The Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie is the premier training institution for the higher civil services in India. The Academy imparts induction level and in-service training. A common Foundation Course is held for entrants to All India Services and all Group 'A' services of the Union. The professional training to regular recruits of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and members of the Royal Bhutan Service is conducted after the Foundation Course. The Academy also conducts in-service training courses for members of the IAS and officers promoted to the IAS from the State Civil Services, as well as workshops and seminars on policy issues.
The Academy has developed a vision statement through a process of intensive discussions with all stakeholders which is as follows:
"We seek to promote good governance, by providing quality training towards building a professional and responsive civil service in a caring, ethical and transparent framework."
The Foundation Course is essentially knowledge-centred; the Professional Courses are fundamentally skill oriented and the in-service courses are mainly directed towards enhancement of policy formulation capabilities for assuming senior positions in Government.
This course is intended for members of the All India Services, the Indian Administrative Service, the Indian Police Service, the Indian Forest Service and the various Central Services (Group 'A') of the Union. It is a fifteen-week course conducted from September to December every year. The course aims at imparting a basic understanding of the constitutional, political, socio-economic and legal framework of the country; and also fostering greater co-ordination among the members of the different public services by building esprit-de-corps and cultivating an attitude of co-operation and inter-dependence.
The course endeavours to make the officer trainees professional in their approach and aware of the challenges and opportunities within the Civil Service.It is structured to familiarize the new entrants in the Government with the environment of political, economics and administrative issues, through a well-defined syllabus. A revised syllabus was introduced from the 74th Foundation Course. The objectives of the course were also extensively revised and emphasis was laid on right values, ethical standards, norms of behaviour and personal conduct expected of civil servants; developing qualities such as sensitivity to social problems and to the poor, responsiveness to changing democratic needs and expectations of citizens; accountability to ensure high job performance;commitment to democratic values and the concepts of partnership and participative decision making. Concurrent evaluation based on tests, quizzes,assignments and reports was also introduced.
The Academy is now increasingly moving toward a modular format of training.Some of the modules conducted are: Administrative Accountability underpinning the need to be more accessible, accountable and transparent; Self-awareness-covering areas of personal ethics and behaviours; Principles and Issues in Ethics; Ethics and Administration; Leadership Qualities and Motivation;Disabilities- including a field visit to the National Institute for Visually Handicapped,Social Sector, Poverty and its Manifestation, the Government programmes,Issues in Gender, etc. There is, however, a constant and underlying emphasisin all academic and co-curricular inputs to drive home the message of being humble, more accessible and humane in their approach to the citizens.
The main activities organized during the Foundation Course are:
1. Village Visit Programme: This is organized for a period of one week in order to sensitize the Officer Trainees to the reality of rural India, through a structured study of a village. The objective of the visit is to assess the dynamics of the socio-economic-political situation existing in the villages, understand the problems faced by villagers especially the deprived sections of the women and poor, and recognize the importance of the need to learn from the people in evolving solutions. A module on Participatory Rural Appraisal is also conducted prior to the village visit in order to enable better interaction with the villagers. Individual and group reports are also presented by the Officer Trainees after they return. This visit has been consistently found very useful as a sensitization methodology by the Officer Trainees.
2. Trek in the Himalayas: The objective of trek is to inculcate the spirit of adventure and to strengthen Esprit de corps in the Officer Trainees. The trek is also a significant learning experience in group dynamics, interpersonal relations, courage, endurance and love and respect for nature. The nine-day trek in tough conditions increases solidarity among the trainees and is considered an important component of the Foundational Course.
3. Extra Curricular Activities are conducted in the afternoons in order to impart skills other than purely academic to the trainees in recognition of the need for an officer to have diverse interests and a well-rounded personality.
4. Cultural programmes: To provide a forum for, the talents of the Officer Trainees, various cultural programmes are organized. The A.K. Sinha One Act Play Competition displays the acting skills of the trainees. Apart from that, cultural programmes and Zonal Days are organized to instill in the trainees a sense of the diversity and oneness of the country. The trainees themselves highlight the cultural traditions of various parts of the country through exhibitions,cuisine and folk dances, etc. A Fete is organized in order to inculcate the spirit of entrepreneurship among the trainees. The proceeds go to the Social Services Society which organizes outdoor clinics for the poor TB patients of Mussoorie and surrounding area, including rickshaw pullers;and runs a school "Balwadi" for education of the poor children. Blood donation camps are organized twice a year where enthusiastic participation from the probationers is seen.
In 2009, one Foundation Course viz., 83rd Foundation Course was organized from August 31-December 11, 2009. Two Parallel Foundation Courses for the allied services were organized at the Dr. MCR Institute of Human Resource Development, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh and R.C.V.P. Noronha Academy of Administration, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.