Wednesday, September 03, 2014

"Do not become hostage to special interest groups", Vice President Ansari cautions young civil servants; 10 Tips

"My mind goes back to the day in June 1961 when I entered this campus diffidently with a multitude of thoughts, an admixture of anxiety and expectations, fears and fancies, racing through the mind. Today therefore is homecoming for me…” This is an excerpt of Vice President of India and former Indian diplomat M Hamid Ansari’s speech while inaugurating 89th Foundation Course at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie. Here are 10 things a young civil servant must take into account:

1. You cannot rest on your laurels. Your journey has just begun, and is a long one.
2. Only your own hard work, integrity, commitment to selfless service and an unending pursuit of excellence will stand you in good stead in this pursuit.
3. Do remain steadfastly committed to these values; success and recognition will seek you rather than the other way round.
4. It is widely recognised that no profession offers the kind of opportunity and authority for participating in nation building and societal transformation as does a career in the civil services.
5. A politically neutral but committed to public service, bureaucracy is thus a sine qua non for the smooth functioning of a democratic government, such as ours.
6. We now have an aspirational India, impatient to taste in greater measure the fruits of economic prosperity and social progress, and as a matter of right. Our citizens today seek governance which is efficient, transparent, honest and responsive. There is a sense of urgency in the demand and lesser inclination for patience and forgiveness.
7. Policy, ultimately, is implementation. It is what happens that counts. If policies are not translated into specific programmes, which are in turn are not well implemented, failure is logical.
8. Do not become hostage to special interest groups. Do not give in to extraneous pressures in discharge of your duties. Do not seek patrons.
9. You, as members of the higher civil service, would have to continuously enhance your skills and upgrade your knowledge, in order to remain globally competitive.
10. You must strive for training and specialization, as well as use of modern technology in your work, but you must remain sensitive to the welfare of ordinary Indians.

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