Civil Services Day: Modi urges bureaucrats to be agents of change, innovation
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the government has freed the bureaucracy from the shackles of protocol and hierarchy
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday lauded bureaucrats on the occasion of Civil Services Day while urging them to be agents of change and innovation with an active attitude in the run-up to 100 years of India’s independence.
“You have the chance to serve the country in this Amrit Kaal. Though we have limited time, we will utilize it to the full extent and work with immense dedication. We have difficult targets but great courage. We have a goal to climb the mountains, but we will transcend even the skies.”
Modi said the government has freed the bureaucracy from the shackles of protocol and hierarchy. “I meet officers from all levels, and we conduct brainstorming sessions to help them come up with new ideas.”
He said the government has allowed younger Indian Administrative Service officers to have central deputations, deviating from the earlier model where officers served at the state level first.
Modi spoke about getting things done or letting them happen. “The first is active; the second is passive. The person who believes in the first philosophy believes in change; others maintain the status quo. It is the effort to affect change that will help leave behind a legacy that people will always remember.”
He said the Bharatiya Janata Party government has helped eliminate the hurdles of hierarchy. “People-centric governance, government-centric government, and good governance give better results and are the route to helping to achieve even greater heights.”
He added they have changed deficiencies into efficiencies, which is helping them overcome roadblocks. “The challenge is not how efficient you are, but to identify where we are deficient and address that.”
Modi said India become the world’s fifth-largest economy despite the Covid-19 pandemic. “India is number one when it comes to digital payments. Mobile data is the cheapest in India. India has the third largest start-up ecosystem,” he said.
He urged the bureaucrats to come up with innovative solutions to help reduce red tape and make the government more efficient.
Modi asked the bureaucrats to take decisions in the interest of the country. “There were over 40 million fake gas connections, over 40 million fake ration cards, 10 million fake children and women receiving benefits from the government. This is the legacy of the earlier government.”
He referred to the key role political parties play in any democracy and added each has its own ideology. “But as civil servants, you need to be answerable to a set of ethics. You have to decide to work in the interest of the nation, not of yourself. You have to see whether a political party is using taxpayers’ money to build a vote bank or to educate the country. Is it utilising the funds to further corruption or curtail it? These are the questions you need to ask yourself.”