Emphasising that ‘Nation First’ should be the guiding theme while taking decisions for the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the prime responsibility of the government and its officials is “unity and integrity” of the country.

“Wherever we are in the system, our prime responsibility is the unity and integrity of the country, there cannot be any compromise. Even local decisions should be measured on this touchstone. Every decision of ours should be evaluated on its capacity to provide strength to the country’s unity and integrity. ‘Nation First’ should always inform our decisions,” the Prime Minister said in his address on the occasion of Civil Services Day.

Conferring the Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration, Modi suggested that all training academies can virtually share the process and experiences of award winners on a weekly basis. Besides, from award-winning projects, one scheme may be chosen for implementation among a few districts and the experience of the same may be discussed in the next year’s Civil Service Day.

The awards have been instituted to recognise the extraordinary and innovative work done by districts/implementing units and Central/State organisations for the welfare of common citizens.

Vision for next 25 years

Stressing on the significance of this year’s celebration as it is taking place in the year of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the Prime Minister asked administrators to call past district administrators in this special year to the district.

This will infuse new energy in the district and will provide a welcome dynamism in the perspective of district administration informed by the experience of the past. Similarly, Chief Ministers of States can call former Chief Secretaries, Cabinet Secretaries from the State in this landmark year to commemorate and take benefit from the flag-bearers of administrative machinery that have contributed significantly in the journey of Independent India, he added.

“India @ 100 can’t be routine. This 25-year period should be seen as a unit and we should have a vision from now onwards itself. This celebration should be a watershed. Every district should move with this spirit. There should not be any let up in the efforts and this is the time to rededicate ourselves to the pledges and directions that Sardar Patel gave on this day in 1947,” the Prime Minister noted.

Three goals

In India’s democratic set up, the government should be committed to three goals, Modi said adding that the first goal is that there should be a change in the life of the common people in the country, their life should be easy and they should also be able to feel this ease.

“Secondly, given the growing stature and changing profile of India, it is imperative that whatever we do, that should be done in the global context. If we don’t follow the activities at the global level, it will be very difficult to ascertain our priorities and focus area. We need to develop our schemes and governance models keeping this perspective in mind,” he said.

The third goal, which is the prime responsibility of civil servants, is the unity and integrity of India. There cannot be any compromise, the Prime Minister pointed out.