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Q. The Citizen’s Charter is an ideal instrument of organisational transparency and accountability. Identify the importance and components of Citizen’s Charter. Tracing out its limitations, suggest measures for its greater effectiveness.

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Approach:

Model Answer

The public service delivery of India faced a problem of bureaucratic corruption and delays. The government functioned in a very opaque and unaccountable manner. There existed a problem of information asymmetry between the government department and the consumers. There was an absence of grievance redress mechanism with in government framework.

Keeping this in concern, Citizen’s Charters were introduced in India in the 1990s. Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) defines Citizen’s Charter as a document which represents a systematic effort to focus on the commitment of the Organisation towards its Citizens in respect of Standard of Services, Information, Choice and Consultation, Accessibility and Grievance Redress.

Citizen’s Charter aims at:

Citizen’s charter possess following components to achieve its aim. Its six components are:

The Institutionalisation of concept of Citizen’s charter is there in every government department in India since 1997.  However, its implementation is still in embryonic stage. Earlier, Introduction and implementation of the concept of Citizens’ Charter in the Government of India was much more complicated due to the old bureaucratic set up/procedures and the rigid attitudes of the workforce. 

 Various Limitations/ Hurdles encountered in these initiatives are:

Various effective measures that can be taken to deal with the above hurdles are:

To summarise, A Citizens’ Charter denotes the promise of an organisation towards standard, quality and time frame of service delivery, grievance redressal mechanism, clearness and accountability.  

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