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					                       GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
                      AND PUBLIC GRIEVANCES

                     Public Grievance Division – A Brief

       The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances is the nodal
agency of the Government of India for administrative reforms as well as redress of
public grievances relating to the State in general and grievances pertaining to
Central   Government      agencies   in   particular.   The   Department     disseminates
information on important activities of the Government relating to administrative
reforms and public grievance redress through management publications and
documentation.       The Department also undertakes activities in the field of
international exchange and cooperation to promote public service reforms.                The
Department aims to facilitate the pursuit of excellence in governance through
promotion of:

               Improvements in Government structures and processes;
               Citizen-friendly initiatives including redress of public grievances;
               Documentation, incubation and dissemination of best practices;
               Codification and simplification of procedures; and
               Networking with various agencies.

       The role of Department             of   Administrative Reforms        and       Public
Grievances consists primarily to undertake such citizen-centric initiatives in
the field of administration reforms and public grievances in the Government
so as to enable the Government machinery to deliver quality public services
to the citizen in a hassle-free manner and eliminate the causes of grievance.

I      Citizen-Centric Initiatives

       Citizens’ Charter :- Citizens‟ Charter of an organization indicates the rights
and services available to the citizens, procedures how these will be delivered,
remedy that will be available in case of non-deliverance and obligations of citizens in
return. The Citizens‟ Charter does not by itself create new legal rights but helps in
enforcing existing rights. This is a document based on mutual trust between the
organization and the citizen.

Mandate :- A Conference of Chief Ministers presided over by the Prime Minister of
India was organized and held by Department of Administrative Reforms and Public
Grievances on 24 May, 1997.         An “Action Plan for Effective and Responsive
Administration” was adopted in this Conference where it was decided that the Central
and State Governments would formulate Citizens‟ Charters for Departments and
Offices starting with those which have a large public interface.

Role of DARPG :- Public Grievance Division in Department of Administrative
Reforms and Public Grievances is the nodal point in Government of India in respect
of policy formulation and monitoring of effective implementation of Citizens‟ Charter
initiative in Central Government as well as in State Governments/ UT

Core Group on Citizen’s Charter in Central Government :- A Core Group under
the Chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
with Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs, Principal Information Officer,
Director General, National Informatics Centre (NIC) as members and Additional
Secretary, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) as
member-secretary is functioning in the Government of India to examine the draft
Citizen‟s Charters of Central Government Ministries/ Departments/ Organisations. As
a result of constant pursuation, till now, 111 Citizen‟s Charters have been formulated
by various Ministries / Departments / Organisations in the Central Government.
Similarly, in the States / UT Administrations, 668 Citizen‟s Charters have been
formulated so far.

Components of Citizens’ Charters :-          The Citizens‟ Charter of an Organisation is
expected to contain the following :-

      Vision and Mission of the Organisation

      Details of business transacted by the Organisation

      Details of citizens/ clients

      Details of services including time norms and quality provided to each citizen/
       client group

      How to access the services

      Details of Public Grievance Redress Mechanism and procedures for access

      Obligations of the citizen/ client.

Detailed instructions have been issued by the Department of AR&PG on the components
of the Citizens’ Charter as detailed above. The guidelines also provide for the process of
consultations with the citizens who are availing the services provided by various
Government Organisations, not only while formulating the Citizens’ Charter but also
during its implementation and review/revision. The guidelines also provide for the
mechanism for effective implementation of the charter by each department and
addressing grievances against non-fulfillment of the promises made in the charter. A
Handbook on Citizen’s Charter has been developed by the Department and sent to all the
State Governments / UT Administrations.

Capacity-Building Workshops on Citizens’ Charter: The Department organizes
separate Capacity-Building workshops with specific focus on:

   i)           Formulation of Charter;
   ii)          Effective Implementation of Charter; and
   iii)         Enhancing the capacity of trainers available at State Administrative Training
                Institutes/Central Civil Services Staff Colleges.

