Yes the Prime Minister Office (PMO) under Narendra Modi has become the epicenter of governance. In fact the trend seems to be towards centralized governance more akin to quasi-presidential form of governance within parliamentary form of government will be the norm.
Let’s consider the steps taken and announcement made by him since he took oath as the 15th Prime Minister of India on 26 May 2014.
PMO emerging as an epicenter of Governance under Narendra Modi means that Cabinet Ministers will not have a free run in the new government and as a result policy paralysis arising from ministries working at cross-purposes will be checked.
PMO as an epicenter of governance has varied with the change in the leader and the civil servants manning the PMO. For instance, PMO as a mechanism to assist PM on broad policy issues was devised during the Lal Bahadur Shastri regime but it attained muscles during Indira Gandhi regime.
However, it had become less influential during former PM Manmohan Singh led government as he preferred Empowered Group of Ministers to decide on major policy issues so as to decentalise decision-making.
To conclude, if the PMO and the Cabinet Secretary decide on top bureaucrats' appointments instead of the ministers in charge of those departments, half of the problem will be solved and governance will get a major boost.
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