Topic: Citizen’s Charters
2. What is Citizen Charter Act? Why is the Citizen Charter important? Discuss and suggest measures that need to be taken to improvise upon the efficiency and effectiveness of the Citizen Charter. (250 words)
Ethics by Lexicon Publications
Why this question:
The question is straightforward from the static portions of the GS paper IV.
Key demand of the question:
Explain what is Citizen Charter Act, Why the Citizen Charter is important and suggest measures that need to be taken to improvise upon the efficiency and effectiveness of the Citizen Charter.
Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.
Structure of the answer:
Define citizen’s charter. In India, the concept of citizen’s charter was first adopted at a ‘Conference of Chief Ministers of various States and Union Territories’ held in May 1997 in the national capital.
The citizen’s charter is a document that outlines the service commitment of organizations or service providers towards providing quality, high-standard services, including mechanisms for grievance redressal.
The Citizen’s Charter is a voluntary and written document that spells out the service provider’s efforts taken to focus on their commitment towards fulfilling the needs of the citizens/customers.
- It also includes the ways in which citizens can redress any grievances.
- It includes what the citizens can expect out of the service provider.
- The concept is that the charter preserves the trust between the service provider and the citizens/users.
The concept of a citizen’s charter was initiated by former British Prime Minister John Major in the year 1991. It was started as a national programme intended to improve the quality of public services. In 1998, in the UK, the concept was renamed ‘Services First’.
Discuss its objectives.
Explain in what way it can be improvised.
Discuss the challenges faced in implementing Citizen’s Charters in India.
Conclude with way forward.