Evaluation of Delivery of Services:- The Department of Administrative Reforms and
Public Grievances has developed a model for conceptualizing and implementing a
Scheme for recognizing excellence in service delivery by government organizations. The
Scheme has been tailor-made for government organizations with specific focus on citizen
interface and expectations and is slated for implementation in the Ministries in a phased
manner. The model synthesizes the ground realities in India with International Best
Practices and is based on proper implementation of citizen charters, effectiveness of
public grievance redress mechanism and status of service delivery enablers from the
citizen’s perspective and efforts made by the departments in improving their own
capability to deliver. The model had been tested among several organizations and was
presented before Workshops of NGOs, citizen groups and government departments.
These discussions have eventually culminated in implementation of the certification
requirements. Using the tools provided by this model, government agencies can self-
assess and improve quality of their service delivery, and over a period of time graduate to
a level where an objective evaluation can be done and excellence can be publicly

       The model is now being converted into an Indian Standard for public service
delivery and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) in consultation with DAR&PG, TCS,
Quality Council of India (QCI), National Productivity Council (NPC) and other
organizations has prepared a requirement standard for service delivery by government

Website on Citizens’ Charter:-      A comprehensive website,
has been developed by the Department in collaboration with NIC which contains
Citizens’ Charters issued by various Central Government Ministries/ Departments/
Organisations till date. The website provides useful information, data and links to help
Government of India Ministries/Departments/Organizations and also the State
Government Departments to formulate citizen’s charters.

          Information & Facilitation Counters (IFCs)

          (a)      Instructions   were     issued   by    the   Department      vide   letter
                   No.18013/4/2001-PG (CC) dated 18 June, 2001 in which it was
                   directed to establish information and Facilitation Counters in respect of
                   all the Central Government Ministries/Departments/ Organisations
                   which have formulated their Citizen‟s Charters.

             (b)         There are 105 Information and Facilitation Counters functioning in
                         Central Government Ministries/Departments/ Organisations.

II           Quality in Government

             (i)         The Department had entered into a contract with Confederation of
                         Indian Industry (CII) in 2001 for strengthening the quality initiative in
                         the Department. Under phase I of this project CII conducted various
                         workshops on the subject, facilitated problem-solving studies and
                         assisted in conduct of “Incentive Scheme of Model Behaviour” in the
                         Department.     In addition, CII also documented the following quality
                         initiatives in the Government: -

                         -        TQM initiative in the Sales Tax Department of the Government
                                  of NCT of Delhi

                         -        Experiences of TQM/ ISO certification of Controller General of
                                  Defence Accounts

                         -        DFID supported TQM project implemented in LBSNAA

                         This phase is now over.

     (ii)          The above mentioned documentations are put together in a book forming
                   the second edition of the book „Quality Management in Government :
                   Theory and Practice‟. The Book was got published by M/s Allied Printers
                   Pvt. Ltd.      The book was formally released by the Hon‟ble Deputy Prime
                   Minister on 13 November, 2003.

     (iii)         The Department, in the year 2003-04,            initiated a series of talks of
                   eminent personalities in the field of public service as well as in private
                   sector who have made significant contribution towards improving the
                   quality of life of the citizen.   Senior Bureaucrats in Central Government
                   are invited to the Talk.      In this process of interaction, following „Talks‟
                   have been organized so far: -

                   (a)       “Civil Service Reforms: the UK Experience” by Mr. Roger Wilson,
                             Chief Governance Advisor, Department of International Development
                             (DFID), Government of United Kingdom on 5 May, 2003;

           (b)   “Young Thought Leaders Award and Issues relating to Public-Private
                 Partnership” and CRISIL‟s experiences in this area by Shri R.
                 Ravimohan, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, The
                 Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited on 6 June, 2003;

           (c)   Talk on “Corporate Social Responsibility and E-Chaupal” by Shri Y.C.
                 Deveshwar, Chairman ITC Limited on 17 July 2003.

  (iv)     The Core Group on Administrative Reforms (CGAR) set up under the
           chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary to formulate specific changes in the
           systems and procedures had decided that each Ministry/ Department
           would make arrangements for their internal performance audit by setting
           up a team of officers with that Ministry/ Department. As a prelude thereto,
           a pilot study of the Department of Health (in the area of social sector) and
           Department of Telecommunications (in the area of infrastructure) has
           been undertaken with a view to developing benchmarks for assessing the
           efficiency and effectiveness of the Ministries/ Department in general in the
           matter of public service delivery, particularly those having larger public
           grievances in the year 2003-04.     The Indian Institute of Management,
           Ahmedabad is acting as a facilitator for developing a framework in this

