Every Citizen Charter is a sole commitment of the government or Public offices for delivery of services to the beneficiaries, but there are certain drawbacks or problems faced in implementing the charter. Discuss.

Citizen charter is set of commitments made by an organisation regarding the standard of service it delivers. It has important components such as Vision and Mission of the organisation.
In India Citizen Charter was initiated in 1997. The Charter covers various aspects of an organisation vision, mission, identification of services and clients/users , identification of level at which service provided. It encourages accountability, transparency within the organisation and empowers the citizens through information. Citizen Charter thus introduces corporate values and discipline among service providers. Citizens can get the information about the kind of services they can expect from the service provider. This enables the citizen to hold the organisation accountable in case of any lapse in quality or time frame. Charter provides information about grievance redresses.
 
Preparation of citizen charter generally follow top down approach, thus minimal consultation process with those involved in direct interaction with citizens. This staff is not even properly trained or sensitised for responsible implementation.  Goals and objectives mentioned in the charter are at times too lax or too stringent thus making them unrealistic for both the client and the service provider. Awareness campaigns to educate the masses about the charter are not undertaken. Citizen Charters lack feedback mechanism and proper monitoring.
Effective implementation would require a consultative process between those entrusted with framing and implementing the charter, education drive to create awareness would go a long way in making Citizen Charter a tool for better governance.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Every Citizen Charter is a sole commitment of the government or Public offices for delivery of services to the beneficiaries, but there are certain drawbacks or problems faced in implementing the charter. Discuss. {150 words; 10 marks}

Published: September 30, 2017 | Modified:October 15, 2020

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