Yojana Magazine: September 2023 | Governance and Reforms

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September 2023 Yojana | Governance and Reforms


Making of a Bureaucrat


  • The civil service in a democratic government is charged with the responsibility of assisting the political executive in framing policies, implementing them through programmes that deliver governance and welfare, and discharging system maintenance services. 
  • Through its successful actions, it generates public support for executive and legislative policy, and through its failings, it renders itself accountable to the instruments of parliamentary oversight.
  • Part XIV of India's Constitution provides for efficient 'public services' by creating the Union Public Service Commission and the State Commissions, together with elaborate safeguards that support professionalism.

Mission Karmayogi

  • Mission Karmayogi is a pragmatic programme, and while acknowledging the heterogeneity and complexity of the civil service architecture, it seeks to make incremental gains through capacity building at the interface point of civil servant-citizen and by changing behaviour, attitudes, and abilities.
  • The mission seeks to hone:
    • the individual through its emphasis on the three-dimensional skills of behaviour, functional knowledge, and domain;
    • the nature of the Civil Service by rendering it adept and adaptive through continuous upskilling; and
    • the quality of services delivered through a shift from Rule to Role
  • Through Mission Karmayogi, the bureaucrat who is rule-bound, is expected to transform into an empathetic civil servant by embracing the transformation from 'Rule to Role'.

Consequences of the Transition from Rule to Role

  • Weakened pyramid: This shift requires moving away from top-led supervision, monitoring, and guidance towards bottom- level delivery with commensurate accountability fixed at the delivery point. In a country as diverse as ours, we need effective command structures as well as strengthened and able capabilities at the middle and bottom; hence there should be emphasis on capability creation at the level of every individual civil servant.
  • Creating a digital learning ecosystem for infusing the spirit of a lifelong learner: The digital ecosystem can enable targeted delivery to individuals and can ensure lifelong learning. However, how do we identify individual-level requirements in a bureaucratic ecosystem such as ours?
  • Challenges in disaggregation model named FRAC: Identification of every job level, function level, and task level skill is articulated by a novel disaggregation model named FRAC (Framework of Roles, Abilities, and Competencies). This framework maps out the various actions at the different levels of the bureaucratic structure. A prototype of this framework was designed and made available by DoPT. During Covid, the prototype iGOT (Integrated Government On-Line Training) platform, trained nearly 1.5 million civil servants on certified courses in less than 8-10 weeks during April- May of 2020.


  • The transformation of a traditional rule-bound 'bureaucrat' into a role-driven 'civil servant' is a long-needed reform that augurs well for public welfare. The Spirit of the Civil Servant, repurposed under the 'National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building, is that of the 'Karmayogi' serving during the Amrit Kaal of independent India's journey towards increased prosperity. No longer a static rule-bound bureaucrat but a driven, dynamic, empathetic, able, and compassionate civil servant.

Accountability and Financial Administration


  • Accountability of financial systems is defined as a system of thorough audit of the accounts in accordance with the rules of business, relevant precedents, circumstances, and calculations. In India, this is done through the institution of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).

Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)

