The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said here today that lateral entry at the Joint Secretary level will enrich governance.Delivering the inaugural address at 44th Advanced Professional Programme in Public Administration (APPPA) for Civil Servants and officers, organized by the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA),Dr Jitendra Singh dispelled misgivings appearing in a section of media in recent weeks and said that lateral entry into services has been there even in the past and the Government has tried to institutionalize it and streamline it, so that the process is more objective and aimed at selecting the best, based on pure merit and specific requirements of a given assignment. Such appointments are purely of contractual nature and not regular ones, he added.The Minister said that several of the new and innovative programmes and schemes launched by the Government call for specialized expertise, for which a functionary appointed through lateral entry could serve the purpose more optimally and effectively. In addition, he said, there are several posts lying vacant at different levels in bureaucratic hierarchy including at the level of Joint Secretary and Deputy Secretary /Director.
During his speech, Dr Jitendra Singh spelt out various path-breaking, revolutionary decisions taken by the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) under the guidance of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. He said, soon after the Government took over in 2014, Prime Minister gave us the Mantra of "maximum governance, minimum government" and looking back four years, we have abundantly fulfilled this pledge.This is for the first time in 70 years after independence, Dr Jitendra Singh said, that instead of taking credit for framing new rules, the Government has sought to draw satisfaction in doing away with around 1,500 such rules which had become obsolete or irrelevant with the passage of time, and some of which were a legacy of the British Raj, like, for example, the practice of getting documents attested by a Gazetted officer.In the last four years, Dr Jitendra Singh said, while every possible step was taken to provide a work-friendly environment for civil servants, at the same time, on the other hand, most of the Government programmes involved more and more of citizen participation and even the flagship programmes turned into mass campaigns. He particularly cited two examples. One, the introduction of new practice of three months' of mentorship in Government of India for fresh IAS officers before they went to their respective cadre allocated States for further assignment and second, an overall transformation with a new format for PM Excellence Awards which were earlier based mostly on individual performance, but, in the last three years, are based mostly on the targets and outcomes achieved by different districts in the public welfare and priority programmes of Government of India.Chairman IIPA and former Governor of Karnataka, Shri T.N. Chaturvedi, Director IIPA Dr. Tishyarakshit Chatterjee and Programme Director Prof. Ashok Vishandass also spoke on the occasion.