Smt. Meira Kumar, Speaker of the Lok Sabha has said that the people have very high expectations of the nature and potential of the democratic system in this era of information technology and globalization and they demand proactive governance. People are now looking for enhanced performance and decisive action to address their justified concerns, she said.
Smt. Meira Kumar was addressing the Inaugural Session of the first ever Conference of Chiefs of Public Service Commissions of Member States of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), organized by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) of India, here today.
She said that good governance largely depends on the correct manning of the public services, which in turn is determined by the right intake of the suitable people. It is in this context that the role of a public servant or the institution of Public Service Commissions is critical in our system.
The quality of service to diverse population is largely dependent on the image of the civil service as agents of change, she said and added that the Public Service Commissions in the SAARC Region have to evolve fair systems for recruitment of the best talents available in the country to man these services. They must focus on selecting persons who are committed to the upliftment of the socially and economically deprived sections. The selection process must include aptitudinal tests for determining the commitment and suitability of prospective civil servants to the cause of social transformation and their passion for eradicating deep rooted social evils, the Speaker, Lok Sabha emphasised.
Smt. Meira Kumar pointed out that a good administrator has to be accessible, responsive, vigilant and accountable and said that success of a civil servant lies in providing valuable public services without delay or hindrances. The civil servants also play a vital role as catalysts for social transformation. In addition to execution of developmental projects, civil servants are responsible for implementing socially progressive legislations which are aimed at transforming the society, she said and added that it is incumbent upon them to create an enabling environment to empower the poor and the disadvantaged sections and restore them to a position of equality.
The Speaker Lok Sabha said that the SAARC Charter represents an important step towards strengthening regional cooperation amongst the member countries by setting a roadmap for our respective governments in key areas. The Public Service Commissions can play a decisive role in actualizing these objectives and in achieving the Millennium Development Goals by streamlining the selection procedure of civil servants who are vital for good and responsive governance.
She complimented the UPSC for providing the platform to the delegates from SAARC countries for exchanging ideas and learning from each others’ best practices to further augment the efficacy of the public service commissions towards ushering in transparent and welfare-oriented administration across the region. Lauding the Union Public Service Commission for playing a dynamic role in civil service management of the country, she said that the Commission has proved itself worthy of the confidence the founding fathers of our Constitution had reposed in it.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chairman of the UPSC, Shri D.P. Agrawal said that the SAARC countries need to have a strong and dynamic civil service to deliver quality public service. He said civil services should attract the best talents from cross-sections of the society and should uphold the principles of integrity and probity. A strong civil service is the one in which civil servants are accountable, result-oriented and transparent in their dealings and should command the trust and respect of the people it serves, he underlined.
The Chairman UPSC said that we must recognize the aspirations of our people in the emerging global world and also the challenges of modern administration in critical sectors like policing, justice delivery, education, healthcare, transportation, land management, infrastructure, employment generation and urban development etc. He emphasized that we should strive to attract the best talents upholding the principles of merit, professionalism, equity and fair play.
He said that the Conference will exchange views and ideas on matters relating to recruitment, selection and promotion of civil servants leading to an exchange of best practices.
Shri Agrawal said that the Commissions of the Region could share their success stories with each other to ensure that other Commissions could replicate the success in a given area with necessary customization. This kind of periodical sharing will strengthen our ties, he said. He called upon the SAARC delegate to study the international best practices collectively and identify and try to adopt what suits each one of them. “On its part, UPSC is affirming its commitment to facilitate and partner this process of mutual benefit”, he added.
Delegates from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are attending the 3-day conference
Get Free Email Updates