  • The institution of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) came into existence in the year 1860 and later gained Constitutional status in 1950.
  • The Constitution ensures the independence of the CAG (Article 148) from the legislature and the executive.
  • The CAG has complete discretion in the discharge of his functions, including the selection of audit issues, the manner of conduct and reporting of audits and the organisation and management of his office.
  • The CAG plays a key role in the Public Financial Management space of the country. Public Finances are authorised for collection and utilisation by the Legislature; and the Executive appropriates sums of money in accordance with the budgetary allocations authorized.
  • The CAG advises the Government on the manner in which the accounts of the Union and State Governments are to be maintained.
  • While for the Union Government, the Controller General of Accounts prepares the accounts, for the State Governments, the responsibility is vested with the CAG.
  • The accounts of Union and State Governments are subject to audit by the CAG, who submits the audited accounts along with the Audit Report to the President of India, the Governors of the States, and the Administrators of the Union Territories (UTs) for laying in the Parliament and the State/UT Legislatures.
  • The CAG's institution is a strong pillar in effecting transparency in financial systems and promoting good governance by providing timely, independent, and credible assurance on public resources.
  • CAG has a nationwide audit mandate encompassing all three tiers of the federal structure of governance: The Union Government, the State/ UT Governments, and the local bodies, thus, ensuring that accountability is enforced up to the last mile.
  • The audit jurisdiction includes attached & subordinate offices, autonomous bodies, Statutory authorities and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs).
  • The CAG Audit Reports presented to the Parliament/State Legislatures are selected by the Legislative Committees for detailed examination.
  • The CAG functions as a friend, philosopher, and guide to the legislative committees by suggesting topics of focus and highlighting issues of concern.
  • The committees carry out an in- depth examination of the CAG's Audit observations and call upon the executive ministries and departments to explain their actions on the irregularities pointed out in the reports.
  • Audit by the CAG is of three types:
    • financial attest audit to ascertain the accuracy and correctness of the financial statements of the entity;
    • compliance audit to check adherence to applicable rules, regulations, and procedures; and
    • performance audit to assess whether systems within the entity operate with economy, efficiency, and effectiveness.

Significance of CAG Audit

  • Significant audit observations are reported to the Parliament and the State legislatures through the CAG's Audit Reports.
  • These include the Audit Reports on Union Government Appropriation and Finance Accounts, State Finances Audit Reports, General Purpose Financial Reports on the functioning of Government PSUs, and a multitude of Compliance and Performance Audit Reports.
  • Besides audit observations on budgetary management, CAG's Audit Reports also contain information on macro fiscal analysis of key indices and fiscal position, including deficits/surplus, analysis of finances of the Government, critical changes in major fiscal aggregates relative to the previous year, trends, fiscal sustainability, the debt profile, and key Public Account transactions.
  • Audit efforts propel good governance by way of policy changes, design improvements, mid-course corrections, strengthening systems, etc.
  • Audit Reports on tax receipts contain instances of under-assessment of taxes,
    nonrecovery of receivables, and losses that necessitate recovery from the concerned parties.
  • Based on an audit of receipts during 2021 -22, the Union and State Governments accepted that recoveries of Rs 25,571 crore needed to be made. The Income Tax Department carried out recoveries of Rs 415 crore in the last three years to rectify errors in assessment of taxes pointed out by audit.
  • CAG 's audit of receipts has also proved instrumental in ensuring that public funds are realized in accordance with the prevailing laws.
  • CAG conducts audits of the Government companies in which classification errors, misstatements, irregularities requiring rectification in the financial statements, and issues in corporate governance are highlighted.

Recent Steps Taken

  • With digitalisation, Governments have moved towards an Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS), which is a comprehensive payment, receipt, accounting, and management information system.
  • An institutional framework for the digital audit of GST revenues has also been established.
  • Audits of financial systems in Government schemes such as MGNREGA, PM Awaas Yojana, DDUGJY, SAUBHAGYA, AIBP, and NRHM have been conducted, in which systemic issues relating to the release of funds to implementing agencies, unspent balances, non-submiss ion of utilization certificates; and financial irregularities such as diversion of funds, parking of funds, fraudulent expenditure, and non-realization of revenue were highlighted.


  • The CAG's institution upholds the trust reposed by tax payers in India and investors in Indian enterprises; and continues to contribute constructively towards the goal of establishing a robust financial administration. Fundamental beliefs in the institutional values, professionalism, competence, social awareness, and commitment to provide credible assurance on the collection and utilisation of public resources are the key components that support the legacy of the prestigious institution of the CAG of India as a torchbearer of good governance.

