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  • 23 Aug 2022 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions

    Day 44: What are the fundamentals of providing outstanding public services? What makes it such a crucial part of governance? Explain using the Sevottam model. (150 Words)

    Approach

    Approach

    • Introduce briefly by giving the principles of public service delivery
    • Describe its importance in ensuring good governance
    • Explain in context of Sevottam model
    • Conclude briefly

    Answer

    Delivery of various public goods and services is one basic responsibility of the State. This includes important regulatory services for maintaining order in the society by ensuring that adequate norms of public behavior are established through Acts and Rules, which everyone has to comply with (e.g., maintaining law and order, administration of justice etc).

    Principles of effective public service delivery:

    People centered: This is the core principle of service delivery, which has a people-first approach with following elements-Listening to people, Modifying services according to needs, Respecting people and individuals, Responding to complaints, Seeking feed- back and providing improvement.

    Equity: The focus would be on the poor and other disadvantaged groups who would be given the most favored treatment not only through easy access but also through deliberate outreach.

    Inclusiveness: Not all people can access services in their present status. So the public policy would provide for conscious reaching to include the marginalised in the spirit of ‘antyodaya’ or ‘unto the last.

    Responsiveness: The service delivery interface between the citizens and the state has to be made sensitive to citizen needs.

    Rationality: All decisions of service delivery would be taken on the basis of facts and data.

    Transparency: The whole process would be transparent. The citizens will have the right to know the standards expected to be achieved, the cost of service, identity of service providers, outputs and outcomes achieved.

    Accountability: Service providers would be accountable not only to the Government but also to the citizens.

    Grievance redressal: There would be a well-defined system for redressing grievances of those who are dissatisfied with service delivery.

    Good governance and public service delivery are linked to each other. The quality of governance and public service delivery can affect economic growth through its impact on human capital, poverty, and inequality. Good governance is a way of measuring how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources in a preferred way. Sevottam is an assessment - improvement model that has been developed with the objective of improving the quality of public service delivery in the country. The model was conceived by the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG), Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions in 2006.

    • The key components of Sevottam are captured with the following objectives:
      • Successful implementation of Citizen’s Charters: It requires opening up a channel for receiving citizens' inputs into the way in which organizations determine service delivery requirements.
      • Service Delivery Preparedness and achievement of Results: This shall include identification of services rendered, the service delivery process, its control, and delivery requirements.
      • Sound Public Grievance Redress Mechanism: This requires a good grievance redress system operating in a manner that leaves the citizen more satisfied with how the organization responds to complaints/grievances, irrespective of the final decision.

    Efficient public service delivery can be ensured through self-accountability, honesty, and dedication. This will also ensure the strengthening of good governance. However, the same public organization need to have standards, benchmark assessment process and models to rate the services e.g. Sevottam. So that such initiatives can bring services closer to the people through decentralized governance.

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