The government has shown effective leadership skills in handling the Covid crisis, says V Srinivas

Talking at the IIM Indore webinar, senior IAS officer V Srinivas discussed the Covid-imposed changes in every sector and how the government took steps to deal with the pandemic. Right from the recruitment process to the execution of various schemes — everything in the government has changed, he noted. The webinar on “Leadership in Public Administration in Pandemic” featured V Srinivas and Prof Himanshu Rai, Director, IIM Indore. The session was moderated by Prof Prashant Salwan, Chair, Executive Education, IIM Indore.

State’s effective leadership

“The one thing that this global pandemic has taught us, is that there’s no short cut to success. The government has successfully been able to balance the economy, provide all the services to the citizens even at grass-root levels, shifting from physical to virtual offices, ensuring digital security, maintaining transparency, and developing digital healthcare facilities. All this requires effective management and leaderships skills,” he said. He also shared information about initiatives, such as the ArogyaSetu health app, VandeMatram flight services, that have been taken up by the government at the central and state level, which have proven to be an example of successful leadership during the crisis.

Leadership through uncertainty

Professor Rai enumerated the importance of leadership during the crisis and how it is different from leadership in regular times. He described the five meta-dimensions that can help individuals become successful leaders amid the crisis. These include artfulness, diplomacy, detachedness, fair-mindedness, and sagacity. “The artfulness to manage expectations and anticipate consequences can help a leader gain foresightedness. Similarly, a good leader needs to understand the difference between ‘listening to respond’ and ‘listening to understand.’ This helps us separate our emotions from our judgement and act only after due deliberation. It is also essential for a leader to be selfless and trustworthy, especially now,” he said.

The session was attended by over 100 participants including faculty, staff, and students of IIM Indore.