Parliamentary Committees: Strengthening the Scope and Role


  • Parliament functions in two modes – on the floor of the House and in Committees. Reports submitted by the Committees allow for informed debate in Parliament. Parliament relies on Parliamentary Committees to thoroughly scrutinise specific issues.
  • Reports submitted by the Committees allow for informed debate in Parliament. Additionally, Committees provide a forum to build consensus across party lines, develop subject expertise, and consult with experts and stakeholders.
  • Hence, Parliamentary Committees serve an important role in scrutinising the work of the Government and improving the quality of Bills brought before Parliament.

Types of Parliamentary Committees

  • Standing Committees can be broadly categorised into four types:
    1. subject,
    2. financial,
    3. accountability, and
    4. administrative
  • Parliament may also form Ad hoc Committees from time to time. These committees are appointed by either House for a specific purpose. For instance, the Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2022 was referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee, which is an Ad-hoc Committee. Such Committees are disbanded after submitting the report.

Department Related Committees

  • Department-related Committees, or subject Committees, ensure oversight over each ministry. A Minister is not eligible to be a member.
  • There are 24 subject Committees, and each Committee has 31 members, with 21 from the Lok Sabha and 10 from the Rajya Sabha.
  • Membership in Committees is allocated to parties in proportion to their strength in the House.
  • To ensure proper scrutiny of Bills before passage, they can be referred to a subject Committee for detailed examination.

Reforms suggested

  • Referring All Bills to Committees:
    • Currently, Bills are not automatically referred to a Committee. The decision of whether a Bill should be referred to a Committee depends on the decision of the Speaker or Chairman, in consultation with the Minister presenting the Bill.
    • During the 17th Lok Sabha, until the end of the Monsoon Session of 2023, 17% of Bills have been referred to Committees. This number has been declining.
    • The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (2002) noted that all Bills introduced in Parliament should automatically be referred to subject Committees.
  • Attendance of MPs:
    • The attendance of MPs in Committee meetings is low. In the 17th Lok Sabha, as of July 2023, the average attendance for subject Committees meetings was 47%. The attendance in financial Committees drops further to 37%.
    • Also, the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution Report (2002) observed instances where a single Committee encompassed too many ministries.
  • Shortage of Technical Staff And Experts:
    • The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (2002) recommended that funds be secured to assist these Committees in conducting inquiries, holding public hearings, and collecting data.
    • Currently, technical support available to Parliamentary Committees is limited to a secretariat that helps with scheduling meetings and taking notes.
  • Public Transparency:
    • Committee reports are usually made public, but the internal workings of the Committee may not be transparent.
    • Therefore, the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (2002) recommended that major reports of all Parliamentary Committees be discussed in Parliament, especially where there is a disagreement between any Committee and the Central Government.


  • The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (2002) recommended certain reforms for Parliamentary Committees. These include the establishment of three new Committees: the Constitution Committee, the Committee on National Economy, and the Committee on Legislation. The Committee noted that it may not be necessary to continue the existing Committees on Estimates, Public Undertakings and Subordinate Legislation as the topic covered by them can be covered by subject Committees or the proposed Committees. Time has come to omplement these reforms.

Law Commission of India


  • The Law Commission of India is a non-statutory body established by the Government of India to examine and recommend reforms in the legal system of India. It is composed of legal experts, including judges, lawyers, and academics, and is headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India.

Objectives of the Law Commission of India:

  • To examine and recommend measures for the systematization of the law.
  • To recommend for the repeal of obsolete laws and enactment of new laws.
  • To recommend for the simplification of the law.
  • To recommend for the modernization of the law.

Functions of the Law Commission of India:

  • To undertake research in the field of law.
  • To prepare reports on specific legal topics.
  • To make recommendations to the Government of India on legal reform.
  • To consult with experts and the public on legal reform proposals.