  (v)      Cabinet Secretary in February, 2004 had addressed all the Secretaries to
           the Government of India regarding need for paradigm shift in the nature
           and quality of interaction at the grass root of the administration and
           suggest measures to make the interface smooth and obstruction free for
           the common man.      The Core Group on Administrative Reforms (CGAR)
           headed by Cabinet Secretary examined the responses received from
           various Central Government Ministries/ Departments in its meeting held
           on 11 May, 2004. Action is underway on the directions of CGAR in this

III      Redress of Grievances

(i)      The grievances received in this department are sent to the
         concerned   Ministries/Departments    and   other   organisations   of
         government for redress under intimation to the petitioner. This
         department, however, „takes up‟ about 1000 grievances every year
         for intensive monitoring till their disposal. This enables the
         Department to evaluate the effectiveness of the redress machinery
         of   the    concerned    government     agency.     While   selecting
         grievances/complaints for monitoring, the department does keep in
         view the gravity and the nature of the grievances received as well
         as the frequency of similar grievances arising in any particular field
         of government‟s work. Grievances of the women, handicapped,
         backward classes and senior citizens are specially picked up for
         taking up. According to the procedure adopted in this department,
         communications containing grievances of the public are categorised
         into broad heads like delay, harassment/ misbehaviour, non-
         payment of dues etc. etc. The grievances are sent to the
         concerned Ministry/Department/ State Government agency for
         appropriate action. The receipt of the grievance is acknowledged
         and the aggrieved person is advised that the remedial action would
         be taken by the concerned ministry or department that will
         correspond with the person.

         Regular meetings are held by AS(AR&PG) with Directors of
         Grievances of Ministries/ Departments/ Organisations with large
         pendency of taken up cases with a view to expedite action of
         pending grievances. Following such meetings have been held :-

      Year 2002 - 03

      Date             Ministry/         Department/          Organisation
                       participated in the meeting
      10.10.2002         1.    Department of Agriculture and Cooperation
                         2.    Ministry of Defence
                         3.    Department of Health
                         4.    Department of Heavy Industry

                           5.   Banking Division in Ministry of Finance
                           6.   Central Board of Excise and Customs
        28.10.2002         1.   Department of Posts
                           2.   Ministry of Home Affairs
                           3.   Ministry of Urban Development
                           4.   Insurance Division in Ministry of Finance
                           5.   Central Board of Direct Taxes
        26.02.2003        1.    Department      of  Secondary      and   Higher
                          2.    Ministry of Railways
                          3.    Banking Division of Ministry of Finance
                          4.    Insurance Division in Ministry of Finance
                          5.    Department of Telecommunications
                          6.    Department of Company Affairs
                          7.    Ministry of Urban Development
                          8.    Ministry of Power
                          9.    Ministry of Labour
                          10.   Commissioner of Police, Delhi
                          11.   Government of NCT of Delhi
                          12.   Municipal Corporation of Delhi

        Year 2003 - 04

        Date             Ministry/         Department/          Organisation
                         participated in the meeting
        11.11.2003         1.    Ministry of Home Affaires
                           2.    Banking Division
                           3.    Insurance Division
                           4.    Central Board of Direct Taxes
                           5.    Ministry of Labour
                           6.    Department of Telecommunications
                           7.    Department of Posts
                           8.    Department of Health
        24.11.2003         1.    Ministry of Defence
                           2.    Department     of   Secondary   and  Higher
                           3.    Department of Company Affairs
                           4.    Municipal Corporation of Delhi
                           5.    Government of NCT of Delhi

(ii)       These meetings were discontinued in 2004.
(iii)      Several initiatives were identified by MOS(PP) in the year 2001 to
           focus on, in the context of Administrative Reforms. It was decided
           to evolve a mechanism of “Fast Track” in the field of public
           grievances to assess the responsiveness of various Government
           agencies dealing with public grievances. Public grievances of grave
           nature especially relating to sexual harassment of women and
           relating to Government agencies with large public interface are

          selected and put on „Fast Track”. These cases are pursued
          intensively with regular interventions at the highest level for
          speedy redress. The system of “Fast Track” was put in place in
          September, 2001.        The Department w.e.f. April 1, 2005 has
          initiated action to ensure that :
              i. All complaints forwarded by the Prime Minister‟s office after
                 assessing the contents are put on „fast track‟;
              ii. All MP/MLA references and complaints received by MOS(PP)
                 and Secretary (P) after examination of contents are put on
                 „fast track‟; and
             iii. Every 30th complaint of the taken up cases, after examining
                 the nature of complaints is put on „fast track‟.

