Citizen Charter UPSC: Principles, National & International Scenario

Citizen’s charter is a writing down on methodical endeavor made by public activities/governments to an emphasis on the promise made by them in the direction of their citizens/clients in fulfilling their needs. Citizen’s Charter makes it possible to get rid of problems faced by the peoples, throughout the day, while taking care of public agencies and organizations. It also comprises the prospects of the communal actions from the people for satisfying the assurances made by them.

Citizens Charters are grounded on the principle that the Citizen is King and government organizations occur to assist the countries. The preparation of citizen’s charter in India first begun in 1996. ­Since then, Scheme of Citizens’ Charters was studied numerous times and in due course caused the conclusion of Quality Management System Standard – IS 15700: 2005 and correspondingly to the new assessment-improvement model called Sevottam.

Six Principles of Citizens Charter 

  • Published standards
  • Openness and information
  • Choice and consultation
  • Courtesy and helpfulness
  • Grievance redressal
  • Value for money

Functions of Citizens Charter

International scenario 

The concept of Citizen’s Charter was first applied in the United Kingdom in 1991. It was originally executed through the Conservative Government of John Major being as a nationwide programme with an interest in enhancing the quality of public services appreciated by the individuals of the nation. The programme was once more introduced according to the Labour Government directed by Tony Blair with a name of Services First in 1998. The initiative received significant curiosity all over the world and several countries originated with comparable programmes.

Country Name of the initiative Year
Belgium Public Service Users’ Charter 1992
France Service Charter 1992
Spain The Quality Observatory 1992
Malaysia Client Charter 1993
Portugal The Quality Charter in Public Services 1993
Jamaica Citizen’s Charter 1994
Canada Service Standards Initiative 1995
India Citizen’s Charter 1997
Australia Service Charter 1997

Indian Scenario 

With the passing of years, the progress attained in literacy rate joined with a healthy commercial growth that made countries progressively alert to rights and made them suppose the management to answer their requests. To cosset the increasing determinations, an Action Plan for Effective and Responsive Government was accepted both at the Centre and State levels in a Meeting of Chief Ministers of numerous States and Union Territories held on 24 May 1997 in New Delhi. The next verdicts were taken at the conference:

  • It was made obvious that the Central and State Governments will frame Citizen’s Charters through sectors taking up a large public border like Railways, Telecom, Public Distribution Systems, Posts etc.
  • An unfaltering decision was made to encompass n the Charter and others the roads of values of service, reasonable time bounds for facility distribution, complaint redressal mechanisms and a facility for independent inspection by means of the participation of citizen and customer assemblies.
  • It was categorized that the public answerability must be taken in a comprehensive sagacity to take in public gratification and approachable transfer of public services.
  • Unevenly, the version of UK model, the supplementary module of expectations form the clients was enhanced to the Indian form of Citizen’s Charter. On top of that participation of inhabitant groups, consumer governments and other investors were extremely stressed. Correspondingly, intensive care, evaluation, and assessment of charters were ordered.
  • Since February 2008, 115 Citizen’s Charters had been framed by the Central Government Ministries and 650 Charters by various agencies of State Governments and Administrations of Union Territories.