Your Right to Service –
a Game Changer ACT

Did you know there is an International Public Service Day?
I discovered it quite accidentaly few months back, while browising the newspaper one morning in Kolkata.

The UN General Assembly, in its resolution 57/277, designated 23 June as Public Service Day!
This day was created to: celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community; highlight the contribution of public service in the development process; recognize the work of public servants; and encourage young people to pursue careers in the public sector.

“All countries and all people need a public service that is competent, equipped and well-resourced. Public service needs to be diverse and ethical. It needs to be dedicated to effectively serving people and improving the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable.”
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

I also felt proud that Maharashtra has already published the Right to Public Services Act 2015 and just appointed Mr. Swadheen Kshatriya IAS (Retd.) as the first ever Chief Commissioner – Right to Service!

The Act defines – “right to service” means right of an eligible person to obtain the public services within the stipulated time limit as notified by the Public Authority, from time to time”.

Very importantly the citizen can monitor his/her application, “Every eligible person having applied for any public services shall be provided with unique application number by the concerned Public Authority so that he can monitor status of his application online, where such system is in operation”.

The Government through this Act encouage the “Use of Information Technology for delivery of public services”.

Working in the sphere of Citizens engagement with the Government Authorities and finding Solutions to problems faced by Citizens, it was most natural for us to honour the UN Public Service Day with a Special Public Interaction with our first Chief Commissioner – Right to Service!

On June 22nd, the eve of the UN Public Service Day, we held our Social Sanchar (Interactive Talk Show) with Mr. Swadheen Kshatriya, the Chief Commissioner – Right to Service, where he described the Right to Public Services Act as “a paradigm shift and a revolutionary Act in the country!”
You can read the full report of this Special Social Sanchar, see the photos, view the video and also see the presentation made by Mr. Kshatriya, on the link http://togethervcan.in/?ai1ec_event=interact-government-wherever-mr-swadheen-s-kshatriya-ias-retd-chief-commissioner-right-servicemaharashtra

You can also read about and know:
Maharashtra Right to Public Services Act, 2015
Maharashtra Right to Public Services Rules, 2016
List of Public Services Notified under the Act
and also on https://aaplesarkar.mahaonline.gov.in/en/CommonForm/CitizenServices

For us citizens, the Right to Public Services Act and the existence of the Office of the Chief Commissioner is a major enablement to address the issue of Public Service accountability. As Mr. Kshatriya shared, the highlights of the Right to Public Services Act are: Transparency, Accountability, Timliness, Efficiency!

We look forward to citizens’ active participation to strengthening the Right to Service Commission!

Let’s Make RTS our enabler and our ally!

 

The Author, Indrani Malkani, is the Managing Trustee of V Citizens Action Network (VCAN) and is an Ashoka Fellow

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