Services under J&K Public Services Guarantee Act

Delivery of a service by the Government in a hassles free manner but within a reasonable specific time is the touch stone to judge the levels of its efficient administration and better governance. That every eligible person in Jammu and Kashmir should have a right to public services and receive the same within specified time limit was provided a statutory cover in 2011 by passing an Act to that effect. People often have grievances about the inordinate and unspecified delay caused in providing services which the said Act, known as Jammu and Kashmir Public Servicers Guarantee Act (PSGA) duly addresses. Considerable improvement in the overall scenario of the gamut of providing select services to the people under the said PSGA has now prompted the UT Government to include 18 more services under the ambit of the Act. That not only lends credence to how much important it was to have the scope and the tenor of public grievances seen reduced to the bare minimum and to vastly minimise inconvenience faced by them due to delays but by designating Appellate Authorities how fast complaints from those who had applied for getting such services, were duly addressed.
Since the Act provides for specifying services from time to time to be the public services , the Government, as such, having brought additional 18 more services under the PSGA is a commendable decision taken in the right direction . What , however, is required is the need to generate public awareness about the same as most of the people, while applying for getting such services, may ordinarily be getting the same but not as desired or provided for so far as the timeframe is concerned. Since the Act provides that the relevant information regarding a particular service provided by a department should conspicuously and distinctly be displayed on the notice board for public information specifying the time frame within which the service seeker was entitled to get the service, the same should be made known even otherwise by keeping a complaint book readily available in the concerned departments for recording flaws in a particular service experienced by an eligible citizen. Not only in respect of not providing a particular service within time frame was to be accounted for and the concerned designated officer could face action but not displaying information on the notice board too could invite appropriate action against the erring designated officer. It may be noted that it is the issue of ”how much time” , a particular service takes to reach an eligible citizen, is what generates grievances to address which complaints redressing mechanism has been evolved in the shape of Appellate Authorities.
School Education Department, Health and Medical Education Department, Home Department , Public Works Department , Revenue Department and Housing and Urban Department are the identified departments comprising 18 new selected services which are to be provided under the PSGA . That a play school can come up within 45 days which includes the time taken in according approval by the concerned Chief Education Officer and subsequent setting up of the school was going to create a sense of satisfaction in those willing to take up the noble cause of starting a school of this type. Should any type of delay be caused, Deputy Secretary of the department will be first Appellate Authority and Additional Secretary would be the 2nd such Authority in that it is ensured that the particular service did not jump the time limit. In respect of registration of schools under Right to Education , designated officers are to arrange providing of the service again within 45 days . Likewise, other services are enumerated with all particulars which mainly include issuing registration, issuing certificates and licences, renewals, permissions, issuing trade licences and the like wherein both the sanctioning authorities as well as the Authorities are mentioned where appeals could be preferred in case of any complaints.
Needless to add, unless proper monitoring and implementation of the provisions of the PSGA were in place , much headway could not be made towards the objectives behind it. It is, therefore, the General Administration Department which has to ensure it all and not only the superintendence of the cases filed under the PSGA but conducting surprise inspection of offices of designated officers by it were going to bring out the desired results.