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English Release 5-March 2015
Date Month Year
  • President's Secretariat
  • Writers/Artists in Residence Programme 2015 to be held in Rashtrapati Bhavan from MARCH 7 – 21, 2015

  • Closure of Mughal Gardens on account of Holi
  • President’s Holi greetings
  • Vice President's Secretariat
  • Vice President greets citizens on Holi
  • Prime Minister's Office
  • Leander Paes and Martina Hingis call on PM
  • PM's remarks on the occasion of dedication to the nation of Stage 1 of Shree Singaji Thermal Power Plant at Khandwa
  • PM greets the people on the festival of Holi
  • Department of Space
  • Launch of PSLV-C27 with IRNSS-1D postponed
  • Election Commission
  • Biennial Election to Elect 5 Members to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council by the Members of the Legislative Assembly
  • Min of Agriculture
  • Sowing Area Under Rabi Rice and Summer Pulses And Oilseeds
  • Min of Chemicals and Fertilizers
  • Sh. Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers meets Sh. Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister for Agriculture to discuss imbalanced use of Urea by Fertilizers
  • Min of Comm. & Information Technology
  • The Auction of Spectrum in 2015 in 2100 MHz, 1800 MHz, 900 MHz And 800 MHz Bands Continue
  • The Auction of Spectrum in 2015 in 2100 MHz, 1800 MHz, 900 MHz and 800 MHz Bands Continues
  • Min of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution
  • There will be no cut in the coverage of National Food Security Act –Shri Ram Vilas Paswan
  • Min of Defence
  • India Reaches out to Nepal to Help Clear Blocked Runway
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Gross Direct Tax Collection during April-February of the Financial Year 2014-15 is up by 10.67 Percent
  • Min of Health and Family Welfare
  • Health Secretary launches Public Service Advertisement and Poster on Tobacco Control featuring Shri Rahul Dravid
  • Health Ministry to celebrate International Women’s Day as ‘Safe Motherhood Day’: Shri J P Nadda
  • Min of Home Affairs
  • Shri Amarnathji Yatra from 2nd July to 29th August, 2015
  • Min of Human Resource Development
  • Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan
  • History of North East in NCERT Curriculum
  • Education to Minorities
  • Min of Law & Justice
  • Press Communique on Appointment of a Judge of the J&K High Court
  • Min of Petroleum & Natural Gas
  • Global crude oil price of Indian Basket was US$ 58.51 per bbl on 04.03.2015
  • Min of Science & Technology
  • Signing of MOA Between NRDC and CCRAS
  • Min of Women and Child Development
  • Railways to implement SOPs for restoration/rehabilitation of helpless children in contact with Railways

Previous Date

 
Ministry of Finance07-January, 2008 14:56 IST
DEA Officials had Brain Storming Session for improving the way they work

ECONOMIC GROWTH TO BE THE CENTRAL THEME: FM
In arguably the first effort of its kind, the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) went on an off-site Retreat to Surajkund outside of Delhi last weekend. Led by Finance Secretary Dr. D. Subbarao, about 50 officers of DEA of the rank of Deputy Secretary and above, spent an entire day and indeed a good part of the night, intensively brainstorming on their vision of the emerging role of DEA in the fast changing economic situation and how best they might contribute to that vision.

Reflecting the theme of the Retreat which was “Improving the Way We Work”, each Division of the Department made a presentation on the ‘best practices’ they are evolving and identified one or two tasks where they will bring about a ‘paradigm shift’ in quality of output.

The highlight of the Retreat was a two hour session with the Finance Minister, Shri P. Chidambaram. Shorn of the hierarchical barriers that inhibit communication in the Government, and in a remarkably frank and honest exchange of views with the senior officers of DEA, the Finance Minister said that maintaining and accelerating economic growth should be central to all the work of DEA. He admitted that Ministry of Finance does not have policy control of the entire economic agenda because of democratic structures and coalition politics, but officers must capitalize on that part of the agenda on which they do have control, such as for example, driving the FRBM targets. He agreed that all policies must have a pro-poor bias, but was quick to add that economic growth was at the heart of poverty reduction. There cannot be any sustainable poverty reduction without economic growth.

The strength of DEA, in the Finance Minister’s view is a sense of pride that the officers had in working in this premier Department of the Government. Their high academic qualifications made them specially suited to give their best to their department. Pressed by the participants to let them know of their weaknesses or shortcomings, the FM said that the weakness, if any, was the quality of written communications. Written communication needs to be precise, brief in content and with sharply delineated positions for getting decisions from him. He also said officers must be on top of the subjects that they deal with.

When asked to give his view on whether and what kind of changes he has observed in the civil service over the last 20 years, the Finance Minister said that while the civil service attracted the best talent in the country over 20 years ago, today a lot of talented youngsters seek careers outside the Government, notably in the financial sector. He also thought that the life style of civil servants has become more ostentatious over the years. This he thought was not a positive development. Responding to a concern that even as the majority of the civil servants are competent and clean, the stereotype view of the entire civil service is shaped by a few corrupt officers, the Finance Minister said that while our civil service is not entirely meritocratic, and there may be a few exceptions, but in the long run competent and clean officers do rise to the top.

As per the Concept Note prepared for the Retreat, the Retreat was motivated by several concerns about the way the officers work and perform. First, currently there is no such thing as a collectively shared and broadly defined DEA strategy. Officers typically define their work in terms of ‘tasks’ without a full understanding of how the tasks they perform may be contributing to the Department’s overall goals. Second, officers are typically preoccupied with the immediacy of their work and deliverables with little time, and even less inclination, to reach out and learn about the work of others. The work environment too is also such that it does not encourage let alone reward such efforts. This ‘in silo’ style of functioning results in people developing straitjacketed perspectives and forfeiting the advantages of having a broader appreciation informing the content and process of their work. Third, even as there are informal groupings and lunch clubs, the sense of a ‘DEA team’ is less than optimal. In short, the Department is less than the sum of its parts. The content and process of the Retreat was accordingly designed to address some of these maladies and improve the way Government works.

The Retreat had several sessions on team building. Asked to let their imagination run riot, and indicate where they would like to be in five years, the DEA officers said they would like, in five years, India to become an acknowledged global power, India to achieve poverty reduction to such an extent that it will be unprecedented in human history and showcased as a text-book case of successful development. They also envisioned that DEA will be seen as the best run Department of Government of India and will be credited with the intellectual leadership for India’s economic transformation.

The Retreat featured Dr. Bimal Jalan, former Finance Secretary and Governor of RBI and Shri Nandan Nilakani, Co-chairman of the Board of Infosys as lunch-time speakers. Dr. Jalan said that there was a time when clout was thrust upon DEA because it had the power to ration foreign exchange. In today’s world of globalization and coalition politics, DEA will have to earn its clout by intellectual leadership. In a remarkably analytical speech, Nandan Nilekani agreed that there were differences in the challenges and opportunities of the civil servants and private sector managers. Unlike in the private sector, civil servants are not masters of their destiny. However, DEA, being the premier Department of the Government, must assume intellectual leadership in critical initiatives such as our transition to a low carbon economy, which, in the final analysis, is not a political or environmental issue, but an economic issue.

BSC/RP/GN-4/08
(Release ID :34412)

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