New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) Asserting that he had “extra” political will to carry out reforms, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that with changing dynamics the government too needs to change its role from being a regulator to an enabler.
Addressing bureaucrats on Civil Services Day here, Modi lamented that the “colonial legacy of hierarchy” continues to be an issue and warned bureaucrats that use of social media should not compromise anonymity of the civil services.
“The push for reforms comes from political leadership but the perform angle is determined by civil servants, while transformation is enabled by people’s participation,” he said.
Talking about political will, Modi said: “I do not lack it… may be I have a bit extra.”
Pointing to changing dynamics and availability of alternatives to the masses, Modi said it was imperative to change the government’s way of thinking and functioning.
“Moving away from the time when government was everything, we are now in an era of competition,” he said adding that people have been criticising public services and tend to be more satisfied by private services.
“Because there are now alternatives available, the government’s responsibilities have grown. It’s not the work load, it is the challenge that has risen.
“The sooner we change our working style, change our way of thinking, the better. The sooner we come out of our role of a regulator and develop as an enabling entity, the better,” he said.
“While the absence of government in a sphere of activity should be perceptible, its presence… should not become a burden,” said Modi, asking civil servants to focus on improving quality, and making excellence a habit.
While observing that the world was moving towards mobile governance from e-governance, Modi said many civil servants were too busy with social media and mobiles.
“I am a person who realises the power of social media. If I as a government official use social media to disseminate information about the next date of a vaccination programme, it is very useful.
“But if I post my pictures on Facebook showing my participation in the programme, then I become a question mark for anonymity of bureaucrats.
“Today I see district level officers – they are so busy, busy, busy… most of their time goes in this ,” he remarked.
“In fact, in my meetings I have banned the entry of mobiles, otherwise anyone would take out (their mobile) and start,” he said with a chuckle.
“The world has started moving towards mobile governance from e-governance. We too cannot stay away from that. But we need to realise that the power that is available should be used for public welfare, should used for public good and not something that comprises anonymity,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that civil servants must ensure that every decision is taken keeping the national interest in mind and focus should on improving quality and making excellence a habit.
Modi said that competition can play a big role in bringing a qualitative change and asserted that all government policies and their implementation have to be “outcome centric”.
Recalling that the year 2022 would mark 75 years of Independence, he urged civil servants to play the role of catalytic agents in fulfilling the dreams of the freedom fighters.