Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions has said the government is dedicated to service of the people of India in a true sense. Addressing a Press Conference to mark the Good Governance Day, Dr. Jitendra Singh said the government has been taking steps to ensure that the tax payers’ money, which is being spent through various schemes for benefit of the deserving segments, reaches them easily in required shape and measure in time.
“But this only is not enough. We strongly believe that the dignity and respect of the beneficiary is very important and it should not be allowed to be compromised in any way while implementing these beneficiary oriented schemes. It should not be that they feel obliged for the care the government takes of them. Rather it is the government who should feel privileged to be able to be of help its citizens in need,” said Dr. Jitendra Singh.
Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), keeping this concept in the background, has taken many concrete steps for bring in citizen centricity to the core of all its delivery mechanisms. Important components have been included in training modules being imparted to government officials. Various employee welfare measures have been introduced to develop a sense of compassion and care among them for the citizenry for whom they are working.
“On this “Good Governance Day” I am announcing yet another step, an important one, for furthering this objective,” said Dr. Jitendra Singh.
“Today when a beneficiary has to access government schemes, he/she has to fill up lengthy forms, often complicated and give a lot of information repeatedly. On top of it they have to give affidavits and attested copies of a lot of documents as enclosures and wait for indefinite periods with their fingers crossed. Why cannot we have simpler forms seeking only essential information? Why should not we believe our citizens and only seek self attestation of information that they are submitting? It is our bounden duty to deliver services in time with least inconvenience. There is a need to have a critical look at the current procedures and forms in use in various Departments and Ministries in the government. There is a need to eliminate layers of decision making for adding speed to the disposal mechanism. There is a need to specify one page forms seeking essential information for upholding the dignity of our citizens,” he said.
National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG), an organisation with DoPT, is providing necessary direction, guidance and capacity building inputs on Governance and management issues to the Central and State Government and their organisations. NCGG has initiated a series of workshops in partnership with various Ministries/Departments in Government of India with a view to look at their schemes for simplifying procedures and forms with the following objectives:
The convenience of the beneficiaries should prevail over the convenience of the department administering the scheme.
1. The approach of the department towards the beneficiaries should, as far as possible, be based on trust. Hence self certification should be enough.
2. Overall aim should be to make the forms as simple and small ( a single A 4 size page) as possible for the beneficiary.
3. Contents of the forms should be easy to understand and complete. The certificates and documents to be attached with the forms should be easy for the beneficiary to obtain.
4. Intended benefit must reach the eligible beneficiary quickly with dignity.
5. The focus of NCGG is to analyse policy and programme implementation, developing synergies across various sectors, ministries/departments and providing necessary direction and support to Central and State Government organisations and Training Institutes.
To deliberate and develop its mandate and prepare a roadmap for its future initiatives, NCGG organised a one-day National Stakeholders’ Consultation in December 2014. Simplification of complex procedures, proformas and forms for convenience of citizens and providing trust based efficient public service delivery, emerged as a priority theme in the conference. With this end, in 2015-16, NCGG has initiated a series of workshops in partnership with ministries/departments under the banner of “Saral Avedan, Sugam Prakriya, Swachh Prashasan.”
NCGG organised the first National Workshop on Citizen Centric Governance on September 12, 2015 in association with Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Government of India and The Institute for Development and Communication (IDC), Chandigarh. The workshop sessions involved perspective sharing by stakeholder, presentation on experiences in states and best practices for replication and group work by participants to review procedures and forms and evolve an integrative system for delivery of services. The key outcomes of the workshop were- (I) 20 forms were discussed, simplified and recommended to states for adoption (ii) a draft sample simplified form from Explosive Rules, 2008 was presented and 6 forms were simplified.
In continuation of the objective to reduce the gap between the service delivery mechanism and the beneficiaries, the second National Workshop on Citizen Centric Governance was organised on December 18, 2015 in association with the National Social Assistance Programme of the Ministry of Rural Development, and Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) and Directorate General, Labour Welfare of the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
The workshop comprised of panel discussions, group work and interactive sessions with the key results in each department being (i) NSAP simplified 3 forms into single page forms (ii) EPFO simplified procedures for employers, employees and pensioners through online processes (iii) ESIC reviewed 6 certificates and claim forms which were combined into 3 single page forms (iv) DGLW simplified 20 forms into one page forms.
“I am sure with this step we would have restored the self respect and dignity of our citizens who deserve the support of the society the most,” said Dr. Jitendra Singh.