The suited and booted officials of the Ministry of External Affairs had a different job at hand on Sunday -- weeding out old files and papers and removing unusable and obsolete furniture.
Officials offered ‘Shramdhan’ to make their office clean and tidy to meet the expectations of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth had recently written to secretaries of central government departments pressing the need for clean working spaces.
Seth had written to all secretaries following a directive from the PM, an official said. All official papers that had outlived their utility and are not needed for future reference were weeded out, shredded, rolled up in plastic bags and sent for destruction.
Special teams and trucks were organised for collection and removal of the items in the South Block, Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan, Patiala House and Shastri Bhawan housing different divisions of the MEA, sources said.
The effort was spearheaded by a young foreign service Officer Shambhu Kumaran, Joint Secretary (Establishment) who had worked out a schedule well in advance and coordinated with all the senior officials to ensure their personal attention and involvement.
The aim is to improve working spaces and the work environment, a source said.
Image: MEA officials getting rid of old papers and files at their offices.