The IAS officers of the 2013 batch interacted with the PM at the end of their three month stint with the Government of India. This is the first time that the IAS officers have worked with the Central Government before taking charge in their allotted states. During this interaction, the officers made presentations on various ideas.
The IAS officers of the 2013 batch had an interactive session with the Prime Minister at the end of their 3 month stint with the Government of India as Assistant Secretaries. This is the first time that a batch of IAS officers commenced their career with the Central Government before taking charge in their allotted states. These officers have presentations to the PM on various themes like MUDRA, Improving Government Communication, Citizen Centric Service Monitoring, Ek Bharat – Shreshtha Bharat, Soil Health Card scheme and National Mineral Exploration Policy.
Ek Bharat – Shreshtha Bharat
The group of officers who worked on this idea proposed this as a programme for celebrating India’s Unity in Diversity. Among other things, this program is intended to
- Building awareness of India’s diversity
- Appreciating creative achievements of our people through exchange
- Promoting excellence
The group proposed that every state in the country will host and visit 4-5 other states every year as a group. The proposal is to have 5 such groups of states and such grouping should change every year so that the interaction among all the states is complete in about 6 years. The proposal also includes the celebration of a Unity Week starting 31st Oct with different activities spread across the year. The idea is to celebrate the Unity day on 31st October across the country simultaneously in state capitals and major towns.
The areas of interaction proposed by this group include Performing, Cuisines & Exhibitions, Literature & Films, Youth and Governance. Other sub areas are also proposed in each of these areas. The proposal also includes theme based interactions, student exchanges etc. The Ministry of Culture could be designated as the Nodal Agency.
Improving Government Communication
This group proposed that there is a great need for an effective communication mechanism between the government and the public at large. Government Communication could include General government communication, communication of policies/schemes and initiatives. An effective communication mechanism is aimed at not only improving the image of the government, but also combating the negative perception. This group identified a few issues to highlight the failure in communication of the present dispensation. They include
- Under-utilization of media space e.g. OROP (One- Rank-One-Pension)
- Details and clarity needed on issues e.g. OROP
- Need for a single point of contact
- Better Government websites and social media management
- Content upgradation and updating information
- Lack of analysis of feedback
- Widespread consultation with stakeholders; building consensus e.g. problem in Draft encryption policy
- Need for a ‘one government’ approach
- No contrasting views from different Ministries or Departments
- Internal coherence within Government
The group recommended that a communication strategy be formulated for the government by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. They also suggested that every ministry have a spokesperson. The group also suggested that there be focused, customized and target group oriented communication by using Big Data analysis etc. For the purpose of capacity building of personnel, the group proposed setting up of a communication university.
Citizen Centric Service Monitoring
An IAS officer who worked with the NITI Aayog made a presentation on Citizen Centric Service Monitoring. This kind of monitoring is seen as an effective way of improving governance. The common theme in the presentation was the use of public data for effective delivery of services. The presentation used examples of how data on crime against women can be used to decide the areas of patrolling, time of patrolling, installation of cctv cameras etc. Another example cited in the presentation was the health data.
The presentation also mentioned the Right to Service Delivery as a means to fixing our cities. The presentation made by the IAS officer talks about citizens reporting issues and requesting services from the government from broken streetlights to potholes etc. As a way forward, it is suggested that various social sector and business sector applications be made.
It must be noted that a bill to make service delivery as a citizen’s right was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2011, but it lapsed because of the dissolution of the Lok Sabha.