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Kaizen: Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduces Japanese system at PMO to improve work culture

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By Ashok Tandon

Narendra Modi has brought about a transformation in the day-to-day functioning of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in the last one year.

He has changed the work culture by introducing the practice of Kaizen, a time-tested Japanese system of ‘continuous improvement’ in quality, technology, processes, work culture, productivity, efficiency and leadership.

Modi has also tried another Japanese practice, that of Quality Management System emphasizing on regular improvement in all departments of the Prime Minister’s establishment. It has cut red-tape and made the office responsive, pro-active and effective.

The Kaizen principles involve every employee in the PMO – from Principal Secretary and all IFS, IAS & IPS officers to the subordinate functionaries. The word Kaizen means ‘continuous improvement’. It comes from the Japanese words ‘kai’ which means ‘change’ or ‘to correct’ and ‘zen’ which means ‘good’.

Everyone in the PMO has been encouraged by the prime minister to come up with suggestions on small and simple improvement. This is not a one-time, monthly or yearly exercise, but something to be practised on a regular basis.

As a response, he has been receiving a large number of suggestions from his team members. These ideas are recorded, shared, and discussed and, if found valuable and practical, are implemented by the PMO.

In most cases, these suggestions may not be ideas for major changes. Modi strongly believes in making little changes on a regular basis to improve productivity, safety, and effectiveness, while reducing wastage in time and expenditure.

The staff at PMO has been urged not to limit their suggestions to any specific area of government functioning. They are motivated to come forward with proposals and ideas for making changes wherever improvements are necessary and possible.

The western world believes in the work philosophy “If it is not broken, don’t fix it.” Modi’s philosophy for good governance is “Do it better and improve it, even if it isn’t broken, because if we don’t, we can’t compete with those who do.”

The prime minister’s ideas on improvement extend even to social activities. He is applying these concepts in his personal life too.

(Ashok Tandon was media advisor to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vaypayee. The views expressed are personal. He can be reached at ashokkumar.tandon@gmail.com)

-IANS

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Oli Assures Modi, Nepal’s Territory Won’t Be Used Against India’s Interests

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

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Gokhale said that Modi's two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations
KP Sharma Oli, PM of Nepal, wikimedia commons

Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli has told his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that Nepal’s territory will not be used against New Delhi’s interests, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said here on Saturday.

“Oli reiterated that they will be sensitive to our concerns and their territory will not be allowed to be used by anybody against India. Prime Minister Modi reciprocated the sentiments,” Gokhale told the media.

Gokhale called Oli’s view “very significant”.

There was a chill in India-Nepal ties during Oli’s earlier stint as Prime Minister between October 2015 and August 2016 when a border blockade blamed on New Delhi crippled Nepal’s economy.

There were also perceptions that Oli was leaning towards China than India.

Gokhale said that Modi’s two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations “whether it be cross-border electricity or cross-border connectivity”.

“We are looking into cross-border electricity and cross-border connectivity not only with Nepal but other neighbouring countries as well,” he said.

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

Stating that India welcomed the restoration of democracy in Nepal, Gokhale said that both the government and the opposition in the Himalayan nation were parties to it.

He said both sides agreed to be committed towards the stated projects. “We will address this within a set timeline.”

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of service to others in his last Mann Ki Baat edition for 2017.
Modi is on Nepal visit for two days, wikimedia commons

According to Gokhale, Oli confirmed to Modi that Nepal will host the the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) summit this year.

Bimstec comprises seven countries lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Gokhale also said that Modi’s visits to cultural sites in Nepal “suggested that there should be strong people-to-people ties”.

Apart from offering prayers at temples in Nepal, the Indian leader inaugurated the Janakpur-Ayodhya bus service, a 900 MW hydropower project and announced Rs 100-crore aid to develop Janakpur city.

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He also held extensive discussions with Oli, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and other government officials to better bilateral ties after which he said: “All misunderstandings with Nepal are over.”

Modi also met leaders of opposition parties, starting with former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and other members of the Nepali Congress.

He exchanged views on strengthening bilateral ties with former Prime Minister and Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”. (IANS)