New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today 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.
The Prime Minister was addressing civil servants on Civil Services Day. On this occasion, he also presented awards to civil servants.
Stating that the civil servants are well aware of their strengths and capabilities, challenges and responsibilities, the Prime Minister told the bureaucrats to treat Civil Services Day as a day of “rededication”.
Modi pointed out that the conditions prevailing today are quite different from what the situation was about two decades ago, and would evolve even further over the next few years. The Prime Minister said that successive governments in the past were the sole provider of goods and services, which left a lot of scope for ignoring one’s shortcomings. But now, very often, people perceive that the private sector offers better services than the Government. The Prime Minister said that with alternatives now being available in several areas, the responsibilities of Government officers have increased. what has added up is not in terms of scope of work, but in terms of the challenge which should be treated as an opportunity.
The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of competition while stating tha brings about qualitative change. He said that the government should be perceived as an enabler and not a regulator/
The Prime Minister said that while 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.
The Prime Minister urged senior officers to ensure that experience does not become a burden that stifles innovation of younger officers.
Narendra Modi said that anonymity is one of the greatest strengths of the civil services. He cautioned officers regarding the use of social media and said that it should not lead to a decline in strength, even as social media and mobile governance are leveraged for connecting people to benefits and government schemes.
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 transformation is enabled by people’s participation.
Underscoring 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.