Our decisions should always reflect the notion of 'Nation First': PM Modi

Published By : Admin | April 21, 2022 | 22:56 IST
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“India @100 can’t be routine. This 25-year period should be seen as a unit and we should have a vision from now onwards itself. This year’s celebration should be a watershed.”
“There should be a change in the life of the common people in the country, their life should be easy and they should also be able to feel this ease”
“We should be there to handhold at every stage in the common man’s journey of Sapna (dream) to Sankalp (resolve) to Siddhi (completion) ”
“If we don’t follow the activities at the global level, it will be very difficult to ascertain our priorities and focus area. We need to develop our schemes and governance models keeping this perspective in mind”
“It is the duty of the government system to nurture, unleash and support the capability of the society”
“Reform in governance should be our natural stance”
“‘Nation First’ should always inform our decisions”
“We should not be governed by the regulations and mentality that emerged in the period of scarcity, we should have an attitude of abundance”
“I am not of the temperament of Rajniti but I am naturally incline to Janniiti”

My cabinet colleagues Dr. Jitendra Singh, P.K Mishra ji, Rajiv Gauba ji, Shri V.Srinivasan ji and all the members of the civil service present here and other colleagues joining this program virtually from across the country and ladies and gentlemen! Best wishes to all the Karma Yogis on Civil Services Day. Many congratulations to friends who have received these awards today as well as to their entire team and to the states they belong to.

But this habit of mine is not good. I don't congratulate without any purpose. Can we take up some issues? There are some issues in my mind that you should weigh in as per your administrative system and not follow hastily. There are several training institutes related to civil services which are scattered across the country, whether it is the external affairs ministry, police department, revenue department etc. The award winners should spend at least one or one-and-a-half hours every week and give a virtual presentation to all the trainees regarding their concepts (for civil services), their preparation and the problems faced by them. If there is a question-answer session between two award winners and the trainees every week, I think the new generation will benefit a lot from their practical experiences. It will also give pleasure to achievers to be associated with this work. Gradually, there will be innovations and new additions. Secondly, the 16 colleagues who have been awarded should select one scheme for the 16 districts they represent. Make somebody an in-charge and deliberate how to implement that scheme in three or six months. For example, if there are 20 districts that have selected one particular scheme. There should be a virtual summit with the people in charge of that scheme in all the 20 districts and find out which district fared better in implementing that scheme. It should be institutionalized so that it should become the character of all the districts. There can also be a competition on One Scheme, One District. When you meet after a year, there should be a debate on that scheme. It is not necessary that there should be awards for this. But it should be discussed how the winners of 2022 have implemented that scheme. I think it should be institutionalized. I have seen that this is the nature of the government that as long as something is not put on record, it does not move forward. Therefore, sometimes, an institution has to be set up to institutionalize something. So, if need be, this system should also be created. Otherwise, what will happen is that there are some people who decide to achieve something in their life and they expend their minds 365 days into it. There are some who achieve their feat and get awards also. But there are many others who are left behind. There should not be such shortcomings. There should be an environment of healthy competition. If we think something in that direction, then maybe we can bring the change that we want.

Friends,

I have been holding these exchanges with colleagues like you for the last 20-22 years. It used to be in a smaller form when I was the Chief Minister. But now it has expanded since I became Prime Minister. As a result, I learn something from you and I am also able to share my thoughts with you. These exchanges have become a good means of communication, a kind of tradition with you. Though I had some difficulty in meeting you in person during Corona, otherwise, I always try to meet you personally, to learn from you, understand from you and, if possible, try to adopt them as well in my personal life or try to introduce them in the systems. This is one process that takes us forward. There is always an opportunity to learn from somebody. Everybody has the potential to offer something or the other. And if we develop that habit then we feel like accepting it naturally.

