Prime Minister Narendra Modi today revealed that he actually wanted to be a bureaucrat but could not become one as could not go to coaching classes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today revealed that he actually wanted to become a bureaucrat to serve the people.
Addressing civil servants during Civil Service Day, he said he could not become a bureaucrat as he did not get the chance “to attend coaching”.
He was obviously referring the high-fee coaching classes that many attend before taking a shot at the civil service examinations conducted by the UPSC.
Modi was referring the high-fee coaching classes that many attend before taking a shot at the civil service examinations conducted by the UPSC
As many bureaucrats and civil servants cheered him, he said had he become a bureaucrat he could have served as the rank of a director after serving the people for 16 years.
“It is my good luck that I am in public service for the past 16 years…I did not get the chance to attend coaching,” he said as bureaucrats applauded his lost chance.
He then turned to Nripendra Misra, principal secretary in the PMO — who was sitting on the dais— and asked him what rank he would have reached after 16 years in service.
“Deputy Secretary? Director,” he said, after consulting Misra. “So I should have come in the director category.” And there was another round of laughter.
As the laughter subsided, Modi took a swipe at bureaucrats. He said there had been several committees and commissions on administrative reforms, comprising officers from central and state governments. “But all those who made all these reports, they must not have read them completely,” he said.
“I feel that those working in this system have enormous experience. What you (bureaucrats) have, the kind of suggestions you have, no reform can be bigger than that. But we don’t value this (experience),” the Prime Minister said.
Earlier, in his address, he asked bureaucrats to keep away from cell phones during meetings. Modi said he has already banned cell phones at his meetings.
The ban has been for quite some time, but that was in the realm of speculation. However, the confirmation came today. Modi said he had banned mobile phones from his meetings because officers had attention deficit during the important meetings. This is because the officers often were found glancing at social media sites in the midst of important official discussions.
Modi had earlier banned cell phones during cabinet meetings and speculation was then rife that it was because he did not want decisions to be leaked out. But the real reason is that he wanted the full attention of all his ministers. Cell phones, Modi feels, is sometimes a great distraction.
Said Modi: “I see these days that district-level officers are so busy, busy, that most of their time goes into it (social media). I have stopped the entry (of mobile phones) in my meetings as they (officers) would take them out and start (checking out social media sites).”
Going further, he said social media should be used for the welfare of the people and not for self-praise or to win `likes,’ followers or appreciation.
But, at the same time, he was also all praise for cell phones and social media. The world was moving from e-governance to mobile-governance, he said and added that the best equipment (cell phones) needed to be used for the welfare of people. Social media sites are helpful when they are used for spreading information about the good work being done.
“If I am informing the people about dates of polio vaccination through social media, saying that they should come out on a particular date for the vaccination, then it (social media) is helpful. But if during vaccination-related work, I am praising my own photograph on Facebook, then it puts a question mark (on the work done by civil servants),” he pointed out.
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