1. Prologue
  2. Functions of department
  3. Administrative Reforms
  4. Sevottam Service Delivery
  5. National e-Governance Plan (NeGP)
  6. E-Office
  7. CPGRAM: Online Redressal
  8. Governance Knowledge Centre
  9. National E-Governance Conference
  10. Record Retention Schedule (RTI)
  11. Misc. Functions of DARPG
  12. e-Sugam
  13. Aarogyam
  14. Awards/conferences
  15. United Nations Public Service Awards
    1. #1: Mass Contact Programme of Kerala
    2. #2: Swavalamban initiative, Dhanbad (Jharkhand)
    3. #3: Graamin Haat, Madhya Pradesh
  16. Mock Questions


(GS2) Ministries and Departments of the Government-Structure, organization and functioning Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances
(GS2) e-governance: applications
  1. E-office model
  2. Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System
  3. E-Sugam
  4. Arogyam
(GS2) transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
  1. Sevottam Model
  2. Mass Contact Programme of Kerala
  3. Swavalamban initiative, Dhanbad
  4. Graamin Haat, Madhya Pradesh

+Same topics also relevent for Public Administration Syllabus.
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. Has three departments.

  1. Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG)
  2. Department of Personnel & Training (DOPT)
  3. Department of Pensions & Pensioners’ Welfare (DOP&PW)

In this article, we see the first department: the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG)

Functions of department

  1. Administrative Reforms, including e-governance
  2. redress of public grievances in general and central  government in particular;
  3. Liaison with State Governments, UT, professional institutions and foreign countries for Public Administration related matters.
  4. Office Procedure Manual for Central Secretariat.
  5. fancy things (details in later part)
  6. O&M (Organization and Methods)*

*O&M is part of Public administration syllabus, but not much relevant for GS. But just for the curious souls: O&M helps simplifying and improving work systems, accounting system, file management etc.

Administrative Reforms

This department helps implementing the recommendations of 2nd ARC in various ministries and departments of union, state and UTs.

1st Report Right to Information-Master key to governance 2006
2nd  Report Unlocking human capital. Entitlements and Governance – a Case Study
3rd Report Crisis Management- From Despair to Hope
4th Report Ethics in Governance 2007
5th Report Public Order- Justice for each, Peace for all.
6th Report Local Governance
7th Report Capacity Building for Conflict Resolution – Friction to Fusion 2008
8th Report Combating Terrorism
9th Report Social Capital – A Shared Destiny
10th Report Refurbishing of Personnel Administration – Scaling New Heights
11th Report Promoting e-Governance – The Smart Way Forward 2009
12th Report Citizen Centric Administration – The Heart of Governance
13th Report Organizational structure of Government of India
14th Report Strengthening Financial Management System
15th Report State and District Administration

Sevottam Service Delivery

  • “SEVOTTAM” , meaning Uttam Seva= service delivery excellence.
  • Ok we should have ‘service delivery excellence’. but how? One practical difficulty= lack of a common understanding on what is “acceptable quality” for service delivery across different organizations and geographical locations.
  • Here, Dept. of ARPG comes to help, lays down the ‘Sevottam’ guidelines, helps various ministries and departments, states and union territories to implement them.
  • You implement them in your office, and send a report to DARPG. Then you can brag in front of your parents, batchmates, neighbors, relatives, journalists and citizens that “My office/department/ministry is Sevottam compliant.”

To implement Sevottam, you (bureaucrat) do three things:

First thing

You put a nice billboard in your office, that show

  1. what services you provide?
  2. under what time limit?
  3. Whom to contact in case of problem?

This is your ‘citizen charter’. Most of the central ministries and departments have citizen characters in their offices and on their websites. For more on citizen charters click me

Second thing

  • You put in a grievance redressal mechanism.
  • Grievance=feeling of being wronged.
  • A grievance can be real, or imaginary, legitimate or ridiculous, rated or unvoiced, written or oral.
  • But when a grievance is received, it needs to be redressed.
  • You setup a Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM). This system helps you receive record, investigate, redress, analyze, prevent any grievances.
  • For central ministries and departments, there is already a Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS). [separately discussed in other paragraph]

Third thing

You improve your public service capability. But How? Three main methods

#1: Root Cause Analysis (RCA)

root cause analysis

  • under this method, you create fishbone charts to identify root of a problem. Who/what is responsible for the given problem. example see following image.
  • Then you take measures to fix that root problem.