Friends,

This is not a routine event. I consider it special, because this event is happening at a time when the country is celebrating the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence, the 75th year of independence. Can we do one thing? There are some things that naturally spark new enthusiasm. For example, you can invite all the people who worked as the head of the district in the last 75 years during this Amrit Mahotsav of Independence. Some may be alive, some may not be. They will also feel better to be back after 30-40 years and reminisce about their time. Those who had worked in that district 30 or 40 years ago would return with renewed energy. Someone might have become cabinet secretary of the country who earlier worked in that district. I think we should work in that direction. This thought came to mind because there used to be either Godbole ji or Deshmukh ji. I forgot the name. He was the cabinet secretary. He spent his life in blood donation campaigns after his retirement. Once he came to Gujarat for a similar campaign. There used to be Bombay State when I met him. Maharashtra and Gujarat were not separate then. He told me that he was a district collector in Banaskantha and after Maharashtra was formed he went to the Maharashtra cadre. Later, he joined the Indian government. Upon hearing this, I immediately felt connected with him. So, I asked him what the time was like in the Banaskantha cadre and how he used to work. Some things may appear small, but their potential is huge, and sometimes it is very important to bring life to the monotonous system. Systems should be alive and dynamic. When we meet elderly people, we get to know how the systems were developed in their time. They teach us a lot about the background information and whether to continue with the same tradition or introduce changes. I would like you to hold a function by inviting all the previous collectors of your district during the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence. It will be a new experience for your district. Similarly, a state chief minister should call a meeting with all the previous chief secretaries. The Prime Minister should also hold a meeting with all the previous cabinet secretaries. There are many flag-bearers of civil services, who may be alive today, and have contributed to the country. Civil service is a gift by Sardar Patel in this journey of 75 years of independence. Remembering and honoring them in this Amrit Mahotsav of Independence will be like honoring the entire civil services. I would like to dedicate these 75 years of the journey by glorifying them and moving forward with a new consciousness. We can make efforts in this direction.

Friends,

This Amrit Kal is not only glorifying the last seven decades. It would have been a routine affair when we marched from the 60s to 70s and then to the 75s. But India at 100 in 2047 can’t be a customary routine. This Amrit Mahotsav should be a watershed moment when we should consider the next 25 years as a unit and not in bits. India at 100 Vision should percolate down to districts. What should your district look like after 25 years? Make a detailed list of what all needs to be achieved and, if possible, paste that list in district offices. There will be a new inspiration and new enthusiasm. There should be multiplier activities to uplift the district. In the last 75 years, we have moved ahead with the goals to take our state, our country, to a particular position. Where should we take our districts to during India at 100? There should be an endeavor to make your district number one in India. There should not be any sphere where your district should lag. No matter how much your district is plagued with natural problems, your endeavor should be to accomplish that goal. If we move ahead with this inspiration, dream and pledge and make concerted efforts, it can be an inspiration for civil services.

Friends,

Every Indian is looking at you with hope and there should be no dearth in your efforts in realizing it. We need to reiterate the inspiration, message and resolve of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. We have to commit ourselves to that resolve and have to move forward from here. We are in a democratic system and we should have three goals clearly before us and I believe that there should be no compromise in that. It can’t be only three goals; there can be other goals as well. But I want to cover only three goals today. Firstly, for whom do we run the systems in the country, the budget that we spend and the status that we get? Why? What is this hard work for? Therefore, our first goal should be to bring a change in the life of the common man in the country, his life should be comfortable and he should also realize it. The common citizens of the country should not have to struggle for their normal life and everything should be easily available to them. This goal should always be our top priority. The direction of our efforts should be to convert the dreams of the common man of the country into a resolution. It is the responsibility of the system to create a positive atmosphere so that his dreams turn into reality. We should be with them as a colleague and handhold them till their dreams are realized. Whatever we can do to improve the ease of living, we must do that. If I talk about the second goal, it’s about globalization. We have been hearing the word globalization for the last several decades. Earlier, maybe, India used to see these things from afar. But today the situation is somewhat different. Today the position of India is changing and it is the need of the hour to do everything in the global context. How do we reach the top of the world? We need to understand what is happening in the world. Therefore, we need to identify the areas and make a comparative study to move forward. We have to formulate our plans and the models of our governance with this resolve. We should keep ensuring that there should always be innovation and modernity in our efforts. We cannot determine the strength of the next century from the attitudes of the last century and the policies of the last century. Earlier, if it took 30-40 years to bring about change in our systems, policies and in our traditions, we have to now keep pace with the rapidly changing world. That is my opinion. If I talk about the third goal, which I keep on reiterating, the civil services should also see to it that it does not get lost. In whatever position we may be, it is our prime responsibility that we should not compromise on the unity and integrity of the country. Whatever decision that we make at the local level, no matter how attractive it may appear to be or laudable, it should be ensured that such a decision does not become an obstacle to the country’s unity and integrity. It may appear good today, but it should be worth it. Mahatma Gandhi always stressed that. Let’s follow him. Discarding negativity, we should ensure that our decisions should be in the spirit that strengthens the unity of the country. Unity of the county should be paramount in a diverse India and that should be our mantra generation after generation. Therefore, I have said in the past, reiterate today and will continue to say in the future that India First should be our priority in whatever we do. There may be different political ideologies in the governance systems in a democracy and it is also necessary in a democracy. But we should carry forward the mantra of strengthening the unity and integrity of the country continuously and that should be the essence of the different components of the administration.

