Friday, 20 April 2018

Severe Weather Warning


20 April (Day 1): ♦ Thunderstorm accompanied with squall and hail very likely at isolated places over Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

  • Thunderstorm accompanied with gusty winds very likely at isolated places over Uttar Pradesh, north Rajasthan, West Bengal & Sikkim, Jharkhand, Odisha, Assam & Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram & Tripura, Telangana, Karnataka, north Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu and Kerala.

  • Thunderstorm accompanied with squall very likely at isolated places over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh & Delhi and Bihar.

  • Heavy rain very likely at isolated places over Jammu & Kashmir, south Assam & Meghalaya and Mizoram & Tripura.

  • Heat wave conditions very likely in one or two pockets over Vidharbha.

  • Strong winds speed reaching 25-­35 kmph gusting to 45 kmph with moderate to rough sea conditions are very likely along and off West Bengal­ Odisha coasts. Fishermen are advised to be cautious while venturing in to the sea along & off these coasts.

21 April (Day 2): ♦ Thunderstorm accompanied with squall and hail very likely at isolated places over Sub­Himalayan West Bengal & Sikkim.

  • Thunderstorm accompanied with squall very likely at isolated places over Jharkhand and Gangetic West Bengal.

  • Thunderstorm accompanied with gusty winds very likely at isolated places over Odisha, Assam & Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, south Chhattisgarh and Kerala.

  • Heavy rain very likely at isolated places over south Assam & Meghalaya and Mizoram & Tripura.

  • Strong winds speed occasionally reaching 40­-50 kmph with moderate to rough sea conditions are very likely along and off West Bengal­Odisha coasts. Fishermen are advised not to venture into the Sea along & off these coasts.

  • Based on the forecast generated by INCOIS, moderate to rough sea conditions are very likely to prevail along the West coast of India and rough to very rough over southern parts of West Coast and Lakshadweep area in the morning hours. Fishermen are advised to be cautious while venturing into the Sea along & off these areas.
22 April (Day 3) : ♦ Thunderstorm accompanied with squall and hail very likely at isolated places over Sub­Himalayan West Bengal & Sikkim.

  • Thunderstorm accompanied with squall likely at isolated places over Gangetic West Bengal.

  • Thunderstorm accompanied with gusty winds likely at isolated places over Telangana, Tamilnadu, interior Karnataka and Kerala.

  • Based on the forecast generated by INCOIS, moderate to rough sea conditions are very likely to prevail along & off the West coast of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Fishermen are advised to be cautious while venturing into the Sea along & off these areas.
23 April (Day 4):♦      Heat wave conditions are likely to prevail in some parts of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

  • Based on the forecast generated by INCOIS, rough to very rough sea conditions are likely to prevail along & off the West coast of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Fishermen are advised not to venture into the Sea along & off these areas.
24 April (Day 5):     Thunderstorm accompanied with gusty winds likely at isolated places over Telangana.

  • Heat wave conditions are likely to prevail in some parts of Jammu & Kashmir Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.


Couretsy: pib.nic.in

Exercise Gagan Shakti-2018: IVTT operations In the Northern and North Eastern sector

As part of ongoing exercise ‘GaganShakti-2018’, the Operational Commands of the IAF planned and executed Inter Valley Troop Transfer (IVTT) in coordination with affiliated Indian Army Commands. IVTT, a major Joint Operation, was conducted in the high hills of Northern and North-Eastern Sector. The aim of the exercise was to validate the capability of the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army to quickly transfer and redeploy acclimatized troops, in the simulated objective area. These operations are conducted to reposition troops from one valley to another, to counter any evolving threat and to surprise or offensively exploit the weakness of the adversary.

In the mountainous terrain the movement of the troops from one valley to another is a challenging task. The redeployment of forces from one area of interest to another may at times take couple of days. IVTT operations help to reposition the desired forces within a couple of hours.

