STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: Calling for change in work culture, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the conference on good governance is a first initiative of its kind being organised at the initiative of the Government of India, since the two UTs of J&K and Ladakh came into existence on October 31. This is a curtain raiser for the upcoming initiatives which will be undertaken in these two UTs under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Government will have a series of such events in future, the Minister said while addressing the inaugural function of two-day Regional Conference on ‘Replication of Good Governance Practices in UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh’, here on Friday. The conference is being organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Administration (DARPG), Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India, in collaboration with Government of Jammu & Kashmir and Government of Ladakh. The Minister said that PM’s focus has been to bring the peripheral states closer to the other parts of India in terms of development. He added that there cannot be holistic development of a nation if some parts are left behind in the development journey. He said that the camp secretariats are being organised at North eastern states every month on rotational basis, the initiative being called ‘DoNER at Doorsteps’. He added that the Government has taken various other initiatives for the development of North eastern states, such as setting up of Bamboo Park and Citrus fruit Park there. He said that the age old Indian Forest Act was amended to exempt bamboo grown in non-forest areas from the definition “Tree”, thereby dispensing with the requirement of obtaining a permit for felling of bamboo for economic use. He said that the venture funds have been provided by DoNER Ministry for the start-ups to curb youth exodus from the NE states. The Minister said that this development model needs to be replicated in the new UTs. He emphasised upon tapping the economic potential of J&K by setting up parks on the similar lines for saffron, bamboo and pashmina. He spoke about the possibility of setting up of a food processing park in Ladakh as well. We need to expose J&K to the similar opportunities as available to the other parts of the country, the Minister said. With the abrogation of Article 370, many such opportunities are now available here. He said that the allowances available to the Government servants across India will now be available in these UTs also and many laws applicable to other parts of the country will now be applicable here also. He emphasised upon changing the work culture to meet the changing expectations. Speaking about the other opportunities available to the youth here, he said that the educational and employment opportunities are growing with the setting up of medical institutions, expressing his happiness over the fact that the UT of J&K has the distinction of having two AIIMS.
Dr Jitendra Singh further said that the role of civil servants has evolved over the years from being just revenue collectors to the development officers. He said that with the changing times, we need to replicate the good governance practices and learn good things that we have unlearnt over the years. The Minister said when PM Narendra Modi took over in the year 2014, he gave the mantra of ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance’ and said that Maximum Governance will essentially be bringing more transparency. He quoted various examples like doing away with interviews at lower level posts with effect from January, 2016, doing away with about 1500 obsolete rules and also attestation by the gazetted officers. He added that the Governance includes progressively increasing citizens’ participation at all levels. He said that RTI online portal has been launched which provides information to citizens from anywhere to anyone and anytime.
The Minister said that the work culture needs to be changed to suit the changing demands of today.
Lt. Governor of J&K, G.C. Murmu said that the UTs of J&K and Ladakh have got new opportunities and we need to reinvent ourselves to meet these new challenges. He said that we are the largest democracy in the world and the Government is the agent to meet the expectations of the citizens.
The Secretary DoPT and DARPG, Dr C. Chandramouli said that the mantra of the Government is to ‘reform, perform and transform’. The J&K Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam said that J&K has a lot of potential and this workshop is the beginning of tapping that potential. Earlier in his welcome address, V. Srinivas, Additional Secretary, DARPG, said that the Department has been engaging extensively with the Government of Jammu and Kashmir.
Financial Commissioner Finance Department, J&K, Arun Kumar Mehta, chaired the Pre-inaugural Session on the topic “Public Policy and Governance”. In the post lunch session, presentations included topics like ‘Digital Governance’, ‘Citizen centric Governance’ and ‘Aspirational Districts’. On Day 2, Presentations will be made on ‘Select Initiatives’ and ‘Capacity building & Personnel Administration’. The ‘Sushasan Sankalp: Jammu Ghoshana’ Resolution will be adopted in the Valedictory Session.
Delegates from 19 States and 4 Union Territories are participating in the Conference.
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