FM Asks IRS Probationers to Develop Creativity, Humility and Willingness to Aquire Knowledge and Skills to be Successful in their Careers
The Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukerjee said that three aspects of human element which has guided human progress are leadership, vision and expertise. The Finance Minister said that all momentous changes in the world have come from exercise of decisive leadership by individuals who have either seized opportunity to usher in change, or have enjoyed broad based mandate to undertake change. Shri Mukherjee specifically quoted the case of Late Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi in this regard, who enjoyed a massive mandate to prepare the country for the 21st Century and his leadership and vision ushered India as an IT powerhouse within a span of a decade.
The Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee was addressing the 64th Batch of Indian Revenue Service (IRS) Probationers here today. The Finance Minister said that creativity is one attribute that enhances the quality of leadership. Shri Mukherjee said that creative solutions enhance productivity and hence our production frontiers. He asked the IRS probationers to remain consistently creative through out their life in public service. He said that a firm foundation of willingness to learn and humility is imperative for the ready acquisition of effective knowledge and skills. He said that in all transactions with others, humility must be emphasized and traded in return for their strengths and the learning experiences.
The Union Finance Minister Shri Mukherjee asked the IRS Probationers to steer the process of change that we seek for realizing our vision and goals in the near future. He asked them to take the initiative and make their best contribution to the largest efforts in nation building. He asked the IRS Probationers to constantly adapt themselves to ongoing changes and update, improve and innovateour systems and practices as well as adopt the best from the rest of the world. He told the probationers that success in their careers will depend on how successfully and productively they are able to manage the public-private interface.
Complete text of speech of the Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee’s on the occasion isgiven below:
It gives me great pleasure to be here today and have this opportunity to spend some time with you all. Let me start by congratulating you on joining one of the premier civil services of the country. You are today at the Parliament House for a trainingprogramme on appreciation of Parliamentary processes and procedures being conducted by the Bureau of Parliamentary Studies and Training. It brings you to one of the most hallowed of independent India’s institutions. The emergence of India as a modern growing nation owes much to this great institution and I am happy to see that you are being exposed to its working.
2. I would think most of you are entering a new phase of your lives. A phase that could be fulfilling and exciting and at the same time even challenging. What you make of this phase in your life depends on how you approach it. A positive outlook with good work ethics should see you all happy and professionally successful. There is no dearth of opportunities in public life; you will have your fair share too. It would make a difference to the nation building process if you see in the opportunities that come your way a means to contribute to public well- being.
3. Today, India is at a stage, where nothing seems impossible to do or achieve. At the same time, there are many serious challenges that confront us, and need to be tackled, if we are to emerge as a developed country, at the other end of current decade.
4. The biggest challenge is the challenge of rising expectations of a young India. It reflects a population that is restless, yet engaged and is ready to seize the opportunities that it is presented with. This is a powerful reason for us to create, facilitate and sustain those opportunities. And for that each one of us in public life has to play our respective role to the best of our abilities.
5. Trade and finance have always been at the centre of human endeavour, since the dawn of the first civilisation. Human needs of survival, self-preservation and desire for order and certainty are driven by an implicit recognition of value of life. A human being sees value in existence and continuing to exist. The same is true of her wants of self-propagation, production and progress. In the India of today, interest in these aspects of life is growing.
6. Amongst the public, there is urge to seek economic and financial literacy. The slightest choppiness in financial markets causes unease and flutter; the slightest rise in prices is accompanied by emotional outburst and sometimes even social unrest. The national budget is eagerly awaited and has become a veritable festival of creative fermentation and debates. Inflation, interest rates, stock indices, GDP, tax rates, etc. are part of everyday staple diet. Citizens perceive value in stability and order and seek fair, rational and reasonable socio-economic policies.
7. The Indian growth story that began a decade and a half ago has now ceased being a mere ‘miracle’ and has subsumed the nation’s collective mood and thought. The improved opportunities in the employment market, the range and quality of products in the markets the greater ability and willingness to pay taxes, increased research and studies in the areas of price control and risk management, the rising profile of the insurance sector and other services and the growth of new financial instruments, are all evidences of this new positivism.
