Perspectives from ISB

The office of External Relations organised weeklong engagements with the civil servants to commemorate this year’s Civil Services Day. During one such luncheon interaction, I had the pleasure of meeting Prabhjot Singh, IAS. The rendezvous was indeed insightful, as one would have expected it to be. As the Special Secretary of Department of Personnel, Training, and Parliamentary Affairs, and Director, Tourism, Government of Haryana, he had a lot to share from his varied experiences.

Given his professional background of having worked with renowned organisations along with being a scientist with ISRO, it piqued our curiosity to know what attracted him to civil services. His reply, “Social prestige,” resonated with many in the room.

Though, he couldn’t crack the interview in his first attempt, he bounced back with even more grit and perseverance. He further mentioned about the long hours of study and an unstoppable approach that goes into cracking the civil services examination.

As the conversation progressed, he was asked how tricky it is to make ethical decisions in the face of challenges. He explained that with stern willingness and intent, it is never a difficult task.

He also shared his experiences of the Officer’s Academy where one is chiselled to shine like a diamond before being given a responsible position in the world of bureaucracy. He also talked about the process of conceptualising or developing a policy. He elaborated that this process does not involve working in silos; instead, experts or experienced people from that domain and related domains brainstorm to formulate well-designed and implementable public policies. Also, to keep pace with changing times, existing policies are improved or tweaked, and at times replaced, to ensure meaningful impact.

All these learnings were enriching and the time with Mr Singh was certainly spent well.

In the run-up to the Civil Services Day on April 21, the Office of External Relations organised a series of interactive lunch meetings where civil servants shared their journey and accomplishments with the ISB community.

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