#2: 5s/Kaizen

  • “5s” is based on the Japanese concept of “Kaizen”
  • Kaizen means elimination of waste.
  • Kaizen is a technique to improve functioning and solving problems without throwing money at them.
  • In “5s” technique, you focus on five “s”: Sort, Stabilize, Shine, Standardize and Sustain

Benefits of 5s technique

  1. Removes old records= increases physical space in the office and cupboards.
  2. Reduces time wasted in searching for documents.
  3. Many organizations have used 5S tools to achieve “30-second search time” for documents.
  4. Removes useless furniture and machinery=increase physical space and ambience in the office.

#3: Gap Analysis:

Here you classify various activities/issues of your organization and give them color codes. E.g. red for problematic, green for smooth and thus prepare a color chart. This helps you identify the culprit behind inefficiency.

Gap Analysis

Now to put this Sevottam Topic in formal English:

2nd ARC =>12th Report=> “Citizen Centric  Administration    the  Heart  of  Governance”.

In this report, 2nd ARC recommended the government organizations to become

  1.  Transparent
  2. Accountable
  3. Citizen friendly
  • Government accepted this recommendation, asked all ministries to adopt the ‘Seven Step Model for Citizen Centricity’.
  • DARPG documented this Seven Step Model under the name SEVOTTAM.
  • SEVOTTAM means Uttam Seva= service delivery excellence.
  • SEVOTTAM has three modules:
  • description

focus on

  1. implementation
  2. monitoring
  3. review
  • These charters enumerate services provided by an organization, its time limits and quality standards.
  • Citizen charters empower people to demand quality service and seek remedies in case of non-delivery.
  • Thus, Citizen’s / Client’s Charter makes the public services citizen centric by making them demand driven rather than supply driven.

focus on

  1. receipt
  2. redress
  3. prevention
  • To redress citizen’s grievances in a time bound and systemic manner.
  • with the help of Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) and Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring Sysytem (CPGRAMs)

focus on

  1. customers
  2. employees
  3. infrastructure
  • To augment human and technological resources for better service delivery
  • with help of management techniques such as 5s tools, root cause analysis, gap analysis etc.

Benefits of Sevottam implementation

  1. Makes the public organization
    1. Citizen friendly
    2. Accountable
    3. Transparent
  2. Improves the speed and quality service delivery.
  3. improve cleanliness and physical space in the office
  4. Reduces causes of complaints, corruption and negligence.
  5. Solves maximum complaints immediately on receipt.
  6. Eliminates fire-fighting style of working.
  7. Eliminates outdated activities, wastage of money and resources.


  • Just like Sevottam there should be MevottamTM.
  • Because Mewaa means sweet/bribe/commission.
  • Thus, if a department/ministry has this certificate = means its bribe potential is very high.
  • Presently, the MevottamTM compliant ministries are: coal, telecom and defense ministry.

National e-Governance Plan (NeGP)

In 2006, jointly formulated by

  1. Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG)
  2. Department of Electronics and Information Technology (Deity)

NeGP aims

  1. To make the government services accessible to the common man with help of ICT
  2. Setup massive countrywide IT-infrastructure to reach down to the remotest of villages
  3. large-scale digitisation of records
  4. Bring public services closer home to citizens.
  • Under NeGP there are 31 Mission Mode Projects (MMP).
  • These MMPs serve as vehicles for electronic service delivery @Central, State and Local levels.

for more schemes on e-governance, read the 10th chapter summary of Economic survey, click me


  • Under National e-Governance Plan there are many “Mission Mode Projects”
  • One such Mission Mode Projects= e-Office
  • DARPG is the nodal department to implement this e-office project.
  • E-office aims for e-file (electronic files) + digital signature for authentication + Computerized workflows=paperless office.
  • e-Office MMP will be implemented in phased manner, to all Department/Ministries of central  government
  • Deadline: when 12th Five Year Plan ends (i.e. 31st March 2017)

DARPG gives following support to implement E-office Project:

  1. government process re-engineering frameworks
  2. e-Manual
  3. e-Office product suite (software)
  4. Hardware-computer, UPS, scanners, network and bandwidth
  5. Product awareness, training and capacity building, handholding and post-deployment support.

