The Vice President of India,Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu today expressed concern over the disturbing instances of atrocities against women and said that it was time for society as a whole to introspect and ponder over the erosion of values. He called for the collective efforts of the society to ensure that Indian values and culture of respecting women, elders and all fellow human beings were restored.
Addressing the valedictory function of the 94th Foundation Course of the officers of the All India Services and Central Civil Services at the Dr. MarriChanna Reddy Human Resources Development Institute (MCRHRDI) in Hyderabad today, Shri Naidu expressed anguish over the recent incidences of rape and violence against women in Hyderabad, Unnao and other parts of the country.
He opined that bringing a new bill or changing the act was not the only solution. He stressed upon the need to implement existing provisions by exercising the political will and administrative skill to eradicate evils in the society.
The Vice President advised police departments to be prompt in ensuring that every complaint or grievances brought to their notice was registered. He stressed the need to conclude inquiry, prosecution, and trial in a time bound manner to make sure that the justice was delivered on time. He said there must be both “fear and respect” for the law of the land.
Shri Naidu also asked teachers and educational Institutes to teach children to respect elders, women and learn cultural ethos, values of Indian civilization as part of their education.
Stating that the pace with which India would progress largely determined by how efficiently the officers manage and deliver critical development projects, Shri Naidu stressed that the most important role of translating “Swarajya” to “Surajya” was at the hands of officers. He stressed that it would be possible only if governance became corruption free, citizen-centric and business-friendly.
The Vice President asked civil servants and officers to ensure that policy interventions of governments were translated into tangible outcomes at the grassroots level. He urged them to strive hard to create a society where all citizens enjoy equal opportunity and fruits of development reach the most deserving section of society.
Shri Naidu said that that being objective, impartial, honest, and vision of national integration and inclusive development was the first step towards becoming an effective, responsive civil servant.
Talking about the role and contribution of Sardar Patel, the Vice President said that civil service was created as a unifying force to bring together diverse groups in the country’s journey towards inclusive development.
“In a multi-lingual, multi-religious, pluralistic society like India, this is the most vital requirement. Unity and integrity of our country must be the prime consideration in deciding our policies and actions,” he said.
Stating that Sardar Patel dreamt of an administrative set up that would zealously fight poverty and bridge the many divides that tend to weaken our nation, Shri Naidu asked officers to undertake the task of further nurturing and fortifying India’s modern economy, democratic polity and safeguarding the culture.
Shri Naidu said that officers must strive to improve digital literacy and move to more efficient service delivery systems like Direct Benefit Transfer, leveraging the possibilities of Information Technology.
He wanted them to take initiatives to address the challenges of poverty, unemployment, inequality, discrimination, environmental degradation and social evils such as casteism, gender discrimination, and violence.
Asking the young officers to treat every person with respect and empathy, ensuring that they get the dignity they deserve. Shri Naidu also wanted officers to learn the local language and interact with common people in their own language.
Around 140 All India Services and Central Civil Services Officers representing 23 States were present at the event. They belong to 15 Services, including IPS, IFS, IRS (IT), IRS (Customs & Central Excise), IRTS, ISS, IES, etc.
Following is the full text of speech-
“I am delighted to be here today at the DrMarriChanna Reddy Human Resources Development Institute (MCRHRDI) of Telangana for the Valedictory Function of the 94th Foundation Course and to interact with the officers of the All India Services and Central Civil Services.
At the outset, let me congratulate all the 140 All India Services and Central Civil Services Officers present here, who represent 23 States of India, for having made it to one of the most prestigious and promising careers that this country can offer.
I am told that officers, who attended the 100 day long 94th Foundation Course, belong to 15 Services, including IPS, IFS, IRS (IT), IRS (Customs & Central Excise), IRTS, ISS, IES etc.
I am very happy to note that one of the unique characteristics of the 94th FC was a 5-week common Foundation Course for all the Officer Trainees of the batch, which was a first-of-its-kind initiative in its own right. I am told that it included a Himalayan Trek, Village Visit and stay at the LalBahadurShastri National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie.
Such a common Foundation Course was much needed to develop brotherhood and understanding between officers so that later on, they function seamlessly as a team in the field. The village visit would certainly give the officers a good understanding about rural life.
Dr MCR HRD Institute deserves great appreciation for designing a comprehensive approach towards training, by including not just academic inputs but also a number of outdoor and extra-curricular to enable Officers Trainees to develop a much broader, comprehensive vision.
My dear young Officers,
Today you complete your Foundation Course and enter the next crucial phase of your in-service training.
You will soon join the ranks of the higher echelons of the Civil Service of our country, conceived by India’s first Home Minister, Sardar Patel as the “steel frame of India”.
You will undertake the task of further nurturing and fortifying India’s modern economy, democratic polity and for safeguarding our culture.
The Civil Service that Sardar Patel dreamt of, was an administrative set up that would zealously fight poverty and bridge the many divides that tend to weaken our nation.
A Civil Servant, like all of us Indians, owes allegiance to the Constitution and consequently has a fundamental duty to strive hard to create a just society with equal opportunity for all citizens.
