GUWAHATI: Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that the 'darkness' surrounding successive competitive examinations conducted by the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) in the last two decades had hampered Assam's administrative machinery and made it lag behind other states of the country.
Speaking at a function here on Saturday for ceremonial distribution of appointment letters to 655 newly-appointed ACS and Allied Services officers, Sarma said that his government is committed to change the system. The role of the newly-appointed ACS and Allied Services officers will be crucial in determining the future of the administrative machinery because they will be holding senior posts within the next ten years, the Chief Minister pointed out.
The Chief Minister further said that the new recruits should have the courage to oppose any move by their superior officers to misguide them.
Sarma said, "This government will stand with any officer who does good work. It is my experience that a section of officers are unable to take action against errant persons because they have made compromises somewhere along the line. It is my appeal to the newly-appointed officers to ensure that even the last person in the queue receives justice. It is the public's right to seek and receive justice from the government. I don't want any citizen to be forced to go from door to door of various officers to get any legitimate work done."
The Chief Minister also emphasized the need for digitalization of various work and asserted that the officers must get rid of the mentality of working only from 10 am to 4 pm. Each officer must remain ready to serve the public at any moment, he said.
Sarma also said that so long as he remains the Chief Minister, government officers must avoid trying to secure preferred posts and postings because now all postings will be done strictly according to rules, and not on the basis of recommendations.
Sarma also disclosed that henceforth a combined examination will held for recruiting engineers for various departments and the department where each candidate is posted will be decided through lottery. "This will be done because some engineers seek appointment in specific departments because of reasons known to all," he said.
Mentioning the new wave digitization and technology-propelled development in the country, Sarma asked the new officers to master the art of digitization and other technological gadgets to serve the people better. Citing the example of schemes like Basundhara, Bhumiputra and others, Sarma said that the state government has started concentrating on digitization to serve the people better.
It may be mentioned that appointed letters were distributed today to 120 recruits of the Personnel Department, 69 of the Home Department, 33 of the Finance Department, five of the Transport Department, 18 of the Labour Department, seven of the Excise Department, 325 of the Irrigation Department, 33 of the Panchayat and Rural Development Department, four of the Skills, Employment and Entrepreneurship Department, 31 of the Revenue and Disaster Management Department and 10 recruits of the Industry and Commerce Department.