To develop a comprehensive pricing and procurement policy that ensures both quality and affordability for competency building product (CBP) providers on the iGOT Karmayogi platform. The policy aims to do away with the need for a request for proposal (RFP) process when onboarding a CBP provider, making the process faster and simpler.
Since the platform is expected to host a variety of CBPs from institutions, individuals and non-academic organisations from around the world the pricing of these CBPs is highly varied and competitive. Therefore, the policy needs to respond to these challenges and make procurement simple without an elaborate RFP process for each provider while also fulfiling the fundamentals of procurement. The RFP process is complex and will likely delay the onboarding of courses, limiting their availability for users.
The strategy has two elements, optimal pricing, and procurement of CBPs once pricing is fixed.
The C-LOP team has outlined the various pricing strategies available for different kinds of CBP providers and elaborated on how these strategies can be used in lieu of a permanent request for proposal (RFP). The policy was broken down into five categories of CBP providers:
Zero price providers: Providers who offer their products for free like IGNOU, Harvard University, Udemy, Pratham, and Khan Academy. Since these products are available for free, they can be onboarded onto the platform without any delays.
Government institutions: All central, state and administrative training institutes like CTIs, STIs and ATIs. Since they are government entities, they will share information about their products’ pricing with competency owning departments. This will directly determine the price of their products on the portal.
Providers already procured by the Government: There are several online and offline courses already procured by the government to meet existing training needs. An example of this is MIT’s Micromasters courses which were procured by DoPT and hosted on iGOT 1.0. Since these courses have already been procured they will continue to be offered at existing prices and can be onboarded without a formal procurement process.
Top 100 globally, top 20 nationally: CBP providers from an institution ranked among the top 100 globally, top 20 nationally or an institution ranked among the top 20 globally or top 10 nationally by subject area. For courses that fall into this category and whose pricing is publicly listed, officials may be sponsored to take the CBP without any negotiation or tendering process.
Private providers outside of the above categories: In addition to the above categories of CBP providers several other institutions, organisations and individuals will be a part of iGOT Karmayogi. In the absence of an all-encompassing pricing strategy, C-LOP has proposed that a CBP provider in this category be onboarded without a procurement process. This would be only if they agree to make their user data available to the iGOT Karmayogi platform, with the aim of generating an impact score for the CBPs being offered. All CBP providers will have the opportunity to earn a ‘pre-pricing’ impact score for their products for which they need to make their product free to 100 unique users. This will generate an impact score for the CBP and can be used to determine a price on the platform.
With a pricing strategy in place, the next step is to procure the CBPs in accordance with Rule 144 of the General Financial Rules (GFR, 2017). In the case of the iGOT Karmayogi platform, procurement can be understood as a financial transaction whereby a CBP is picked up by the user. Here, procurement must satisfy seven fundamental principles to guide the process for CBPs on the platform:
Once a CBP provider has chosen a particular pricing tier their knowledge resources will be made available to all government officials via the learning hub on the iGOT Karmayogi platform. Each year, as part of the annual capacity building plan the government will provide funding for an official to take a CBP for two particular reasons:
- To close the intensity of a competency gap for competencies required in a position.
- To obtain competencies for a desired position.
To achieve these objectives, every MDO will have a capacity building team (CBT) to allocate funds for training. The allocation decision will be two-fold:
- Based on the weighted distribution of the training budget by the system.
- The actual allocation of the training budget by the CBT.
Alongside allocating funds per competency per official, CBTs are also required to identify and recommend the CBPs that officials should take to address their competency gaps. These recommendations will be made based on the quality of the CBP which can be gauged by:
- Optimisation of CBPs using impact scores.
- One-time procurement of the CBP by the competency owning department (CoD).
- CBPs from institutions ranked top 100 globally/ top 20 nationally by subject area.
- CBPs by central or state training institutions.
In the long run, once the project reaches a steady state, there will be enough data available for the machine learning (ML) engine of the platform to assist CBP providers in pricing their products.
Public procurement is defined by the OECD as the purchase by governments and state-owned enterprises of goods, services and works. As public procurement accounts for a substantial portion of the taxpayers’ money, governments are expected to carry it out efficiently and with high standards of conduct in order to ensure a high quality of service delivery and to safeguard public interest.