Don’t be yes men, don’t betray conscience: Rajnath to bureaucrats

Rajnath also urged civil servants to be impartial and show no hesitation in taking decisions.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: April 21, 2017 4:07 pm
civil services day, rajnath singh civil services day, rajnath singh civil services, india news, indian express, latest news Home Minister Rajnath Singh at an event to mark the Civil Services Day, in New Delhi on Thursday. (Source: Express Photo/Renuka Puri)

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday asked bureaucrats not to be afraid of the “political executive” and refrain from signing orders that are illegal. Addressing the inaugural session of an event to mark Civil Services Day, Singh said, “If a political executive gives wrong orders, do not be afraid to show them the rules. Tell the political executive that they are legally wrong. Do not sign the orders. Haan mein haan naa milaiye (Do not become yes men). Do not betray your conscience.”

He also urged civil servants to be impartial and show no hesitation in taking decisions. During the function, which was attended by Cabinet Secretary P K Mishra among other officers from the IAS and all-India services, Singh said, “Civil services has power. But with power comes big responsibility, accompanied by accountability. We should always remember this. Along with responsibility and accountability, impartiality is the third most important aspect of our civil servants. Lack of impartiality may affect your decision-making capabilities,” he said.

Taking a dig at officers who “avoid” taking decisions, the Home Minister said that such hesitation could harm the country’s interests. “If necessary, discuss and deliberate with your seniors but there should be no hesitation in taking decisions. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had said that if civil services was called the ‘steel frame’ of India it would not be an exaggeration.”

Singh also focused on punctuality. “I was a little worried today. The programme was supposed to start at 9.45 (am). We reached five minutes before the scheduled time. But it started at 9.57 (am). I am saying this as I think we all should conduct a serious introspection… I thought it was appropriate to raise the issue before all of you. As a minister, I have seen that whenever I have to attend a function, people reach the venue a few minutes before schedule. But for the first time I have seen… (people getting late),” he said.

Indian polity has never faced a vacuum as civil servants contributed largely in maintaining continuity, Singh said. “This administrative continuity in India has been one of the important reasons for the success of the Indian democracy.” The Narendra Modi government is transforming good governance into smart governance through ‘Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and mobile connectivity’ convergence, he added.

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  1. N
    Apr 21, 2017 at 10:28 am
    Nice joke.... how do you think they are Yes men.... they are not inferior, just respecting the post. How many approved posts are vaccant? Ever got time to think besides other urgent trivials..
    1. A
      Apr 21, 2017 at 10:22 am
      We have long idolized the individuals who man the civil services. My father was a civil servant. But they were a dedicated lot. Today they seem quite ordinary and often lack integrity. Why do we have to seek favours from other bureaucrats when we just need them to do their darn job impartially, purely on merit. Make a online system to enable access of the ordinary Indian citizen to meet the top most bureaucrats. If we can meet heada of departments at the prestigious AIIMS and write directly/interact with our hands on PM, why cant we meet these bureaucrats. I find it ironic to hear Mr Rajnath Singh. The public is definitely not impressed by the calibre or responsiveness of the police either. They have to do their job without fear or favour. And no we are not impressed by adverts on promoting the safety of women. What matters is actual response on the ground.
      1. R
        Apr 21, 2017 at 8:44 am
        Words are meaningless unless matched by deeds. The moment any bureaucrat shall show independence of thought, he is bound to be sent ng by this autocratic government. Modi& his team are unable to digest freedom of judiciary. They will simply devour any bureaucrat not subscribing to their line. Bunch of hypocrites, they are.
        1. R
          Apr 21, 2017 at 8:47 am
          It seems IE will not address the issue of misspellings in output despite correct inputs from the readers
        2. C
          Common Man
          Apr 21, 2017 at 8:30 am
          90 of civil servants who fall in the categories of being inefficient, corrupt or simply stubborn not to serve citizens, should be sacked and replaced by talent from private sector, academia and those who are entrepreneurs. You will see the change in governance immediately
          1. N
            Niladrinath Mohanty
            Apr 21, 2017 at 7:40 am
            In short Shri Rajnarayan Singh wants the bureaucrats to be selfless. But how many of them are?
            1. D
              Apr 21, 2017 at 7:34 am
              The civil service has been a legacy of British Raj to subjugate India. And, the civil service is doing that so well even after the British left India 70 years ago. Barring a few dedicated civil servants, these bureaucrats are corrupt to the core. Forget about the civil service day, the government should force them to submit their ets and scrutinize them carefully.
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