PM Modi asks civil servants to prioritise ‘Nation First’

‘Nation First’ should inform all decisions: Modi

April 21, 2022 02:33 pm | Updated April 22, 2022 07:24 am IST - New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the valedictory session and awards ceremony on the occasion of 15th Civil Services Day, in New Delhi, Thursday, April 21.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the valedictory session and awards ceremony on the occasion of 15th Civil Services Day, in New Delhi, Thursday, April 21. | Photo Credit: R. V. Moorthy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the civil servants’ prime responsibility was the unity and integrity of the country, on which there could not be any compromise.

“Wherever we are in the system, our prime responsibility is the unity and integrity of the country, there cannot be any compromise. Even local decisions should be measured on this touchstone. Every decision of ours should be evaluated on its capacity to provide strength to the country’s unity and integrity. ‘Nation First’ should always inform our decisions,” the Prime MInister said at a Civil Services Day event.

Mr. Modi said government functionaries should be committed to three goals: bringing a positive change in the life of common people, taking decisions in the global context, and strengthening the country’s unity and integrity.

Stating that there should be a change in the life of the common people, their life should be easy and they should also be able to feel this ease, Mr. Modi said: “Taking the dreams of the common man to a level of resolve is the responsibility of the system. This sankalp (resolve) should be taken to siddhi (completion) and that should be the goal for all of us. We should be there to handhold at every stage in this journey of sapna (dream), to sankalp to siddhi.”

He said given the growing stature and changing profile of India, it was imperative that schemes and governance models were developed in the global context adding that they needed to be updated regularly.

Mr. Modi, who also conferred the Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration, suggested that all training academies could virtually share the process and experiences of the award winners on a weekly basis. Of the award-winning projects, one scheme could be chosen for implementation among few districts and the experience discussed in the next year’s Civil Service Day.

He said during the ongoing “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”, the administrators could invite all the past district administrators and benefit from the contributions made by them.

“The great culture of India, our country is not made of royal systems and royal thrones. The tradition that we have for thousands of years has been a tradition of carrying on the strength of the common man,” he said, adding that this reflected the county’s spirit of accepting change and modernity while preserving its ancient wisdom.

Exhorting the officers to go beyond the beaten path and think out of box, Mr. Modi said reforms in governance should be the natural stance, experimentative and in keeping with the times. “We should not be governed by the regulations and mentality that emerged in the period of scarcity, we should have an attitude of abundance. Similarly, we should anticipate rather than just react to the challenges,” he said.

He asked the officers to implement key reforms like “Swachha Bharat” and “Digital India” in their personal lives to help bring about a behavioural change in the system.

The Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration-2021 for innovation went to the Education Department in Gujarat, Agriculture Department-Ladakh, Department of Defence Production, Departments of Land Resources, West Champaran, Bihar, and Bongaigaon, Assam; and for seamless end-to-end service delivery without human intervention to Karnataka; New Delhi Municipal Council.

Under the PM Svanidhi Yojana category, Varanasi in U.P. and Anantnag in Jammu & Kashmir were adjudged winners; while for the one-district-one-product category, the award went to Darbhanga in Bihar and Siddharthnagar in Uttar Pradesh; for Poshan Abhiyaan to Kumuram Bheem Asifabad, Telangana, and Datia in Madhya Pradesh; and for the “Khelo India” scheme to Churu in Rajasthan and Bishnupur in Manipur.

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