In a first, MoS opts out of leading scientist delegation abroad

"My appetite for foreign travel is already over,’’ said Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister of State.

Written by Arun Sharma | Jammu | Updated: June 7, 2014 7:39 pm
jitendra “My appetite for foreign travel is already over,’’ said Singh. (Source: PTI)

From now onward, no minister in the Narendra Modi government will form part of any delegation going abroad to participate in a conference on science and technology.

Dr Jitender Singh, Minister of State for Ministry of Science & Technology, disclosed this while addressing party workers at the BJP headquarters on his maiden visit to Jammu & Kashmir after assuming charge. He said that only the scientists with original presentation will participate in such conferences.

“My appetite for foreign travel is already over,’’ said Singh.  “We shall choose scientists who have original presentation for participation in such conferences’’.

“Only this month, there were two conferences taking place – one at Santiago and other in Boston.

“As per past practice, we were told that the minister will lead the delegation. We asked them to excuse us from this practice,’’ Singh said, adding that a senior scientist, Dr Raghvan will now lead the delegation on July 25.

The decision is a major shift from past practice adopted by successive governments at the Centre when ministers used to head delegations participating in such conferences abroad.

Making clear the new government’s plans to bring about a strong work culture in the administration, Singh said that they will not be vindictive with bureaucrats, but they will have to adopt a strong work culture. “When we ourselves sit in office for 12-14 hours a day, they too will have to mend themselves,’’ said Singh.

He also made a mention of some selected bureaucrats traveling abroad to participate in conferences on science and technology in the past. “I came across some records which showed that only a few bureaucrats having traveled abroad,’’ said Singh.

Now, in order to have scientists associate with the ministry, they have decided to fill up certain vacant posts from among the scientists.

“We have started getting applications from senior scientists,’’ he said, adding that they have also started approaching those who had been left out in the past when there used to be an impression that one had to carry a small beard and leaning toward the Left to be a scientist.

“A veteran scientist from Nagpur, who is also the recipient of Padmashree, had approached us and he too has been associated,’’ said Singh.

“We have plans and also have the clarity to execute them,’’ he said while referring to various steps initiated by Narendra Modi government in last seven days.

About the forthcoming Amarnath yatra in South Kashmir Himalayas, Singh said that the Central government will install a new equipment called “coupled weather forecast” for actual weather forecast every three hours. While this will enable pilgrims to access the weather forecast at regular intervals along the yatra route, it will also check officials who had been resorting to excuses in the past that the yatra was stopped due to hostile weather conditions during the next 24 hours, said Singh.

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  1. U
    USMI
    Jun 7, 2014 at 6:50 pm
    This is a welcome break from the bad habits of the past and the malpractices followed by govt representatives. Kudos to the minister for setting an example. Jai hind!
    Reply
    1. A
      Ajay
      Jun 7, 2014 at 7:00 pm
      Great Step!
      Reply
      1. A
        Ashvin Lakshmikantha
        Jun 9, 2014 at 8:11 am
        Even though I am EE graduate, I will find most of the talks in fields outside my specific chosen area difficult (if not impossible) to grasp. You do require a substantial mastery over the topic being discussed, coupled with having read the references, etc. If you are saying that a minister can do this job, then what do we the scientists for?
        Reply
        1. D
          D S
          Jun 7, 2014 at 7:59 pm
          Now that is what we call a responsible and good governence that was lacking ALL THESE 60 years. Well begun team Modi!!
          Reply
          1. H
            Hari Goyal
            Jun 7, 2014 at 12:32 pm
            Minister leading the delegation in a Science conference was just to enjoy a foreign trip.
            Reply
            1. A
              awaaz
              Jun 8, 2014 at 2:32 am
              excellent approach,,,,,,
              Reply
              1. J
                Jagjit Sidhoo
                Jun 7, 2014 at 4:33 pm
                good
                Reply
                1. M
                  Maitrey Mehta
                  Jun 7, 2014 at 6:57 pm
                  Leaders being leaders of delegations just wanted to travel at Government expenses and party. If few more scientists are added in delegation ( As minister spends lot more than others & they are accompanied by few subordinates sometime spouse) it will be in our nation's interest.Good move.
                  Reply
                  1. D
                    Dharmavarapu Nagarjuna
                    Jun 8, 2014 at 2:03 am
                    I don't totally agree with this. If the Minister has the background of his portfolio, I think he must go. He can have a better idea of what is disseminated, how the scientists or technologists are imilating it and whether the conclusion of the conference leads to any benefit for the common man. Instead, the Minister can stay in budget hotels or perhaps share accommodation with the other delegates and be a role model for others to emulate.
                    Reply
                    1. P
                      PKR Nair
                      Jun 7, 2014 at 2:46 pm
                      A very good decision by the New Government
                      Reply
                      1. R
                        Raj
                        Jun 7, 2014 at 4:58 pm
                        Well. Sets a Good example.
                        Reply
                        1. S
                          Subramanian Venkatraman
                          Jun 7, 2014 at 1:18 pm
                          A great decision! Let's have more and more of them.
                          Reply
                          1. C
                            common
                            Jun 7, 2014 at 2:59 pm
                            I remember Mr Menon who became a minister after being a secretary used to corner all the glories of scientific achievements earlier. None can question him. The department of science and technology wants the organizations doing research to dance to their tune and feels it is superior. These air conditioned arm chair bureaucrats feel as if the big bang theory is their creation. Just kick out these bureaucrats and retire them. God only knows their contribution. Why only 12 hours, even 24 hours of work is enough for their laziness during the last 65 years of Indian existence.
                            Reply
                            1. C
                              Citizen
                              Jun 7, 2014 at 3:27 pm
                              Good decision by the sensible minister. Jaihind
                              Reply
                              1. V
                                Vikram Tandel
                                Jun 7, 2014 at 4:58 pm
                                Awesome decision
                                Reply
                                1. Y
                                  Yrs Chauhan
                                  Jun 7, 2014 at 1:43 pm
                                  This is different, ,,minister not going with delegation ...this can happen only in modified govt
                                  Reply
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