Achievements of the Law Commission of India:

  • The Law Commission of India has made a significant contribution to the development of Indian law. It has submitted over 275 reports to the Government of India, many of which have been implemented.
  • Some of the notable achievements of the Law Commission include:
    • The enactment of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, which gave women equal rights to inheritance.
    • The introduction of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, which reformed the criminal justice system.
    • The enactment of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, which is the main criminal code of India.
    • The enactment of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, which is the main civil procedure code of India.

Current Status of the Law Commission of India:

  • The 22nd Law Commission of India was constituted on 31st August, 2018. The current Chairperson of the Commission is Justice (Retd.) R.V. Raveendran. The Commission has a term of three years, which can be extended by the Government of India.


  • The Law Commission of India continues to play an important role in the reform of Indian law. It is currently examining a number of important legal topics, including:
    • The reform of the criminal justice system.
    • The reform of the civil justice system.
    • The reform of the family law system.
  • The reform of the intellectual property law system.The Law Commission of India is a valuable institution that plays an important role in ensuring that the legal system of India is fair, efficient, and up-to-date.

Direct Tax Reforms


  • Tax collections help the government to provide education, healthcare, housing, and other basic facilities to the people to improve their quality of life and address the problems of poverty, unemployment, and slow development. While raising revenues, the government needs to ensure that it does not impact the development of trade and industry. It is also the responsibility of the tax administration to ensure that every citizen pays their fair share of taxes.
  • Government of India has undertaken substantial tax reforms to ensure that tax collection increases in a non-adversarial manner through a stable and predictable tax regime.

Tax Reforms: There are four pillars of this reform:

  •  Removing exemption/deduction and reducing tax rates:
    •  A study report to the G20 Development Working Group by the IMF, OECD, UN, and World Bank in October 2015 concluded that tax incentives are often found to be redundant in attracting investment in developing countries.
    • Corporate tax rates were reduced through the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Ordinance 2019, on 20 September 2019, to 25.17% (including surcharge and cess) for existing domestic companies, at their option, which do not avail of specified exemptions/deductions.
    • A lower rate of 17.16% (including surcharge and cess) was provided for new domestic manufacturing companies (incorporated on or after 1 October 2019) that start manufacturing on or before 31 March 2023 (later extended to 31 March 2024).
    • Similar lower tax rates have been provided for cooperative societies.
    • Similar reforms were carried out in personal income tax in 2020 by providing an option for taxpayers to shift to the new tax regime with lower tax rates but without exemption/deduction.
    • The Finance Act, 2023, has further reduced the tax rates in the new tax regime to make it more attractive.
    • The result of reducing tax rates by eliminating exemption/deductions has also started showing results.
  • Widening and deepening tax base through various measures:
    • New Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) and Tax Collection at Source (TCS) provisions have been introduced like TDS on payment of rents by Individual/HUF, TDS on e-commerce operation, TDS on cash withdrawal above a threshold, TDS on large payments by Individual/HUF, TDS on Purchase of goods, TDS on benefit/perquisite in course of business/ profession.
    • Removing arbitrage on the sale of market-linked debentures and debt mutual funds, removing ambiguity on the taxation of return from business trusts classified as debt, putting a cap on saving long-term capital gains tax by way of investment in residential property, a higher surcharge for high-net-worth taxpayers, etc.
    • The Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income & Assets) & Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, was enacted to make provisions to deal with the problem of black money, which is undisclosed foreign income/ assets stashed abroad.
    • The third-party information collection mechanism has been strengthened to collect information on undeclared income/assets.
    • Various amendments have been made to encourage the use of digital transactions in place of cash transactions.
  • Using technology to increase efficiency in the income tax department:
    • Third-party information is populated in the Annual Information Statement (AIS), which is visible to the taxpayer at the time of furnishing his tax return. Thus, the taxpayer is urged to include all income in its tax return and pay proper tax voluntarily.
    • An e-Verification scheme has been introduced with a facility to update returns with some additional tax.
    • Faceless system of assessment and appearance has started in the Income Tax Department to bring efficiency to the process and provide taxpayers with the convenience of replying to various queries without visiting the income tax office.
    • End-to-end technology driven services are being provided to the taxpayers on the one hand and technology driven processing of tax returns with issuance of refunds within the department is being done on the other.
  • Reducing litigation by providing tax certainty:
    • Tax litigation consumes a lot of time and resources from all stakeholders, i.e., taxpayers, tax administration, courts, and tribunals. Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) has been a success story in reducing litigation in transfer pricing.

