Year End review: Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
Following are the highlights of the activities of Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions during the year 2017:
Prime Minister presents awards to civil servants on Civil Services Day; a record number of 2,345 entries were received to compete for the prestigious “Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration 2017”. The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, presented awards for Excellence in Implementation of Priority Programmes and addressed Civil Servants on the occasion of the eleventh Civil Services Day on April 21, 2017. The Prime Minister presented a total of 12 awards, which included 10 under the five Priority Programmes (Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, e-National Agriculture Market (e-NAM), Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana, Start-Up India & Stand-Up India) and 2 under Innovation in Public Governance category.
A record number of 2,345 entries were received to compete for the prestigious “Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration 2017”. Of the 2,345 entries received for the awards, 1,515 have been received from 599 districts under the priority programmes category and 830 from various organizations and government agencies under innovation category.
PM addresses IAS Officers of the 2015 batch. The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, addressed IAS Officers of the 2015 batch at the Inaugural Session of Assistant Secretaries on July 3, 2017. The Prime Minister advised young IAS officers to avoid getting into a mindset that resists change, and fill India’s administrative system with the energy of ‘New India.’ As part of their Valedictory Session as Assistant Secretaries, IAS officers of the 2015 batch on September 26, 2017 made presentations before the Prime Minister.
First ‘Pension Adalat’ by DoP&PW held on September 20, 2017. MoS (PP) Dr Jitendra Singh inaugurated the first ‘Pension Adalat’ on September 20, 2017 at the Pre-Retirement Counselling Workshop organised by the Department of Pensions & Pensioners’ Welfare (DoP&PW). During the Pension Adalat, out of the 29 selected cases, 19 cases were resolved in the Adalat itself. 18 out of these 19 cases were resolved by accepting the claims of the Pensioners. As on November 30, 2017, out of 29 grievances raised in Adalat, 26 have been resolved.
The ‘Anubhav’ awards 2017 were presented to 16 pensioners for their contribution towards creating institutional memory for the departments. Till date, 4,406 write-ups have been published on Anubhav.
DARPG starts ‘DARPGSEVA’ to address issues related to public grievances and administrative reforms. The DARPG started its Twitter Seva on February 1, 2017. The Twitter Handle is ‘DARPGSEVA’. The Twitter Seva aims to address issues relating to the DARPG like Public Grievances and Administrative Reforms etc. The Twitter Seva enables the DARPG to reach out to the common public and various stakeholders for facilitating redress of grievances and other issues of importance relating to the department.
Prompt disposal of grievances by Government; DARPG writes to States Governments to link their Grievance Cells to Government’s CPGRAMS. The number of grievances lodged by the people have increased 7 fold since 2014, from about 2 lakh grievances to about 14 lakh this year. This is due to the prompt response given by the Department to their grievances. Now about 99% grievances are being disposed by the DARPG. The average response time to the grievances has been reduced, e.g. in Department of Revenue, it has reduced from 108 days in 2014 to 25 days this year and similarly in Department of Telecom, it has reduced from 19 days in 2014 to 12 days this year. The DARPG is also writing letters to the Chief Secretaries of the states to link their Grievance Cells to the CPGRAMS Portal of the Union Government. It will bring uniformity and ease of disposal. It will also provide a comprehensive view of the grievances.
DARPG Grievance Study Analysis of 20 Ministries released. The DARPG’s Grievance Study Analysis of 20 Ministries was released on August 25, 2017. The “Grievance Analysis & Systemic Reforms” Study was conducted for 20 ministries in the year 2015. As a result, 65 reforms have been introduced which has a positive impact on governance. Study has been undertaken for 20 more ministries in 2017 and 180 reforms have been suggested. Steps have been taken to identify focus issues and arrive at the root cause of grievance so as to enable systemic reforms to be put in place to alleviate the root cause. A Project Management Unit has been set up for monitoring these reforms in consultation with concerned Ministries/Departments. A dedicated team has been engaged who conduct intensive deliberations with the concerned Ministries/Departments for identifying the reforms that have been implemented and draw up the monitoring metrics indicating impact of these reforms.