Friends,

Should there be a separate circular on what I need to pick from the National Education Policy for my district if we work at the district, state, or national level? Which of those things have to be implemented? Who will take the lead in preparing the players at the district level following the awareness that has been created about sports in the country after this Olympics? Whose responsibility it will be -- whether it will be the sports department or the entire administration? How to implement the vision of Digital India at the district level? It does not require any guidelines now. Today, two coffee table books have been launched. But do not forget that these coffee table books are not hard copies, but in the e-copy format. We should come out of the practice of hard copies. Otherwise, what happens is that we publish several copies and there is no buyer. We should develop the habit of making e-coffee table books. This is our responsibility that such things are not told. It should percolate down to the local level. What I mean to say is that everything is available and there is no need for any guidelines for districts. If the entire district rises to the occasion in achieving something, it leads to an overall positive impact.

Friends,

This is the specialty of the great culture of India and I am saying this with great responsibility that our country is not made of state systems and our country has not been a legacy of royal thrones. The centuries-old tradition of this country has been to move forward with the potential of the common man. Whatever we have achieved today is due to public participation and the contribution of generation after generation in fulfilling the requirements of society. We are a thriving society that accepts changes and does not cling to archaic traditions blindly. We are the people who change with the times. Long ago, I had discussions with the US State Department. At that time, I didn't even have any identity in politics. I was a small worker. I said that anybody in the world, whether he is a believer or an atheist, does not believe in radical changes in values after death. Whether it is scientific or not, suitable or not, he does not wish for changes. He is bound by the values and traditions after death. I said that Hindu society believes that the last rites are completed only when the body is consigned to flames in sandalwood on the banks of the Ganges. But the same society did not hesitate when electric crematoriums came up. There can be no greater proof of acceptance of change in this society. No matter how modern a society is in the world, it does not have the power to change its post-death beliefs. We belong to a society which is ready to adopt post-death modern systems. Therefore, I say that this country is ever ready to accept changes and now it is our responsibility to give impetus to that great tradition. Are we working to speed it up? Friends, life does not change by giving a push to files. It is our responsibility to provide leadership to governance under the present social system. And it is not just the job of a political leader. Everybody in the civil services will have to provide leadership. You will have to be prepared to lead changes in society. Only then can we bring changes. The country has the potential to bring changes and the world is looking at us with high hopes. It is our duty to be prepared to fulfill that. We need to see if we are not holding on to the courage and potential of the new generation in the web of rules and laws. And if it is so, then we may have lost the ability to move with the times, to steer our steps in the right direction for the bright future of India. We can change this situation if we get out of it. Now you see, if anybody has played a role in creating the image of India in the world of the IT sector, it is the youth of 20-22-25 years. Had we created obstacles and bound them in rules and regulations, then this IT sector would not have flourished so much and it would not have created a niche for itself in the world.

Friends,

They could move forward because we stayed out of it. Therefore, we need to introspect that the world can be changed by staying away and encouraging them also. We can be proud of our start-ups. In the first quarter of 2022 only, 14 start-ups have become unicorns. Friends, this is a great achievement. The youths of the country have achieved this feat of 14 unicorns in just three months of this year. What is our role? Sometimes, we are not even aware and come to know about the achievements of a young person in our district or in Tier-2 city through newspapers. It shows that the potential of society is huge even outside the governance system. What is important is do we encourage him and recognize his efforts. It should not be so that we should tell him why he did not come to the government. You should applaud him because he did not waste your time and is giving you so much.

Friends,

I have mentioned two things only, but there are many such things taking place even in the agriculture sector. I see the farmers of our country embracing modernity. Perhaps, they may be few in number. But from my point of view, have they stagnated?

