“As the President of IIPA, I take immense pleasure in presiding over this 67th Annual Meeting of the General Body of the Institute. I welcome all the eminent members present, the various awardees and other guests.
Yesterday, we celebrated the 147th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a visionary leader who envisaged a key role for the civil servants in shaping an integrated and inclusive India. The country is grateful to innumerable civil servants who are making this vision a reality by transforming governance, to the medical professionals combating the current pandemic, to the defense forces securing our borders, to the security personnel who are ensuring our safety, to the farmers ensuring our food security and to the teaching faculty shaping young minds. They are all translating the progressive legislations enacted by the Government and Parliament to tangible outcomes touching the lives of the people.
As you all are aware, India has passed through a very difficult time during the Covid pandemic. However, our country has shown extraordinary resilience to withstand this crisis. It has successfully tapped into its inner strengths and turned these challenges into opportunities. The healthcare infrastructure has been ramped up, production of medicines and vaccines stepped up and we have achieved the milestone of 100-crore vaccination on 21st October 2021.
This clearly shows what sound, strategic, visionary leadership and a competent, dedicated implementation machinery can achieve even under difficult circumstances.
I am happy to note that under the leadership of Dr Jitendra Singh, Chairman, IIPA Executive Council, IIPA has marched ahead during the last one year. Several wide-ranging amendments have been made in the IIPA Memorandum of Association and Rules last year to make IIPA Executive Council leaner, effective, efficient, and more representative. I am sure that IIPA will further achieve new heights under the able and inspiring leadership of Dr. Jitendra Singh.
I am told that more than two hundred fifty members have been inducted as life members of IIPA since IIPA Life Membership was re-opened on 1st January 2021. IIPA is now the leading Institution in the field of Digital Training and a very important part of Mission Karmayogi, the brain child of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. With additional grants from DoPT, new infrastructure is being created and construction of new IIPA Bhawan has already started. I am pleased to know that IIPA has been able to construct T.N Chaturvedi Memorial Hall during this Covid and lockdown periods. It is heartening that even in this Covid-19 pandemic situation, IIPA has successfully conducting 66 online training programs in 2020-21 and trained 8353 officials which is a testimony to the commitment of IIPA towards Capacity Building. In addition, IIPA has completed 60 research studies and conducted 46 webinars on topics of current relevance. These are no mean achievements in these trying times and shows the inherent resilience of IIPA and the firm commitment of its dedicated faculty and other staff members. I sincerely appreciate your untiring efforts.
With over six decades long journey of being a think-tank, I am glad to note that IIPA is repositioning itself in the light of current and emerging challenges. I am glad that the IIPA has a strong network of institutions at the State and local level and it is strengthening this network further. I am also happy to know that IIPA is actively collaborating with Capacity Budling Commission (CBC), LBSNAA and other CTIs under the Mission Karmayogi Programme of Government of India.
Good governance must percolate down to the lowest level. The vision of Prime Minister Narendrabhai Modi is ‘minimum government and maximum governance’. The Government has been making policies and designing programmes that are intended to improve the quality of life of people and make people’s life happy and comfortable by fast tracking India’s development. Indian economy has started reviving. IMF has projected that Indian economy would grow by 9.5% in 2021 and 8.5% in 2022. This growth rate includes the vision of inclusive development of India by improving the livelihood of the people and providing security for leading a better life including schemes of Government of India like Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), the biggest financial inclusion initiative in the world. With the financial inclusion of citizens, and nearly 44 crore new beneficiaries having opened their bank accounts, benefits are reaching the poorest section of the society directly. Nearly 180 crore beneficiaries have received support. People of the country have faith today that they will get benefits of government schemes without any middlemen. ‘Su-Raj’ (good governance) is clearly a priority of the government. There are a number of large, ambitious programmes that have been taken up. Ayushman Bharat Infrastructure Mission, for instance, has the potential to transform the healthcare landscape in the country. Along with upgrading health infrastructure, Ayushman Bharat-Digital Mission will facilitate the ease of living along with simplifying the procedures in hospitals.
Clearly, we are on a transformative path. We are focusing on people, their hopes and aspirations, their needs and entitlements, their duties and responsibilities. We are making each Indian an active agent of social change. ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayaas’ is our constant refrain. Making steady progress towards Aatma Nirbhar Bharat, we are enhancing our manufacturing capabilities. The recently announced 100 lakh crore national infrastructure master plan, ‘Gati Shakti’, is expected to be a game changer.
Our aatmanirbhar spirit has started to reflect in the sports also. Our sportspersons have displayed outstanding performance in the recent Olympic games and Para-Olympic games of 2021. The Khelo India (National Programme for Development of Sports) of Government of India is helping in identification of potential talent and development of sporting infrastructure. Government has planned to establish 1000 Khelo India Centres across the country and decided to establish Deen Dayal Upadhyay National Sports Welfare Fund, National Sports Development Fund for the promotion of sports and sporting talent in urban, rural, tribal and backward areas. I am so happy to learn that it was IIPA which has evaluated the Khelo India scheme and submitted the report to Ministry of Sports & Youth Affairs.
Government is emphasizing on technology to achieve minimum government -maximum governance, bridging the gap between the government and people, system and facilities, problems and solutions, eliminating the difficulties and increasing the convenience of the general public. It has made many programmes citizen-owned and citizen-driven like cleanliness and sanitation, for example. It is involving the private sector and the civil society in a big way as partners in shaping the India of tomorrow.
Against the backdrop of this transformative thrust in policy making, the IIPA needs to be agile enough to quickly respond to the emerging needs of public administration.
The Indian Institute of Public Administration, as a premier institution dedicated to the theory and practice of public administration, must, in my view, play a pivotal role in bridging the capacity gaps in the delivery system. We have to come up with sound strategy for institutional reforms and make IIPA a fit organization to catalyze the new wave of governance reforms in the country. It also has a number of distinguished alumni in form of civil servants who have been trained at IIPA. We must fully utilize their vast experience and expertise. The State Governments must be brought on board and be encouraged to become active participants as also the local bodies in cities and the rural areas. We must learn from various experiences across the globe and also within the country. We must collect and widely share these case studies.
As the President of IIPA, I take immense pleasure in presiding over today’s meeting. I congratulate all the Awardees others for their awards and achievements.
I hope that in the coming days, IIPA will achieve new heights.
I look forward to seeing it grow in stature and competence meeting the felt needs of an aspirational India that we all are trying to shape.”