Centralised Pension Grievance Registration and Monitoring System (CPENGRAMS). Concerted efforts are being made to bring down the pendency of old grievances while maintaining the quality in disposal for which regular review meetings were held with the Nodal Officers of various Ministries/Departments. As a result, 22,027 grievances were disposed off during the period 01.04.2017 to 24.11.17. The time limit to redress grievances is 60 days. During the same period, 84.2% grievances were disposed of within 60 days.
New training programme ‘COMMIT’ launched for State Government officials. MoS, Dr. Jitendra Singh launched a new training programme, ‘Comprehensive Online Modified Modules on Induction Training’ (COMMIT) for State Government officials on June 29, 2017. The objective of this training programme is to improve the public service delivery mechanism and provide citizen centric administration through capacity building of officials who interact with the citizens on day-to-day basis.
7th edition of the Vigilance Manual released; online version also released for the first time. The 7th edition of the Vigilance Manual of CVC was released on September 7, 2017. The present edition of the Vigilance Manual is a public document accessible through CVC’s website www.cvc.nic.in. The online version has been released along with the printed version for the first time. The 2017 edition of the Vigilance Manual incorporates 567 Paras divided into 11 Chapters with appropriate citations.
CVC to develop Integrity Index of 25 Organizations. In line with the broader strategy and emphasis on preventive vigilance, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) announced in October that it believes that the next level of systemic change can be through the tool of Integrity Index. The CVC has therefore decided to go in for development of the Integrity Index-based on bench-marking of internal processes and controls within an organisation as well as management of relationships and expectations of outside stakeholders.
Online Software for Departmental Proceedings launched. The online software for Departmental Proceedings was launched on June 22, 2017. The online system will enable monitoring of the departmental cases more effectively to complete inquiries within stipulated timeframes and fix accountability at different stages. The online portal will initially be adopted in respect of IAS officers posted in the Central Government and will subsequently be extended to AIS officers in the Central Government as well as Central Group ‘A’ employees. The State Governments will also be involved in the subsequent phases for consideration of extension to AIS officers serving in the States.
Government lays down specific ‘timeline’ for completing enquiry against officers and members of All India Services (AIS). The AIS (D&A) Rules, 1969 have been amended to provide specific timelines at different stages of the enquiry, with a view to complete the disciplinary proceedings against the members of AIS in a time-bound manner.
MoU between LBSNAA, Mussoorie and Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management (NIPAM. In March, 2017 the Union Cabinet gave its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie and Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management (NIPAM), Namibia in the field of capacity building of public officials of Namibia and other training activities for the benefit of both the institutes.
Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI), Hyderabad and Central University of Jammu sign MoU. Signed in New Delhi on February 10, 2017, the MoU facilitates joint activities and synergy in areas such as capacity building, evaluation studies, executive education and related areas. It included activities such as design, development and delivery of teaching and training programmes; reciprocal recognition of each other’s degrees, diplomas, certificates etc.
2,149 Public Authorities aligned with the RTI Online Portal. 2,149 Public Authorities have aligned with the RTI Online Portal. This portal is in line with the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of Digital India. The emphasis of the Government has always been on transparency and good governance. The government is persuading the States to implement the RTI Online portal. The RTI online portal will also curb delays in responding to the RTIs.
Mobile App for pensioners. Moving from e-governance to m-governance, various facilities for pensioners have been brought under Mobile App. MoS-PP, Dr Jitendra Singh launched the Mobile App on September 20, 2017 that has been created to avail the services of Pensioners’ Portal. With the App, a superannuating central civil government official will be able to monitor the progress of his pension settlement, and retired officials will be able to self-assess their pension through the pension calculator and are also able to register their grievances, if any, and get updates on orders issued by the Department.
Scrapping of Interview by States and UTs. 18 States and 7 Union Territories have discontinued the practice of interview in recruitment for lower level posts. The objective of discontinuation of interview in selection process at lower level posts is to curb corruption, more objective selection in transparent manner and substantially easing the problems of poor aspirants.
