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Modi Creates Own ‘Groups of Ministers’ to Give More Wings to Governance

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Aligning with Prime Minister’s thoughts and broadly focussing on overall improvement on governance, the entire Council of Ministers of the Modi government have been divided into eight groups.

When it seemed that the UPA era created ‘Group of Ministers’ has become a thing of the past, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has embarked on a similar approach as he has created eight groups out of his Council of Ministers to further ‘Sushasan’ or governance – a word used more than frequently by Modi and his ministers.

The decision has come after long deliberations at the ‘Chintan Shivirs’ or brainstorming sessions for the past several days. Having a pragmatic approach towards governance, the Prime Minister is mulling on plans to engage young professionals, take concrete suggestions from retiring officers on various aspects of works being done by the government and make optimum use of technology for project monitoring. Monitoring and evaluation of processes of government programmes has become a keystone of NDA’s regime ever since Modi has taken over in 2014. Apart from this, all the eight different groups will monitor various other activities of ministries to expedite the work. These groups will consist of members from the entire Council of Ministers.

It has been learnt that the focus of the novel executive act is to develop technology-based resources and create a pool of talent who will be recruited in different teams. Other similar initiatives will also be adopted in the offices of all ministers’ to bring more transparency.

There were five long ‘Chintan Shivirs’ conducted that were chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself and each meeting lasted for nearly five hours. Of the five sessions, one each was held on Personal Efficiency, Focused Implementation, Ministry Functioning and Stakeholder Engagement, Party Coordination and Effective Communication and the last one was on Parliamentary practices. All the 77 Ministers were present and actively participated in the mega exercise to boost the speed of the government works.

The last brainstorming meeting was also attended by the Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu. All the 77 ministers are now part of one group or more. Sources say that each group comprises nine to ten Union Ministers with one Minister designated as a group coordinator.

According to sources, one of the outcomes is that in each Minister’s office a portal will be developed that would give updates on the performance of the Centre’s flagship schemes and policies. Moreover, a dashboard for monitoring decisions made by the respective ministers and a system to schedule meetings and manage correspondence shall also be created immediately. All the eight groups have also been asked to create profiles of all the districts, states and ministries and develop stakeholder engagement programmes necessary to give wings to governance.

Out of all, there is one group which has been assigned to set up a mechanism for creating a team of at least three young professionals who possess command over research, communication and related key areas. On the similar lines, one of the groups is directed by the Prime Minister to create a portal that maintains feedback and experiences of the retiring employees because that is something that ‘comes directly from horse’s mouth.’ Union Ministers Hardeep Singh Puri, Narendra Singh Tomar, Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan, Smriti Irani and Anurag Thakur are among the ministers who are made coordinators of their respective groups. Sources say that most of the ministers who made presentations before the Prime Minister were subsequently declared as the coordinators of their ministries. They will now be sharing the good practices of their respective offices with other cabinet colleagues so that a quick adoption of the same is possible.

Political history has it that ‘Good Governance’ is key to a nation’s progress. “Our government is committed to providing a transparent and accountable administration which works for the betterment and welfare of the common citizen” – these were the words of Narendra Modi on the birthday of former PM Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2014. “We reiterate our commitment towards providing transparent, effective and accountable governance to the people of this country. Let us embark on this mission for good governance together,” he apprised. The eight groups of ministers can be linked to the Prime Minister’s earliest thoughts on governance.

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