PRAGATI Platform: Civil Services Mentor Magazine - June - 2015

PRAGATI Platform

‘Grievance’ has been defined as indignation or resentment arising out of a feeling of being wronged. Grievance is an expression of dissatisfaction made to an organization related to its products, services, processes, etc. where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected. Government of India, State Governments as well as various organizations under them have set up grievance redressal mechanisms to look into the complaints of citizens. Besides, there are other institutional mechanisms like the CVC, and the Lokayuktas which have the mandate to look into the complaints of corruption and abuse of offi ce by public servants. India has an elaborate legal and institutional structure which povide for the welfare state and also for the grievance redressal mechanisms for the citizens. But there is a wide gap between the legal and institutional mechanisms and what is experienced at the ground level. Citizen of 21st century are demanding and governance should respond to grievances and demands of the citizen smoothly and in timely manner. Citizen centracity is necessary for any scheme to be successful at every level, whether central, state or local. Timely and proper grievance redressal is necessary for good governance which aims to provide citizen centric governance. The internal public grievance mechanism is deficient in terms of its reach as well as its functions. Second ARC suggests that reach and functions of public grievance mechanism can be improved in the following maner:

  • The Union and the State Governments should issue directions asking all public authorities to designate public grievance officers on the lines of the Public Information Officers specified under the RTI Act. These officers should be of adequate seniority and be delegated commensurate authority.

  • All grievance petitions should be satisfactorily disposed of by these officers within thirty days. Non-adherence to the time limit should invite financial penalties.

  • Each organization should also designate an appellate authority and devolve adequate powers upon them including the power to impose fi nes on the defaulting officers. Citizen Centric Administration – The Heart of Governance

In light of the deficiencies present in the present grievance Redressal system The PRAGATI platform has been launched by the government. This program uniquely bundles three latest technologies: Digital data management, video-conferencing and geo-spatial technology. This platform also helps in increasing the cooperation between the different layers of governance; Centre and State. The Prime Minister with the help of this platform will be able to look at the ground situation while interacting with the officials. Immediately after assuming office, the Prime Minister had shown his keenness to design a credible mechanism for redressal of Public Grievances. He was equally keen to see that programmes and projects launched by the Central and State Government(s) are monitored properly for timely implementation and desired outcome. With that spirit and for holistic development of the country, it was also felt necessary to facilitate from the Union Government level the projects of the States. Accordingly, with the three objectives of: Grievance Redressal, Programme Implementation and Project Monitoring, an IT-based redressal and monitoring system has been designed. It will combine Data Management and Analysis, Geo-spatial Applications as well as Video-conferencing. The application will be accessible to the Secretaries of the Government of India and the State Chief Secretaries. 

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