All the three commands of IAF conducted a company level exercise in their area of operations, in a time sensitive environment. This tactical transfer of troops not only validated Joint Operations between the IAF & the Indian Army, but also showcased the capability of the IAF to operationalise forward ALG’s by setting up communications and refueling facilities, and preparing aircraft operating surface. C-130 and AN-32 tactical transport aircraft and Mi-17 V5 / ALH helicopters are used for these missions. Owing to their versatile maneuvering capabilities, these platforms are most adaptable in an extremely demanding high altitude terrain.

The operations were meticulously planned by the planning staff and the aircrew executed the demanding and rigorous operations by flying in a coordinated manner, giving due importance to the flight safety. In addition to the aircrew, the maintenance and administrative personnel, worked relentlessly through day and night, to ensure smooth conduct of these high intensity operations.

Courtesy: pib.nic.in

Vice President inaugurates 2-day event of 12th Civil Services Day

Translating “legislative intent” into “programmatic content” is need of the hour: Vice President

Enthusiastic participation by districts for PM Awards this year, says MoS Dr Jitendra Singh

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that translating “legislative intent” into “programmatic content” and demonstrating to the common citizens what “Surajya” actually looks like in day to day administration, the civil services have an enormous opportunity today. He was delivering the inaugural address at the 2-day event of the 12th Civil Services Day, here today. The Vice President said that a clean, competent, people-friendly, proactive administrative leadership is the need of the hour. He further said that ‘Swarajya’ has to be meaningful for each Indian and, for this ‘Surajya’ is inevitable. There is a need for honest introspection into the effectiveness and efficiency of our administrative structures and processes, he added. He said that the focus has shifted to “implementation” and “innovation” and it is becoming increasingly clear that “business as usual” approach will not do. We must collectively transform India into a nation that we can all be proud of, he added.

The Vice President called on officers of Civil Services to reorient their approach to look upon themselves as catalysts of change, as facilitators of change, as inspirational leaders for an aspirational India. He further said that it is the collective responsibility of the executive, the legislature, the judiciary and the media to identify, combat and root out evils including casteism, communalism, corruption, inequality, discrimination and violence. We need to be sensitive to these unpleasant realities and try to alter them by being unbiased and evenhanded, he added.

Addressing the session, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space Dr Jitendra Singh said that the main objective of the Civil Services Day is to acknowledge and recognise the good work done by the civil servants. He added that this is a platform for civil servants to share their best experiences and reorient themselves to the emerging requirements of the New India. He added that during the last four years, the entire format of the Civil Services Day has changed and now the work done for implementation of priority programmes is rewarded under PM awards. This year four priority programmes have been chosen, he added. He said that 643 districts have participated for PM awards this year. He appreciated that 103 districts out of 115 aspirational districts have participated for these awards and 75 aspirational districts have participated under Innovation category.

The Minister also emphasised on the Government’s mantra of ‘minimum government, maximum governance’. He said that these days the expectation level for civil servants has risen. He also emphasised on the conducive working environment for civil servants and citizen participation. Speaking about the grievance redressal mechanism of the department, he said that now there is CPGRAMS Portal, dashboard and fixed timelines to redress the grievances of the citizens. He added that the grievances have increased about 8 fold since the year 2014. This is due to the prompt response and active mechanism for grievance redressal, he said. He also spoke about Pensions Portal, Anubhav and Jeevan Pramaan initiatives of the Department of Pensions & Pensioners’ Welfare. 

On the occasion, the Vice President released a book titled “Emulating Excellence -Takeaways for Replication, Prime Minister’s Awards – Priority Programmes 2017 & 2018 contains 9 chapters on best practices for priority programmes in which PM Awards were given on CSD, 2017 and are being given on CSD, 2018.

Earlier, the Vice President inaugurated an exhibition put up by DARPG on identified Priority Programmes and Innovations. Success stories of identified priority programmes i.e. Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Promoting Digital Payments, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana– Urban & Rural, and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana are displayed and shortlisted Innovation by Aspirational districts and Central and State organisations are also showcased. Creative works of Civil Servants including books, music, paintings etc. are showcased in the Exhibition.

