From the outset it appears that Union home minister Rajnath Singh, who took charge on Thursday along with minister for state Kiren Rijiju, is expected to give bureaucrats functional freedom to get target oriented results in their respective areas while maintaining an overall grip on policy issues and through timely interventions when needed.
Immediately after taking charge, Singh and Rijiju went through a marathon presentation by each of the 20 divisions lasting nearly four hours.
The change in scenario on day one — from Sushil Kumar Shinde's lacklustre tenure that saw a decline in the home ministry's importance seemed to have rejuvenated the heads of 20 odd divisions of the home ministry. "After the first interaction with the new HM and the MoS, there seems to be a sense of purpose that was missing earlier. The minister was keen to know the issues in detail and did not shirk from asking questions whenever needed," said a senior home ministry official.
Of various issues the ministry looks keen to bring focus on three issues – tackling illegal migration of Bangladeshis, have re-look at UPA's flagship scheme of Aadhaar card through unique identification authority of India (UIDAI) and improve and ensure security of people of North-Eastern states living in metros like Delhi and Bangalore.
Sources said the minister was keen to know the status of illegal Bangladeshis living in the country, their numbers, modus-operandi of illegal migration and ways to tackle the issue.
In the marathon meeting Rajnath Singh specifically asked the bureaucrats to give deliverable, actionable plans of their respective divisions; identify gaps, problems areas and possible solutions and then tell him what kind of intervention is required from his office to make things move forward.
"In particular, he was keen to know out of the box and innovative solutions to vexed issues that are troubling the internal security – be it terrorism, Maoism or insurgency," sources said.
The new HM also seems to have realised that coordination and better interface – whether it's inter-ministerial or between Centre and States is a big problem area that needs to be worked upon for smooth functioning of the government.
During UPA-II tenure, the Italian marines issue had become a big headache and embarrassment for the government because of lack of coordination between home, external affairs and law ministries. Apparently, Singh does not want his ministry to get sucked into any such quagmire.
Heads of the key divisions looking after internal security, left wing extremism (LWE), North-East, Jammu and Kashmir and centre-state have been asked by Singh to give their individual detailed presentations from next week.
The minister also touched upon border issues with Bangladesh and Sir Creek with Pakistan and asked his official to think of solutions that don't compromise with the national interest but at the same time appear attractive to the neighbouring countries.