(~110 words. The aukaat of e-office topic is not beyond 12 marks, so not going in further details)

CPGRAM: Online Redressal

  • Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMs)
  • Handled by this department.
  • Setup in more than 80 Ministries / Departments and 6000 subordinate organizations @central levels. Also includes selected States and UT.
  • Anyone can lodge grievance from anywhere, anytime to any Ministry/ Department- using the webportal (link: http://pgportal.gov.in/)
  • Citizen can even upload a document along with the grievance application.
  • Citizen can track his/ her complaints.
  • Departments are supposed to dispose of grievances within two months.
  • Senior officials are given online dashboards to monitor the overall progress in grievance redressal.

Governance Knowledge Centre

  • by DARPG.
  • a web based digital repository of best practice and knowledge resources
  • for good governance and Public Administration.
  • link: http://indiagovernance.gov.in/

National E-Governance Conference

  • held every year
  • jointly organized by
    • Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances
    • Department of Electronics & Information Technology
    • Any one State government
  • 2012 Conference held in Odisha.
  • 2013 Conference held in Rajasthan, Theme: “Towards an Open Government”.
  • During this conference, National Awards on e-Governance also given for the year 2012.

Many projects won the award but I’m only listing the ones with fancy names/abbreviation

fancy name what? category
  1. Panjeeyan
Computerisation of Registration (Panjeeyan) Project

by Assam government

Government Process Re-engineering
  1. OVS
  • Online Voting System (OVS)”, State Election Commission, Gujarat
  • Using webportal, voters can register themselves as e-voters.
  • on election day, they can cast their votes using internet from the comforts of their residences / offices.
  • successfully applied in the elections o municipal corporations in Gujarat.
Government Process Re-engineering
  1. SAM
  • Students Academic Management System (SAMS)
  • Odisha government
  • E-Admission (applying in common application form for various colleges.)
  • E-Administration (issuing library card, hostel room etc.)
Citizen-Centric Service Delivery
Bihar Infrastructure Mapping Geomatics Oriented Application Model
Bihar Government
Innovative use of Technology in e-Governance
  1. MAGIC
Mineral Administration and Governance Using ICT.

Geology and Mining Dept of Gujarat

E-Auction of new leases to mineral blocks.

RFID for vehicle tracking to curb unauthorized transportation of minerals

  1. iMINE
Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation Limited (GMDC) use of ICT by PSUs for Customer’s Benefits
  • Special Project for Assistance, Rehabilitation & Strengthening of Handicapped
  • SMS to the registered users on the schemes and camps organized in any area
  • Voice CallAlert System to createawareness about disability, opportunities, schemes, rights of PwDs
  • Toll free Call centre to provided for guidance and assistance
  • by MP government
use of ICT in Social Sector Programme

More projects: These are not given award in 2012- but mentioned in the ministers’ speech- helps as fodder material.

  • Bangalore Traffic Improvement Project
  • Bangalore city police initiated
  • out reporting, generating notices, collecting fines, receiving complaints, payment of fines, and reducing traffic congestion and accidents in the city
  • health insurance scheme by AP government for BPL
  • has a Website Portal that deals with registrations of a patient to the discharge, claim settlement etc.
  • by Bihar government
  • Helps RTI filling through phone call.
  • Solves digital divide and digital illiteracy problem.


This Department gives financial assistance for:

  • Modernizing Central Government Offices. The Department gives 75% of project cost and beneficiary Ministries/Departments will pay the remaining 25%. (but why is not named after you know who?)
  • funding Good governance initiatives by the State/UT Governments on selective basis.

Record Retention Schedule (RTI)

  • Under the R.T.I, you can seek information from public authorities. But at the same time, it is illogical for the government organizations to maintain records for infinite period e.g. file showing the telephone-electricity bills of PMO during 1981-82.
  • Therefore, such not-so-important documents should be destroyed after 3 years, 5 years or 10 years. But who will decide which documents to keep for how long?
  • Answer. Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances. They prepare Record Retention Schedule common to all Ministries and Departments.