Delivering the welcome address, the Secretary, DARPG, Shri K. V. Eapen said that 4 identified Priority Programmes will be given PM awards this year while two awards shall be given to organizations of Central/ State Government/Districts for innovations out of which one award will be given to an Aspirational District. The Aspirational Districts have been included in PM awards for the first time, he added. He also said that a new category of awards for Additional Secretary/Joint Secretary level officers and Director/ Deputy Secretary serving in Government of India has also been introduced this year to recognize their contribution towards bringing about transformational improvements in processes/systems. He added that highest number of applications have been received from districts for the PM awards this year. He informed that CSD2018 App has been created so that instant feedback can be given on the sessions. He also said that role of civil servants has become important since the challenges have become more complex and expectations have risen significantly. 

A film on Journey to PM-Awards was also screened during the function. In this film complete selection process of PM awards including changes made in the process during 2016, 2017 and 2018 have been showcased.

The Cabinet Secretary, Shri P. K. Sinha, Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Dr P. K. Mishra and senior officers from various ministries/departments were also present at the inaugural session.

Courtesy: pib.nic.in

Union Home Minister’s visit gives fillip to several development projects in Dadra Nagar Haveli


Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh today reiterated the government’s commitment for the development of marginalized communities and inaugurated several development projects in the Union Territory of Dadra Nagar Haveli.
Highlighting the natural advantages of beauty and greenery of Dadra-Nagar Haveli, Shri Rajnath Singh said it could be a very good destination for tourists.  In addition, because of its proximity to Mumbai, Dadra-nagar haveli has the potential to be a centre of industrial development as well as a hub for film-making as the industrial electric tariff here is very low than other states. Further, there is a single window permission system and proximity to trade routes which makess many new avenues of development possible.
The Union Home Minister informed that a campaign titled ‘Gram Swaraj Abhiyan Yojana’ has been launched coinciding with the birth anniversary of Dr. B. R.  Ambedkar on 14th April that will run until 5th May during which officials of the Central government will make field visits and monitor progress of various development schemes launched for the benefit of marginalized communities. Among these schemes are Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Ghar Yojna (Soubhagya).
Shri Rajnath Singh expressed satisfaction that so far 11,437 people have benefitted under Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana.  Further 300 more households will be added to the beneficiaries after relaxation of scheme guidelines.
He inaugurated several development projects and welfare schemes as enumerated below:
  1. Swabhiman Scheme: The Scheme aims to provide nutritious and balanced diet to pregnant women, lactating mothers and school going girls in the age group of 11-14 years.   Launching the Scheme, Shri Rajnath Singh said that it will benefit approximately 6,000  women who constitute 80 percent of the target group in Dadra-Nagar Haveli, suffering from malnutrition and anemia.
  2. Silvassa Sports Complex: Coupled with Silvasasa stadium and Sayali Cricket stadium, the new Sports Complex will encourage various sports including Swimming, Squash, Table-tennis, Snooker and Billiards on par with international standards. The Union Home Minister expressed hope that this Sports Complex, built at a cost of 6.95 crore rupees, will inculcate healthy life style and passion for sports.
  3. Labour Housing Complex (Sparsh): Under this project, 48 good quality flats (45,000 sq. m. area) at a cost of Rs. 5.5 crore were built by Omnibus Industrial Development Corporation under the CSR scheme of various industries. The Union Home minister said that the houses would alleviate  housing problem of workers coming from all over the country and contribute to the success of Make in India scheme.
  4. Sewerage System Scheme (Phase-II part-2) in Silvassa- Amli town:   He said that the scheme is aimed at providing sewage facilities for the central area as well as outskirts by establishing four pumping stations and some other works at a cost of Rs. 15.59 Crore.
  5. Expansion of sewage Treatment Plant: Under the scheme, the capacity of the existing sewage treatment plant in Silvassa-Amli will be expanded to treat 5 MLD sewage more. to cover needs of the increasing population until 2026.
  6. Expansion of Silvassa- Amli water supply scheme to meet needs of growing population upto the year 2046  at a cost of Rs. 37.61 Crores.
  7. High level Bridge at Kauncha:  Shri Rajnath Singh said, several villages including Kauncha, Jamalpada, Gunsa, Dudhani etc. do not have direct connectivity and people of these areas are suffering in times of medical emergencies.  Currently they are using a ferry boat service  which is not sufficient to meet daily travel needs of students and vehicles. The proposed high level bridge will improve connectivity to the neighbouring villages in Gujarat also by providing inter-state connectivity to Tukwada in Gujarat, Nasik, Triambhakeshwar  and Shirdi in Maharashtra.  The bridge is planned to be 900 metres long and 10.5 metre wide. It will cost Rs. 54.73 Crore.
Shri Rajnath Singh expressed confidence that these development schemes will add to the development of the region and improve the quality of life of the people.

