For PM-to-be Narendra Modi, 20-Minute Presentations from 84 Departments

For PM-to-be Narendra Modi, 20-Minute Presentations from 84 Departments

Narendra Modi, who will be sworn in as Prime Minister on Monday

New Delhi:  As Narendra Modi prepares to take charge as India's next Prime Minister on Monday, the government's top officials are busy doing their homework. (On Narendra Modi's Guest List 2500 People, SAARC Leaders)

Sources say all top officials have been told to prepare for a meeting with Mr Modi, "any time after he takes over."

As many as 84 government departments have prepared 20-minute power point presentations for the new prime minister.

The meetings can be "at any time and any place", the officials have been warned. Sources say Mr Modi is keen to have one-on-one meetings with each secretary.

It is rare for secretaries of the government of India to meet the PM directly, officials told NDTV. The outgoing Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, never had such meetings, they added.

Cabinet secretary AK Seth had earlier met all ministry secretaries and asked them to prepare presentations about their past record, their problems and an action plan for the future.

Mr Seth, sources say, has asked the bureaucrats to be prepared to talk about their achievements, amid talk about downsizing and restructuring.

Mr Modi, who has ruled Gujarat for 13 years and has held up the "Gujarat model" of governance as his blueprint, is known to give bureaucrats a free hand even though he likes to keep a tight rein on his ministers. (Narendra Modi Leaves for Delhi; Bids Goodbye to Gujarat)

But the new PM is believed to be discussing a leaner government, and officials say they have to be ready to hard-sell their departments.

Secretaries have been informally asked to give their views on whether some ministries should be clubbed to ensure better coordination. For instance, they have to share what they think on bringing the Coal and Power Ministries under a single Energy Ministry.

Sources in the Coal Ministry say they have conveyed that they are against such a move, while Power is said to be in favour of it.

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