Kevadia, Nov 3: Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh has said that in recent years there has been a sort of “democratisation” of Civil Services and other avenues due to technology driven accessibility to preparatory material which has, of late, enabled even the aspirants from remotest parts of India to make it to IAS and other All India Services.
This new trend will have a bearing on our future as well, said the Minister. Technology has been the biggest leveller, with mobile phone and internet penetrating the countryside and everybody gaining access to knowledge, he said.
“The demography of the entire Civil Services has changed, – you have now toppers from Punjab, Haryana, even three girls this year, all of them from North India, earlier it was confined to a handful of States,” said Dr Jitendra Singh.
The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space was addressing the IAS Probationers at the 98th Foundation Course of Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), bringing together 560 Officer Trainees from 16 Civil Services of India and 3 Civil Services of Bhutan, being conducted at Kevadiya, Gujarat.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, in the last 9-10 years, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has “cautiously introduced” fundamental changes in Governance and the grooming of Civil Servants. Symbolically, “PM Modi has moved India out of Delhi” and many events are now being organised across the country, he said.
“So, this is a kind of a new dimension, and I think it’s very much in keeping with the world order today… We have to live up to the global benchmarks and the global parameters,” he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that the focus of the Government, under the leadership of PM Modi, has been on transparency, accountability and in-time delivery of services by the Government.
“PM Modi has stressed that the age of working in silos is over and today it is the ‘Whole of Government’ approach,” he said.
India’s Vaccine Success story and Covid management, Chandrayaan and Aditya-L1 solar missions or the SVAMITVA Land Mapping scheme are best examples of the Government, Scientific Laboratories, Academia, Startups and Industry, all pooling their resources to achieve success.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, Civil Services officers have to turn into instruments of public service delivery of the Government’s citizen centric schemes.
The DoPT Minister said that the three-month mandatory stint of new IAS Officers with the Central Ministries / Departments was a visionary idea by PM Modi in 2015 to expose them to the top echelons of the Government at the commencement of their training.
“Assistant Secretaries are expected to give their inputs for improvement in various Flagship Programmes in different Ministries/Departments of Government of India. This not only gives them an opportunity to demonstrate their skill and talent but also an opportunity to make a presentation before the Prime Minister of India, which is an opportunity that might have eluded their senior batches,” he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that the posting of Assistant Secretaries in Government of India had been introduced, primarily with two objectives. First, that the young officers could get an exposure of the working in Government of India instead of going straight to the State Government. Secondly, it also helps in enabling the newly selected IAS officers to find their mentors and anchors among their seniors in the Union Government, to whom they can reach out at time of need.
“These young officers are privileged because before beginning their posting, they get an opportunity of meeting the senior Secretaries and Ministers in the Government of India, whereas their seniors from earlier years would sometimes never get such an opportunity throughout their career and even if they got an opportunity like this, it would be much later in career during their term of deputation to the Centre,” he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, the role of Indian Administrative Service has evolved over time, – having descended from the colonial British era “Indian Civil Services” to the present day IAS. The basic difference is that while the district head during British rule was described as ‘Collector’ who was expected to raise revenue for the Empire, in Independent India he is known as ‘District Development Commissioner’ and is expected to generate revenue for the welfare State, he said.
“With the change of times, with the change of priorities, the accountability having increased, transparency has gone up manifold, technology taking up many of what was not there earlier on, it has to be inevitably evolving all the time,” he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the entire concept and format of the PM Excellence Awards has undergone a revolutionary change after 2014. The objective of the Scheme is to encourage constructive competition, innovation, replication and institutionalisation of best practices.
The process and selection of PM’s Excellence Award have been institutionalised and now this is based on the performance of the district, rather than that of the District Collector or individual civil servant. He said, another improvisation brought is to assess the scale and rating of the implementation of Flagship Schemes in the district.
Referring to the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Modi government amended it after 30 years in 2018 with an aim to punish bribe givers for the first time. At the same time, provisions have been made to provide adequate safeguards to the honest officers who are performing their task with integrity, he said.
“In order to give a work friendly environment, it is equally a responsibility of the government so that we can have the best of the potential of the officers,” he said.
Lauding NBSAA for devising the Foundation Training Module as the 5th edition, AARAMBH 5.0 , Dr Jitendra Singh said, the theme of “Harnessing the power of disruption” is apt as these young officers should be able to delineate the disruptions that continue to reshape the present and the future and to define pathways to harness the power of disruption in the realm of governance, for Inclusive Development.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, PM Modi turned Swachhata into a mass movement. “Can you imagine,the Special Campaign 3.0 earned Government a revenue of Rs. 500 crore just by sale of office scrap,” he said.
Describing them as torch bearers of PM Modi’s Vision, Dr Jitendra Singh said, this generation of IAS officers will be privileged to be the architects of Viksit Bharat@2047 when the country celebrates its Centenary of Independence.
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