Courtesy: pib.nic.in

Two day Regional Conference on “Urban Development: Technological Solutions and Governance Challenges” concludes in Ahmedabad today

Panelists focus on four broad areas including Institutional Issues, Resource Mobilization Strategies, Recommendations for Multilateral Financial Institutions, and Suggestions for Policy Reforms.

Two day Regional Conference on “Urban Development: Technological Solutions and Governance Challenges” concluded in Ahmedabad, Gujarat today. The Conference was organized by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India in collaboration with the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), Gujarat Council along with Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), an autonomous research organization under the Ministry of External Affairs. The Conference was the third lead-up event to the 3rd Annual Meeting of AIIB scheduled to be held on 25th and 26th June, 2018 in Mumbai. Before this Conference, two Regional Conferences have already been held at Kolkata and Vishakhapatnam on the themes of Mass Rapid Transport Systems and Port and Coastal Infrastructure respectively. In total, eight such Regional Conferences will be held on different themes at different places in the country.

Delivering the Valedictory Address at the conclusion of the aforesaid two day Conference, Dr.Y.K. Alagh, Former Union Minister of Power, Science and Technology and Chancellor, Central University of Gujarat emphasized that the policy makers must follow bottom-up approach rather than top down approach in case of urban development. He said though there is need for funding the infrastructure financing gap yet smaller towns should also be included as far as planning and development of urban infrastructure is concerned. He said that the views and suggestions of affected people, civil society and other stakeholders must be included in the process of urban planning to make it successful.


The panellists/participants in different Sessions of aforesaid two day Conference included officials from the Centre, State and the local bodies as well as representatives from the civil society, academia and multilateral financial institutions among others.

They cited several examples on what's working and what's not, and gave their expert opinion and suggestions.


Deliberations focussed on four broad categories including Institutional Issues, Resource Mobilization Strategies, Recommendations for Multilateral Financial Institutions, and Suggestions for Policy Reforms.

A detailed report will be prepared and presented during the 3rd AIIB Annual Meeting in Mumbai in the last week of June, 2018. 

Most speakers referred to the infrastructure financing gap in Asia in general and India in particular.

It was highlighted that among all the infrastructure sectors, the biggest financing gap is faced by Urban Infrastructure.

On institutional issues including those relating to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), it was pointed-out that currently urban development is happening in a haphazard manner due to horizontal spread of urban areas, resulting in inefficiencies and affecting productivity. 

Therefore it was proposed that there is a need to shift to vertical development to improve service delivery and revenues, as well as greater efficiency and productivity. However, concerns on higher energy consumption and lack of dependable electricity need to be addressed.

While the Central Government has initiated holistic urban development programs including Smart Cities, Housing for All and AMRUT etc, however, these are needed to be expedited.

It was emphasized that the New Urban Planning Agenda should incorporate elements from the UN Sustainable Development Goals and take into account the Paris Agreement on Climate Change as well. 

It was pointed-out that while big municipal corporations are better administered and efficient, small municipal corporations are inefficient due to lack of capacity in recovering taxes and user charges. Therefore, the post of a Regional Municipality Commissioners who can oversee and monitor performance of several municipalities, have been created in Gujarat recently.

