Thursday, June 05, 2014

Modi’s heart-to-heart talk with bureaucrats, assures accessibility

New Delhi; A much awaited meeting between prime minister Narender Modi and about a 100 central government secretaries on Wednesday evening last two-and-half hours turned out to be a major bonding session between the head of the government and the administrative top brass.
Interestingly, the officers seemed to have to opened their hearts out to Modi, who comes to his new job with the reputation that he trusts bureaucrats to get his work done. According to an official press release which came two hours after the meeting ended was quite revealing. It said, “Shri Modi empathized with the sentiment expressed by the Secretaries, and their anguish in not being able to realize their true potential because of circumstances.” The prime minister has assured them that they are the master-builders of the country’s bright future.
While the officers spoke about their problems – it is not clear whether they referred to political, including ministerial interference – Modi spoke to them of the need to streamline administrative procedures and processes and dump some of the archaic practices. “He (Modi) also encouraged the officers to take decisions and assured them that he would stand by them,” says the official release about the meeting. He also told them that he would always be open to meet them and discuss with them their ideas and inputs. “The Prime Minister said that he was accessible to all officers and encouraged them to approach him with their inputs and ideas.”
Modi emphasised the need to use technology to respond to citizens’ grievances and made it clear that this was most essential. He said that technology will enable officers to address the problems of the people, and that it also helped in better coordination between the departments.
The prime minister has offered to given an account of what he was doing: “Modi offered that he would always be ready to give an account of the work being done by him. The senior bureaucrats echoed this sentiment and welcomed a similar standard of accountability.”
It is quite likely that Modi will continue to interact with the bureaucrats, but with smaller groups that the officers will have an opportunity to make a presentation of their ideas.
The official press release said that such a meeting between the prime minister and the top bureaucracy has taken place after a lapse of eight years.

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