Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday pulled up bureaucrats and asked them to be punctual after an event that he attended got delayed by a few minutes. Singh, who was the chief guest at the inaugural session of an event to mark the Civil Services Day in New Delhi, said he was worried that a function of bureaucrats got delayed by 12 minutes and the attendees kept entering the venue even after it formally began. “I was a little bit 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),” he said at the event attended mostly by officers belonging to IAS and other all India services.
Singh said there maybe many reasons for the delayed start and some reasons maybe right but there should be an introspection as to why the situation is such as it is today. “It would have been good that we would not have deviated (from the scheduled time). Has there been any laxity in our commitment?” he asked.
Referring to the country’s first Home Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who had termed the civil services as the ‘steel frame’ of India, Singh asked whether the ‘steel frame’ of the civil services has become weak? “I am telling this as I think we all should conduct a serious introspection. I am raising this issue as… I know for some people this may come across as weird.. but I thought it is appropriate to raise the issue before all of you,” he said. Because, the Home Minister said, the Civil Services Day is such an occasion where everyone introspects, discusses about the journey that was planned.
“What we have achieved so far and what should we do in the future. That’s why I have raised the issue,” he said. Singh said he got the opportunity to work as a minister several times and he had served as a chief minister too.
“When I was invited for a function, when I was the chief minister, it was quite natural that I would reach the venue 10 minutes before the scheduled time. But as a minister also, I have seen that whenever I have to go to attend a function, people reach the venue a few minutes before the scheduled time. But for the first time I have seen…(people getting late),” he said.
The function was attended by Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh, Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, Additional Principal Secretary to Prime Minister P K Mishra, Secretaries of many central ministries and departments among others.