The Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances has taken various initiatives during the year 2015. Following are the highlights of the activities:
- Replication/Adoption of award winning initiatives of PM Award for Excellence in Public Administration and National Awards on e-Governance:
The Government of India has instituted Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration to recognize extraordinary and innovative work done by officers of the state, elected local bodies and central government. Award is given by the Prime Minister on the occasion of the Civil Services Day, i.e 21st April every year.
During Civil Services Day, 2015 celebration, the Prime Minister directed for replication of awarded initiatives. Accordingly, the Department has requested Chief Secretaries of all the States/UTs to identify 5(five) initiatives and send a team of 4-5 officers to study the initiatives. On return, the study teams will present their findings to the State Govt. for possible ways of replication. The State Govt. would then deliberate and explore the possibility of replicating/ adopting the initiative in their own state. 16 States have identified initiatives for replication and are in the process of studying the initiatives.
Similarly, Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG) has been recognizing outstanding e-Governance Initiatives taken by Central/State Government, Public Sector Undertakings, Non-Governmental Institutions and individuals. On the same lines, to strengthen e-Governance in India, it has been decided to develop 10 (ten) case studies for replication by the Central/State Governments out of 22 e-governance initiatives which have been awarded in the year 2015.
The replication and adoption of these awarded initiatives across the country would immensely help in providing Public Services at the doorstep of citizens, improving service delivery and digital empowerment of citizens as well as usher in new government processes (administrative reforms) for cost and time efficient as well as effective delivery of public services to citizens. This would be in-tune with the PM’s call of Digital India and its true fulfillment.
- Civil Services Day celebration and presentation of PM Awards for Excellence in Public Administration:
Unlike previous years this year, the Civil Services Day, acquired new dimensions and it was two days celebration on 20th and 21st April, 2015. Total 5 Panel discussions, the Social Sector (Nutrition, Education, Health), Housing, Employment Skills and Entrepreneurship, Farmer & Agriculture and Context and the Challenges of the Civil Services were held. The Prime Minister presented the Award for the year 2012-13 and 2013-14 on 21st April, 2015.
- Adoption of Self-declaration and Self-attestation:
Affidavits are required in support of facts given by the applicants for issue of various certificates, (residence etc.). Affidavits impose their own cost on the citizens ‐ buying stamp paper, locating a deed writer, payment to the Notary for attestation and, of course, the time and efforts consumed in these processes. On the other hand, affidavits have no particular sanctity in law unless specifically ruled by any statue. The information can be given by way of self declarations. Affidavits, therefore, can be replaced by self declaration, which is adequate for the purposes of law. Similarly attestation by the Gazetted officers also can be replaced by self-certification. The applicant/signatory continues to be responsible for the statement made. Thus practice of self declaration/certification needs to be adopted in place of affidavits/ attestation by Gazetted Officers to the extent possible.
In this background, the DARPG has persuaded Ministries/Departments of the Government of India and the State/UTs to review the requirement of Affidavits and Attestation by Gazetted Officers in various application forms.
About 51 Ministries/Department of the Central Government and majority of the States have already abolished requirement of Affidavit and Attestation by Gazetted officers except where it is required under a statute. DARPG is pursuing with the Ministries/Department of Government of India and the State/UTs, which have not adopted this practice through meetings/letters at highest level, so that citizens at large could get the benefit from the Government’s initiative. Even in the case of 51 Ministries who have adopted the processes, efforts would be made to widen and deepen the process across the Ministries/Departments concerned. Abolition of requirement of Affidavits and Attestation by Gazetted Officers in various services across the country would save the money, time and would definitely establish trust between Government and the Citizen.
- IT based redressal and monitoring system of Grievances:
The online system known as Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS), which was launched by the Department in June 2007 was further reviewed to make it more user friendly. For easy entry of grievances, clear menu option and drop down choices have now been provided to the petitioners. The pensioners’ portal has also been integrated with the PG portal for lodging of public grievances and for avoiding duplication. The Common Service Centres (CSCs) portal have also been integrated with the CPGRAMS so that the petitioners not having access to computers can lodge their grievances through the CSCs all over the country. The trial has been held in 8 States and it is proposed to be extended to all the States.
Also for lodging of grievances through mobile phone, the mobile app has been tested. A QR Code has been provided on the PG portal which can be scanned on to the smart phone after which grievances can be sent from the smart phone directly on to CPGRAMS.