Outcomes of these reforms

  • The tax collection in direct tax has shown a significant increase having buoyancy of more than 1 over the years.
  • Direct tax growth is higher than the growth in GDP over a long period of time.
  • If we take the period from 2013-2014 to 2022- 23, in nine years, GDP has grown from Rs 113.55 lakh crore to Rs 272.41 lakh crore, i.e., growth of 140%.
  • During the same period direct tax collection grew from Rs 6 .39 lakh crore to Rs 16.61 lakh crore i.e., growth rate of 160% giving long term direct tax buoyancy of 1.15.
  • This higher than 1 tax buoyancy signifies efficiency of tax administration and success of various tax reforms.


  • Tax policy reform is a continuous process. More reforms are contemplated along the above lines in order to ensure that direct tax collection remains buoyant. More reforms are also required to reduce tax litigation and ensure tax certainty at an early stage. Ease of doing business is also one area where tax policies are required to continue to pay attention. It should always be the endeavor to ensure that all those who are required to pay indirect tax pay their tax fairly and voluntarily.

Protecting the Interests of Consumers and Businesses


  • The Competition Law aims to protect the interests of both consumers and businesses by fostering a competitive environment in markets and preventing anti- competitive practices. It ensures fair competition and a level playing field for all market players, thereby encouraging innovation and efficiency. The law is enforced by the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

Competition Commission of India (CCI)

  • CCI's mandate includes preventing anti- competitive practices, promoting, and sustaining competition, and protecting consumers’ interest.
  • A robust competition mechanism helps in regulating mergers and acquisitions to ensure they do not negatively impact competition or consumers.
  • CCI's advocacy initiatives and policy recommendations further promote pro- competitive policies and protect consumers' interests.

Role of CCI in Markets And Its Tools

  • CCI, deriving its genesis from the Competition Act, 2002, has striven since its inception in 2003 to develop and flourish an ecosystem of healthy competition in the Indian Economy.
  • The modern Competition Act, 2002, focuses on checking and correcting abuse of dominance by market entities, which can harm competition in India.
  • CCI uses a variety of tools and mechanisms to fulfill its mandate:
    • Advocacy: CCI publishes advocacy materials for guidance and use by stakeholders. The Advocacy booklet is published in 13 languages, including English and Hindi.
    • Anti-Competitive Agreements Detection: Monitoring and investigating agreements competitors that may violate the Competition Act, 2002, such as cartels, price-fixing, bid-rigging, market allocation schemes, resale price maintenance, etc.
    • Abuse of Dominance Assessments: Scrutinizing dominant firms' conduct to ensure they do not exploit their market power to harm competitors or exclude new entrants.
    • Fines and Penalties: In cases of abuse of a dominant position, the CCI can impose a penalty of up to 10% of the average turnover for the last three preceding financial years. For cartels, CCI may impose a penalty of up to three times the profit or ten percent of the turnover for each year of the continuance of such an agreement, whichever is higher.
    • International Cooperation: CCI enters into MOUs with foreign counterparts in order to facilitate international cooperation.
    • Merger Control: CCI evaluates whether the proposed transactions may cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition (AAEC), harming consumer welfare.
    • Remedies: Requiring companies to take corrective actions, divest assets, or make structural changes to address competition concerns identified by CCI.

Competition and Consumer Protection

  • While the Competition Law doesn't explicitly address consumer rights, it prioritizes consumers' interests by fostering a market free from anti- competitive forces and abuse of dominance.
  • It endeavours to maintain sufficient choice for consumers by sustaining competitive conditions in the market from the supply side.

