Come up with books on citizens' duties, Law Ministry tells NCERT

NEW DELHI, AUGUST 14 (IANS): The Ministry of Law and Justice has requested the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) as well as the state governments to come up with books on citizens' duties.

As part of its concerted efforts to create public awareness on the matter, the Ministry's Department of Justice has also appealed for inclusion of chapters on civics and political science in books, with a special emphasis on citizens' duties.

Addressing a webinar on 'Citizens' Duties during COVID-19' on Friday, Department Secretary Barun Mitra said: "Similarly, we have requested the Department of Legal Affairs to come up with some modules on citizens' duties.... Some of the states have already acted on the matter and the Department of Legal Affairs has already prepared some modules." Mitra said that the Department of Justice, with the help of Indian Embassies, has also started involving non-resident Indians abroad on citizens' duties and what all they can do for their country.

"We need to do everything jointly in a very sustained manner and in a way wherein we can take everyone on board and listen to more suggestions to help build a more robust and vibrant society and a more developed nation," he added.

Referring to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and noting the duties performed by doctors, nurses, other medical staff and scientific community, the officer said: "We will look up to them with hope and gratitude. They are perhaps one of the best icons before us on how we can perform a citizen's duties." Terming the positive response from common citizens and society at large as 'heart-warming', he said: "Be it coming up with community kitchens, creating awareness about prevention and physical distancing, providing shelter to the homeless, supporting government efforts to set up health camps to deliver services to the elderly, people with disabilities, children and others, their contribution has been exemplary." Mitra also lauded the efforts of the private sector and India's start-ups during Covid-19. "The constructive role in Covid-19 response played by the corporate sector in rebuilding and reviving our economy has been both timely and invaluable. This is an opportune moment for the government and the industry to act in unison to achieve the goals of a safe and secure country and self-reliance." The officer said that that the coronavirus crisis had also brought out the best in the start-up space. "Many of them have risen to the occasion and accelerated development of low-cost, scalable, and quick solutions; results have been promising and we are certain that it is these vertical and horizontal partnerships built over the decades and strengthened during this joint fight against the pandemic that will deliver better and greater results in the times to come." He urged the industry associations to spread the message and sensitise all about the responsibilities and duties towards the nation.

"Let us all resolve to work with unflinching commitment to build an Atmanirbhar Bharat and let us together resonate with the spirit of citizens' duties to achieve the full potential of our country." ASSOCHAM President Dr Niranjan Hiranandani also addressed the webinar and assured support of the industry in government's initiatives vis-a-vis creating awareness about the citizens' duties.

Sharing his perspective, ASSOCHAM Secretary General Deepak Sood said: "To instil the importance of fundamental duties in a society, India should, as part of its education reforms, incorporate community welfare practices right from the primary stage to the university level. This will help our future citizens develop a strong sense of ethics and create model citizens."