Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, on June 1, stated in no uncertain terms that he will not tolerate corruption by any civil servant in any form.
“It is very disheartening to see some of our APCS officers indulge in corruption. Let me be very clear for the umpteenth time. I will not tolerate corruption in any form,” Khandu said while speaking at the one-day conference of the Arunachal Pradesh Civil Service Officers Association (APCSOA) at the state Banquet Hall.
He further stressed that ‘the past is the past’ and that he is least bothered about what happened then, but now during his tenure as chief minister no one indulging in corruption will be spared.
The chief minister exhorted officers of the Arunachal Pradesh Civil Service (APCS) to shed off the ‘babu’ image of civil servants and become ‘agents of change’.
“In order to bring transformation in our state, the fundamental requirement is to change our mindset and think like ‘leaders’ and not as ‘managers’. We have heard about vision and passion. Let us put this into practice,” Khandu said.
Calling state civil servants as the elite class of the Arunachali society, Khandu said they were in a service of their own choice, therefore they must gracefully accept the challenges of serving in remote and far-off places of the state.
“Challenges and development are never ending processes. You resolve a challenge, a new one will crop in. You must take this in your stride and never give up before challenges,” he stated.
Arunachal being a mixture of different tribes is, at times, difficult to manage administratively, Khandu noted, but said that the civil servants must go beyond the call of their official duties to implement government schemes and programmes.
“Wherever you are posted, it must be your sincere endeavour to develop a sense of pan-Arunachal feeling amongst those you deal with. Once a pan-Arunachal sense is imbibed in every citizen of the state, there will be no looking back,” he assured.
In order to equip themselves with technical know-how and administrative skills, Khandu urged the civil servants to avail all capacity building programs devised by the state government from time to time.
“Recently, APCS officers of 2020 batch were trained in Mussoorie-based Lal Bahadur Shashtri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA). They were then trained in Arun Jaitley Institute of Financial Management, Faridabad, IIM Shillong and the North East Judicial Officers Training Institute, Guwahati. Such capacity building programmes are necessary at all levels and cadres,” he said.
Khandu also informed about the Satellite Centre of IIM Shillong established at Tawang and the recent training programme held there for all deputy commissioners.
“We are only policy makers. After making the policies we hand them over to the bureaucracy for execution. The role and importance of civil servants is therefore paramount,” he observed.
The chief minister appreciated the role played by civil servants during the time of Covid pandemic, both during lockdowns and vaccination drives. He acknowledged the sincerity and hard work put in by APCS officers in taking administration to the grass root level in far off remote corners of the state.
Responding to few issues raised by the APCS officers association related to promotion, etc., Khandu expressed hope that with the new system of Smart Performance Appraisal Report Recording Online Window (SPARROW) for APCS officers in place, this would be resolved.
“The new system being implemented from this year would ensure proper and secure maintenance of Annual Performance Appraisal Reports permanently in digitalized form and facilitate timely careers advancement of APCS officers, speed up promotions and reduce stagnation,” he informed.
With regard to all other issues, Khandu asked the departments of General Administration, District Administration and Personnel to study the same and recommend to the state government for redressal. He assured that all grievances would be sympathetically addressed by the government.
First session of the one-day conference had deliberations on ‘Bringing dynamism in civil service: with special reference to Arunachal Pradesh’ by former Chief Secretary of the state Ramesh Negi, ‘[email protected]: Strategies for Arunachal Pradesh’ by Chief Secretary (in-charge) Dr Sharat Chauhan, ‘Challenges of civil services and its role in public administration’ by Commissioner Kaling Tayeng, ‘APCS: Being future-ready’ by Dahey Sangno (APCS) and ‘Administrative Growth in Arunachal Pradesh’ by Jalash Pertin (APCS).