Monday, January 3, 2011

Major Initiatives of Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions During 2010

Major Initiatives of Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions During 2010

      The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions took several new initiatives during 2010 for raising the efficiency of bureaucracy and better service delivery mechanisms. Steps were taken towards capacity building and strengthening of the historic Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005. Major policy initiatives taken by the Ministry are as under:

Whistleblowers’ Bill tabled in Lok Sabha

      The Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Persons making the Disclosure Bill, 2010, (commonly known as Whistleblowers’ Bill) was tabled in the Lok Sabha. The bill is presently under examination with the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice.

      The Bill provides for adequate protection to the persons reporting corruption or willful misuse of power or willful misuse of discretion which causes demonstrable loss to the government or commission of a criminal offence by a public servant. The identity of the complainant is kept secret. It also provides punishment for revealing the identity of a complainant, negligently or malafidely.

Changes in IAS recruitment Exam

      The pattern of UPSC exam for Civil Services has been changed. The Government has approved the proposal for introduction of Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) in place of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination. The CSAT will come into effect from Civi Services Examination, 2011. This will enable screening of candidates having a right aptitude for Civil Services.

      In CSAT, one of optional subjects, which a candidate could have chosen out of 23 optional, is being replaced with a common paper on aptitude test. The CSAT is aimed at providing a greater degree of level - playing field to candidates of different backgrounds.

Steps to Strengthen RTI Act

i).       A new Central Sector Scheme on ‘Improving Transparency and Accountability in Government Through Effective Implementation on RTI Act’ has been approved. The scheme aims at Awareness Generation and Capacity Building of Stakeholders. Draft RTI Amendment Rules have been posted in the website for seeking comments finalising the same.

ii).       The provisions related to RTI applications received by a public authority regarding information concerning other public authority/authorities have been clarified.

iii).       35000 RTI Posters on Regional Languages i.e. Bangla, English, Marathi, Oriya, Kanada and Malayalam were displayed in Regional Post Offices.

RTI Logo & RTI Portal launched

      Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) launched RTI logo & RTI portal with a view to give this historic legislation an iconic symbol and one stop knowledge bank for information seekers. The simple and iconic logo represents people’s empowerment through transfer and accountability in Governance. The logo’s shape and structure make it easy to remember, recall and replicate with minimal distortion.

      In the last five years the RTI regime has heralded a regime of transparency and accountability and strengthened the democratic structure of the country. Success stories of citizens using the RTI Act abound. The Act has achieved great success in empowering the citizens of India. However it was felt that the core values of the RTI regime – Empowerment, Transparency and Accountability- need to be given a shape in the form of a logo. The logo would be displayed at all public authorities and will be used in various communications related to RTI.

      The Right to Information Portal is one stop knowledge bank forinformation seekers, information providers, trainers, Information Commissions, students and academicians. It provides for a digital library, discussion fora, e- newsletter and a blog.

Distant learning for Govt. employees

      The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for offering Distance & E-Learning Programmes to Government employees. The Government employees can now enroll for a wide spectrum of Programmes offered by IGNOU and get their fees reimbursed on successfully completing the programmes. The courses are open to central government employees working in Ministries / Departments / Attached offices and the faculty members of State Apex Training Institutions.

      The purpose of the Programme is to increase the availability and flexibility of options open to employees for enhancing their knowledge and skills in order to improve the functioning of Government organizations and the delivery of services to the public.

      The categories of courses open for enrolment under this programme are Short-Duration Specialised modules; Certificate Programmes and Masters, PG and PG Diploma Programmes.

46th Meeting of the National Council (JCM)

      The 46th Meeting of the National Council (JCM), the apex body of the Joint Consultative Machinery for the Central Government Employees, was held under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary Shri K. M. Chandrasekhar. Senior leaders of the Central Government Employees’ Unions/ Federations and Secretaries of various Ministries/Departments actively participated in the deliberations. the need for the Staff Organizations to work in harmony with the official side to enhance productivity and efficiency and the endeavour of the Government to maintain a sustained level of contact with the Staff Side to take forward the process of consensus building were highlighted at the deliberations. Various issues of importance to the Central Government employees and their families were also discussed with a view to find amicable solutions and to ensure harmonious relationship.

