On the occasion of 11th Civil Services Day, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented awards and addressed civil servants of the country. He described the day as one of “rededication,” and also glorified the strengths and capabilities, challenges and responsibilities of civil servants.
- While addressing the civil servants, the Prime Minister said that the situations prevailing today are quite different from the situation of two decades ago. This changing trend has altered the dynamics and would evolve much further over the next few years. Further, he elaborated this and said that the earlier Government was almost the sole provider of goods and services, which left a lot of scope for ignoring one’s shortcomings. But, now the situation has changed and the people have started believing on the private sector that private sector is providing better services than the Government. A lot of alternatives are available for the individuals but the responsibilities of the Government officers have increased which is not only in terms of scope of work but in terms of challenge.
- In his speech, he emphasised the importance of competition, which brings qualitative change. He said that the sooner the attitude of Government can change from the regulator to enable, the faster this challenge of competition will become an opportunity.
- The Prime Minister also said that as the absence of Government in a sphere of activity should be perceptible, its presence in a sphere of activity should not become a burden. He asked civil servants to strive towards such arrangements.
- Noting the quantum jump in the applications for Civil Service Day awards, from less than 100 last year to over 500 this year, the Prime Minister said that the focus should now be on improving quality and making excellence a habit. He urged senior officers to make sure that experience does not become a burden that stifles innovation of younger officers.
- While cautioning the civil servants he said that anonymity is one of the greatest strengths of the civil services and the use of social media should not lead to a decline in this strength, even as social media and mobile governance are leveraged for connecting people to benefits and government schemes.
- Speaking in the context of “reform, perform and transform”, the Prime Minister said that political will is needed for reform, but the “perform” part of this formulation must come from civil servants, while the transformation is enabled by people’s participation.
- The Prime Minister said that civil servants must ensure that every decision is taken keeping national interest in mind, and this should be their touchstone for taking a decision.
Recalling that the year 2022 would mark 75 years of independence, he urged civil servants to play the role of catalytic agents in fulfilling the dreams of freedom fighters.
Few of the highlights of his speech:
• Earlier, the role of the government, from health care to wanting to set up an industry, was very strong. Things are changing since 15 years
• People are now seeing alternatives. For example- it can be about a private airline or a private healthcare service
• A spirit of ownership is essential. Let us believe that through this set up we can bring a positive change in people’s lives
• Excellence must go hand in hand with responsibility
• The push for reform comes from political leadership but the perform angle is determined by officers & Jan Bhagidari transforms
• Every policy of ours and its implementation has to be outcome-centric
• India is seen as a ray of hope world over and our democratic values are globally admired