Administrative Reforms under Modi
Saying that “Administrative Reforms are a continuous process” and the Government follows the maxim “Minimum Government – Maximum Governance”, the Modi-government has enumerated how over the last seven years it has brought out many administrative reforms to encourage greater efficiency, transparent and corruption free governance and accountability so as to reduce scope for discretion.
Some of the major steps, according to Union Minister of State PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh, are as follows:
(i) Launch of “Mission Karmayogi” – National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB), a new national architecture for civil services capacity building has been launched. It is a comprehensive reform of the capacity building apparatus at individual, institutional and process levels for efficient public service delivery;
(ii) e-Samiksha – A real time online system for monitoring and follow up action on the decisions taken by the Government at the Apex level in respect of implementation of important Government programmes / projects;
(iii) e-Office – e-Office Mission Mode Project (MMP) has been strengthened for enabling Ministries/ Departments to switchover to paperless office and efficient decision making;
(iv) Self-certification of documents for appointments – From June, 2016, recruiting agencies issue provisional appointment letters based on submission of self-certified documents by the candidates;
(v) Discontinuation of interview in recruitment of junior level posts – From January, 2016, interview has been dispensed with for recruitment to all Group ‘C’, Group ‘B’ (Non-Gazetted posts) and other equivalent posts in all Government of India Ministries/ Departments/ Attached Offices/ Subordinate Offices/ Autonomous Bodies/ Public Sector Undertakings to curb malpractices and for bringing objectivity to the selection process;
(vi) Appointment at senior positions – Multi-source feedback for empanelment for the posts of Joint Secretary and above has been introduced;
(vii) Citizen Charters – Government has mandated Citizen Charters for all Ministries/Departments which are updated and reviewed on a regular basis. The Citizen Charters of Central Government Departments are available at the respective web-sites of Ministries/Departments and https://goicharters.nic.in/public/website/home;
(viii) Intensive review for weeding out inefficient and Officers of doubtful integrity by premature retirement;
(ix) Use of Integrated Government Online Training Programme for online module based training;
(x) Good Governance Index 2019 – was launched, which assesses the Status of Governance and impact of various interventions taken up by the State Government and Union Territories (UTs). The objectives of GGIare to provide quantifiable data to compare the state of governance in all States and UTs, enable States and UTs to formulate and implement suitable strategies for improving governance and shift to result oriented approaches and administration;
(xi) Comprehensive restructuring of the Scheme for ‘Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration’ in 2014 and thereafter in 2020;
(xii) To promote e-Governance in a holistic manner, various policy initiatives and projects have been undertaken to develop core and support infrastructure;
(xiii) National Conference on e-Governance – provides a platform for government to engage with experts, intellectuals from industry and academic institutions to exchange experiences relating to e-Governance initiatives;
(xiv) National e-Governance Service Delivery Assessment – aims at assessing the States, UTs and Central Ministries on the efficiency of e-Governance service delivery;
(xv) Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) – The Government is undertaking CPGRAMS reforms in the top grievance receiving Ministries/ Departments by enabling questionnaire guided registration process and providing for automatic forwarding of grievances to field level functionaries thereby reducing the redress time;
(xvi) Increasing efficiency in decision making in Central Secretariat by reducing the channel of submission to 4, adoption of e-Office version 7.0, digitization of central registration units, greater delegation of virtual private networks under the Central Secretariat Manual of Office Procedure 2019, and adoption of desk officer system.
It may be noted that many developed countries like the UK and Australia have undertaken serious administrative reforms . These included a transformative downsizing of the bureaucracy, greater privatization, devolution and decentralization of decision-making, and the introduction of private competition in areas of public service hitherto monopolized by the government. The idea has to been to encourage the domain knowledge in the administration.