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Driving learning transformation with Societal Platforms: The iGOT Karmayogi story

Rishika Gopinath

The learning landscape experienced a seismic shift with the emergence of MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) in 2008. Similarly, because of DIKSHA, the education revolution took place in the Indian education landscape. A similar seismic shift is visible in the trajectory of another Societal Platform, iGOT (Integrated Government Online Training). iGOT reimagines career growth for every government employee in India – right training at the right time for everyone. By leveraging technology and openness to democratise learning, the platform empowers government employees in ways that resonate with the changing tides of education.

I caught up with our Chief Curator Sanjay Purohit, who has witnessed the iGoT Karmayogi platform take shape, to understand this journey of reimagining learning to foster a more informed, skilled, and capable government workforce. Here is the story Sanjay narrated:

One question plants the seed of change

iGOT Karmayogi didn’t spring into existence overnight. Its roots trace back to a pivotal DIKSHA review meeting. In that meeting, a fundamental question was posed: “Why isn’t there a robust, all-encompassing capacity-building platform for government officials, akin to what’s found in the corporate sector?”

The challenge was big. Civil servants in India are tasked with the responsibility of keeping up with fast-paced developments and an array of governance issues in a country as large and diverse as India. They also regularly transition between roles within their departments and across different sectors, from managing, say, moving from managing wildlife to overseeing transport systems – the skills required for both jobs may be very diverse. While learning from experience is essential, it is equally important to provide these officers with systemic avenues for relevant skill acquisition and knowledge enhancement. Recognising this gap, the Government of India launched Mission Karmayogi in 2020. It was tasked to figure out how civil servants could become Karmayogis – embodying commitment to lifelong learning, skill refinement and the pursuit of excellence in serving the ever-changing needs of the country.

With the Societal Thinking team, the Mission Karmyogi team challenged the traditional approach to learning and reimagined a paradigm shift in how government employees view their careers. It moves from rule-based to role-based training, ensuring tailored and continuous learning opportunities, so that civil servants can tune themselves to the changing nature of their jobs and ensure that citizens receive the service they deserve. The iGOT Karmayogi platform is the result of this imagination.

iGOT – a Societal Platform 

At its core, iGOT restores the agency of civil servants by giving them control over their learning. It furnishes an extensive range of courses in small, manageable segments that are accessible anywhere, at any time. This flexibility enables users to seek out learning that specifically addresses the demands of their roles and the challenges they may be facing. By offering tools for behaviour, functional knowledge, and domain-specific learning, iGOT Karmayogi not only educates but also enables civil servants to effectively bridge the relationship between government and citizens.

Collaboration is another key feature of iGOT Karmayogi. Through forums and interactive spaces on the platform, civil servants can exchange ideas and innovative problem-solving techniques, enriching the collective knowledge base and their learning journey.

The platform also encourages various stakeholders, including government agencies, civil society organisations, academic institutions and markets, to contribute their knowledge and expertise. The quality and relevance of the learning material on iGOT is thus continually enhanced, ensuring civil servants receive the most current and applicable information for their work.

Acting as a digital public infrastructure, iGOT Karmayogi ensures its resources are freely available to all civil servants, fostering equitable access and broad adoption. The adaptability of the platform’s resources promotes ongoing improvement and innovation.

Building beyond for scale, faster

DIKSHA, recognised as one of the biggest edtech platforms in the world, is built on Sunbird, a set of open and configurable building blocks. It served as a blueprint for thinking about iGOT – the platform that came to life from Mission Karmayogi. In fact, it was built on the Sunbird Lern (LMS) block! In choosing to leverage Sunbird, the iGOT team was able to design for scale with fewer resources and in far less time than it would have taken to start from scratch.

Where’s iGOT now?

When I look at the stats on usage of iGOT, the exponential growth of the platform is visible. Over 3 million government employees have adopted it, testifying to its adaptability and versatility. For instance, Indian Railways reported onboarding over 0.6 million officials, and in collaboration with NITI Aayog, the Karmayogi Bharat initiative is reaching thousands of block-level officials. But, the proof of the pudding is not just in numbers, it is in the acceptance by the user. From government officials in vastly diverse roles, the feedback is overwhelmingly positive – from the micro-learning format to the autonomy of self-paced education, from the variety of courses to their applicability for their roles.

This Societal Platform is equipping government employees for their multifaceted roles as agents of change and strengthening the connection between governance and citizenry.

You can learn more about Societal Platforms here.