New Delhi: The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh has said that grievances filed by the public with the Government increased five times during the present Government. While the number of grievances has increased almost five times, Dr Jitendra Singh said, this was possible mainly because of the prompt disposal of complaints in a time-bound manner, which encouraged larger and larger sections of population to come forward and file their complaints. Now people feel motivated to file a complaint, he added.
Briefing the media here today on the Public Grievances system of the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), Dr Jitendra Singh cited figures to state that before the present government came in, the total number of grievances or complaints filed in the grievance cell in the DARPG was hardly about two lakhs annually, which showed a steep and progressive rise in the last three years. In 2013, from 1st January to 31st December the total number of grievances filed was 2,09,297 but in 2014 after the present Government took over on 26th May, the seven months’ period also made a difference and the total number of grievances registered was 2,70,413. In 2015, the number further increased to 8,79,230, in 2016 it went up to 11,94,931 and in the current year 2017, from 1st January to 15th May we have already received 5,49,761 grievance complaints, which means that by the end of this year, this figure may go up beyond around 12 lakhs.
Similarly, on the other hand, Dr Jitendra Singh claimed that in 2013, the average time taken for the disposal of any grievance was 220 days, which has been remarkably reduced to just 24 days in the current year.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, a number of innovative steps in the last two to three years also helped in making the Grievance Cell proactive. For example, now we have a round-the-clock portal and the facility is also available on mobile app so that a citizen is in a position to file complaint any time from anywhere. In addition, he said, a ‘Twitter Sewa’ is also available for the purpose. Referring to a unique experiment started by him, Dr Jitendra Singh said, in the last one year, he started the practice of randomly calling up some of the complainants in order to assess the level of satisfaction and also to seek their inputs and suggestions. He said, the response to this exercise has been unique and citizens have showered compliments through social media and other means.
Dr Jitendra Singh also read out the names and telephone numbers of some of the complainants who he has been speaking from time to time at random and also gave the contact details of two of such complainants whom he had spoken this morning, one of the them being from Telangana and the other from Punjab.
Dr Jitendra Singh appealed to the media to help in educating the masses to understand that grievance disposal does not necessarily mean fulfillment of individual aspiration or wish. For example, he said, if a citizen files a complaint claiming that he is more deserving to get a departmental promotion than his other colleagues, the grievance disposal cell will provide him with the response from the respective department within stipulated timeframe, but that does not mean that grievance cell gets him the promotion if the concerned department denies him so on its own considerations.
He also appealed to the State Governments to activate their respective grievance cells and expressed disappointment that in certain States, the grievance cell was dormant or was never even attended appropriately.
Among those present at the Press Conference were Secretary (Personnel), Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT), Shri B. P. Sharma and Establishment Officer, DoPT, Shri Rajiv Kumar.