Jaipur, 01 December, 2018: To commemorate the memory of Shri M L Mehta, former Chief Secretary to the Rajasthan Government, and noted social activist, the M L Mehta Memorial Foundation and HCM, RIPA, Jaipur, organized 4th M L Mehta Memorial Oration at Jaipur today. Also present were several past and present bureaucrats who made the occasion relevant to society on account of key roles they fulfill as executive arms of the government’s welfare agenda.
The event was attended by current Chief Secretary, Government of Rajasthan, Shri D B Gupta as presiding member and Professor Anil Gupta, founder of the Honeybee Network, Sristi, Gian and NIF delivered the memorial oration. The oration is organized annually to debate matters of public policy, responsible governance, greater access to education and social impact assessment of key government programs. This is all the more crucial in an age of increasing disparities in income distribution despite progress in global ease of doing business rankings.
Over the years, observed Professor Anil Gupta, founder of the Honeybee Network, Sristi, Gian and NIF, executive attitudes to governance have become more accommodative and less rigid. “The public accountability act brought a time limit with in which various services had to be provided. The system of articulating grievances became more open by openly sharing the action taken on these complaints. The Right to Information act was born in Rajasthan and had a palpable impact on the need for transparency in the public systems. However, the gap between aspirations and the response of civic administration creates niches for frustration, anger, apathy and also, innovation”, said Prof. Gupta.
Administrative innovations and initiatives in online booking systems for the railways, once-in-a-lifetime payment of road taxes, start-up incentives and single-window approaches to public procurement are major achievements of bureaucratic evolution in terms of responsiveness and agility. “The agents of public governance must adapt to changing social values and expectations or else they risk the crisis of alienation and revolution. The greater the disadvantage that communities feel, the greater is the level of anger and resentment that builds up in society. Bureaucracy needs to change in response to the preferences of millennial societies that view the government as a service provider and themselves as consumers rather than followers of dictatorial regimes” said Shri D B Gupta, Chief Secretary, Government of Rajasthan.
Shri M L Mehta was also the Founder Trustee of pioneering health sector management research and academic institution, IIHMR University, Jaipur.
The programme began with Pushpanjali to Late Mr. ML Mehta. This was followed by the welcome address by Chairperson, MLMMF, Mr. Rakesh Mehta and Ms Gurjot Kaur, Director General, HCM RIPA, Mrs. Kamla Mehta, Patron MLMMF, Anil Kumar, former secretary to Vice president, Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Shri Arun Kumar, Shri Inderjeet Khanna both Former Chief secretary, Rajasthan, Shri Kishan Lal, former DGP, govt. of Rajasthan and many more attended the oration. The theme of this oration of the enlightening event was “Towards a responsive, agile and open bureaucracy: Disadvantaged people matter”. Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited (MKCL) gave away MLM Awards to physically challenged entrepreneurs and have overcome their handicap by exercising exceptional will power and are running Information Technology Gyan Kendra (ITGK) in Rajasthan and for their contribution in taking IT to the masses. 20 merit cum need scholarships were also provided through SUMEDHA, an organization founded by Late Shri Mehta. Dr Rashmi Jain, Managing Trustee of MLMMF and Secretary, SUMEDHA coordinated the programme and thanked the guests.