Citizen–Administration Relationship: A Case Study of Public Service Delivery in Chandigarh—The City Beautiful, India

AuthorPurva Mishra
Published date01 March 2023
Date01 March 2023
Subject MatterArticles
Relationship: A Case
Study of Public
Service Delivery in
Chandigarh—The City
Beautiful, India
Purva Mishra1
In recent years, the nature of citizen–administration relationship has under-
gone considerable transformation within the current global context. This arti-
cle presents the citizen–administration relationship through a case study of the
Department of Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA), Chandigarh—the
city beautiful. The article is an empirical study based on primary data, with an
objective to gauge the general awareness among citizens of Chandigarh regard-
ing the introduction of the online system of getting a driving license, the extent
of satisfaction with the system and the procedural difficulties faced by them.
For the purpose of collecting the primary data, a structured questionnaire was
prepared for the citizens and an interview schedule for the officials of RLA,
Chandigarh. A sample of 100 citizens who were issued driving license during the
year 2019–2020 was taken using purposive sampling method. The findings of the
study revealed that citizens were well aware about the online system and there
was high level of satisfaction among them for this system. However, they were
not satisfied with the procedure, as they had to face a number of difficulties due
to the introduction of a new system. Therefore, the article suggests measures to
revamp the system and make it more citizen-friendly.
Citizen–administration relationship, citizenship, online system delivery of services
Indian Journal of Public
69(1) 104–124, 2023
© 2022 IIPA
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/00195561221109120
1 Department of Public Administration, University School of Open Learning, Panjab University,
Chandigarh, India.
Corresponding author:
Purva Mishra, Department of Public Administration, University School of Open Learning, Panjab
University, Sector 14, Chandigarh 160014, India.
Mishra 105
In a democratic country like India, the relationship between citizen and administra-
tion postulates special significance. Citizen and administration are closely related to
each other, such that the existence of one without the other is beyond imagination in
a civilised society.
The relationship between the citizen and administration underlines a fact related
to one of the basic principles of citizenship: that citizens have certain obligations
towards the state and the state too has responsibilities to protect citizens and to
address their needs and demands. As suggested, ‘the state owes certain services to
the citizen as a right in return for the loyalty and services rendered by the citizen.
It is a part of the reciprocal relationship between the individual and the state which
is central to the concept of citizenship’ (Oliver & Heater, 1994, p. 20). This prin-
ciple of citizenship embodies the basic framework of governance as articulated by
the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in terms of the following
eight fundamental characteristics (UNDP, 1997): participatory, consensus-oriented,
accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclu-
sive, and following the rules.
The achievement of good relations between the government and the public is a matter
which does not by any means depend on the conduct of civil servants and politicians. It
depends equally on the attitude of citizens, groups, corporations, associations of all kinds
and, indeed, of all unocial bodies to public authorities. If we want public servants to
behave well towards us, we must behave well towards them. (Robson, 1956, p. 191)
The relationship between citizen and administration is found to be good and healthy
if it brings out the following:
1. Encourage people’s participation in the administrative process as sine-qua-
non for development and modernisation;
2. Kindle the potential energy of the citizens into kinetic energy to accelerate
3. Supplement the efforts of the government in the conduct of its affairs;
4. Strengthen the values of democracy in the minds and spirit of the people;
5. Enlist respect in the Constitution that is rooted in popular sovereignty;
6. Develop bonds of friendship and goodwill between citizens and adminis-
tration; and
7. Avoid social unrest, tensions, violence and other social upheavals that have
become the order of the day. (Goel, 1994, p. 110)
Scope of the Study
The present study focuses on an important service being provided by the
Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA), that is, issuance of driving license,
which includes two functions: issuance of learner’s license and issuance of
regular license.
The scope of study has been circumscribed to only one service, as this would
help to have a focused, in-depth and thorough analysis of the selected service,

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