8. Today’s times are also where liberalization, globalization, technological innovation are not mere buzzwords, but real happenings driven by men and market forces that are sometimes not within our personal control. The challenge is to analyze these developments scientifically, regulate and guide them where required and ride them progressively keeping the greater good of the greater number in mind.
9. Indeed, in a globalizing world, the challenges and opportunities of development, in general, and that of sustaining high growth over an extended period of time, in particular, have become more complex. The growing influence of global developments on our domestic concerns makes it necessary to use all our resources and policy options to serve India’s larger political and economic interests, at both national and the international levels. This aspect could not have been better reinforced but for the developments that followed the outbreak of the global financial crisis in 2008.
10. The crisis and the resulting economic slowdown revealed critical gaps in international policy making and regulation, in risk management and international development cooperation. It raised a number of questions on the process of international decision making and accountability that have a direct bearing on the global economic environment for the developing countries. It also highlighted the importance of pursuing reforms, including in the financial sector, to make the economy more competitive and the economic regulatory and oversight system more efficient and sensitive to new developments.
11. When Chanakya says “Koso Moolo Dandah” in the Arthasaastra”, he makes the important point that the treasury and its inflows are the source of a nation’s might. Historically, the focus of the direct tax administration has been on maximal enforcement of the Statute so as to maximize tax revenue and the collections. Both theory and practice has shown that this did not bring in the intended results. The assessee is no longer considered an adversary; committed taxpayers are the engines of our economy and therefore important clients of Revenue Department. Their comfort zones have to be significantly enhanced even as deliberate evaders and offenders are punished. We need to constantly adapt to ongoing changes and update, improve and innovate our systemsand practices as well as adopt the best from the rest of the world.
12. You have boarded the train of public service in an era that is beset with technology, innovations and global integration. The world is rapidly becoming one unified society, with people, corporate entities, capital and technologies seamlessly criss-crossing boundaries. People today know more about the rest of the world than they ever did in the history of mankind. This exposure to cross-border societies has raised their expectations and brought in new benchmarks of performance in the public discourse. Government departments and public servants have to gear themselves to become more efficient, professional and result oriented in their work. Governments worldwide are increasingly leaning towards and depending upon markets and the private sector to deliver on public goods. Public-private partnership has become a preferred mode to deliver quality services. In such a context, success in your careers will depend on how resourcefully and productively you are able to manage the public-private interface.
13. With our resources, especially the human resources and the demographic advantage that comes with having a younger population, we are uniquely placed at this juncture to make the 21st Century a truly Indian Century. It calls for creating the right opportunities for our people.
14. The most critical factor in realizing our vision is the human element, and this is not for the first time in our history. In fact if we look back, history tells us that the three aspects of this human element that has guided human progress are leadership, vision and expertise. All momentous changes in the world have come from exercise of decisive leadership by individuals who have either seized opportunity to usher in change, or have enjoyed broad based mandate to undertake change. For instance, consider the case ofShri Rajiv Gandhi, who enjoyed a massive mandated to prepare the country for the 21st Century and his leadership and vision ushered India as an IT powerhouse within a span of a decade. Invariably vision goes hand in hand with good leadership. Unless there is a coherent vision the process of change may not bring the rewards that it seeks for the society and its people. More importantly, availability of expertise and knowledge is vital for guiding the process of change towards the desired social goal. There are many instances in history were the process of change and reforms that were underway failed to deliver the expected results or had to be shelved for want of expertise to guide the process.
15. Creativity is one attribute that enhances the quality of leadership. Creative solutions enhance productivity and hence our production frontiers. You must remain consistently creative through your life in public service. A firm foundation of willingness to learn and humility is imperative for the ready acquisition of effective knowledge and skills. In all transactions with others, humility must be emphasized and traded in return for their strengths and the learning experiences.
16. You need to believe in the idea of India. Your energies, focus and integrity in contributing to this idea must be second to none. Know that the prospects of India as a nation, socio-economically, politically, and culturally, are on the ascendant. Know that one’s world is solely a result of one’s perception. It is something that we understand from the accumulated wisdom of India’s knowledge