Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Monday asked bureaucrats to stand up to the political class if “wrong orders” are given, telling them not to become a “yes master.”
Singh also said that civil servants should be impartial and show “no hesitation” in taking decisions.
“If a political executive gives wrong orders, do not be scared to show them rules. Tell the political executive that you are legally wrong. Do not sign the file. Haan mein haan naa milaiye (Do not become a yes master). Do not betray your conscience,” he told the inaugural session at an event to mark the Civil Services Day.
The function was attended by officers belonging to the IAS and other all India services.
The home minister also took a dig at officers who “avoid” taking decisions, saying such hesitation may harm the country’s interests. “If necessary, discuss and deliberate with your seniors but there should be no hesitation in taking decisions.”
He also pulled up bureaucrats and asked them to be punctual after the event got delayed by a few minutes.
Singh said he was worried that a function of bureaucrats got delayed by 12 minutes and the attendees kept entering the venue even after it formally began.
“I was a little bit worried today. The programme was supposed to start at 9.45. We reached five minutes before the scheduled time. But it started at 9.57,” he said at the event attended mostly by officers belonging to IAS and other all India services.
Singh said there maybe many reasons for the delayed start and some reasons maybe right but there should be an introspection as to why the situation is such as it is.
“It would have been good that we would not have deviated (from the scheduled time). Has there been any laxity in our commitment?” he asked.
Singh said the Narendra Modi government, through ‘Jan Dhan, Aadhar and mobile connectivity’ (JAM) convergence, is transforming good governance into smart governance.
The home minister said the central government is committed to successfully implementing ‘Antyodaya’, a scheme for providing subsidised food to millions of poorest families.
Singh said civil servants have to play a more active and effective role in its implementation.
He also quoted the country’s first home minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who had said that if civil services was called ‘steel frame’ of India it would not be an exaggeration.
“The guiding principles for civil servants as enunciated by Sardar Patel in 1948 are extremely important in the present day context as well. The ‘steel frame’ of our civil services has not weakened even after 70 years of Independence,” he said.
The function was attended by minister of state for personnel Jitendra Singh, cabinet secretary PK Sinha, additional principal secretary to Prime Minister PK Mishra, secretaries of many central ministries and departments among others.