Relation Between Competition and Business

  • Competition plays a crucial role in shaping how businesses operate and interact with each other. Competition creates an environment where businesses are constantly pushed to improve, innovate, and meet consumer needs effectively.
  • A well-implemented competition regime is a catalyst for entrepreneurial markets and the current startup economy of India is reaping the benefits of the active competition regulation mechanism.
  • Further, better competition in the local market results in greater productivity and growth and increases the international competitiveness of domestic businesses.


  • As a linking law between businesses and consumers, competition law can be said to be a boon for both. On the business side, competition can help businesses identify consumers' needs and then develop new products or services to meet them, which in turn allows consumers to have access to better choices

Consumer Protection Act 2019


  • The Consumer Protection Act of 2019 replaced the Consumer Protection Act of 1986 to further strengthen provisions for consumer protection, especially in the new era of globalisation, online platforms, and e-commerce markets.

How the Consumer Protection Act 2019 strengthen provisions for consumer protection?

  • Expanded Consumer Definition: The Act broadened the definition of “consumer” to include those who purchase or access goods or services online or through electronic means.
  • Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA): The Act established CCPA as a central authority to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers. CCPA has the power to
    • Conduct investigations into violations of consumer rights.
    • Issue orders for the recall of unsafe goods and devices.
    • Order the discontinuation of unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements.
    • Impose penalties for misleading advertisements.
  • Product liability provision to sellers for any harm caused to a consumer due to a defective product.
  • Simplified dispute resolution process:
    • Mediation will be preferred for early settlement of cases
    • State and District commissions can review their own orders
    • E-filing of complaints and videoconferencing for hearing
  • Misleading Advertisements and False Endorsements: The Act defines advertisements as any audio or visual publicity, representation, endorsement, or pronouncement made through various means, including electronic media, the internet, or websites. The ‘Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022’ require endorsers to fully disclose any affiliations with the trader, manufacturer, or advertiser of the endorsed product.
  • e-Commerce Regulation: The Act defines e-commerce as the buying or selling of goods or services, including digital products, over a digital or electronic network.  Information regarding the return, refund, grievance redressal mechanism, and country of origin need to be provided. Acknowledge any consumer complaints within 48 hours and redress the complaint within one month.
  • Punishments: Imposes a 2-year licence suspension for manufacturing or selling adulterants or spurious goods.
  • Combatting Dark Patterns: E-commerce companies and industry associations are urged to avoid engaging in unfair trade practices known as “dark patterns.”  “Dark patterns” involve using design and choice architecture to deceive, coerce, or influence consumers into making choices that are not in their best interest.

Role of Constitutional Bodies in Strengthening Democracy


  • Constitutional bodies are the foundation of democracy as an institution. Their presence has been a critical factor in the resilience of Indian democracy.  Considering the underlying philosophy and structural needs of democracy, constitutional bodies are needed to establish, protect, and perpetuate democratic ideals.
  • The most essential democratic body has to be the elected legislature, which makes laws. The Indian Parliament, where both Houses are directly or indirectly elected, performs this primary function as a constitutional body.
  • Our Constitution through Part Ill ensures protection of the Fundamental Rights. To protect these rights, another essential constitutional body is required, in the form of an independent judiciary.
  • Courts, as constitutional bodies, have the critical function of safeguarding the Constitution itself, which sometimes means going against the people's will.  The courts also keep a check on all subordinate bodies created through laws and other constitutional bodies to ensure that they perform their functions as prescribed.
  • We have the unique distinction of having the world's largest and most comprehensive Constitution. We have many more constitutional bodies than other jurisdictions. Our constitutional founders did this to ensure the rule of law system is deeply embedded in our governance system.