Quality Management System ‘Sevottam” developed

      A Quality Management System (QMS) ‘Sevottam’ framework has been developed for bringing improvements in the quality of public service delivery. This is a citizen centric initiative for institutionalizing an assessment-improvement framework for improving the quality of service delivery on a continuous basis through the involvement of Ministries / Departments and citizens. Sevottam includes three dimensions of a public service organization as follows: (a) Citizen’s / Client’s Charter that specifies the service delivery standards (b) Grievance Redress Mechanism that gets activated if the service delivery is not as per standards in the charter (c) Service Delivery Capability of the organization to delivery service as per standards in the charter. A ‘nine point quality of compliance’ criteria based on published standards has been developed. Pilot Projects on Sevottam in 10 Central Ministries / Departments has been concluded in June 2010.

      The Depertment of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG) organized fo workshops/seminars for 62 Ministries/Departments on Designing & Implementing SevottComplaint Citizen’s Charter and Grievance Redressal. Sevottam framework focuses on improv service delivery through setting of standards and monitoring the performance of service delivery against Results Framework Document (RFD) standards.

Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) upgraded

      An upgraded version of the Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) was inaugurated in September, 2010. CPGRAMS is an online internet based facilityfor citizens to lodge their grievances from any part of the country or the world. It is accessible at and also through . It is also a tool for effective monitoringof redress of grievance received through the Grievance Redress Mechanism, established in Government of India. The System networks 89 Central Ministries / Departments / Organizations including all responsibility centres under them. Through CPGRAMS citizens can lodge complaints online and immediately get a unique registration number for further reference. The number is useful for checking the progress on redress of their grievance and for sending reminders. Citizens have a choice to lodge the grievance directly with the Ministry / Department concerned or to send it to DARPG. The grievances received in PG Division are forwarded online to the Ministry / Department concerned for redress. Reports can also be generated through the System for analyzing grievance prone areas for taking remedial action for preventing similar grievances from arising in future.

      All grievances received by post / by hand are also lodged on to the CPGRAMS by PG Division on behalf of the citizens. Acknowledgements are generated and issued by post, and final redress response is also sent by post in all such cases.

E-Office Pilot Project launched

      DARPG has taken up the e-Office Mission Mode Project (MMP) under National Governance Plan (NeGP). The project has been conceptualized to modernise the Central Government Offices through introduction of Information Technology. The e-Office MMP envisages a user-friendly and integrated file and records management software solution with implantation of associated process reforms. Under the e-Office Mission Mode Project, DARPG proposes to devise an e-Manual to be adopted by the various Government of India offices in the e-office environment. The e-Office MMP is aimed at introducing the concepts of e-file in the government offices leading to a paperless office.

The broad objectives of e-Office are: - (i)       To improve efficiency, consistency and effectiveness of Government responses.

(ii)       To reduce turnaround time and to meet the demand of the citizen charger

(iii)       To provide for effective resource management to improve the quality of administration.

(iv)       To enhance transparency and accountability Detailed studies have been conducted through National Institute for Smart Governance on various processes involved in the implementation to ensure successful implementation of the Project.

      The project will be implemented in other Government Ministries/Departments in phased manner after its successful implementation / assessment at the pilot locations. Presently the MMP is targeted Central Government Offices only.

13th Conference on e-Governance

      The thirteenth National Conference on e-Governance was organised by DARPG in coordination with the Department of Information Technology, Government of India and Department of Information and Technology, Government of Rajasthan, at Jaipur.

      National Awards for e-Governance 2009-10 were given away in seven categories to 17 organisations. These awards are given to recognise and promote excellence in implementation of eGovernance initiatives. These initiatives could be from Government to Government (G2G), Government to Citizen (G2C) or Government to Business (G2B). An exhibition showcasing the capacities, products and e-Governance initiatives of the Government and private sector will also be inaugurated.

      The theme for this year’s Conference was “e-Governance from Citizens’ Perspective”. The Conference explored how the use of ICT had transformed governance from the perspective of the beneficiaries of the services. It made an attempt at a reality check to ascertain the outcome of the services rendered and whether it has achieved the intended objectives of transparent, effective, responsive and accountable governance. The focus sector this year was Education with the agenda, “ICT in Education-enhancing quality and reach”. During the Conference, discussions were held on e-Governance from Citizen’s Perspective; leveraging mobile technology for better service delivery –financial inclusion through mobile technology; public distribution system (direct access to the citizens through e- Governance) and ICT in education – enhancing quality and reach.

Source: PIB