Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu on Thursday called upon the civil servants, especially the local officers, to take ownership of the state and take it on the path of development.
“Until and unless our local officers take ownership of the state, no chief minister or any government can take the state on the path of progress. We the political class are entirely dependent upon the system and you are the system,” Khandu said.
Attending the Civil Service Day celebrations here, the chief minister called upon the civil servants to rededicate themselves to the cause of serving citizens and renew their commitments to public service and excellence in work.
Khandu advised the officers, especially those heading departments, to travel to the districts and coordinate with the district administrations to push schemes and programs being implemented by their respective departments.
“Our focus should be on changing the dynamics of the rural economy through proper implementation of all state and central government flagship programmes. If you don’t travel, you will not be able to ensure proper implementation of schemes,” he said.
Addressing a conglomeration of civil servants including All India Service and State Civil Service officers at the Dorjee Khandu Convention Center here, the chief minister acknowledged the contribution of former officers in the evolution of Arunachal to its present form.
“It was only because of the sincerity, hard work and professionalism of the civil servants of that bygone era that Arunachal could move forward matching steps with the rest of the country. On this day, I on behalf of the people of the state, express gratitude and pay tributes to all those former civil servants and bureaucrats who served in the state and helped it grow,” he said.
Khandu said Arunachal has been lucky to have excellent civil servants in the past and continue to have some of the best, sincere, hardworking and dedicated civil servants today.
“With your support, cooperation and sincerity, the state government today has brought in several reforms, which have started showing positive results,” he pointed.
As the general tenure of all India service officers in the state is only two years, Khandu said a lot depends on the state civil service officers in delivering governance to the people.
Civil servants, the chief minister asserted, should motivate and inspire the youths of today.
According to Khandu, civil servants are in the position they are now after overcoming various obstacles and competitions by virtue of which they can become role models for the youths.
“When the time comes, retire with pride. Leave behind your contributions to the society that you can be proud of. There will be no point complaining against the system after retirement when you did not do much to change it when you were a part of it and had the power to do it,” he said.
Khandu further assured that the state government is committed to enhance the capacity of civil servants besides looking after their welfare.
“We have signed a MoU with Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Centre for Policy Research and Analysis-IIM Shillong for collaborating as a knowledge partner for capacity building of State Government officers and collaborated with LBSNAA Mussoorie to undertake training programmes for our civil service officers,” he informed.
The chief minister also congratulated the Arunachal Pradesh Staff Selection Board (APSSB) headed by its chairman Rajeev Verma and Secretary Santosh Kumar Rai on winning the prestigious ‘Chief Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration-2022’ conferred every year on the occasion.
He said that APSSB has not only restored the faith of people in the recruitment process but also in the process of governance as a whole.
Terming the constitution of APSSB as one of the best practices adopted by the state, Khandu advocated the need to learn from best practices of other states and even countries.
Citing one such practice – Estonia’s ‘once only’ principle – he explained, “It implies that once a citizen has provided a piece of information, it is the government’s responsibility to share with other departments and re-use that information instead of different departments asking citizens to provide the same information again.”
Khandu claimed that the practice reportedly saves Estonia about two percent of GDP annually.
To commemorate the day, Khandu launched the Smart Performance Appraisal Report Recording Online Window (SPARROW) that will facilitate electronic filing of Performance Appraisal Report (PAR) by state civil service officers from anywhere anytime as per convenience.
“Henceforth, there will be no issues of missing APARs currently affecting timely career advancement of APCS officers, speed up promotions and reduce stagnation,” he claimed.
Khandu, meanwhile, congratulated chief secretary Naresh Kumar and principal secretary Rajeev Verma on being posted as chief secretaries of Delhi and Puducherry respectively.
He also thanked all the IAS and IPS officers transferred out of the state for their support and contributions to the state.
Addressing the officers, deputy chief minister Chowna Mein said the success of government policies and interventions largely depends on the civil servants, who have the reasonability to implement the same.
He accordingly urged the officers to work with ‘vision with passion’.
Speaking on this year’s Civil Service Day celebration theme ‘Vision 2047 for Arunachal Pradesh’ Mein called for brainstorming sessions to held to visualize how we would like to see Arunachal Pradesh in the year 2047 that is 25 years from now and after 100 years’ of India’s Independence.
He also highlighted the key strengths of the state viz. agriculture and allied activities, tourism, hydropower and natural resources and said Arunachal will emerge as a major economic hub “if we focus on these four areas”.
The DCM also spoke on development of border areas at par with the foothills and channelizing the youth energy in the right direction by nurturing and providing them platforms to create livelihood opportunities.