"You are very good at time management but do you spend quality time with your family. Please think about this," he said. READ MORE: Political intervention in bureaucracy is necessary: PM Modi
Modi asked bureaucrats to imagine whether or not their life has become "robotic". "If it has happened than this impacts the whole government and system. We can't be robotic. That can't be our life," the Prime Minister said during an hour-long interaction with civil servants at the 9th Civil Services Day function at Vigyan Bhawan.
Giving a pep talk to the officers, Modi said none of them should look withered.
"It is not that your life should become like a file. If a government is there, files will be there, there is no alternative. It (file) is your 2nd 'ardhang' (better half). If you do not care about life, it will get stuck in files," the Prime Minister said.
Modi said he needed bureaucrats who are full of energy.
"I have never been to Mussoorie (the location of Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy of Administration where all-India services officers are trained). But is it there that one should very serious, one should be carrying the world's burden?
"Why are you sitting like that? I am not going to ask you to do any new work," Modi said, taking a dig at taut-looking officers, evoking peals of laughter.
"You read a lot. You must have read books written by the best people in the world. You are basically of this nature and that's why you are here. He who does 'union baji' in college doesn't come here. He who is lost in books come here," he said, evoking a huge round of applause.
He said the government's work is not only to run departments. "We have to innovative, modernise within the department as well," the Prime Minister said.
Modi also asked bureaucrats to follow the principle of 'Sheelam Param Bhushanam' (character is the highest virtue)- motto of the Mussoorie-based training institute.
"You are very good at time management but do you spend quality time with your family. Please think about this," he said.
READ MORE: Political intervention in bureaucracy is necessary: PM Modi