              These cases are pursued intensively with regular interventions
       at the highest level for speedy redress.

(iv)      The Department of AR&PG has issued guidelines for setting up
          internal    grievance          redress   machinery    within   each
          Ministry/Department. An officer of the rank of Joint Secretary is
          required to be designated as Director of Grievances, in-charge of
          the grievances redress machinery in each Central Government
          Ministry/Department. He/she is vested with the powers to call for
          files/ papers relating to public grievances which are pending for
          over 3 months and to take a decision with the approval of the
          Secretary/Head of the Department concerned. Wednesday is
          required to be observed as a meeting less day when officers of the
          level of Deputy Secretary and above are required to be present in
          their seats to receive and hear grievances of the public in the
          forenoon. The Department has brought out a booklet titled
          “Guidelines for Grievance Redress Mechanism in Government of
          India” in March, 2000. The updated version of the booklet in Hindi
          was brought out in January, 2002. The Department also gives wide
          publicity through media about the public grievances redress
          machinery in Central Government Ministries/Departments giving

        details of Directors of Grievances in various Central Government

(v)     A staff grievance redress machinery on the lines of the public
        grievance      redress       machinery     has      also       been   established    in
        Ministries/Departments under a Staff Grievance Officer. Action to
        monitor the functioning of this machinery is taken on the same
        lines as in the case of public grievances redress machinery.

(vi)    National Informatics Centre               (NIC) has developed a uniform
        software called Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System
        (PGRAMS) in consultation with Directorate of Public Grievances
        (Cabinet Secretariat) and Department of AR& PG for installation in
        various Central Government Ministries/Departments. So far, it has
        been     installed    in       a     number         of     Ministries/Departments/
        Organisations including Department of Administrative Reforms and
        Public Grievances and Directorate of Public Grievances, Cabinet
        Secretariat.    Priority      for    installation        has   been   given    to   the
        Departments having large public interface.

(vii)   A uniform software called Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring
        System (PGRAMS) was also developed for installation in various
        Central Government Ministries/Departments.                      So far, it has been
        installed       in       a      number         of          Central      Government
        Ministries/Departments/             Organisations          having      large    public
        interface. All grievances received in this Department, since 5
        September, 2001, are being put up on this system. The Citizen-
        interface version of this system (http://darpg.grievance/ was
        launched on 31.5.2002. A citizen can now lodge his/her grievance
        on this website      and can also monitor the action taken thereon by
        accessing the website.              For further improving the system, the
        following actions have been initiated with effect from April 1,

        (i) Provisions for alert and introduction of „Fast Track‟ cases under
           the existing module;

         (ii) Provisions for automatic generation of e-mail for the sending
            replies to petitioners and to VIPs; and
         (iii) A new Centralized web enabled PGRAMS Module has been
            developed      to   facilitate      the   PG     Officers   of   various
            Ministries/Departments/Organizations to login and view the
            grievances forwarded by DAR&PG and DPG and to redress the
            same. Complainants can also see the latest status of their
            complaint in the grievance site of DPG/ DARPG.

(viii)   A Standing Committee of Secretaries for Grievance Redress was
         constituted in 1998. The Cabinet Secretary chairs it. Its other
         members are Chairman, Railway Board; and Secretaries of the
         Ministries/Departments of Personnel, Posts and Consumer Affairs,
         Secretary     (Coordination      and     Public     Grievances),    Cabinet
         Secretariat; the Director General of the National Informatics Centre
         and the Principal Information Officer, Ministry of Information and
         Broadcasting. The Department of Administrative Reforms and
         Public Grievances service it. Since September 1999, the Committee
         has been meeting on a monthly basis to conduct the reviews. It
         has so far reviewed 30 Ministries/Departments, prominent among
         them being Ministries of Railways, External Affairs, Home Affairs,
         Finance, Defence, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Surface Transport,
         Tourism, Information & Broadcasting., Environment and Forests,
         Urban   Development,     Civil   Aviation     and    the   Departments   of
         Telecommunications, Posts and Company Affairs. Since 28.7.2000
         COS     has    been     re-reviewing         the    Central    Government

