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PM Narendra Modi's meeting with additional & joint secretaries mainly informal

The PM has held three such sessions in the past one week, with nearly 80 participants in each batch, and aims to meet about 400 officers in all.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Aug 30, 2017, 03.33 PM IST
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At one meeting, the PM narrated his experience of becoming the Gujarat CM in 2001 after the Bhuj earthquake that had struck on January 26 that year.
At one meeting, the PM narrated his experience of becoming the Gujarat CM in 2001 after the Bhuj earthquake that had struck on January 26 that year.
NEW DELHI: Narendra Modi’s meetings with groups of additional secretaries and joint secretaries are essentially informal conversations with these senior officers who, though being a key cog in the wheel of policymaking, rarely get a chance to meet and directly converse with the Prime Minister, multiple officials who were a part of such meetings said.

The PM has held three such sessions in the past one week, with nearly 80 participants in each batch, and aims to meet about 400 officers in all. “The PM has held sessions with secretaries earlier.

But additional secretaries and joint secretaries rarely get an opportunity to meet the PM directly. As per protocol, it is the department’s secretary who gets to brief the PM if an occasion demands so. Additional secretaries and joint secretaries are important parts of policy decision-making. This explains the need for such meetings,” a senior government official told ET.

Meetings so far lasted for over two hours each — with the PM making opening comments and then throwing the floor open to officers to ask questions or narrate their experiences on governance issues. Over two dozen officers got a chance to speak at each of the meetings which were unstructured in nature as any officer was free to speak. “The PM made the occasion informal and put the officers at ease. He also joined them during a tea session post the meeting where many an officer freely walked up to him for further conversation,” another participant told ET.

PM Narendra Modi's meeting with additional & joint secretaries mainly informal
(CHARTING GROWTH PATH:Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Udaipur on Tuesday to inaugurate a highway project. Also seen are Union ministers PP Chaudhary, AR Meghwal, Nitin Gadkari, Rajyavardhan Singh (R), Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh (C) and CM Vasundhara Raje — PTI)


At one meeting, the PM narrated his experience of becoming the Gujarat CM in 2001 after the Bhuj earthquake that had struck on January 26 that year. An officer narrated the PM saying how his officers told him when he took over in October 2001 that all relief measures would be complete by March 31, 2002. “The PM said he told officers they must shed this financial year habit,” he said. “For me, year ends on January 26, 2002 when all will analyse how Gujarat provided relief a year after the quake,” the officer said, quoting the PM.

Some novel suggestions have also come to the fore during these meetings, like officers suggesting a more friendly land acquisition policy and citing the success of land acquisition for the Navi Mumbai airport project. Officers have also flagged that file notings should be concise.

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