Good Governance in practice
Following in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s footsteps, Madhya Pradesh has simplified laws and procedures to ensure speedy delivery of services to people.
My political career has been a reflective journey driven by a commitment to empower the people of Madhya Pradesh. I remember Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s words: “Empowering the individual means empowering the nation. And empowerment is best served through rapid economic growth with rapid social change.” These words have become the guiding light of my resolve to serve the people of Madhya Pradesh with transparency, accountability and a keen sense of strategic vision.
True to his word, Atalji was the torchbearer of good governance and paved the way for all of us to pursue it in letter and spirit. In a historic decision, the prime minister declared December 25 as the “National Good Governance Day” to honour Atal ji and his influence on India. In his two terms in office, PM Narendra Modi has reiterated his commitment to good governance and ensured that it becomes the DNA of the government.
I believe that good governance in its truest form is about the ability of a government to provide essential services to citizens, hassle-free. To this end, after taking over the leadership of the Madhya Pradesh government, we have focused on providing fast and effective services to citizens.
In keeping with our vision of providing essential citizen services in a speedy and hassle-free manner, we have set up appropriate structures to encourage janbhagidari (people’s participation) in the development and monitoring systems by setting up Deendayal Committees at the village, janpad and district levels. In 2010, we came up with a unique Public Service Guarantee Act to guarantee the delivery of public services efficiently. We have brought over 500 public services within the ambit of this law, which are being delivered successfully. We launched the CM Helpline 181 to resolve public complaints pertaining to facilities provided by the state government. This has also become an easy way for the public to participate in the development of welfare policies by registering their demands and suggestions. So far, we have successfully resolved the issues of about two crore citizens.
Other than bringing amendments in laws, we have simplified rules and procedures to ensure that the common citizen does not face problems in receiving essential services. As a result, land record modernisation under Digital India has increased the use of new modes of services delivery, along with the digitisation of records. We have ensured the digital availability of land records, and the speeding up of online land-mortgage processes. As a result of these innovations, people have started receiving information and necessary records at record speed.
We have ensured that copies of certificates such as khasra, khatauni, and local resident certificates are delivered easily to people on their mobile phones from the CM Janseva portal. This portal has been developed to deliver important citizen services via a single point. So far, we have provided benefits to more than 66,000 people through this service, effectively reducing the cost of accessing these services, streamlining administrative processes, and strengthening accountability and responsiveness.
Keeping with the ideals of antyodaya, we have expanded the presence of public service centers from the tehsil to the gram panchayat level. In the coming year, each gram panchayat that has a population of more than 5,000, will be provided with doorstep services by establishing kiosks for public services.
During the tumultuous period of the Covid lockdown, we were able to effectively meet the challenges posed by the pandemic and provided relief to the people by launching 24-hour corona helplines at the district and state level, especially for the migrant labourers.
I believe that it is the duty of a government to create public welfare schemes and extend their benefits. Our government has successfully delivered on this promise along with ensuring good governance. We have focused on measuring the impact of our work also. On the first Monday of every month, we monitor our activities via video conferencing. All departments of the government are ranked through the CM dashboard and those who perform are rewarded.
On this National Good Governance Day, I want to congratulate all the citizens for their constant participation in creating Atmanirbhar Madhya Pradesh.
Atmanirbhar MP provides a roadmap for self-reliance based on PM Modi’s vision of building an Atmanirbhar Bharat. It tries to ensure that the ideals of good governance are adhered to in providing essential services to the citizens. I invite your continued support to help fulfil PM Modi’s dream of an Atmanirbhar India, where effective delivery of public services is a common phenomenon.
[This column first appeared in the print edition on December 25, 2021 under the title ‘Torchbearer and guiding light’. The writer is Shivraj Singh Chouhan, chief minister of Madhya Pradesh.]