But friends,

If we do these things then I think a big change can be brought about. One more thing I want to say is that sometimes taking things lightly becomes a part of most people's nature. “How many days will I be here? After two or three years, I will move out.” I don’t blame anybody, but if there is an assured arrangement in place and security of life is assured, there is no sense of competition. “Everything is there, why get into new troubles? Children will grow up, they will get opportunities somewhere. What do we have to do?” They become indifferent to themselves. Leave the system, they become indifferent to themselves. This is not the way to live life, friends. You should never be indifferent towards yourself. One should enjoy life to the fullest. One should judge every moment of his work. Only then there is the fun of living life. What did I achieve in the past? What did I do in the past? If it is not in the nature of anybody to take into account all these things, then life gradually makes him sad and then he loses the spirit to live. Have you seen the difference between a sitar player and a typist? A computer operator plays with his fingers, but when he reaches the age of 45-50, he rarely looks up. Once in a while, he doesn't even listen. If you make a request, only then will he ask you about your problem. He is living a half-dead life, life has become a burden. He only uses his fingers. He only twirls his fingers on the typewriter. On the other hand, a sitar player also plays with his fingers, but he looks fresh even at the age of 80. Life seems full to him and he appears to be a person living with dreams. Both of them have spent their time using their fingers, but one loses interest whereas the other one lives his life. Until and unless there is resolve to change life from within, only then life can be changed. Therefore, I call upon lakhs of my companions across the country that there should be consciousness, there should be potential, there should be the will to do something, only then one can enjoy his life. Sometimes, people ask me if I do not get tired. This is the reason why I don’t get tired. I want to live every moment for others.

Friends,

What has been the result of this? We simply mold ourselves to a set pattern. You are competent in molding yourself. Some may like it, but I feel that this is not life. Mold when there is a need, otherwise, become a shield when needed. It is essential to take steps to change (the system). Have we instinctively made reforms in governance? Should we set up commissions for petty issues? If we need to cut down on expenditure, so set up some commission! If governance requires changes, set up another commission. Then form a committee once the report comes after 6-12 months. Then set up another committee to review that report. Then set up another commission for the implementation of the suggestions of that committee. We have been doing this. It is very important to make timely changes in governance. There were elephants during wars in earlier times, which were replaced by horses. Today, neither elephant nor horse is required. Something else is needed. This reform is easy because the pressure of war compels us to reform. Are the hopes and aspirations of the country not forcing us (to bring about changes)? Unless we understand the country's hopes and aspirations, we cannot reform the governance on our own. Reform in governance should be a regular process, it should be a smooth process and there should be an experimental system. If the experiment is not successful, then one should have the courage to drop it. I should be able to accept my mistake and should be ready to accept the new one. Only then the change comes about. Now you see there were hundreds of laws that I believed had become a burden for the citizens of the country. I was called by a business community in Delhi when my party announced my name as the prime ministerial candidate for the first time in 2013. There were 4-6 months left for the 2014 elections. They asked me about my plan. I told them I will abolish one law every day and will not make new laws. They were surprised. I abolished 1500 laws in the first 5 years. Tell me, friends, why did we need such laws? Even today, I think there would be many such laws that are useless. So, friends, take the initiative and put an end to those laws and get the country out of this trap. Similarly, it is with compliances. What do we not ask from citizens in the name of compliance? My cabinet secretary told me that they would take care of the rest of the things but you take the responsibility to free the country from compliances and liberate the citizens. It has been 75 years since independence, why are you keeping citizens trapped in compliances? There would be six people in an office, every person would have all the information, but still, they would ask for the same information separately and will not take it from the person sitting next to them. We have been asking citizens for so many things time and again. Today is the era of technology. Why don't we develop such systems to free the country from the burden of compliance? I'm surprised. Our cabinet secretary has taken an initiative recently. A person is jailed for minor issues. I have seen one such law that if the toilets in factories are not freshly coated every six months, there is a provision for imprisonment. Now tell me, how do we propose to take the country forward with such laws? We need to get rid of all these things. There should be a smooth process and there is no need to issue any circular in this regard. Bring it to the notice of a state government if you come across any such law and if it is in the domain of that state government. Similarly, tell the Indian government if it falls in its domain. Don’t hesitate, brothers. The more we free the citizen from this burden, the more he will bloom. If we want to plant a good flower plant under a big tree then it will not grow due to the shadow of that tree. If the same plant is left under the open sky, it will grow with strength. Therefore, free the citizens from this burden.

