Monday, October 15, 2007

Lessons @ LBSNAA

I am back !!!

Ever since I joined the Foundation Course at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), I have been suffering from intense pangs of anomie and laziness. Added to that are the various explicit and implicit restrictions that come with the status of being a civil servant. The conduct rules places a restraint on our freedom of expression under the clause of “criticizing the Government”. So probably there wouldn’t be much criticism of Government in this blog henceforth. But, I guess that the restrictions would be a challenge too. Anyways, it feels good to have a disclaimer on my blog. I finally feel usefully and gainfully employed.

So much has happened in the last two months that it would be difficult boring to chronicle them in a single post. Glimpses of life at LBSNAA can be had at blogs of my colleagues, Aunrag and Sundar.

Today, I would like to give some insights on the training that happens here. The importance of soft skills has been realized by the Government. And they have also realized that all lessons cannot be imparted in the conventional classroom-type teaching. So here are a few out-of-the-box and out-of-the-classroom techniques of imparting soft skills.


The enlightening lectures at the Sampoornanand auditorium is often a transcendental experience. The Officer Trainees (OTs) go into a different mental plane, which the course team and visiting faculty term as “sleeping’. It is here that the dreams and vision for the glorious future of our country take birth. OTs train themselves (You see we are also made adept in Self-learning), in Dr Kalam’s art of dreaming and developing a vision. The seeds of Vision 3030 are sown here.


The dispensary is the place where OTs hone their persuasive and negotiating skills. Every visitor tries his best to convince the Doctor that any activity other than walking, particularly the early morning Physical Training, is lethal. Previous records state that the OT who gets the maximum exemptions from attending the PT sessions inevitably wins the A. N. Sinha One Act play.

OT Lounge

The billiards table has more players than the number of balls. The place makes an excellent case study for successful implementation of principles of equity and inclusiveness. And way the game is played is an exposition on classical laissez faire at work. Such is the freedom that one ingenious OT revealed that he prefers reverse usage of cue as it is more convenient to hit the ball with the handle, which has bigger circumference. Who says bureaucrats are bookish, impractical and unimaginative?


It is necessary that public servants are polite, courteous and helpful. The weekend treks help in inculcating these much-valued traits. They bring out the chivalrous knights hidden inside the OTs. The extent of chivalry is directly proportional to slope of the path and the goodlooks of the OT. A couple of clarifications here:

1) Beauty is subjective and depends on the sole discretion of the beholder.

2) The second factor has ten times the weightage of the first one.

3) If the recipient belongs to a good cadre and the knight to the cadres that truly demand him to be a knight in a fighting armor, then chivalry is unconditional.

Officers’ Mess

The food is a symbol of national integration. You will never be able to distinguish a South Indian sambhar from a North Indian dal. Such is the cross-cultural culinary acclimatization that the Indian Foreign Service probationers who do not skip a single meal at the mess are the ones who feel at home in Côte d'Ivoire.

We have much more than this in our training. But let me save them for another post.

PS1: It is mandatory to leave a comment for all OTs reading this post.

PS2: Firefox users, please note that the LBSNAA website works well only with Internet Explorer.