Model Panchayat Citizens Charter – Key Highlights for Competitive Exams


Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Rural Development, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare & Panchayati Raj on June 4, 2021, released a Model Panchayat Citizens Charter for delivery of services across the 29 sectors.

The Panchayats are expected to draw up the Citizens Charter to be adopted through a resolution of the Gram Sabha by August 15, 2021, said Union Minister Tomar.

The launch event was held virtually and attended by Chief Minister Rajasthan, State Panchayati Raj Ministers from West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, and Assam, and Panchayati Raj Secretaries & State officials and officials from Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation, and Ministry of Rural Development.

What is Model Panchayat Citizens Charter?

• The Model Panchayat Citizens Charter has been prepared by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) in collaboration with the National Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR).

• The Charter would enable effective and transparent delivery of public services across the 29 sectors for enhancing citizen service experiences and aligning actions with localized Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) thus strengthening accountable and inclusive Local Self Government when delivering services.

Objective of Model Panchayat Citizens Charter

• The Charter will render services to the people in a timely manner, address their grievances thus improving their lives.

• The Charter, on one hand, will make citizens aware of their rights, and on another, it will make the Panchayats and their elected representatives more directly accountable to the people.

• The Charter will improve the quality of services in accordance with the expectations of the citizens and empower people in terms of public services.

• The Charter will infuse more professionalism in the functioning of Panchayats and implement standards as yardsticks to monitor and evaluate the delivery of services.

Process of Preparation for Model Panchayat Citizens Charter

• Each Panchayat will formulate the Citizens Charter separately. While preparing the Charter, the Panchayats will deliberate on various services and seek the views of the Panchayat Secretary and other concerned officials in corresponding departments.

• The Charter with the approval of Gram Sabha should include:

(i) Vision and mission of the Panchayat,

(ii) Service standards or the procedure of procurement of services including the name of the services, details of the services, time frame for delivery of services, name and contact details of the persons in the Panchayat responsible for providing the services, and

(iii)Grievance redressal mechanism including the details of higher authority.

Need of the Citizens Charter in Panchayats in India

• The Panchayats in India play a crucial role in rendering important tasks relating to the everyday life of the citizens. Panchayats represent the first level of Government interaction for over 60 per cent of the Indian population and constitute the third tier of government in the rural areas.

• Panchayats are entrusted with the delivery of basic services laid down in Article 243G of the Constitution of India, specifically the areas of drinking water, nutrition, education, and health & sanitation.

• Hence, the need for ‘Model Panchayat Citizens Charter’ arises for the betterment of service delivery. The Charter represents the commitment of the Panchayat towards transparency and accountability, standards, quality and time frame of service delivery, and grievance redressal mechanism.

What is a Citizens Charter: Origin and Principles

• A Citizens Charter is a tool by the Government to achieve good governance to improve service delivery, enhance citizens’ satisfaction about the services provided and increase the responsiveness of the Panchayat functionaries.

• The concept of a Citizens Charter first came into being in the United Kingdom in 1991. In India, the concept of the Citizens Charter was first adopted in May 1997.

• Six principles of a Citizens Charter (as originally framed) are:

(i) Transparency

(ii) Accountability

(iii) Value

(iv) Standards

(v) Choice

(vi) Quality

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