What do you understand by Citizens’ Charter? Discuss the components and benefits of a good Citizens’ Charter.

What do you understand by Citizens’ Charter? Discuss the components and benefits of a good Citizens’ Charter.
Approach:
  • Introduce with the meaning of Citizens’ Charter.
  • Point out various components of an ideal Citizens’ Charter.
  • Discuss the benefits of having a good Citizens’ Charter.
  • Conclude appropriately.
Model Answer :
Good governance is the key for holistic and sustainable development, and to achieve this becoming transparent, accountable and citizen-friendly are primary requirements. The Citizens’ Charter is a document that focusses on the organisation’s commitment towards the citizens with respect to the standard of services, information, choice, and consultation, grievance redressal, etc. The objective of the citizens’ charter is not to create a separate class of rights but to help in enforcing the existing rights. It helps a layman to know the functions of organisations and to understand the process of availing a service or seeking remedy from the organisation.
The components of a good citizens’ charter should be:
  • The Vision and the Mission Statement of the organisation
  • Details of business transacted by the organisation.
  • Details of services including standards, quality, time frame etc.
  • Particulars of grievance redressal mechanism and how to access it.
  • Additional commitments and expectations from clients such as compensation in the event of failure of service delivery.
The benefits of having a good citizens’ charter are as follows:
  • It acts as a guide to the public by educating them about their rights and entitlements. The scope for middlemen in public service delivery is reduced consequently.
  • The quality and efficiency of service delivery of an organisation improves with the help of citizen charter as it acts as a quality benchmark for the services to be provided by the organisation.
  • The officials are responsive towards the public and it helps in the maximum welfare of the people.
  • The cases of corruption and graft by the officials come down as citizens are more educated and aware about their rights.
  • Citizens’ charter inspires public’s trust in the organisation and the government.
The implementation of the citizens’ charter is a continuous exercise. There should be a periodic review of the citizens’ charter and modifications should be as per the feedback of the stakeholders. For any government committed towards public welfare, enacting citizens’ charter of its institutions is a major step.

Subjects : Governance

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