Shillong(Meghalaya), Apr 21 : Along with the rest of the country the 16th National Civil Services Day was observed here today here at the Conference Hall of Pinewood Hotel.
The event was inaugurated by Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma. Also present during the Inaugural Session were Chief Secretary, D P Wahlang, Additional Chief Secretary, Dr Shakil P. Ahammed and retired IAS officers, Anil Swarup and Dr Rakshit Tandon.
In his inaugural address, Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma while wishing the gathering on the occasion, thanked the officers for their dedicated work and service for the State and the nation as a whole. He urged the officers to be driven by purpose and keep reminding oneself of that purpose and added, “Never let power, money or any influence drive you in your purpose but focus on serving the people and nothing will go wrong and only then we can achieve the goals.”
The Chief Minister also said that it is important to maintain and work in team. “When we are in a team, we need to respect and depend on each other having clear vision of the purpose and support each other so that we do not fail in our duties and responsibilities,” he added.
The Chief Minister also informed that there will be a lot of reforms and changes in the State administration in the days ahead and said, “One of the important reforms that is being proposed is to have Village Volunteers and this volunteer will be the representative of the government in that village. So we will have about 6500 volunteers in every village who will be connected with the government through central database to help the government get real time information and update on everything that is happening in the village.’
The Chief Minister further elaborated that these village volunteers can inform the government in times of emergency like floods, landslides, disruption of power and water when a transformer blows up or pipeline bursts and the village volunteer can also be an important banking correspondent so that old age pensions, assistance to person with disabilities and other schemes of the government can reach beneficiaries at their doorsteps. “These volunteers at the grassroots level will also be connected to different self help group programmes so that delivery will be easier and faster so that the villagers who need the basic services of Certificates, schemes and development should not face the different challenges we have in our administrative system,” he said.
The Chief Minister also spoke of the need to empower and strengthen the Gram Sevaks and look into how to improve the existing working system of the Gram Sevaks and he was hopeful that the Technical Session would look into the different challenges in the administration to improve the overall governance.
Earlier, Chief Secretary, D P Wahlang said that over the last few years the civil services has received a lot of flak and criticism and it is time to retrospect and also to introspect as to why the ‘steel frame’ has rusted and why the definition of civil service has been questioned time and again.
The Chief Secretary also spoke on the relationship between the officers and the public and also with the officers and the political executive. “We are very fortunate to be working in a State like Meghalaya because the political executive in Meghalaya is different from the rest of the States where we seldom come across any conflict between the political executive and the bureaucracy,” he added.
The Chief Secretary urged the officers ‘to keep the eye on the ball’ and not to lose focus. “It is important not to lose focus and finish what you have started and ensure closure without abandoning it or going it up, ensure that whatever you are doing goes and benefits the last denominator in this whole ecosystem that is the common man and if that is not done we have not done our job,” he added. The Chief Secretary also mooted for the Civil Service Award in the State replicating the National Civil Service Award.
Among the distinguished audience was Retired IAS officer, Anil Swarup, a distinguished writer and IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre of 1981 batch. He, in his 38 years of career served in various capacities and was also the Secretary to the Government of India. Also present was Rakshit Tandon, a revolutionary in the field of cyber security and has years of experience if more than a decade in Security domain.
The theme of this year’s National Civil Services Day is ‘Viksit Bharat’ aimed at ‘Empowering Citizens and Reaching the Last Mile’. The 21st of April is dedicated to the Civil Service officers to acknowledge the work of officers engaged in various public service departments. This day is also a reminder for the civil servants to run the administrative machinery of the country collectively and with a dedication of serving the citizens.
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