The honourable Prime Minister visited the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration on the 26th and 27th of October. It was the first time since 1974 that any Indian PM visited the academy. Needless to mention, the academy was readying like a bride a month before the D days.
The VVIP came to the academy in the afternoon of 26th along with the cabinet secretary. He took a photograph with the entire batch of 92nd Foundation Course.
Following this, he interacted with officer trainees in four sessions. In these sessions he primarily was looking for ideas from the young bureaucrats.
Below is a picture from one such session:
After this, the VVIP was led into the Sampoornananda Auditorium for cultural programme called Indradhanush.
The first day came to an end with a formal dinner with the OTs at the Karmshila mess.
Day 2 was comprised of Chintan and Manthan sessions on ideas for development and innovation through PPT by OT and various programs on the theme of Swachh Bharat respectively. Chintan session got ideas on smart urbanisation, skill development, green cities, India in 2022, ICT in education among others.
Manthan was applauded for its diverse approach to achieve the targets of Swaccha Bharat Mission.
This was followed by a course report by our course coordinator Shri C Sridhar, IAS Bihar. This gave a detailed view of life of an OT and particularly the IAS who is trained in various stages upto Phase II.
The program, and the two day visit, ended with a speech by the Honourable PM. Sir emphasised on the idea of anonymity of an officer by comparing us with the fourth lion of the national emblem. He also did leg pulling of the OTs who were sleeping in the hall during the various programs. All this while, the Honourable PM interacted in an informal manner. He also suggested tweaking the academy curriculum by introducing more practical case studies.
Behind the scenes:
Before coming to the academy, I would only see diginitary visits as any other event in the newspaper but this visit by the Honourable PM changed my perception altogether.
A lot of work goes into planning the visit. We, as OTs, were issued minute to minute program of the VVIP and due to security reasons our movement was restricted. We were not allowed to carry anything else except our Identity cards. The Special Protection Guards (SPG) had thronged the academy two days in advance. The campus looked like a cantonment with officer from Uttarakhand Police, SPG flooding the campus.
The food to be served by the VVIP was first fed to the guard dogs at Night and then only was it considered for VVIP consumption. Special Gujarati chef was called from Gujarat Bhawan, Delhi.
Our entire course team worked tirelessly hard for over a month for this visit. The visit was a success and we were sent a congratulatory mail by the course team for supporting the visit in whatever little ways.
It was certainly a once in a lifetime opportunity and it also was a glimpse into the life ahead. As an administrator, you end up doing a lot of firefighting and event management.