Benefits of prescribing constitutional status to these bodies are manifold:

  • Permanency begets consistency and predictability in the functions and aspirations of people approaching these bodies.
  • In a Rule of Law governance system, the Law is supreme, every person and institution is subordinate to it, and there is no scope for discretionary and arbitrary decision-making.
  • It is evident that constitutional bodies are the foundation of democracy as an institution. The Parliament establishes the procedural requirements of democracy; the judiciary protects the substantive aspects of democracy; the EC ensures free and fair elections; and the UPSC and CAG also play a vital role in preserving democratic ideals.
  • The presence of strong constitutional bodies has been a critical factor in the resilience of Indian democracy. These bodies have helped protect citizens ' rights, ensure the rule of law, and promote democratic values.


  • The endurance of Indian democracy has been greatly aided by the existence of powerful constitutional bodies. These organisations have supported democratic ideals, upheld the rule of law, and protected citizens’ rights.

Administrative Reforms


  • In the last decade, India has undertaken transformational reforms, with e-Governance models simplifying the citizen's interface with the government and bringing the government and citizens closer.
  • The Central Government's e-Governance models like Ayushman Bharat, PM's Jan Arogya Yojana, PM's Jan Dhan Yojana, One Nation-One Ration Card, and Passport Sewa Kendras have been successful in bringing transparency and openness to government processes.
  • The Prime Minister has adopted the policy of 'Maximum Governance- Minimum Government’, which
    envisages a 'Digitally Empowered Citizen' and a 'Digitally Transformed Institution’, radically changing India's governance landscape in scale, scope, and learning paradigms.

Effective Redressal of Public Grievances

  • Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) has been adopted and implemented across all the Central Ministries and Departments, attached, subordinate, and autonomous bodies.
  • 18,19,104 grievances were received by all Ministries, Departments, States, and UTS of which 15,68,097 were redressed in 2022. The average disposal time of Central Ministries and Departments has improved from 32 days in 2021 to 27 days in 2022.
  • The 10-step CPGRAMS reforms adopted to improve the quality of disposal and reduce timelines had a significant impact. It can be said that this reform brought compassion, empathy, and science-based solutions to enable Effective Grievance Redressal.
  • The Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, in its 127th Report submitted to Parliament in March 2023, appreciated the 10-step reform process adopted by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) for improving the quality and disposal of grievances and reducing timelines.
  • The Parliamentary Standing Committee also commended the Department for its faster rate of disposal of grievances, which is over one lakh per month.
  • The Department had implemented most of the recommendations, like the One Nation-One Portal, CPGRAMS portal in regional languages, to develop the grievance redressal index, reduction in redressal period from 45- 60 days to 30 days, introduction of appellate mechanism, revamping of Sevottam Scheme, operationalising the feedback mechanism, and the CPGRAMS dashboard.

Benchmarking Governance

  • Benchmarking Governance is an important Next Generation Administrative Reform.
  • The DARPG undertakes a biannual assessment of the governance of States and UTs.
  • It is done through the Good Governance index (GGI), which assesses the governance at the district level through the District Good Governance Index, and assesses the delivery of e -Services through the biannual National e -Services Delivery Assessment.
  • The Good Governance Index framework, covering 10 sectors and 58 indicators, represents a comprehensive framework for assessing the governance of States and UTs and presents a competitive picture for improvement.
  • The National e- Services Delivery Assessment (NeSDA) assesses the state of e-services Delivery across the Nation.

Secretariat Reforms

  • The Government implemented deep- rooted Secretariat Reforms through the initiative for increasing efficiency in decision making, which focuses on delayering, delegation of financial powers, adoption of e-office, and the Special Campaign 2.0 for institutionalizing swachhata and minimizing pendency.
  • Under Special Campaign 2.0, in 2022, the Swachhata Campaign was Implemented in 1,01,582 campaign sites, 64.92 lakh files were reviewed, 37.27 lakh files were weeded, 4.56 lakh public grievances were redressed.
  • e-File adoption in the Central Secretariat stands at 89.66 percent with 26.48 lakh e-files in June 2023, and the physical files stand at 7.17 lakh.