Misc. Functions of DARPG

  1. Publishes books, journals and newsletters.
    1. quarterly journal – Management in Government
    2. Monthly News Letter –Civil Services News
  2. Human Resource Development, Training, Awareness & Assessment.
  3. IR/Diplomacy
    1. Collaboration with Other countries: for sharing ideas and experience in Public Administration. Notable partners: Brazil, South Africa, China and Malaysia, Canada, European Union, South Korea, Japan, Australia.
    2. IBSA seminars/awards for Public Administration. (will be given to civil servants and public sector institutions)
    3. MoU with Singapore for cooperation in Public Administration.
  4. Makes documentary films on success stories of good-governance, e-governance so
    1. They can be replicated in other parts of India.
    2. Can be shown to probationers in central and state services.
    3. Panchayat members, delegates in conferences, seminars etc.
    4. for telecast on Doordarshan

In 2013, they released seven documentary films on good governance initiatives:

documentary film on details


  • e-Sugam, an acronym for Simple Uploading of Goods Arrivals and Movements
  • Online system, by Karnataka State with help of NIC.
  • Businessman have to submit details of every consignment (above 20,000 rupees) to e-Sugam portal and gets a unique number.
  • This saves dealers from bribe-demand, inspection-harassment and time-waste at the road check-post.
  • Ultimately the system aims to link e-sugam to invoices and VAT refunds to reduce tax evasion.


  • by UP Govt. Health Department
  • a village-wise database of all the beneficiaries (pregnant/lactating women, children up to 5 years) of an area is being maintained.
  • Aarogyam software sends automated alerts in the form of vernacular voice calls/SMS to the beneficiary
  • informing and reminding them about their pending antenatal care, postnatal care and immunization appointments.
  • These alerts are also sent to local level health officials informing them about due services in the area.

Remaining documentary films don’t have fancy name worth a 2 marker, hence I’m ignoring. but If you want to see the list, goto http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=99684


Where this Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG) plays a part:

Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration
  • Given on Civil Services Day (21 st April) each year.
  • total 15 awards
  • To officers of the Central and State Governments.
  • for extraordinary and innovative work in Public Administration.
Civil Service Day
  • 21st April earmarked as Civil Services Day
  • to celebrate the spirit of Civil Services
  • provides an occasion for introspection and self-evaluation
  • Both central and state service officers attend the event
  • started from 2006
National e-Governance Awards
  • for exemplary implementation of e-Governance initiatives are given in seven categories
  • Given in multiple categories e.g. best government website, best ICT usage by PSUs etc.
National conference on E-governance
  • held every year since 1997
  • It is a platform to discuss, exchange views and experiences relating to e-governance initiatives.
  • organized by DARPG + Department of IT and one state government
Conference of Chief Secretaries
  • Provides platform to exchange views between the Centre and the States.
  • For discussion on crucial national and international issues.
IBSA awards for Public Administration
  • extraordinary achievement and innovative work done by the civil servants in public institutions in IBSA countries

United Nations Public Service Awards

Although not under the purview of this department but was in news because 3 Indian projects also got this award. Let’s take a look:

#1: Mass Contact Programme of Kerala

  1. Initiated by the Chief Minister’s Office, Kerala
  2. Under the programme, the Chief Minister visits each town and organises massive events where people can address their queries personally.
  3. It enables interaction between the people and the government without delay or corrupt practices.
  4. The initiative has reduced the time usually taken to respond to complaints and actions and has fast tracked problem solving.

#2: Swavalamban initiative, Dhanbad (Jharkhand)

  • Improved pension disbursement in the district.
before after the project
  • registration and disbursement of pension was done manually- very cumbersome, tedious, non-transparent, lot of paper work,
  • A pensioner had to wait days, weeks or months and sometimes had to pay bribes to get pension.
  • database of all pensioners was digitised with the help of a new software.
  • automating payment into pensioners’ bank accounts
  • also through Business Correspondent in remote rural areas
  • no bribes or delays.
  • delay almost three months
just three days

for more on Swavalamban scheme, click me

#3: Graamin Haat, Madhya Pradesh

  • Madhya Pradesh government’s Graamin Haat project
  • Enables the Women Self Help Groups (SHGs) to run haats in the weekly markets (haats).
  • helps women get management skills, operate a business on their own and improve overall living conditions in their communities.
  • This in turn created a new sense of self-confidence and earned them respect in the family and society=women empowerment.

Mock Questions

  • 5marks
    1. NeGP
    2. e-office
    3. Sevottam
  • 12 marks
    1. Write a note the role and functions of Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances in promoting good governance.
    2. Write a note on Sevottam framework.
  • 25m
    1. Define Good Governance and discuss the role of Sevottam framework and National e-Governance Plan in promoting good governance.
  • Essay
    1. Good Governance and E-governance are the yin and the yang for a successful democracy.
    2. Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.