December 7, 2022


Eminent economist and Padma Bhushan awardee Lord Meghnad Desai today exhorted the civil servants to get rid of colonial mentality of mistrust on its citizens. He was delivering a keynote lecture on ‘Indian Civil Services and Economic Development of India’ to the IAS/DANICS officers of Government of NCT of Delhi at Delhi Secretariat. He said that they should get rid of this mentality of mistrust and it should vanish for transactional culture. Only then, they can transform our economy and remove the social disparities to achieve the goal of balanced economy. Reduction of social disparity is the need of the hour because by doing so they can bring a social change and give the due rights to OBCs, Dalits and the poorest among poor to bring them and ensuring them social equality.

Former Chief Secretary, Government of Delhi K.K. Mathur presided over the lecture while the Chief Secretary D.M. Spolia was the guest of honour and graced the occasion.

Lord Desai said that Indian Civil Services need to give up the culture of mistrust on its citizens. He recounted that the Chinese civil services failed to meet the challenges of modernization and fell apart in the 20th century. India is not in crisis but of the cups of enormous change. Earlier, it was believed that the Civil services have the knowledge to guide the citizens and their political bosses to give a new dimension to the society for ensuring social change. He said that the saying went that the Man in the Whyte-Hall knows best. This is no longer valid. Citizens are less passive, more educated and more demanding. Countries have life cycles – Post independence they are in child-phase – they splurge as much as they want. But then they gained maturity and knew that they are accountable – and India has now reached that phase. So we now need to think out of the box, rather break the box altogether. Now the State has to confront more intelligent citizenry. And the market has to confront more intelligent state, Lord Desai added.

Lord Desai disapproved the myth that a civil servant attaining age of 60 years should retire. He said that it is total waste of human resource to retire a man at the age of 60 if he is delivering his services in a perfect manner. Why to retire an officer who has vast knowledge of governance and he could deliver his services to the citizenry. This thinking should be stopped.

Lord Meghnad Desai is an eminent economist and has been awarded the Padma Bhushan award. He is an Indian born, naturalized British Economist and Labour politician. He is a Professor Emeritus of Economics at the London School of Economics. He founded the Centre for the Study of Global Governance at the London School of Economics. He retired as Director from the Centre, LSE in 2003. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2008. He has written many books on Economics and been extensively published with over 200 articles in various journals both academic and otherwise. He was made a life peer as Baron Desai, of St. Clement Danes in the City of Westminster in 1991.

The Chief Secretary Spolia said that the government which try to dwarf their citizens, soon discover that dwarf do not achieve much but if you give them proper opportunity to achieve then they prove their potential. He said that the civil servants should do their best in providing the service to the society since people expect a lot from them.

The Director of the Directorate of UTCS K. Mahesh gave details about the activities of the UTCS. He said that the Directorate of Training (Union Territories Civil Services), Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, is entrusted with the responsibility of imparting training to the officers/officials of the Government of NCT of Delhi, its local/autonomous bodies and corporations. Trainings conducted by the Directorate primarily consist of foundation trainings, induction trainings and mid-career trainings. Foundation Trainings are imparted to the IAS Probationers of the AGMUT Cadre, Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshwadeep Islands Civil Services (DANICS) Probationers and to those recruited through the Delhi Subordinate Staff Selection Board. Induction trainings are conducted for those newly promoted officers/officials in various cadres within the Government. Mid-career trainings are conducted to keep the employees up-to-date on various rules and regulations, knowledge, skills etc as may be deemed appropriate to equip them for all round development.

Former Chief Secretary of Government of Delhi Shri Rakesh Mehta, PGC Chairman i P.K. Tripathi, former principal secretaries Navin Chawla, M.K. Bejbaruah, principal secretaries of the all departments, other IAS officers and DANICS officers, IAS and DANICS probationers were also present on this occasion.

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