Friends,

It has generally been seen and as I said earlier people try to adapt to the existing arrangement and continue with it throughout their tenure. If we analyze the last seven decades, one thing you will notice. Whenever there was a crisis, a natural calamity, or any other pressure, we changed. When Corona struck, we made several changes in our own interests. But is it good? Is this the way that we will change only when there is pressure? There was a time when we used to live in deprivation and most of our rules were framed accordingly. But now when we have come out of scarcity, then bring all those laws out of the system. We should now think about abundance and frame rules accordingly. For example, we are now moving forward in agriculture. Had we created the system of food processing earlier then some of the issues which become a burden on farmers would not have been there. The government has learned how to find a way out of the crisis, but we need to develop the systems in a sustainable way. We should visualize the likely problems and work to their solutions. Similarly, it is not right if we are compelled to run after challenges. We should foresee the challenges. If technology has changed the world, then we should know the challenges that lie in governance and should be prepared for it. Therefore, I would propose that reforms in governance should be a continuous process. I would say that whenever we retire, a voice should come out from within. During my period I made so many reforms in governance which are probably going to be useful to the country for the next 25-30 years. This is how the change happens.

Friends,

During the last 8 years, many important things have happened in the country. Behavioral change is at the core of many such campaigns. These are difficult tasks and politicians never dare to touch them. But I am far beyond politics, friends. There is a system in a democracy, but it is a different matter that I have come through the polity. My nature is not basically political. I am a person associated with public policy. I am a person connected with the life of the common man.

Friends,

My attempt to change the behavior and the effort that has been made to bring about a change in the basic requirements of society is part of my hope and aspiration. When I talk about society, I mean those in governance are no different and they have not come from any other planet, they are also a part of it. Sometimes, some officers come to me with a wedding card. They do not bring very expensive cards. These are very inferior quality cards but have transparent plastic covers over them. So, I instinctively ask them that they still continue to use single-use plastic? They feel ashamed. My point is if we expect the country not to use single-use plastic, am I bringing change in my life while in office. I generally take up smaller issues, because we are engrossed in bigger issues so much that we become adrift to smaller issues. When this happens, then walls are created between people and I need to demolish these walls. Now as far as the campaign of cleanliness is concerned, I have to monitor it every 15 days in my department. Should it not become the character of our department now that this campaign has been there for five years? If they have not developed this attitude, then it will be too much to expect from the common citizen of the country. We talk about Digital India and the momentum that India has brought in Fintech and the steps taken in the world of digital payment. When a young man from Kashi gets a reward, then our officer feels like clapping because that street vendor is making payments digitally. But if my bureaucrat does not make digital payments, if the person sitting in the system does not make digital payments, it means they have become a hindrance in making it a mass movement. Shouldn’t we debate this on Civil Services Day? There might be disagreements. Since you are here for two days, I know you are also going to pull me up. Therefore, friends, we should try to start those things ourselves that we expect from society. We can bring a huge change if we make efforts in this regard. Do we need to issue circulars again and again regarding the GeM portal and how to take its usage to 100%? Friends, our UPI has become a powerful medium and is being globally appreciated. Do I have UPI enabled on my mobile phone? Am I used to UPI? Are my family members using it? There is a lot of power in our hands, but if we do not accept the potential of UPI, then I will say that Google is of foreign origin, but if we adopt UPI it can overtake Google. It has so much power. It can make a name in the world of Fintech. It has been proven fool-proof technologically and the World Bank is praising it. Why doesn't it become a part of our own system? I have seen that the armed forces have made it compulsory in their canteens. They make digital payments only. But even today there are canteens in our secretariat which do not use it. Can't we bring these changes? These issues may seem small but if we try friends, then we can achieve bigger things. We need to continuously create a perfect seamless mechanism to give due benefits to the last person. The more we build this mechanism I think we can achieve the country's mission of empowerment of the last person.

Friends,

I have taken a lot of your time. I have talked to you on many subjects. But I would like to take these things forward. This Civil Services Day should become an opportunity to infuse new energy within us and to make new resolutions. We should handhold the new officers with new enthusiasm. We should infuse them with enthusiasm to be a part of this system. We should take our colleagues forward while living our life to the fullest. With this expectation, I wish you all the best. Thanks a lot!

 

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PM greets people on Mahalaya
September 25, 2022
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The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has greeted the people on the occasion of Mahalaya.


In a tweet, the Prime Minister said;


"On Mahalaya, we pray to Maa Durga and seek her divine blessings for our people. May everyone be happy and healthy. May there be prosperity and brotherhood all around.

Shubho Mahalaya!"