Online Vigilance System of Board and below Board Level Executives of CPSEs and e-Service Book of the DoPT employees launched. The Online Vigilance System of Board and below Board Level Executives of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) was launched on March 30, 2017. The e-Service Book of the DoPT employees was also launched on the occasion. The Online Vigilance System is a technology based mechanism introduced to obtain vigilance status of 120-130 Board Level executive appointments made annually of CPSEs timely, accurately and objectively so that process of their appointment is expedited. The system would enable efficient vigilance clearance of officers on real time basis who apply for these senior level posts. The e-service book has been implemented by DoPT for its 661 employees and is taking concrete steps to roll out e-service book in respect of all Central Govt. employees in a time bound manner with the support of NIC and involvement of Cadre Controlling Authorities. In this regard a workshop of all Cadre Controlling Authorities (CCAs) was organised in April, 2017 to discuss the roll out plan in all Ministries and Departments.
Liberalisation and simplification of GPF Rules. In a major relief for government employees, Department of Pensions & Pensioners’ Welfare in March, 2017 announced several relaxations in General Provident Fund Rules, with liberalization and simplification, particularly relating to advances and withdrawals by the subscriber/employee. As per the liberalised rules, limits for withdrawals have been raised and procedures simplified especially for activities of house building and education of children, where the costs have gone up manifold over the last two decades. In furtherance of the Government’s commitment towards self-certification, subscribers will be allowed to withdraw funds based on a simple declaration. No further documentary evidence will be required.
20th National Conference on e-Governance organised in Vishakhapatnam on January 9-10, 2017. Organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), in association with the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, and Government of Andhra Pradesh, the Conference was addressed by Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri Nara Chandrababu Naidu. National Awards for e-Governance 2016-17 were presented on the occasion.
Regional Conferences on “Good Governance and Replication of Best Practices” A two-day Regional Conference on “Good Governance and Replication of Best Practices” involving 12 States and 4 UTs of Northern, Western and Central Region of India held on July 7-8, 2017 in Nainital. Another Regional Conference on the subject was held in Goa on September 14-15, 2017. Delegates from 25 States/UTs (of Southern, Central, Eastern, North Eastern Regions and 5 other States/UTs) participated in the conference. On December 22-23, 2017 the Regional Conference on Good Governance was held in Guwahati, where delegates from 36 States and UTs participated.
The DARPG has so far organized 27 such regional conferences to share experiences in the formulation and successful implementation of Good Governance practices and to facilitate speedy and efficient delivery of public services.
Vice President inaugurated the Vigilance Awareness Week, 2017. The Vice-President Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the Vigilance Awareness Week, 2017 on October 30, 2017, organised by the Central Vigilance Commission. The theme of the week this year was “My Vision-Corruption-free India”.
12th Annual Convention of Central Information Commission held on December 6, 2017. Vice President Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the 12th Annual Convention of Central Information Commission (CIC) on December 06, 2017. While delivering the inaugural address, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu said that the information has to be given in a language which is understandable to everyone, especially the one who applies for it. The Commission had about 26,000 cases pending as on 31.03.2017 as compared to about 35,000 pending cases as on 01.04. 2016. More than 3,500 queries have been answered by CIC through facilitation desk. In the year 2016-17, the CIC conducted about 15,000 video conferences. Prior to the Annual Convention, two seminars were held in May and July this year, to discuss ‘Implementation of the Right to Information Act 2005’ and ‘Land Records and RTI Act’ respectively.
29th meeting of the Standing Committee of Voluntary Agencies (SCOVA) held in New Delhi on January 12, 2017. Organised by the DoP&PW, the SCOVA meeting was chaired by MoS (PP) Dr. Jitendra Singh. During the meeting, the Minister said that minimum pension has been increased to Rs. 9,000 per person and ex-gratia amount has been increased from Rs. 10-15 lakh to Rs. 25-35 lakh.
Jeevan Pramaan. Launched by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in November, 2014, more than 11 lakh pensioners availed this Aadhar-based scheme for online submission of digital life certificate through banks during the month November, 2017. The scheme benefits pensioners specially the old and infirm who can submit life certificate from the comfort of their homes anywhere in the country or abroad. Till date about 93% of the pension bank accounts of Central Government pensioners drawing pension through banks have been seeded with Aadhaar Numbers.