February 21, 2014
New Delhi

PM’s remarks to IAS probationers

"Long ago, Jawaharlal Nehru mentioned that serving the people of India is a privilege. And that service of India essentially means, serving those who suffer from ignorance, from poverty, from disease. And you have a unique opportunity to contribute your might to dealing with these chronic problems of mass poverty, ignorance and disease that have afflicted the people of India for centuries. Since independence, a lot of progress has been made in dealing with these maladies. But I will be the first one to recognize that a lot remains to be done. There are still too many people with tears in their eyes. And our task will not be complete till we wipe out the tears from the eyes of every suffering citizen of our country. You have a unique opportunity to contribute to that process of social and economic change – social and economic development.

Development is the prime necessity of a poor country like India. And you will have important opportunities to complete your training by dealing with issues of mass poverty when you go to districts for training. It is, of course, quite a cliché, that development requires a lot of investment. We are able today to invest very large amounts of money in the development processes. We have an investment rate of about 35 percent of our GDP, we have a savings rate of about 30-32 percent of our GDP. And that gives us a maneuverability to deal with problems of development, both social and economic.

But development does not take place in a vacuum. And today, there are many challenges which can affect the pace of development. The  Law and order situation is a prime concern of the state. And therefore, whatever disturbs the law and order situation has also to claim your attention. What are the challenges in the sphere of law and order? As you all know, in some parts of our country, insurgency has come to stay. We have to work hard to root it out. In some parts of our country, terrorism is affecting the lives of ordinary people. We have to deal with problems of coping with terrorism and getting rid of terrorism. We have to also worry about communal violence which raises its ugly head from time to time. And therefore, whether it is terrorism, whether it is naxalism, whether it is communalism, we have to understand the forces which give rise to these abnormal tendencies in our country, and what we can do as administrators, to ensure that terrorism, communal violence, insurgency and left-wing extremism do not derail the processes of social and economic development of our country.
With regard to issues other than law and order, our task is to ensure that the fruits of development are equitably distributed. Ours is a country of great diversity, a country of great complexity, and therefore, processes of development also have to cope with these processes of diversity. It is in this context that we have to pay special attention to the problems of the underprivileged sections, the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, the Minorities.

These are some of the issues which we have been grappling with right from independence. We have considerable progress to report. But a lot more has to be done to ensure that the fruits of development are equitably distributed; to ensure that development is sustainable, in the sense that the environmental concerns are also equally important as far as sustainable development is concerned.

Therefore, you have a unique opportunity to grapple with some of the foremost issues of our times. These are exciting times to be living in India, particularly since development ,which is a complex process, is gathering pace . And understanding the development process is in itself a challenging task. But those who are grappling with the process on the ground, they are indeed very privileged. And you are really privileged people, who have been charged with the responsibility to contribute to the process of development - a process which must be equitable, a process which must be sustained, a process which reduces regional disparities between various sections of our society. So I wish you all the very best in meeting these challenges.

I am very happy that a very large proportion of probationers now happen to be women. Women occupy 50 percent of the space of population of our country. And there can be no development which does not pay particular attention to the well-being of our women. And therefore it is a very good development, that in recent years, more and more women are joining the central services, and among these the IAS is the most privileged.

I wish you all the best in grappling with the challenges of development, challenges which will occupy all of us for quite some time to come. The development process is indeed an exciting economic and social challenge for the country. I therefore wish you all the very best as you enter this new phase of your life, serving the people of India by participating in the processes of social and economic change at the grassroot level, and learning more about the complexity and diversity of this vast country that India is.

Jai Hind."

Printed from the website http://www.pmindia.nic.in