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AIR spotlight: Prime Minister’s Address on Citizen Engagement portal



AIR spotlight: Prime Minister’s Address on Citizen Engagement portal



This is a first of its kind initiative, where Prime Minister interacted with citizens on governance and delivery related issue. This was modeled on Town hall kind of system, which we see abroad. Prime Minister also said “Bad politics loses to good governance“. This was also the celebration of 2 years of digital platform.

Prime Minister is making conscious effort to reach out to people and involve people in governance. Making use of ICT platforms and applications like emails, SMS, twitter etc.

Prime Minister wants to make India a Participatory Democracy by involving people in policy matters. Where people can share their opinion, make ordinary people reach out to Prime Minister and suggest ideas and opinions, so that they can help in governance. Even in Mann ki baat programme people are sharing their opinions with the Prime Minister.

But still it takes a long time for India to be an example of Participatory Democracy, as we still remain as a Representative Democracy.

Highlights of Prime Minister’s address.

  • Prime Ministers vision on Rural Development, culture, economy, and public grievance redressal system which should be very strong.
  • He emphasized on the government delivery system, how the government works, how at every stage accountability should be fixed, and how the policy initiatives taken by the government should reach out to the people meant for.
  • Prime Minister indicated Time bound Redressal of people’s problems.
  • Farmers should adopt alternative system of resource generation. Farmers should be trained in animal husbandry, fishery, e-mandi, use of seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides.
  • Laid stress on water conservation or water harvesting. Making available for the water to be channelized in water bodies in order to sustain our agriculture, life of animals etc. State government and district administration should respond to water conservation
  • Governance is a complex process for a vast country like India. It remains a challenge and Prime Minister admitted it. Last mile delivery is still a challenge.
  • Maximum governance and minimum government has been the motto of this government.

Issue of Accountability

  • Accountability should be held to the person, from whom we are seeking at, instead of pointing it on somebody else.
  • Prime Minister cannot be held responsible if state government is not working well. Similarly a state government cannot be held responsible if a municipal commissioner is not working well.
  • A mechanism of accountability should be ensured. This is a lacking feature of Indian Democratic system ever since its inception.
  • Accountability has been a week factor. What is missing is, incase people are unhappy with any component of governance, the right to complain, and the right to seek change.
  • If the state government is not working to the best satisfaction of the people, there is no mechanism for Right to recall that has been provided in our system.
  • If an MLA or MP is not performing his duty as an elected representative, there is no system of right to recall. So that people can seek replacement of that particular representative.

Role of Bureaucracy

  • This is a standard set by Prime Minister, for others to follow like state governments or local bodies.
  • The message would reach the bureaucracy in the best possible way. The system in India has the responsibility on bureaucracy for delivering what is decided at the political level. Bureaucrats are the tools of delivery mechanism.
  • The very weak point that has been there for a long time in our system is that the “Delivery mechanism has been the weakest” especially in the field of health, education, public distribution, etc.
  • If bureaucracy takes note of what Prime Minister said, then surely it will have an impact on the Delivery system and better mechanism will come in place.


Prime Minister launched PMO App, which is towards transparent governance. People can use the app for grievance redressal at the PMO level. Messages will go down the line of PMO level for effective grievance redressal.

Through Digital India, government is trying to reach out to people and making the government services accessible to all citizens. People’s awareness is heightened through these instruments of governance. Implementation of all the assurances made by the Prime Minister, should deliver good results.