Tuesday, April 18, 2017

My Experience of Attending 4th HR Conference of Bhutan

Meanwhile my contribution

Every day is a journey through rough and smooth, plain and mountain and, difficult and memorable road of my life. Every day is an experience of regret and rejoice, of hard and easy and, pains and pleasure in phase of my life. Every day is learning and learning is a step towards progression and regression, construction and de-construction, and success and failure of my natural age. In journey of my life, my career is a small constituent of my entire process as a living being. Since changing my decision to become a civil servant from a corporate servant, I have an honour of meeting people of various attitudes and educations, profiles and positions and, values and backgrounds. Attending 4thHR Conference at Gelephu was one such opportunity. I have an honour of hearing from five members of Royal Civil Service Commission. I have an opportunity to interact and learnt from all HR professionals of Bhutan ranging from position like myself to high position of Chiefs. HR as profession was earlier carried out by administrative personnel. The focus during that time was administration and unplanned personnel management. It was just more than a decade ago, HR as profession was started in Bhutan. The first batch of civil servants who started their career has reached position of senior HR officer now. As of now, those in Chief and Deputy Chief Level changed into HR profession from various other professions.
The 4th HR conference was held at Gelephu from 10th April to 12th April 2017. Travelling in bus made it more memorable as we were able to interact with each other outside parameter/agenda set by organizers. This was my second opportunity to attend as HR official and first opportunity as HR professional of autonomous agency. My earlier opportunity was as HR professional of local government. This time, I was able to participate, if not, passively participate for whole three days. During 3rd HR Conference held in Gasa from 12-14 April 2016, I was acting as a host. Unlike Gelephu, the lack of adequate opportunities and facilities made it difficult for participants to enjoy and relax. Besides, the rain and frequent power outage at the place crawling with leeches tested the patience of participants.
But this time, it was different. While weather was getting hot and humid, the air conditioned Regional Revenue and Custom Hall was all it needed to calm nerve and cool the bodies of all participants. Organizers and the host had made excellent preparation compared to what I could do at Gasa. The conference discussed various HR issues starting from reforms to challenges, rules and regulations to policies shift, apolitical status to vulnerabilities of politicisation, and so on. At least 60 % of the time was spent on discussion of upcoming Bhutan Civil Service Rules and Regulations which would be consulted with civil servants from districts and central agencies before further discussion with HR professionals.
Apart from conference, I also learnt that Gelephu was known as Hati Sahar or Land of Elephant. This could be because the place used to be habitat of elephants before modernisation took place. Even today, elephants raided villages and farms during summer.  It was probably in late 20th  century, it was renamed as Gelephu (Hill or Place of Abundant Virtues) by someone named Dasho Nabji. We were informed that he renamed quite a few names including Phuntsholing from Jaigon and Samdrup Jongkhar from Gudama/Daranga.

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