Key NDA government schemes such as Make in India and Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan have become a part of the training given to diplomats, with the foreign ministry playing a more prominent role in popularising the initiatives abroad.
The focus on simplification of forms and processes to improve ease of doing business, and paying special attention to the needs of the states have also become part of training modules at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), which trains both new recruits and mid-career diplomats.
The move is aimed to familiarise officials with flagship schemes — where the foreign ministry plays an important role — and sensitise them on the government’s priorities.
“Training capsules incorporated in their content after recent directives from the Government include state specialisation Make In India campaign, Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, simplification of forms and procedures etc,” the annual report of the external affairs ministry for 2014-15 says.
For example, foreign missions abroad popularise Make in India – aimed at making the country a manufacturing hub – with industry bodies abroad. The initiative also figures in some key foreign trips of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The simplification of laws and processes for doing business is also something the PM has been advocating and the bureaucracy has a key role in ensuring transparency and efficiency, said an official.
He points to what Modi said in his address to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York last year. “In India, even after a file travels to 32 departments, it is still not finalised. We have changed the process to create an easy, single page form to get the job done,” he had said.
The NDA government has created a States Division in the MEA to coordinate with states and Union territories for further facilitation of their efforts to promote exports, tourism and attract more overseas investment and expertise.