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Instead of treating the country as a whole, it’s important to identify the cities and areas where economic activity can be started : Anil Swarup, Retd. IAS Officer

Ranchi, Jharkhand | May | 12, 2020 :: TEDxKanke once again organized a TEDxKanke: Webinar Series which was started on Saturday, 2nd May, 2020 and was streamed live on our Facebook page

The theme of the event is “The Rise of a New World” with a continuation of webinars every week.
The event will host more than 10+ speakers over the period of one month in the field of technology, Innovation, Leadership, Creativity and Art & Culture both nationally and internationally.

Anil Swarup, Retd. IAS Officer and author of “Not Just a Civil Servant” was todays Speaker

On the journey of being in the Civil Services for 38 years
“Became an IAS officer because my father wanted me to. But if I get another option, I will choose this service again. It’s the only service where you can survive and thrive without doing anything as well as doing better things. One has to learn the art of making things happen with the govt. Having he solution to any problem can only come after understating the why of the problem. That is what my career was based on.”

On pitching ideas in a government and getting things done

• In a democracy, for an idea to sustain, politically acceptable, socially desirable, technologically feasible, financially feasible, administratively doable and judiciously deliverable.

• The idea must be packaged in a manner that it becomes acceptable by all the parties. It is important to understand the limitation of the person you are speaking to.
• Important to identify the good and efficient people who can get things done, by letting go of the prejudice against the govt.
• To understand what language works with a particular politician or an officer and sell your idea in that language, making it understandable and beneficial for this person.
• Social acceptability means that the beneficiary has to be kept on mind while pitching the idea.
• If the technology does not exist, it requires a proper thought on how to deliver an idea.
• Similarly, financial feasibility, an administrative structure to implement things and having judiciary on board also needs to be kept in mind for delivering on an idea in the govt.

On suggestions of visiting other countries to understand their education systems

• Suggestion came mostly the advisers who were heavily paid but would only talk and do nothing. In response to their suggestions, it was better to travel across 24 states of India in the first three months as secretary of education – to places like Bustar and Sukhma.

• Cannot make things happen in the govt, without understanding the ground reality.
• Wisdom does not reside in Delhi but in the hinterlands of the country. It is easier to replicate the models picked up from within the country to be delivered in the country than picking something from a foreign country. One model from Bastepara was replicated in more than sixty thousand schools in Maharashtra itself.
• Social Media can be utilized to reach out to people and show them that good work can be done.

On his role in the Coal Ministry

“First thought was grave and felt that things could not become worse. Took it as a positive sign that whatever can be done will only be better from the current scenario. Blessed with an amazing team who did all the walking and implemented the ideas. Thus, the team derives all the credits.”

On the ongoing Coronavirus crisis and resulting financial and aspirational challenges

• Very complex situation. The civil servants have performed incredibly on the ground.

• The revenues of the govt have come down dramatically and hence fiscal deficit will go up. The deficit will also increase with the increasing govt expenditure (in terms of several packages).
• Manufacturing and demand need to be reprised. Money has to be given out to increase spending by prioritizing printing of notes over inflation for the time being.
• Instead of treating the country as a whole, it’s important to identify the cities and areas where economic activity can be started.

• Huge opportunities emerging out with international companies coming out of China. India must prepare itself to invite these investments to India. This requires faster clearance mechanism.
• Bankers are scared of lending. There is a need to encourage them for lending money for new investments as they are not facing shortage of money.

On building trust for investment in India

• Problem – the citizens love scandals in this country. Scam is created or exaggerated when there is none for instance, the coal scam.

• Inherited presumptions that every undue private benefit is in collusion with a bureaucrat. There needs to be more trust and confidence for civil service to work, for India to provide a platform for investments to come to us.

Audience Questions

How do you see the business class reacting to the unsupportive judicial system?

By Mr Atul Agarwal, a Ranchi based Entrepreneur

It indeed is difficult for businesses to conduct business in India. But it is important to identify certain areas where business can be done.

• Lot of things happening in others states that are not happening in Jharkhand. Identifying the reason for the same will give confidence to solve some problems.
• Clearances are faster in other places because of digitization of processes which are also made transparent for people to know where their files are pending. What must be done is to find a person in Jharkhand govt who would be prepared to listen to the proposal on cues of the success seen in Haryana, for example, and open doors for some solutions in this regard.

Disparity of educational services seen between private and government schools under the ongoing pandemic. How can we address the problems for students deprived of education?
By Mr Sunil Barnwal, IAS, Govt. of Jharkhand

• The current situation is very tough. However, some very interesting innovations happening around the country.
• Plan to host a conference in 15-20 days with different schools, principals and other people in education sector to share their experience in terms of reaching out to students who do not have internet or other facilities to study from a distant mode.
• The larger concern is the engagement with children. Can teachers speak with such children at least once a day for maintaining some level of engagement?
• Education is an essential area of concern, especially in remote areas and with current apprehensions of the crisis continuing for some time, it will require multiple stakeholders – from governments to corporates – to come forward with innovative ideas to find solutions for our education system. Time for creating some incredible private-public partnerships.

TED is a non-profit organization devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading”. It is an annual event that brings together the world’s leading thinkers and doers to share ideas that matter in discipline like technology, entertainment, design, science, humanities, business, development.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx Webinar is a program of local, self-organized online events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

The idea behind TEDxKanke Webinar Series is to bring people together to seek a deeper understanding of ourselves and our changing world, and to inspire ideas and action for a better future for us all from the comfort of our home. The lockdown and social distancing has inspired us to take the vent online and reach out to more and more people, keep them inspired, positive and be ready for the new world post CoVID19. The goal of TEDxKanke Webinar is to bring bright minds together to give talks that are idea-focused on a wide range of subjects to foster learning, inspiration, and wonder-and provoke conversations that matter.

Moderated By: Rajeev Gupta, Curator, TEDxKanke

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