An atmosphere of change prevaded the two-day celebration of the 10th Civil Services Day. This year, rather than calling for nominations to give away the Prime Ministers’ Excellence Awards, the government chose the districts which had performed excellently in implementing the Prime Minister’s flagship priority programmes. The event was well attended. Nripendra Misra, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, PK Mishra, Additional Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, PK Sinha, Cabinet Secretary, VK Duggal, former Home Secretary, Prabhat Kumar and AK Seth, both former Cabinet Secretaries, were seen mingling with the audience in the front row. Amitabh Kant, CEO Niti Ayog, and Ashok Lavasa, Secretary Expenditure, were involved in an intense discussion. Kant made a wonderful presentation on the Status of Implementation of Reports of Group of Secretaries. Nripendra Misra was dressed in a crisp white shirt and khaki trousers, looking fresh and young. Sanjay Kothari, Secretary DoPT, was seen congratulating and meeting his fellow colleagues. There was, however, some mismatch in the seating arrangement this time. Secretaries and former Secretaries were seen sitting in the same rows. The media did not have a proper place to sit and journalists were standing and wandering in the back rows. Also a point of interest was the fact that Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha spoke in Hindi. The absence of Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, was also noticed by everybody.