Today, April 21, is commemorated as the Civil Services Day in India. The Government of India observes this day every year as one dedicated to the civil servants since it was on this day in 1947 when Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, independent India's first home minister, had addressed the soon-to-be independent country's first batch of civil servants at Metcalf House in Delhi. In his speech, Sardar Patel had referred to the bureaucrats as the "steel frame of India".
April 21 is thus remembered as the day when the civil servants dedicate themselves to the cause of the country's people and renew their commitment to people's service and excellence in work.
The day is being observed regularly since the function held in Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi in 2006.
On this day, districts and implementing units are conferred the Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence in Public Administration for carrying out priority programme and innovative work. Officials from districts across the country take part in the award scheme, making it a long and large process.
On this day, civil servants from various corners of the country come together and meet each other and learn from each other's experiences of working in the public domain.
The prime minister hands over the awards comprising a medal, certificate and a cash amount for individuals as well as groups and organisations.
In 2017, PM Narendra Modi presented 12 awards including 10 under five Priority Programmes and two under Innovation category. These awards were conferred in three categories - the first consisting of the eight north-eastern states and three hill states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir; the second featuring the seven Union Territories and the third comprising the remaining 18 states.