Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to set up a team of experts to advise him on various areas. According to sources, a 10-member advisory board comprising technocrats, bureaucrats, professionals and some former political leaders is on the anvil.
Foreign affairs, internal security, finance, education and skill development, information technology, agriculture, infrastructure, energy, water and health are said to be the areas of immediate focus for Modi.
The advisory board members will not be elected representatives but experts from areas considered crucial for governance.
Source said Modi’s close aides and strategists from Gujarat have been mandated to identify “dynamic” and “competent” individuals who have demonstrated “original thinking” for the proposed advisory board.
Among the names considered are former union minister Arun Shourie and former Delhi Metro chief E Sreedharan.
The idea is to have an empowered PMO which is not entirely dependent on ministers to decide on policy initiatives and direction, said sources. “What was the biggest weakness of the previous government? A weak PMO (prime minister’s office) and a weak PM. There was complete policy paralysis, governance had been hived off to GoMs (group of ministers) and ministries had become fiefdoms of independent ministers. The new prime minister (Modi) is a dynamic leader and a thinker. It is but natural that he wants to lead his team more effectively and get the PMO back on its feet,” said a senior BJP leader. Arguing that the advisory board will not be stepping on anybody’s toes but will be merely advising the prime minister, he said: “An informed, competent and efficient PMO will only inspire other ministries to be constantly on their feet.