The two-hour early morning yoga session has carefully been eased out of the Chintan Shibir, an annual feature which under Chief Minister Anandiben Patel witnessed a marked shift in the way the event was organised at the time of her predecessor Narendra Modi, who had conceived it as a “thought retreat” where bureaucrats and politicians could bond and break bread.
Modi had launched the Chintan Shibir in 2003, asking his ministers and over 200 IAS officers to participate in a brainstorming session to suggest fresh ideas and discuss projects at a destination away from the state capital Gandhinagar. This time the three-day event, which began Friday after a three-year gap, is being held at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar and thus the key feature of an overnight stay is out.
The 8th Chintan Shibir, a three-day event which began Friday after a three-year gap, witnessed a marked difference from the earlier editions with use of tech-tools. Participating bureaucrats and ministers are all set to listen to the replays of the TED talks from economists and innovators.
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The general administration department said this time the event has been organised “hurriedly”. The 8th edition of the event appears more like a 9am-7pm convention.
“Earlier shibirs were held in places like Rann of Kutch and Kevadia colony, where all attendees travelled and stayed together. This time, however, it is being held in the capital itself, killing the possibility of travelling together,’’ said an official, adding, “As officers and ministers from Gandhinagar stay at their official residence, and outsiders are being accommodated at various government places, there is little relaxation time together.’’
In the earlier editions, the participants used to perform yoga in the morning. During the last Chintan Shibir at Dhordo village in Rann of Kutch, Modi, the then CM, led yoga sessions on all the three days between 7 am and 9 am. In 2010, spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shanker guided the yoga sessions at the venue in Mehsana district.
However, on Friday the event began at 9 am with Patel’s speech, who asked the participants to prepare a vision document based on ideas from the Chintan Shibir.
Patel, who replaced Modi as chief minister in May 2014, had on June 21 led the Yoga Day event at GMDC ground in Ahmedabad.
Sources in the general administration department said the Chintan Shibir is usually held during the winter, but this time it was planned earlier. However, due to uncertain Monsoon conditions it was not advisable for the entire ministry to be away from the capital for three days. The meeting was earlier scheduled from June 26 to June 28, however, it was postponed due to heavy rain in south Gujarat and Saurashtra.
Against the earlier plan of playing the speech of British Prime Minister David Cameron at TED Talk (a non-profit organisation that offers short speeches of world leaders through platform of information technology) on the last day, Sunday, the participants would now listen to the TED talk of US-based education innovator Salman Khan on utilising IT for imparting education.
During span of three days, there will be total four panel discussions, seven group discussions, four TED Talks.