Sample Material of Current Public Administration Magazine
1.Accountability & Responsibility
A Citizen Charter is a document that represents a systematic effort to focus on the commitment of an organization towards its citizens in respect of standard of services, information, choice and consultation, non-discrimination and accessibility, grievance redress, courtesy and value for money. It also includes the expectations of the organization from the citizens for fulfilling its commitment.
The main objectives of a Citizen Charter are:
• To empower the citizens by making them aware of their rights and entitlements to public services.
• To improve the quality and responsiveness of public services by setting clear and measurable standards and targets.
• To enhance the accountability and transparency of public service providers by providing mechanisms for feedback, monitoring, and evaluation.
• To promote a culture of citizen-centric governance by involving citizens in the design, delivery, and review of public services. The main components of a Citizen Charter are:
• The vision and mission statement of the organization, which reflects its goals and values.
• The details of the services offered by the organization, such as the scope, eligibility, quality, timeliness, cost, etc.
• The rights and responsibilities of the citizens as well as the service providers, such as the expectations, obligations, duties, etc.
• The grievance redress mechanism for the citizens to lodge complaints or suggestions and seek remedies or improvements in case of dissatisfaction or failure of service delivery.
• The performance indicators and review mechanism for the organization to measure and report its achievements and gaps in service delivery and to take corrective actions or innovations
Citizen Charter in India is an initiative to improve the quality and responsiveness of public services by setting clear and measurable standards and targets, providing mechanisms for feedback and grievance redress, and enhancing accountability and transparency of service providers. It was adopted by the central and state governments in 1997, following a conference of chief ministers of various states and union territories.
2. Indian Government and Politics
An ombudsman is an official who is usually appointed by the government or by parliament to investigate complaints and attempt to resolve them, usually through recommendations or mediation. An ombudsman acts as a check on government activity in the interests of the citizen and oversees the investigation of complaints of improper government activity against the citizen.
There are different types of ombudsmen in India, depending on the sector or domain they deal with. Some of the examples are:
• The Banking Ombudsman is a quasi-judicial authority appointed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to redress customer complaints against banks for deficiency in banking services, such as delay in cheque clearance, non-payment of deposits, unauthorized charges, etc. The Banking Ombudsman Scheme covers all scheduled commercial banks, regional rural banks, and scheduled primary co-operative banks.
• The Insurance Ombudsman is an independent authority appointed by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) to resolve disputes between policyholders and insurance companies, such as delay in claim settlement, partial or total repudiation of claims, dispute on premium paid or payable, etc. The Insurance Ombudsman Scheme covers all life insurance and general insurance companies operating in India.
• The Lokpal and Lokayuktas are statutory bodies established under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 to inquire into allegations of corruption against public functionaries, such as the Prime Minister, Ministers, Members of Parliament, Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, and other public servants. The Lokpal is the ombudsman at the central level, while the Lokayuktas are the ombudsmen at the state level.
Ombudsman in India is an official who is usually appointed by the government or by parliament to investigate complaints and attempt to resolve them, usually through recommendations or mediation. An ombudsman acts as a check on government activity in the interests of the citizen and oversees the investigation of complaints of improper government activity against the citizen.
3. Economic Administration
Fiscal deficit is a term that refers to the shortfall in a government's income compared with its spending. It means that the government is spending beyond its means and has to borrow money to finance its activities.
Fiscal deficit is calculated as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), or simply as total dollars spent in excess of income. In either case, the income figure includes only taxes and other revenues and excludes money borrowed to make up the shortfall.
Fiscal deficit can be caused by various factors, such as:
• Low tax revenues due to economic slowdown, tax evasion, or tax cuts.
• High public expenditures due to social welfare programs, subsidies, infrastructure projects, or defense spending.
• Unforeseen events such as natural disasters, wars, pandemics, or financial crises that require emergency spending or reduce income. Fiscal deficit can have positive or negative effects on the economy, depending on the context and magnitude. Some of the possible effects are:
• Stimulate economic growth by increasing aggregate demand, creating jobs, and boosting consumer confidence.
• Crowd out private investment by increasing interest rates, reducing credit availability, and discouraging savings.
4. Current Topics
IT in administration is the use of information technology (IT) to support the administrative, organizational, and operational functions of an organization. IT in administration can help improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and quality of various processes and services within an organization.
Some of the benefits of IT in administration are:
• It can enhance communication and collaboration among different departments, units, or stakeholders within or outside the organization.
• It can streamline workflows and automate tasks that are repetitive, routine, or prone to errors.
• It can facilitate data management and analysis by storing, processing, and presenting information in a secure and accessible manner.
• It can support decision-making and problem-solving by providing relevant, timely, and accurate information and insights.
• It can improve customer service and satisfaction by delivering faster, better, and more personalized services to the customers or clients. Some of the challenges of IT in administration are:
• It can require high investment and maintenance costs for acquiring, upgrading, and repairing hardware, software, and network infrastructure.
• It can pose security and privacy risks by exposing sensitive or confidential information to unauthorized access, theft, or misuse.
• It can create dependency and vulnerability by relying on IT systems that may malfunction, fail, or become obsolete. • It can demand skill development and training for the staff to use IT systems effectively and efficiently.
5. Indian Administration
Good governance is a term that refers to the quality of how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources in a manner that is free of abuse and corruption and with due regard for the rule of law and the realization of human rights. Good governance also implies the responsibility of governments and governing bodies to meet the needs of the masses as opposed to select groups in society.
Good governance has eight major characteristics according to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). They are:
• Participatory: It involves the participation of all stakeholders, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized groups, in decision-making and implementation processes.
• Consensus-oriented: It seeks to reach a broad consensus on what is in the best interest of the whole community and how it can be achieved.
• Accountable: It ensures that public officials, institutions, and private actors are accountable to the public and to their institutional stakeholders for their actions and results.
• Transparent: It ensures that information is freely available and directly accessible to those who will be affected by decisions and policies, and that enough information is provided to understand and monitor them.
• Responsive: It ensures that institutions and processes try to serve all stakeholders within a reasonable timeframe and according to their expectations.
• Effective and efficient: It ensures that processes and institutions produce results that meet the needs of society while making the best use of resources at their disposal.