Aspirational Districts/cities could catch-up with progressive cities if there are dynamic ranking mechanisms promoting competitive federalism. In this regard, there was an emphasis on pushing a Liveability Index and Sustainability Index.

Urban development needs to include social infrastructure apart from physical infrastructure. There was also a need to adopt new technologies including addressing issues of waste management among others.

Referring to the challenges in urban development, the speakers said these also relate to lack of inter-sectoral coordination due to various levels of governance with fragmented autonomy. There is a need to integrate planning and implementation agencies. There is also need to reactivate and strengthen the District Planning Committees for better coordination among urban development agencies including ULBs and other public delivery agencies at the District level. Laws relating to urban local bodies need to be amended in order to strengthen and empower them. 

Further, it was also pointed-out that technological solutions alone would not solve Governance Challenges, and that there was a need for political solutions as well.



Moving on to strategies for resource mobilization, it was mentioned that there is a huge untapped potential in Public Private Partnerships(PPPs), and that PPPs could be used effectively in areas including water treatment, solid waste management, multi-level parking and urban transport.


Other suggestions included leveraging land-based instruments, reforms in Credit Rating Mechanism, greater clarity on municipal assets as collateral, as well as the need for improving efficiency in property tax collection mechanism.


Many speakers suggested that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Real Estate Sector will increase only if there are national standards, transparency in land acquisition and land valuation among others. 

There is a need for a paradigm shift in how cities are financed. So, from largely grant funded cities, there needs to be a shift in approach to a combination of assured grants and more commercial sources of finance, and this means bringing in private players in urban infrastructure space. A major deterrent for entry of private firms in the urban sector is the commercial non-viability of many of the projects. It was recommended that there is a need to develop model transaction documents across the urban infrastructure sector. There was a also a suggestion to explore the feasibility of risk insurance to help increase private sector participation.


Besides, they suggested that urban local bodies should look into innovative resource mobilizing mechanism including issuance of municipal bonds, land pooling and land value capture. There is a need to standardize the use of land value capture finance tools so that they are used more extensively. It was also suggested that there should be a larger dialogue on the implications of debt based instruments on equity.

It was mooted that Multilateral Financial Institutions, while funding, should bring greater focus on sustainability of project through ensuring the 3Rs approach -- (Reduce, Recycle, & Reuse).Multilateral Financial Institutions should play a more active role in bridging funding gaps.



Further there should be urban based planning of industrial corridors. Housing should be an integral part of these corridors running across States. This will help in mitigating migration and decentralizing economic growth.

To address all the challenges in urban infrastructure development, it would need Strategic Long Term Planning. The future strategy for urban development should include reforms in Urban local bodies in terms of addressing 3Fs (Funds, Function and Functionaries). 

Recommendations included fiscal empowerment of urban local bodies, mechanisms to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in user fee collection, empowering the District Planning Committee, embedding authority with a professional bureaucracy, or giving the necessary powers to hire experts from market, all these following a core team approach. 

On problems relating to the lack of reliable and quality data including its adverse impact on policy planning, it was suggested that a database on urban infrastructure should be established to help in long term planning. It was also suggested that there was a need to harness technological tools like Open Data and Artificial Intelligence for continuous up-gradation. The speakers stressed on the need to create robust institutional structure and governance foundation to ensure that resources including financial resources are not wasted.


On the issue of delays in projects, it was pointed-out that the main cause is the problems relating to various permissions from all level of Governments in a hierarchical manner in States. So, for Ease of doing Business, it was suggested that there should be a tool-kit for investors on steps to be taken before, during and after investment. It was also suggested that there was need to re-engineer and restructure institutional designs and procedures, besides simplifying procedures, and changing accounting practices. It was recommended that metro cities need to be cast as the new States. 

Speakers also focused on the need to ensure an inclusive approach to urbanization. They said there was a need for public transport that works for the poor. The 'Housing for All' policy should be re-oriented from middle class towards economically weaker sections and those in informal sector.. There was a reference to the challenges in holding of property without proper land title, and it was suggested that reforms relating to the land title issue would ensure greater lending by the lending institutions.

