Long accustomed to senior civil servants brushing aside their innovative ideas, middle-level bureaucrats finally have someone willing to hear them out: Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Modi’s initiative to knock down a few barriers and invite government officials to share their bright ideas directly with him on email seems to have clicked.
Take the recent instance where a mid-level officer posted with an infrastructure ministry sent an email to the PM giving ideas on how to develop Indian cities to cater to the growing population.
Used to his out-of-the-box ideas getting shot down by his secretary, the officer was thrilled to get a response within three days from the PM.
Modi not only appreciated the idea but said it would be taken up when the issue is discussed.
“I never thought that the PM would respond. It’s so motivating to know that you have a PM who is involved with your work and you can reach him directly if you have some innovative suggestion,” said the officer who spoke on conditions of anonymity.
He is not the only one.
Several mid-ranking officials across ministries spoke about how they too had used, or were planning to use the opportunity to get their ideas heard.
Not everyone though, is only talking innovation. Some of them complained how the government had been unfair to them in the hope that Modi’s PMO would address their grievances too.
Modi had earlier advised top bureaucrats to work more like a team and to be open to inputs from even junior officers.