ITANAGAR, 18 Aug: Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday said that administrative reforms are a must for bringing change in governance and bringing it closer to the people.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of a two-day regional conference on ‘Bringing citizens and government closer through administrative reforms’, organised by the union department of administrative reforms & public grievances (DARPG), in collaboration with the state’s administrative reforms department, at the State Banquet Hall here, Khandu said that “the Arunachal Pradesh government is constantly adopting reforms for transparency, accountability and speedy disposal of files.”
He said that “the conference holds much significance as it aims to facilitate and equip government officers to bridge the gap between the government and the people to all possible extent.”
Terming the e-office system one of the best technological interventions for efficient and transparent governance, Khandu informed that Arunachal is “committedly on-boarding its offices on the digital platform.”
“In fact, we have declared 2022-23 as the year of e-governance and have already implemented 100 percent e-office in the state civil secretariat, besides adopting e-assembly and e-cabinet modules. Till date we have conducted 17 e-pragati review meetings, in which we have reviewed and fast-tracked more than 200 projects and schemes with deputy commissioners and line departments,” he informed.
Khandu further informed that the government has identified 22 sectors for on-boarding on the e-office platform while the rest of the offices, including those in the districts, have been directed to get on board by October this year.
“Till date we have electronically moved 8,10,350 files through e-offices and I must say file movement has become transparent as well as fast. It has also pushed in accountability as it is now easy to locate in which department or on whose table a particular file is pending,” he said.
Referring to the theme of the conference, Khandu said that the state government has been striving to bring citizens closer to the government over the last five years through Sarkar Aapke Dwar (SAD) camps.
He informed that more than 1,000 SAD camps have been held in the last five years, benefitting more than 12 lakh people.
To ensure effective service delivery, Khandu mentioned two crucial measures – merit-based selection, and capacity building.
The CM said that the Arunachal Pradesh Staff Selection Board (APSSB) was created with the objective to achieve merit-based selection.
“How long do we follow the political appeasement policy? Times have changed. We need to empower our people based on merit in a transparent manner. I am happy that recently APSSB got ISO 9001-2015 certification for fairness, transparency, promptness and merit in the recruitment, which is historic,” he said.
For capacity building of state civil servants, Khandu informed that the state has entered into MoUs with multiple knowledge partners.
“As a first for any state in the country, we recently partnered with Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie, and launched the course planner that will create a robust Arunachal Pradesh Civil Service, which is in sync with the best practices of the world and is equipped with top administrative skills to take the state to next level of growth and overall prosperity,” he said.
The CM expressed gratitude to the DARPG for entering into an MoU with the state government to collaborate on good governance.
Meanwhile, union MoS (Independent Charge) for Personnel, Jitendra Singh, announced that the DARPG, as per the MoU, will collaborate with the state government to develop a ‘district good governance portal’ for monitoring the performance of each district on a monthly basis and help in benchmarking performance, besides helping the state in upgrading the e-office Version 5.6 to e-office Version 7.0 in a phased manner.
Further, the National Centre for Good Governance under the DARPG will organise mid-career building programmes in governance for 500 officers of the Arunachal Pradesh Administrative Services over the next five years.
The regional conferences are organised with a view to bring the national and the state level organisations, along with other stakeholders, including NGOs, intelligentsia, media, etc, on the same platform to share experiences in the formulation and implementation of good governance practices.
Senior officers of the central and the state governments responsible for implementing good governance practices, and officials from cutting edge level participated in the conference.
This is the first time that the regional conference has been held in Arunachal. (CM’s PR Cell)