As SardarVallabhbhai Patel put it so beautifully in his stirring address to civil service probationers at Metcalf House in New Delhi on 21 April 1947:
“Officers must be guided by a real spirit of service in their day-to-day administration, for in no other manner can they fit in the scheme of things
Your predecessors were brought up in the traditions in which they felt out of touch and kept themselves aloof from the common run of the people. It will be your bounden duty to treat the common men in India as your own or to put it correctly, to feel yourself to be one of them.”
This lofty ideal is what the Civil Servants in independent India have striven for, over the last 70 years.
You are inheritors this illustrious legacy. The government and the people of this country expect you to add further glowing chapters to this chronicle.
The civil service was created as a unifying force that would bring together diverse groups in the country’s journey towards inclusive development. In a multi-lingual, multi-religious, pluralistic society like India, this is the most vital requirement. Unity and integrity of our country must be the prime consideration in deciding our policies and actions.
Being objective, honest, impartial and having a broad vision of national integration and inclusive development is the first step towards becoming an effective, responsive civil servant.
Today, after 70 years on independence, India has a number of socio-economic and political achievements to its credit.
But we also still suffer from formidable challenges of poverty, unemployment, inequality, discrimination, environmental degradation and social evils such ascasteism, gender discrimination and violence.
We have miles to go before we can confidently say that we have achieved the lofty goals of inclusive and sustainable development.
The pace with which India will progress is largely determined by how efficiently officers such as you will manage and deliver critical development projects.
You have the most important role of translating “Swarajya” to “Surajya”.
In other words, it is your responsibility to ensure that the fruits of development reach each citizen and each person in this country must feel that there is a perceptible improvement in their quality of life.
This is possible only if governance becomes corruption free, citizen-centric and business friendly.
You are all aware of a number of systemic reforms being introduced by the government to ensure that citizens are not inconvenienced and businesses are facilitated, particularly for the improvement of delivery systems.
We have quite a few progressive legislations, policies and programs today.
These policy interventions must be translated into tangible outcomes at the grassroots level.
I am hopeful that each one of you will excel in delivering outstanding results in every project that you undertake.
My dear young officers,
It is a matter of concern that the Civil Service still carries many features of the colonial system of governance. In the colonial system, the ruler was the master and those who were ruled were treated as the servants.
However, in the independent India, the ruler should be the servant of the people.
As our beloved Prime Minister, Sri NarendraModi, calls himself the PradhanSevak of the people, all of you are ‘pramukhsevaks’ of the people. That is the spirit of ‘seva’ you must imbibe. That is the touch-stone of your success.
But how many of the bureaucrats genuinely think of themselves as sevaks? There is, therefore, a pressing need to change the focus of the Civil Services and look upon people as partners in development and not as suspicious opponents.
Each one of you is an ambassador of the government. Very often, you are the interface between the government and people. You must treat every person who comes before you with respect and empathy, ensuring that they get the dignity they deserve.
Your job is much larger in scope and scale than just disposing files. Your job is to take critical decisions that will positively impact the lives of the common man. Therefore, always look at matters with a compassionate and empathetic eye.
You must also strive to interact with people in the official languages of their own states. Only then will you be able to understand them and they will be able to appreciate your work.
My dear sisters and brothers,
In keeping with the principle of reform, perform, and transform, the Government has taken several measures to reform bureaucracy.
Some of the innovative initiatives include push for the lateral entry of domain experts, induction of the 360 degree appraisal format, introduction of biometric attendance in government offices, zero tolerance for corruption, experiments with the time-tested recruitment rules of civil servants, cultivation of a new work ethic, etc.
I am of the firm belief that the bureaucracy needs to be more outcome-oriented.
To transform India into a developed nation, we need to work with the guiding principle of ‘minimum government and maximum governance’ with a singular focus on improving the quality of life of people in general and the weaker sections in particular.
I call upon young Officers to learn from the best practices within and outside India, from both the private as well as the public sector, and strive to reform the procedures, systems, and organization structure, wherever required, for producing outstanding results. You must also strive to improve digital literacy and move to more efficient service delivery systems like Direct Benefit Transfer, leveraging the possibilities of Information Technology.
However, it is observed that many of the officers work in their watertight compartments.
It is, therefore, advisable that they work together in unison, complementing and supporting each other with their specific domain experiences in order to attain higher levels of productivity through synergy.
Merely changing systems, procedures and organization structure is not enough to deliver outcomes. There should be corresponding changes in your thinking and functioning.
Please remember that unless we change how we think, we will not be able to change what we do.
Also always uphold the guiding principles that form the bedrock of the higher civil services in the country, the principles of ‘empathy’, ‘efficiency’, ‘impartiality’ and ‘Incorruptibility’.
I urge the Officers to always maintain a spotless track record of honesty and efficiency. This can be achieved through better transparency and accountability at all levels.
I am sure the maximum use of e-governance initiatives of the Government will be instrumental in achieving a higher level of transparency at all levels.
I must also say that training should not be a routine event but an opportunity for you to master some new knowledge, skills and become a passionate life-long learner, always willing to learn, absorb and act.
The Officers must attend training programs at different points of their professional career in order to update their skill sets.
Never let complacency take over. Keep acquiring new knowledge and continue improving your skills so that you may grow personally and help the nation grow as well.
I would like to take this opportunity to compliment DrMarriChanna ReddyHRD Institute for taking shape as one of the best academies for training public servants in India
My best wishes for each of the Officer Trainees for a bright future ahead in service of the nation.