Policy makers should have greater community engagement during the land acquisition process to have smooth acquisition. The panellists suggested that the ‘poor say’ should weigh as much as the ‘say of the financial organisations and consultants’.

Courtesy: pib.nic.in

PM to confer Awards for Excellence in Public Administration and address Civil Servants tomorrow

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will confer the Awards for Excellence in Public Administration for effective implementation of identified Priority Programs and Innovation to districts/implementing units and other Central/State organisations at Vigyan Bhawan in the capital tomorrow on April 21. He will address Civil Servants on this occasion.

PM Awards for Excellence in Public Administration have been instituted with a view to acknowledge, recognize and reward the exemplary work for citizen’s welfare by Districts & Organisations of the Central and State Governments. Four priority programs identified for the award: i) Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, ii) Promoting Digital Payments, iii) Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban & Rural, and iv) Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana. In addition, there are awards for Innovation for Central, State organisations including Districts. 11 awards for 4 identified Priority Programmes will be given this year while two awards shall be given to organizations of Central/State Government/Districts for innovations out of which one award will be given to an Aspirational district.

Prime minister will release two books on this occasion. ‘New Pathways’ is a compilation of Success stories on implementation of identified Priority Programmes & Innovations while ‘Aspirational Districts: Unlocking Potentials’ is an account of evolving strategies for transforming Aspirational Districts.

Courtesy: pib.nic.in

Translating “legislative intent” into “programmatic content” is need of the hour: Vice President

The focus has shifted to “implementation” and “innovation”;

‘Swarajya’ has to be meaningful for each Indian and, for this ‘Surajya’ is inevitable;

Inaugurates 2-day event of 12th Civil Services Day

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that translating “legislative intent” into “programmatic content” and demonstrating to the common citizens what “Surajya” actually looks like in day to day administration, the civil services have an enormous opportunity today. He was delivering the inaugural address at the 2-day event of the 12th Civil Services Day, here today. The Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (I/C), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

The Vice President said that a clean, competent, people-friendly, proactive administrative leadership is the need of the hour. He further said that ‘Swarajya’ has to be meaningful for each Indian and, for this ‘Surajya’ is inevitable. There is a need for honest introspection into the effectiveness and efficiency of our administrative structures and processes, he added.

The Vice President said that the focus has shifted to “implementation” and “innovation” and it is becoming increasingly clear that “business as usual” approach will not do. We must collectively transform India into a nation that we can all be proud of, he added.

The Vice President called on officers of Civil Services to reorient their approach to look upon themselves as catalysts of change, as facilitators of change, as inspirational leaders for an aspirational India. He further said that it is the collective responsibility of the executive, the legislature, the judiciary and the media to identify, combat and root out evils including casteism, communalism, corruption, inequality, discrimination and violence. We need to be sensitive to these unpleasant realities and try to alter them by being unbiased and evenhanded, he added.

Following is the text of Vice President’s address:

“It is indeed a great privilege to be a part of the two day celebration of Civil Services Day and address this gathering of change makers.

Today is a day of celebration, a day that reaffirmsthe competence, commitment and confidence of the civil services to make a difference to the governance landscape of our country.

I am happy to be with the officers who are being recognized for their quest for excellence. I compliment them as well as those who are engaged in similar innovative initiatives across the country.

Our country’s civil services are among the best in the world.

They constitute the best and the brightest minds of our country. 

They have the ability to absorb new information and knowledge, adapt to a rapidly changing socio-political environment and address the key challenges in contemporary society.

Many of them have the forward looking, strategic vision to guide policy formulation and the drive to make a difference in service delivery.

The essential gap today is between the grandiose conception and the ground level implementation.

There is an urgent need to re-think our existing governance paradigm.

There is a need for honest introspection into the effectiveness and efficiency of our administrative structures and processes.

It is this introspection and reflection that has made many civil servants, some of whom are getting awards today, to come up with alternative strategies for improving the system.

I wish and hope that many more civil servants would also think afresh and keep raising the bar through innovative solutions. 

