NEW DELHI, Feb 2: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has started a unique practice, the first of its kind in the history of independent India, of holding a regular monthly “PRAGATI” meeting, through video conference, with the Chief Secretaries of all the States as well as the Secretaries in the Government of India.
In reply to a question by BJP MP, Vinay P. Sahasrabuddhe in Rajya Sabha today, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh disclosed that beginning from 25th of March 2015 till 31st of December 2016, sixteen such monthly meetings have been held. Designated as “PRAGATI”, this practice has proved highly successful and each meeting held in the last week of every month lasts over two hours on an average.
In his reply, Dr Jitendra Singh stated that “PRAGATI” stands for and aims at “Pro-Active Governance And Timely Implementation”. Such a meeting, he stated, provides a robust platform for clear understanding of the bottlenecks as well as the issues involved in different projects and programmes which face delay, and through a discussion, measures are sought to be evolved for overcoming the constraints.
Each of these meetings, the reply further stated, is convened by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and besides taking review of the issues discussed in the previous meetings, there is also an attempt to take up public grievances, discuss in detail the measures for fast-tracking various programmes. During each PRAGATI Meeting, one by one, each of the projects is taken up for discussion and the Chief Secretary of the concerned State as well as the Union Secretary and officers of the concerned Ministry to which the project belongs, interact directly with Prime Minister Modi who not only puts queries on different aspects, but also offers valuable inputs besides laying down timeline for the onward progress of any given project.
Dr Jitendra Singh clarified that PRAGATI is a monitoring mechanism and is project or programme specific. It is not State specific. However, the Chief Secretary of the concerned State is also a part of the meeting for obvious reasons, he said.
Later, replying to queries from media persons, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the idea of PRAGATI meeting was given by Prime Minister Modi a few months after the formation of government and it has proved to be a rewarding example of cooperative federalism between the Centre and the State as well as among the different departments of the Central Government wherein each project finds an opportunity to be discussed by concerned officers from the Centre as well as the State in the presence of Prime Minister. This not only offers greater accountability but also a time-bound responsibility.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leader from Assam and Lok Sabha MP from Guwahati, Bijoya Chakravarty today called on Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh in his Parliament House office and discussed the State related matters including the plan to set up a new Cancer Hospital in Guwahati. She also handed over to Dr Jitendra Singh a memorandum and a DO letter from Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal.