Ahead of the Home Ministry's Naxal coordination centre meeting on April 26, Cabinet Secretary BK Chaturvedi's call for reorienting the e-governance system for providing it a rural skew and his stress on the need for ensuring a citizen-centric approach to the public service delivery assumes significance.
Grappling with challenges of tackling the Naxal menace, the UPA Government's view has veered around to the thinking that socio-economic factors giving rise to such movements need to be simultaneously tackled.
Corruption in governance needs to be minimized and procedures have to be simplified and made transparent, the Cabinet Secretary said on Friday while inaugurating a conference of chief secretaries, directors general of police and select collectors from 10 states.
Chaturvedi's focus was also about bureaucratic accountability. This, he said, cannot be feasible without fixed tenures of the officers. In this connection, he advocated the need for amendments in the All India Service Rules - pending for notification in the states.
He said that ensuring stable tenures at all levels was critical to the goal of improving governance and ensuring that the rule of law is enforced uniformly and equitably. For realising such goals, the common service centres are to be extended to the rural areas, he said.
Security and the law and order machinery, he said, need to respond to the challenges posed by terrorists, Naxalite and underground elements - while calling upon the need for improving implementation and the delivery mechanism.
With India on the economic growth path, the best practices in providing clearances in both rural and urban centers have to be adopted while doing away with cumbersome and complex procedures and formats, Chaturvedi said. The civil servants need to take this task as a challenge, he added.
Besides the subject of internal security, the conference also deliberated on issues concerning food security, improving business climate and performance under centrally sponsored schemes including the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and the National Rural Health Mission. Secretaries of over half a dozen ministries attended the conference - organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms.
Welcoming participants, Administrative Reforms Secretary Rajni Razdan said public services have to constantly upgrade their competence and acquire new skills. In the changed scenario, governance has to be transparent, professionally managed, people-centric and sensitive to the changing needs of the time, she said.