Bangalore citizen group to build civic leaders

Bangalore, Sep 20 : Bangalore Political Action Committee (BPAC), a citizen group for improving governance in this tech hub, Friday unveiled an incubator programme to build civic leaders for engaging in ward level administration to enhance quality of life.

"The programme seeks to encourage concerned citizens to enter public service with a view to building a cadre of leaders for driving the civic initiatives in their respective wards across the city," BPAC president Kiran Mazumdar Shaw told reporters here.

The citizen group was set up in April this year to introduce good governance practices, integrity and transparency in all arms of the government to improve the quality of infrastructure in the city, identify and support strong candidates for public offices at all levels of governance in the city and create a safer Bangalore.

The civic body - Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has 198 wards across the expanded city covering its urban and rural areas.

As part of the programme, BPAC will train and equip candidates with skills in public policy analysis and civic administration and prepare them to engage in the political process till the next BBMP elections are held in 2015.

"Our aim is to revive the vision of politics as a means to public service through this initiative, which is the first of its kind in the country needed at this time. The idea is tap the talent of the citizens and provide them a platform to contribute to good governance through unique skillsets," Shaw said on the occasion.

Shaw is also chairperson of India's leading biotech firm Biocon Ltd and head of the Karnataka governemnt's vision group on biotechnology.

BPAC vice-president and Manipal Global Education Services Ltd chairman T.V. Mohandas Pai said the programme was an important step towards supporting the citizen group's ambitious mission to transform urban and civic governance.

"It is essential that we expand the pool of people who enter politics and bring in citizens from diverse backgrounds to participate and take charge of our governance. It is time ordinary citizens move away from being mere spectators to being active participants," Pai said.

The group will screen applicants and select candidates for the programme, which consists of three months part-time training in the first phase through a customised curriculum designed by its knowledge partner, Takshashila Institution.

The second phase involves on-field work at the ward level for six months, providing the candidates with an opportunity to engage on civic issues of pressing concern.

"Through this initiative, we aim to inspire, equip and mobilise talented citizens for improving governance of the city by participating in the political process," Pai added.

--IANS (Posted on 21-09-2013)

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