The categorization of grievances have also been reviewed to enable generation of proper analytical reports so that systemic reforms for addressing the root cause of grievances can be introduced. The Department is holding regular trainings on CPGRAMS every Tuesday which has been kept as Open House for all the Ministries/Departments for taking up their issues relating to CPGRAMS. A scheme for implementation of delivery of services and redress of grievances is under consideration for which comments have been invited from all the Ministries/Departments.
- International Cooperation:
A six member visited Singapore from 19-20 January, 2015 to participate in 2nd Joint Working Group Meeting between India and Singapore under the MoU on cooperation in the field of Personnel Management and Public Administration signed between the two countries on 11h November, 2011. Both sides agreed on a Plan of Action with targets and milestones to achieve a concrete outcome in improvement of the systems of governance and service delivery.
Shri Devendra Chaudhry, Secretary (AR&PG) had a meeting with HE Mr. Obed Mlaba, High Commissioner of South Africa in India and HE Mr. Tovar de Silva Nunes, Ambassador in India and other officers of the South Africa and Brazil Mission and MEA on 14th September, 2015 to finalise the programme for the India Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) 8th Joint Working Group meeting on “Cooperation in Public Administration and Governance” to be held in Cape Town, South Africa.
India-Malaysia 3rd Joint Working Group Meeting on Public Administration and Governance was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during 28-30 September, 2015 to carry forward the implementation of MoU signed between the two countries on 26th November, 2013.
In consonance with multi-dimensional changes, there is presently great emphasis by the Prime Minister on the goal of ‘Minimum Government with Maximum Governance’. In furtherance of this aim, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, has signed a MoU on 11thNovember, 2015 with the Cabinet Office, Her Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom (HMG), for ‘Cooperation in Public Administration and Governance Reforms. The main objectives of the MoU is to strengthen and promote bilateral cooperation between the two countries in public administration and governance
DARPG is exploring the possibility of having MoUs with various foreign countries in the field of Public Administration and Governance. Secretary (AR&PG) had taken the matter with the Foreign Secretary and Indian Missions in 16 countries (i.e. USA, Canada, France, Netherlands UK, Spain, Germany, Italy, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, China, Japan and Finland).
- Documentary Films on Best Practices:
The following six documentary films were produced in 2014-15:
(a) Affidavit Free Regime in Punjab– Good Governance Initiative of Punjab
(b) Control Office Application (COA) – Centre for Railway Information System, Ministry of Railways
(c) Automated Building Plan Approval System (ABPAS), Urban Development Department, Indore (MP)
(d) SAND-System for Attumanal Neutral Distribution, District Administration, Thrissur (Kerala)
(e) Conduct of Panchayat Elections in Jammu & Kashmir.
(f) Cervical Cancer Screening Initiative, Chennai (TN)
The Department initiated the process of production of six documentary films on Best Practices which were conferred PM Award for Excellence in Public Administration through Doordarshan in financial year 2015-16.
7. Regional Conferences: Regional Conferences are organised on specific themes in association with various State/Union Territory Governments with a view to bring National and State level organizations along with other stakeholders including NGOs, intelligentsia, media etc. on the same platform to share experiences in the formulation and implementation of good governance practices. Two Regional Conferences, i.e. in the month of January, 2015 at Raipur, Chhattisgarh and on 14th&15th December, 2015 at Bengaluru, Karnataka were held.
8. National Workshop: The First 2-Day National Workshop on Good Governance Initiatives in Citizen Centric Governance was held on 10-11 September 2015 at Vigyan Bhavan. It was inaugurated by the MOS (PP) and Additional Principal Secretary to the Hon’ble PM graced the Valedictory Session. It was attended by around 300 participants comprising of officers from Central/ State Governments, Training Institutions, Academia etc.
9. Book on Best Practices: A Book titled, “Tomorrow is Here” containing articles on 8 National e-Governance Awarded initiatives, published by the Department of AR&PG, was released by the Hon’ble PM on 21stApril 2015 (Civil Services Day).
10. Publication of ‘Minimum Government – Maximum Governance’ – A Quarterly Journal: Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances was bringing out a quarterly journal “Management in Government’ (MIG) since 1969 in order to provide forum for frank exchange of views and opinions among administrators, academicians, scholars and other interested in public administration and public sector management. The focus of journal is on application of management techniques to practical solutions of public administration as well as on conceptualization of principles of good management based upon experience of live situations.
The Department of AR&PG has now renamed and launched first e-Book (Departmental Magazine) with the name of “Minimum Government-Maximum Governance” on 22.10.2015. The first issue of the e-Book is based on the best practices which were conferred PM award for Excellence in Public Administration.