New Delhi: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Science & Technology, PMO, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh today said, nine years of administrative reforms under Prime Minister Narendra Modi are, in the long run, aimed at socio-economic transformation.
Delivering the inaugural address at a webinar on Administrative Reforms (2014-2023) in New Delhi, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, large scale use of technology and integration approach are the twin pillars of the revolutionary Governance Reforms carried out in the last nine years. On the occasion, he also released two booklets and one flyer and its e-Version on 9 Years of Administrative Reforms (2014-2023) to mark the completion of 9 years of government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Dwelling on Administrative Reforms, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, ever since Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, the Prime Minister gave us the mantra ‘Minimum Government – Maximum Governance’, which means a government to act as a facilitator, not an intimidator. When we talk of a government like this it means increased transparency, increased accountability and most of all increased citizen participation.
Speaking about the transparency and accountability in the governance, Shri Singh said that the benchmark for clean and effective government is the robust grievance redressal mechanism. A 10 step CPGRAMS reforms process has been adopted for improving of disposal and reducing the time lines which has resulted weekly disposal rate upto 95 to 100%. Average disposal time of Central Ministries/Departments has improved from 32 days in 2021 to 27 days in 2022 to 17 days in April, 2023. The progress for April, 2023 indicates 1,06,847 grievances redressed by Central Ministries/ Departments with pendency level of 67,932 cases. DARPG has established a mechanism wherein after the redressal of complaint, the complainant is called on phone to find out the level of satisfaction through BSNL Feedback Call Centre. CPGRAMS has been integrated with the Common Service Centre (CSC) portal and is available at more than 5 lakh CSCs, associating with 2.5 lakh Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs). This integration has also helped the citizens in availing CPGRAMS related services in remote corners of the country owing to its presence in all the Gram Panchayats.
On Administrative Reforms, Dr. Jitendra Singh listed out several out of box ideas like abolishing the century old colonial practice of attestation of documents by a gazetted officer and replacing it by self-attestation, doing away with interview for Group-B (Non- Gazetted) and Group – C posts in the Central Government since 2016, three month Central stint for fresh IAS officers as Assistant Secretary, structural reforms in PM Awards for Excellence in Public Administration and abolition of around 1450 government rules.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said, to recognize the efforts and exceptional work done by the civil servants, the Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration have played a significant role and after 2014, the process and selection of PM’s Excellence Award have been institutionalised and now this is based on the performance of the district, rather than that of the District Collector or individual civil servant. He said, another improvisation brought is to assess the scale and rating of the implementation of Flagship Schemes in the district. In the last few years, the nominations from districts have seen a substantial increase. The Awards not only provide motivation to initiate new practices and innovations but have also become a medium for the dissemination of innovations and best practices to the different parts of India, thus, contributing to the greater well-being of the citizens of India. A record number of 2520 completed applications have been received and a total of 743 districts out of 763 have registered for Prime Minister’s Awards, 2022. 12 Awards each were conferred under the Prime Minister’s Awards Scheme 2016 and 2017. In the year, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, the PM’s Awards conferred under the Scheme were 15, 16, 15 and 16 respectively. 15 Awards are proposed to be conferred under the PM’s Awards Scheme, 2022 on the 16th Civil Service Day on 21st April, 2023.
Talking about the initiatives to improve the governance, Dr. Singh said that an index has been developed to gauge the performance of States. On Good Governance Day, 25 December 2019, DARPG has launched the Good Governance Index Framework and published the ranking for the states/UTs. This has led to improved performance in governance and under GGI 2021, 20 states have improved their composite GGI scores. On similar patterns, to measure the state of governance at the district level, DARPG has designed District Good Governance Index. It has collaborated with J&K Administration to publish first ever DGGI in January 2022. This is followed by DGGI in Gujarat, UP and Arunachal Pradesh and preparation of DGGI is under way in Maharashtra.
Referring to Mission Karmayogi’s main mantra of moving from “Rule to Role”, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, the Civil Servants must train themselves for a new and challenging assignment as most of the flagship schemes of the Government are now largely based on innovative technology.
Dr. Singh complimented the DARPG team for the successful organizing of Swachhata 1.0 and 2.0 campaigns. For the first time, the realization dawned in the society that Swachhata could also fetch you money. The Swachhata Campaign 2.0 was conducted in over one lakh office sites, 89.85 lac square feet of space was freed and Rs. 370.83 crores revenue earned from disposal of office scrap including the electronic scrap. Moreover, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, when covid struck, the work in this Ministry did not get affected even for a single day, rather the output sometimes was even more.
Talking about digital transformation, the Minister said that e-Office version 7.0 has been adopted in all 75 Ministries/ Departments of Central Secretariat. This is a commendable achievement that 89.6 percent of all files are being processed today as e-files in the Central Secretariat. In 2022, the DARPG has prepared Central Secretariat Manual of Office Procedure (CSMOP) to bring simplicity, efficiency and transparency in government processes and procedures leading to responsive and accountable governance.
Mentioning national e-Governance Service Delivery Assessment (NeSDA), Dr. Singh said that over 1400 services across all states/UTs were evaluated in 2021. Currently, 69 per cent of all possible mandatory –e Services are being delivered by states/UTs and the citizen satisfaction has been found to be as high as 74 per cent.
Lauding the role of DARPG in brining reforms in state administration, the MoS (PP) said that between, 2014 and 2023, 23 regional conferences on dissemination of best practices have been organized across the country. To build collaborating with the state governments for improving public service delivery, DARPG has provided financial assistance to 77 projects under State Collaborating scheme. On the similar lines, DARPG also signed six MoUs with international organizations to adopt best governance practices of various countries. DARPG has funded 10 States ATIs under the Sevottam scheme for quality-based improvements in public service delivery.
Dr. Jitendra Singh also mentioned that the Prime Minister Modi is a man of several innovations in governance and the Chintan Shivir laid down a futuristic model of governance representing far-reaching administrative reforms in the Amrit Kaal period. The Chintan Shivir represents an administrative best practice where de-siloization and free exchange of views has been possible. Team building exercises breaking vertical silos conceptualized in Chintan Shivir with an average duration of 48 – 72 hours. The Minister urged each of the Ministries to conduct Chintan Shivir to transform institutional dynamics suited to 21st century governance models.
Dr. Singh said that as our country moves further ahead on this journey towards building a self-reliant India, it is imperative that we focus on empowering our citizens and reach the last person at the end of the line. As Prime Minister Modi often exhorts- empowering our citizens means ensuring that every individual in our country has access to basic necessities such as healthcare, education, and employment. It also means creating an environment where every citizen has the opportunity to realize their full potential. The fulfilment of this objective requires working towards Vision 2047, which includes major parts of technological enhancements and drawing optimum solutions.