Speaking on the 11th Civil Services Day in Delhi today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the gathered of distinguished bureaucrats to change their mindset and work on the current mechanism and effect a transformation. “With changing times, a need may arise that we may have to change our working style. From regulator, we need to be an enabling entity,” PM Modi said even as government officials listened with rapt attention. However, PM suddenly started talking about an issue that had everyone sitting up. Even as he was pitching for the need of effective and qualitative work in government offices that created tangible benefits on the ground, PM Modi highlighted a habit that he had seen bureaucrats indulge in that may well hinder them working at their efficient best. PM Modi said, “I see officers, ‘busy, busy’ with their mobiles. So I have banned usage of mobiles in meetings.” As could be seen, the statement had an immediate impact on the gathering.
Getting back to the main agenda of inspiring bureaucrats to shed old habits and adopt a role in which they become ‘enablers’, PM Modi said that now is the time for out-of-the-box thinking and taking some confident decision towards the welfare of the citizens.
However, this is not the first time PM Modi has targetted mobile phones. Even in the past, he has banned the usage of mobile phones, even in Cabinet meetings! However, the decision was reportedly aimed at preventing leak of any sensitive information about meetings, government policy and also to ensure cyber security threats do not cause problems. As per a report published by India Today website, Central Secretariat had issued a circular after it received a direction of the PMO in this regards. The Secretariat had then asked all the private secretaries to inform their ministers about the decision that ‘smartphones/mobile phones henceforth will not be allowed inside meeting venues of cabinet/cabinet committees.’
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Speaking at the event today, PM Modi also said that all government officials should take decisions that are in national interest and also make collective ownership to bring change. He said, “Don’t take decisions which are not beneficial in the long run or offer just a temporary fix to the issues. It is important to very important for us to make ourselves relevant in changing times or else, we will become obsolete.”
As per India Today report, PM Modi, since coming into power in 2014, has stressed on the need of efficient work mechanism and has made several changes aimed at increasing the output from government offices especially based on the digital format.