He was addressing a group of 183 IAS probationers, including 3 officer trainees from the Royal Bhutan civil services, when it called him at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

"As the young officers progress in their career, they will have newer challenges. To deal with them effectively, they must be proactive, innovative and responsive," he said.

The President said he was glad to have an opportunity to meet the young officers who will have a definitive role in steering the "destiny of the nation for the next three decades and more."

He said that since independence, there have been several IAS officers who have left an imprint on the nation by their illustrious service.

Mukherjee that the vast multitude of people in the country expected the officers to deliver and supervise the implementation of programmes meant for them.

He recounted the famous talisman of Mahatma Gandhi to stress his point as he asked them to pay special attention to the vulnerable sections of the society.

He asked them to always remember the mantra of the Mahatma, according to a Rashtrapati Bhavan statement.

"When you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may have seen, and ask yourself: If the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him? Will he gain anything by it? Will it restore him to a control over his own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to 'Swaraj' for the hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then you will find your doubt and your 'self' melting away," he said.

The probationers are in Delhi to attend the training at Bureau of Parliamentary Studies and Training.

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