(ix)     During the Meeting of the Standing Committee of Secretaries for
         Public Grievances held on 9.10.2001 to review the grievance
         redress Mechanism of the Department of Health and Department of
         Family Welfare, Additional Secretary (AR&PG) brought to the notice
         that the Committee of Secretaries in the Meeting held on
         27.4.2000 suggested to set up a system of taking notice of
         grievances appearing in a few national dailies and forwarding them

      to DAR&PG for sending them to Ministries/Departments concerned
      for redress and issue of rejoinder, if necessary. This system has
      been functioning since 10.5.2000. DAR&PG had issued guidelines in
      the past to all concerned Ministries/Departments to establish
      institutionalised mechanism to take cognizance of grievances
      appearing in Newspapers and take action thereon in a time bound
      manner.    These      guidelines           were    re-    emphasised          by   Cabinet
      Secretary to all Secretaries of Ministries/Departments.                               As a
      result, institutional arrangement had been made by most of the
      Ministries/Departments.              It was, therefore, suggested that the
      Committee     may      reconsider           the    continuance         of   the    present
      arrangement of receiving grievances by DAR&PG through PIO and
      then forwarding them to the concerned Ministries/Departments.

      Cabinet Secretary in the COS meeting, observed that since this is
      an independent system in addition to the institutional arrangement
      set up by the Ministries/Departments, it should continue as it is a
      good      indicator        of        the      extent       to         which        different
      Ministries/Departments are prone to generation of grievance.

      As per the directions of the Department related Parliamentary
      Standing Committee on Home Affairs on Demand for Grants for
      2002-03, a six-monthly return of newspaper grievances picked up
      and acted upon by Central Government Ministries/ Departments/
      State Governments/ UT Administrations has been introduced by
      the    Department       in       2001       with      a   view        to    monitor     the
      institutionalization of the mechanism for picking up grievances
      appearing in Newspapers‟ columns and for taking expeditious
      action in a time bound manner.

(x)   On the basis of grievances received in the Department and other
      related   data,   the      Department             identifies    the    grievance-prone
      problem     areas     in        various      Central      Government           Ministries/
      Departments and study them as to make specific recommendations
      for improvement in the system and remove the causes of

(xi)          Studies relating to core problems in the system have been
             conducted by PG Division from 2001 onwards. The list of
             management related studies is as follows : -

       Year 2001-02

          (1) Delay in the settlement of freight claim cases in North-Eastern
             Frontier Railway;

          (2) Settlement of claim cases under medi-claim policies of National
             Insurance Company Insurance Ltd.;

          (3) Problems   related   to   telephone   billing   system   of   Mahanagar
             Telephone Nigam Limited, Delhi; and

          (4) Delay in issues of Pension Payment Order and revision of pension
             in respect of ex-servicemen in the Ministry of Defence.

       The reports have been forwarded to the concerned Ministry/ Department
       for implementation of recommendation contained therein.

Year 2002-03

            (1)   Delay in payment/ revision of pension etc. of Central
                  Government Employees by the Banks in Banking Division of
                  Ministry of Finance.

            (2)   Delay in non-settlement of final accounts and non-transfer of
                  accounts in Employees Provident Fund Commissioners Office
                  in Ministry of Labour.

            (3)   Delay in Income Tax refund – Central Board of Direct Taxes in
                  Ministry of Finance.

       The reports have been forwarded to the concerned Ministry/ Department
       for implementation of recommendation contained therein.

      (x)      On the basis of grievances received in the Department and DPG,
               following grievance-prone areas in Government were identified for
               study during 2003-04 :-

               Year 2003-04

               (i)     Delay in payment and non-payment of money orders

               (ii)    Procedure for provision of medicines to beneficiaries in CGHS

               (iii)   Procedure in Department of Company Affairs for Processing
                       Grievances of Depositors

      The     study    at   S.No.   (i)   &   (iii)   have   been   completed   and   report/
recommendations forwarded to Department of Posts for implementation.

            Year 2004-05

            1) Only one Technical based study has been conducted in Uttar Pradesh
            from 2004-05


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