After all, even for the best, there is always a possibility to become better.

And there is no better time than now.

There is an unmistakable air of buoyant optimism today.

The clarion call of the Prime Minister to “Reform, Perform and Transform” has found a rare resonance everywhere.

The focus has shifted to “implementation” and “innovation”. It is becoming increasingly clear that “business as usual” approach will not do.

Age –old institutions like the Planning Commission are being reinvented. The overarching idea is clear. We must collectively transform India into a nation that we can all be proud of.

‘Swarajya’ has to be meaningful for each Indian. And, for this ‘Surajya’ is inevitable. Nothing short of a paradigm shift in governance will be adequate.

A clean, competent, people-friendly, proactive administrative leadership is the need of the hour.

Translating “legislative intent” into “programmatic content” and demonstrating to the common citizens what “Surajya” actually looks like in day to day administration, the civil services have an enormous opportunity today, like never before, to serve the country and our people.

With the mantra of ‘Reform, Perform and Transform’ and focusing on ‘Gaon, Garib, Kisan, Mahila aur Yuva’ government has taken up several schemes and programs like Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri, Atal Pension Yojana, Sukanya Sammriddhi Yojana , Ujjwala Yojana,BetiBachao, BetiPadhao ,JAM- Direct Benefit Transfer, Mudra Yojana, Start up India, Stand Up, Skill India, , Swachh Bharat , Housing for all, Ayushman Bharat, Mission Indradhanush, Power for All, Ujala Scheme (Led’s), Make In India, Swadesh Darshan, Smart Cities, Amrut, Hriday, Namami Gange, Sagarmala, Look east, Khelo India,

Government E Market place – GEM to root out corruption in Government Procurements, GST: One Nation, One Tax and may more.

All these schemes and programmes are building blocks of a new resurgent India we wish to build, for the renaissance we are ushering in. Effective and timely implementation of these schemes and programmes are huge managerial challenge. 

We have the strength within our country to achieve results. We have only to get our act together.

As the Vedic sages have said, “Samgachadhvam”, let us walk together.

As the Prime minister has envisaged, we should work as Team India with people as the main agents of change.

We must aspire for a new India where everyone will become part in the developmental process and get the fruits of it.

Civil Services have to reorient their approach to look upon themselves as catalysts of change, as facilitators of change, as inspirational leaders for an aspirational India.

Sisters and Brothers,

This I said was a renaissance and resurgence. Probably, I should add that this is probably the second renaissance, the first one occurred when India became independent and the all India Services were established.

Modern Indian civil service initially established by the British underwent a metamorphosis after independence. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the chief architect of an integrated India and the visionary ‘Iron’ man who established the ‘steel frame’ of all India services had succinctly envisaged this metamorphosis in his stirring address to the civil service probationers at Metcalfe House in New Delhi on 21st April, 1947:

“The service will now be free to or will have to adopt its true role of national service without being trammelled by traditions and habits of the past; officers must be guided by a real spirit of service in their day-to-day administration, for in no other manner can they fit in the scheme of things.”

This is the expectation expressed by the founder of India’s civil services nearly seventy years ago. 

As we commemorate that extraordinary speech of the great legendary unifier of the country, we need to examine how far we have lived upto those expectations. 

The shift and the transformation that Sardar Patel envisaged was a shift in attitude, a shift in our behavior. 

It is a shift from doing a ‘job’ to ‘serving the people’. The job has a higher objective, a different yardstick for success. It should have ‘people’ at the centre and it should be done with a “spirit of service”.

The first is ‘empathy’. The civil service is the most visible ‘face’ of the government since citizens contact the civil servants for various services. The government’s image depends to a large extent on the image of the civil service and the manner in which it responds to people’s needs and aspirations. Empathy and courtesy at the cutting edge level can really enhance customer satisfaction. In fact, the hallmark of a well-functioning civil service is the ability to ‘serve’ the citizens with respect and alacrity.

What does this spirit of service to people entail? It necessitates, in my view, a number of attitudinal shifts. Let me mention just a few important ones.

