CM gives ‘English’ tip to bureaucrats


West Bengal Civil Service officers have been advised to improve their spoken English skill. The advice came from none other than Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who observed that many civil service officers lack the ability to speak English fluently because the subject was withdrawn from primary level education during the Left regime.

Mamata further said: "I was too weak in English when I became MP for the first time. There was a feeling of inferiority in my mind as I was not fluent in the language."

Addressing West Bengal Civil Service (Executive) Officers Association at Town Hall on Saturday, the chief minister said: "You (Civil servants) have good command over English grammar and you can write notes in English very good. But many of you do not speak English fluently. We are contemplating arranging a bridge course for improving your spoken English skills in collaboration with British Council. The seven-day course will help you improve your spoken English skill."

The chief minister also taught the civil servants the lesson of getting relief from stress and tension. "Play games, listen to music and be relaxed. Even I used to play dangoli (a popular game that children play in villages). This is essential," she advised the bureaucrats.

She instructed her secretary, Gautam Sanyal, to give all the Block Development Officers (BDO) her telephone number and e-mail address so that they can contact her when required. "Contact me and let me know what you want to convey," she said.

A section of civil servant officers said the chief minister wants to open a direct communication channel with BDOs to keep pressure on district magistrates (DMs).

Brushing aside CPM's allegation that the Trinamool government is politically vindictive, Mamata said she would have sent many opposition leaders to jail on charges of corruption had she been "really vindictive".

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