PM to IAS Probationers
February 16, 2015
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""First and foremost duty of Indian Administrative Service should be to promote public interest – that is the essence of democracy""

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today urged IAS probationers to keep public interest foremost in the discharge of their official duties and responsibilities. Addressing 183 probationers, including 3 from the Bhutan Civil Service, who called on him today, the Prime Minister explained that while bureaucracy existed even during the British rule, the key difference was that officers of that era worked to perpetuate the rule of the British, while in independent India, the objective of administration should be the public interest. This is the essence of democracy, the Prime Minister added.

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Referring to the teachings of Lord Buddha, the Prime Minister motivated the probationers to "light the lamp within you" - अप्पो दीप भवः He told the probationers that it is the inherent goodness that is present in all human beings, which will be the best guide for them in their career.

The Prime Minister referred to his recent advice to all Secretaries of the Union Government to visit their first place of posting, and see what changes, if any, have happened there, even as they progressed in their careers. He told the probationers that the assured career path that the IAS offers should not make them complacent. He said they should judge themselves not by the posts they hold, but by what difference they have been able to make in the lives of the poor. The Prime Minister said many of the services offered by Government today, are also offered by the private sector. He therefore emphasized that officers handling such services in the Government, should judge the quality of their service using the yardstick of the best in that category, and even by international standards.

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In response to a question on the development of the North-East, and ending the sense of alienation in the region, the Prime Minister said that the core problem is not with policy (neeti), but with practice (reeti). He said at times, officers from other parts of the country even tried to avoid a posting in the North-East. The Prime Minister emphasized the need for infrastructure development in the North-East to improve accessibility and connectivity with other parts of India. He said once infrastructure develops, the North-East will be able to progress.

In response to another question, the Prime Minister said he is of the firm view that the 21st century will be India`s century, and India will rise to the position of "Vishva Guru." In this context, he said that the world had once again started taking note of India`s rapid economic growth rate.

In reply to a question on defence preparedness, the Prime Minister said a multi-pronged approach is essential, which involves good relations with all neighbouring countries, and a boost to domestic defence manufacturing capabilities.

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