First and foremost, it requires us to have the ‘humility’ to hear the voices of the people, the humility to learn from different people and the humility to accept if there are deficiencies.

Second is the ‘agility’, the ability to access information and knowledge and creatively apply them to new situations. Keeping our eyes and mind open and our ears and feet to the ground, we need to innovate and improvise to suit the life contexts of the people we are serving.

Third, is to re-define “accountability” and shifting the focus to ‘outcomes’ and not merely concentrating on ‘activities’. If we have to serve the people, we must know what the real concerns are and be able to address them. We must have the ability to measure our success by the tangible outcomes, by the changes we are able to bring about in the lives of our people.

In this context, it is good to recall Mahatma Gandhiji’s wise counsel:

“Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man [woman] whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him [her]. Will he [she] gain anything by it? … Then you will find your doubts and yourself melt away.”

When we talk of ‘service to people’, it is good to look at the segmentation of our society and shift our focus towards those segments of people which are marginalized and voiceless. We ought to be especially attentive to these feeble but important voices. As Dr. B.R. Ambedkar said in his speech to the Constituent Assembly on December 9, 1946:

“If we wish to preserve the Constitution in which we have sought to enshrine the principle of Government of the people, for the people and by the people, let us resolve not to be tardy in the recognition of the evils that lie across our path and which induce people to prefer Government for the people to Government by the people, nor to be weak in our initiative to remove them. That is the only way to serve the country. I know of no better.”

The evils that Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had hinted at are the social evils including casteism, communalism, corruption, inequality, discrimination and violence. These evils continue to raise their ugly heads in different parts of the country at different times. They are a blot on our country’s history. 

As leaders in country’s governance, it is the collective responsibility of the executive, the legislature, the judiciary and the media to identify, combat and root out these evils. 

We need to be sensitive to these unpleasant realities and try to alter them by being unbiased and evenhanded. This can accelerate the building of a new India, an inclusive India, an integrated India and an innovative India. Sardar Patel’s exhortation to the All India Service probationers, on April 21, 1947, to maintain utmost impartiality in administration is as relevant today as it was then. He cautioned: “A civil servant cannot afford to, and must not, take part in politics. Nor must he involve himself in communal wrangles. To depart from the path of rectitude in either of these respects is to debase public service and to lower its dignity”.

Sisters and brothers,

You, as civil servants, have been the sheet anchor of our democratic polity. You have provided the ‘continuity’ and ‘stability’ we need in governance. Now, I am happy that you are also revamping the system to induce greater ‘predictability’, ‘accountability’ and ‘agility’.

We are living in interesting times. On the one hand, we have formidable challenges, some of them seemingly intractable ones. On the other, we have new frontiers of knowledge, science and technology opening up new possibilities. You are uniquely positioned to find the best fit between the problem and ideal solutions.

This is, I realize, a constant search because the nature of the problems as well as the range of solutions keep changing very rapidly. 

But, if you keep the constitutional mandate of civil services in view and the larger picture of serving India as the overarching objective of your mission, a lot of good ideas can emerge and get translated into people-centered policies and programmes.

Sisters and Brothers,

We are an aspirational young democracy, the largest in the world and in the throes of a socio-economic transformation. We need to blend the competencies of diverse stakeholders to achieve a synergistic momentum towards inclusive growth. 

I know that many of you have been thinking and acting on these lines. India needs more of your kind. India needs a civil service that constantly refines itself and delivers the finest service at the cutting edge level effectively and efficiently.

I am glad that you are conducting a number of sessions today focused on the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Agriculture, Housing, Skilling and Digital Payments. I hope the discussions will lead to substantive recommendations which will help further advance the cause of developing strong responsive public administration and governance systems. I shall be delighted to hear of the outcomes of your deliberations.

I once again congratulate all the civil servants on their tireless efforts to make our country and our planet a better place to live and work. As our ancient sages have said “Shubhaaste Panthaanah Santu” (Let your path be full of goodness).

Thank You!

Jai Hind!”

Courtesy: pib.nic.in

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