The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi chaired the valedictory session of the Ninth Civil Services Day Programme, here and conferred the Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration. The Prime Minister exhorted the Civil Servants to utilise the great opportunity provided by the service to work for Social and Economic integration and also progress and development of the Country, on the occasion of the Ninth Civil Services Day organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms (DARPG).
The two-day event was also graced by the presence of Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions & Prime Minister’s Office; Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, Minister for Human Resource Development; Shri Rajeev Pratap Rudy, Minister for Skill Development, Entrepreneurship & Parliamentary Affairs; Shri Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Railways; and other dignitaries that included Dr. Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman, NITI Ayog and Dr. Ashok Gulati, ICRIER; Shri Nripendra Mishra, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister; Shri P.K. Misra, Additional Principal Secretary to Prime Minister; Shri Ajit Doval, National Security Adviser; Shri Arun Jha, Special Secretary, DARPG; Secretaries of the Government of India, and Chief Secretaries of States and Union Territories. Besides senior Civil Servants of the Union and State Governments/ UT Administrations, the champions who were conferred Prime Minister’s award for excellence in Public Administration in the previous years and trainee officers from various National Training Academies also attended the Conference.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi emphasised the need for work-life balance and stress free environment for the Civil Servants. He emphasised the significance of character, citing “Sheelam Param Bhushanam”. He encouraged them to share their experience with future generations to inspire them to serve the country better. He also emphasised the need to learn from the experience of the retired Civil Servants and also honour them from time to time.
The Prime Minister emphasised the need for e-Governance by which it means easy, economical and effective governance and also urged the Civil Servants to adopt the principles of ‘ART’ by which it is meant ‘Accountability, Responsibility and Transparency’. He also deliberated on the importance of Team work and social responsibility. The Prime Minister also deliberated upon the learning from the award winning best practices and their adoption and replication.
While congratulating Awardees, Dr. Jitendra Singh, the Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions & Prime Minister’s Office, opined that the Civil services Award is not only a matter of pride for the Civil Servants but also a source of inspiration for the other Civil Servants to perform in order to get recognition in their careers. On the issue of good governance to achieve real economic development, he emphasised on simplifying procedure and use of e-Governance to build the trust between Citizens and the Government.
During his welcome address, Cabinet Secretary, Shri Ajit Seth was delighted to express that this year Civil Services Day is not confined to being a one day affair and the format of the function has been revised and made more robust with addition of substantive panel discussions spread over two days on crucial subjects of importance. Moreover, the Day was celebrated not only in New Delhi, but in all State capitals and in some major districts as well, where also serious interactions, talks and related activities were undertaken on 20th and 21st April 2015. These provided an excellent opportunity to officers from different services, stationed across the country, to introspect and reflect on issues and challenges of professional concern and come up with do-able solutions to meet the challenges. Such an extended programme for the Civil Services Day is a first. This has been introduced at the suggestion of the Prime Minister and is extremely well received, particularly in the States.
Seventeen outstanding initiatives in three categories – Individual, Team and Organisation – were conferred Prime Minister’s award for excellence in Public Administration for the year 2012-13 and 2013-14, from across the country. The award includes a medal, scroll and a cash amount of Rs.1 lakh. In case of a Team, the total award money is Rs.5 lakh subject to a maximum of Rs.1 lakh per person. For the organisation, this is limited to Rs. 5 lakh.
Apart from the distribution of the awards, a book on best practices “Tomorrow is Here’ was released by the Prime Minister. An exhibition of books written by various Civil Servants along with the publications of the department on award winning initiatives over the past years was also showcased.
Shri Alok Rawat, Secretary, DARPG, proposed a vote of thanks and observed that such interventions and deliberations by all participants would inspire the Civil Services to achieve and sustain a culture of excellence in governance in coming times.
Unlike previous years, this year the Civil Services Day was held on two days. Focused on the theme ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance’. Panel discussions on Social Sector, Housing, Employment & Skill Development and Agriculture followed by the plenary session on ‘Context and Challenges of Civil Services – Way Forward’ were held. These sessions were chaired by Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, Minister for Human Resource Development; Dr Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman, NITI Ayog; Shri Rajeev Pratap Rudy, Minister for Skill Development, Entrepreneurship & Parliamentary Affairs; Dr Ashok Gulati, ICRIER; and Shri Suresh Prabhu, Minister for Railways respectively. A number of eminent speakers in the respective fields deliberated on these issues of contemporary relevance and sought to address the challenges before the Civil Services in India and re-inventing Government for efficient Public Service Delivery.
The Secretary DoPT, Sanjay Kothari reported on the field visits by the Secretaries to their first place of posting, on the suggestion of the Prime Minister. Dr. Hasmukh Adhia, Secretary (DFS) deliberated on Work-Life balance.
The day is observed by all Civil Services to rededicate and recommit themselves to the cause of the people. It provides a unique opportunity for introspection as also for working out future strategies to deal with the challenges being posed by the changing times.