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'Change in working style': Modi's Civil Service Day message to bureaucrats

Shemin Joy, Deccan Herald News Service, NEW DELHI, Apr 21 2017, 17:17 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Press Trust of India file photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Press Trust of India file photo

Calling for change in working style, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked bureaucrats to get out of regulator mode and become enablers to ensure that every policy implementation becomes outcome centric.

Addressing the Civil Service Day celebrations, Modi also said he has a “bit of extra” political will to carry out reforms assured bureaucrats that he would stand by them when they take decisions with good intentions.

At the same time, he asked bureaucrats to neither fall for “self-projection” nor allow oneself to be a prisoner of their own experience.

“With changing times, a need may arise that we may have to change our working style. From regulator, we need to be an enabling entity. With quantum jump in work, there must also be a qualitative change,” Modi told civil servants at the function where he emphasised the need for an “outcome centric” policy formulation and its implementation.

Referring to people looking at options beyond the government in sectors from healthcare to aviation in the past 15 years, he said changing trends in the last few years have altered the dynamics. Competition can play a big role in bringing a qualitative change, he added.

Amid complaints that regulators like Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) create fear psychosis among bureaucrats, he said quick decisions are not always taken with bad intentions. “You should take decisions quickly but with honesty,” he said adding, “something momentary may happen but I am with you.”

"Political will can reform but bureaucracy performs and public participation transforms. We have to bring them in one wavelength," Modi said adding, "to reform, political will is needed. I do not lack it and may be having a bit extra."

Advising them their experience should not become a burden, the Prime Minister said, "we have to bring them on one wavelength and when we run these three (political will, performance by bureaucracy and public participation) on one wavelength, then we get good results.”

However, he said hierarchy remains an issue and this is something which was inherited from colonial rulers and that was not left behind in Mussoorie, where the civil servants undergo training.

Modi also did not find it good for two government departments fighting each other in courts on issues, asking whether it was ego or failure of the civil service. He said such litigations are actually depriving common people of court's time.

He also pointed out that e-governance, m-governance and social media are good means to reach out to the people and for their benefits.

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