Chintan Shivir

  • In 2023, this concept gained considerable momentum following deliberations in the Council of Ministers that every Ministry should conduct internal, inhouse deliberations to take a fresh look at their governance models.

Civil Services Day

  • India observes 21 April every year as 'Civil Services Day’. It is marked as an occasion for civil servants across the Nation to rededicate themselves to citizens and renew their commitment to public service and excellence in work.
  • The Civil Services Day 2023 was celebrated with the conference theme 'Viksit Bharat – Empowering Citizens and Reaching the Last Mile; with 2 Plenary Sessions and 4 Breakaway Sessions.

Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence in Public Administration

  • These were instituted to acknowledge, recognize, and award the extraordinary and innovative work done by districts, Central, and State Governments and organisations.
  • The 2022 Awards Schemes included Promoting Swachh Jal through the Har Ghar Jal Yojana, Promoting Swastha Bharat through Health and Wellness Centres, Promoting Quality Education through Samagra Shiksha, Holistic Development through the Aspirational District Programme. With a special focus on saturation approaches, and Innovation categories for Central Ministries, States, and Districts.

Replication of Good Governance Practices

  • The Government has made significant efforts for the dissemination and replication of Award-winning nominations. Since 2022, 16 National Good Governance Webinars have been held on a monthly basis, in which 32 PM's Award winners presented their successful initiatives.

National Conferences on e-Governance and National e-Governance Awards

  • The Government of India convenes the National Conferences on e-Governance every year in association with one of the States or UT Governments. The 25th National e-Governance Conference, conducted at Katra, Jammu & Kashmir, was attended by over 1600 delegates, which included officials from the Government of India, State and UT Governments, industry, academia, and the private sector.
  • The Conference reiterated that open digital platforms are tremendous force multipliers and critical for providing affordable, interoperable technology to India's citizens.


  • It can be said that India has adopted several Next Generation Administrative Reforms in the period 2014-2023 to improve its time-tested administrative systems for carrying out functions of Nation-Building and the creation of an inclusive State.

Women Empowerment: Recent Reforms


  • It is well said that empowering a man leads to empowering an individual, but empowering a woman empowers an entire generation. With a dedicated focus on empowering women as equal stakeholders, addressing domestic and professional abuse, ensuring their security, and fostering their impact in the twenty-first century, the current government has taken significant strides in this direction.

Steps taken to empower women

  • Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao: Launched in 2015, it aims to address the declining child sex ratio and promote the education and welfare of girls.
  • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY): Introduced in 2017, this maternity benefit scheme provides financial assistance to pregnant and lactating women.
  • Mahila e-Haat: This online platform was launched in 2016 to facilitate women entrepreneurs and artisans in showcasing and selling their products.
  • Ujjwala Yojana: Launched in 2016, this scheme provides free LPG connections to women from below-poverty-line households.
  • Stand Up India: Introduced in 2016, this scheme encourages entrepreneurship among women and Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe individuals. It offers bank loans between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore to set up greenfield enterprises.

Changes in Law

  • Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 (Nirbhaya Act): This amendment was passed in 2013, making significant changes to laws concerning sexual offences.
  • Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017: extended the maternity leave period for women working in the organised sector in India from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.
  • The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act, 2019: to strengthen the protection of children from sexual offenses.
  • The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019: It criminalized the practice of instant triple talaq (divorce) among Muslim men in India.
  • Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013: This Act mandates the establishment of internal committees in workplaces to address complaints of sexual harassment and ensure a safe working environment for women.


  • These reforms have played a crucial role in advancing women's rights and empowerment in India, fostering gender equality, and challenging systemic inequalities.  However, it is important to continue working towards creating a society that fully upholds and respects women's rights in all aspects of life.

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