NEW DELHI, Feb 27: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today presented the Annual National e-Governance Awards to different States and the Ministries of Government of India, under different categories.
Among the States which received the awards were Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana and Rajasthan. The Minister also released two books on the subject of “Excellence in e-Governance”.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Jitendra Singh recalled that in 2014, the Modi Government began with a pledge from Prime Minister to provide “maximum governance, minimum government”. Looking back over the last five years, he said, one feels vindicated to note that we have made a considerable headway in the direction of achieving this objective. He said, over the last five years, the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (ARPG) has achieved a prominent visibility, which was missing in the earlier years. It has now truly emerged as an R&D wing in the government.
Recalling some of the major achievements in the Ministry under the Modi Government, Dr Jitendra Singh said, within a few months of taking over, we did away with the age-old practice of getting documents attested by a Gazetted Officer, which was a legacy of the British Raj. Similarly from 1st January 2016, we abolished the practice of conducting interviews for Group ‘C’ and Group ‘D’ posts and provided a level playing field to all, he said.
Among the new initiatives in the Department of ARPG, Dr Jitendra Singh made a special mention of a new orientation given to the annual PM Excellence Awards. Earlier these awards were based primarily on the individual performance of the officer, he said, but now the selection criteria has been made more wide-based and depending upon the performance of the districts in any of the flagship programmes of the government. A positive outcome of this also be noted in the form that more than 90 95% districts of India now participate in the competition for PM Excellence Awards.
Dr Jitendra Singh also mentioned the practice of “Anubhav” account before retirement which was started about three years back. Herein, he said, a superannuating officer writes an account of his experiences which not only gives him a sense of satisfaction, but also provides valuable inputs for new innovations and improvements in governance.
Dr Jitendra Singh complimented the department for turning an inactive Grievance Cell into a vibrant Grievance Cell, as a result of which the number of grievances per year has increased from 2 lakh in 2013 to over 16 lakh in 2018.
Dr Jitendra Singh appealed to the State Governments to emulate some of the new practices evolved by the Department of ARPG and said that the services of the resource persons and experts from the Central Department are always available for the State Governments, whenever asked for.