Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Are PM’s brainstorming sessions with secretaries, police officers, bankers giving inputs to policy-making?

Modi with Dy PM of Singapore
LAST Friday, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke on the occasion of ‘Transforming India’ lecture series organized by NITI Aayog in New Delhi, he said that the ideas emanating from his structured brainstorming sessions with Union secretaries, police officers and bankers so far have been incorporated with into policy-making. Not just that, the PM also requested…
all secretaries to government of India to conduct a follow up discussion of Friday’s lecture in just a week’s time, with the participants from their ministries. “The purpose is to convert ideas that emerge in today’s session into specific action points relevant to each group. Wherever possible, I request the Ministers also to participate in these sessions,” PM added.
Will this follow-up discussion take place by Friday this week, as PM had appealed openly?
Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore and noted economist Tharman Shanmugaratnam delivered the first NITI Aayog-organised lecture. 
PM Modi further said on his speech that fundamental changes in administrative mindsets usually occur through sudden shocks or crisis, but India is fortunate to be a stable democratic polity. “In the absence of such shocks, we have to make special efforts to force ourselves to make transformative changes. As individuals, we may absorb new ideas by reading books or articles. Books open the windows of our minds. However, unless we brainstorm collectively, ideas remain confined to individual minds. We often hear of new ideas and understand them. But we do not act upon them, because it is beyond our individual capacity. If we sit together, we will have the collective force to convert ideas into action. What we need is a collective opening of our minds, to let in new, global perspectives. To do this, we have to absorb new ideas collectively rather than individually. It requires a concerted effort”, he said. 
Many senior bureaucrats do privately complain about frequent meetings in PMO, in some cases with the PM himself, but do you have an option when the PM is very keen to brainstorm and generate new ideas?

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