Published date01 September 2020
Date01 September 2020
Subject MatterEditorial
Public service delivery is one of the most critical aspects of governance. The citi-
zens judge the quality of governance by their experience in receiving essential
public services. Indeed, public service delivery is the main channel of contact that
people have with the government. Strengthening public services is the most
visible means of delivering governance benefits to the people.
Effective public service delivery entails improving the quality of services,
valuing taxpayer’s money, setting out standards for the delivery, a redressal
mechanism and making rules/procedures and schemes more transparent for the
citizens. Improving the quality of administration and providing a responsive
interface between the citizen and the public services requires initiatives to make
administration accountable, transparent, citizen-friendly and taking measures
to motivate civil services. The government being a service provider is bound to
meet people’s needs and aspirations. It has to develop and enable itself to meet
the rising demands and aspirations of the empowered and enlightened citizenry.
Effective and timely redressal of public grievances is a hallmark of responsive
and responsible governance. Public grievances primarily arise out of the inacces-
sibility of officials, failure to even acknowledge application, non-enforcement of
any kind of time limits and unsympathetic attitude of officials at various levels.
Often, the users of public services or the electorate are not well-informed and
hence unable to correctly evaluate the value of public services. As a part of the
‘Action Plan for Effective and Responsive Government’, the first push for public
service reforms in India came in 1997. This resulted in the formulation of the
Citizens’ Charter, enlisting a set of commitments, standards of service delivery,
redressal and remedial actions in case of non-compliance with the same. Despite
the overall concern for the effective implementation of Citizens’ Charter, there
has been little evidence of improved public service and an effective, accountable
and responsive administration being delivered.
The government’s intention to move from an ‘administration’ mindset to
‘service orientation’ in delivery of public services resulted in the Sevottam model
with the overarching objective of improving the quality of public service delivery
in the country, covering three components—effective Citizen Charter implemen-
tation, public grievance redress and excellence in service delivery.
The Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS),
a web-based portal, was launched by the Department of Administrative Reforms
and Public Grievances in 2007 for receiving, redressing and monitoring of
grievances from the public. CPGRAMS provides the facility to lodge a grievance
Indian Journal of Public
66(3) 279–282, 2020
© 2020 IIPA
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/0019556120966118

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