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PM Modi's tough love energises India's bureaucrats

Published on Jun 12, 2014 4:28 PM
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (centre) arriving with Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu (right) for the first session of India's newly elected Parliament in New Delhi on June 4, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told India's civil servants to throw out dusty files, clear clutter from corridors and may even demand that they work a six-day week.

The apparatchiks? They are apparently loving it.

Within days of taking office, Mr Modi issued 10 administrative commandments. The first: Build Up Confidence in the Bureaucracy. "This is unprecedented. Power has been shifted," said Mr Suhaib Ilyasi, editor of Bureaucracy Today, a professional journal. "The bureaucrats are feeling happy - even though they will have to work harder," he added. In a readers' poll, more than 70 per cent backed Mr Modi's shakeup.

It's a huge turnaround for a state apparatus that, despite recruiting its top cadres through tough competitive examinations, has been ranked as Asia's worst by one political risk consultancy.

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