AIR Spotlight - Special Campaign 2.0

AIR Spotlight is an insightful program featured daily on the All India Radio Newsonair. In this program, many eminent panellists discuss issues of importance which can be quite helpful in IAS exam preparation. This article is about the discussion on Special Campaign 2.0.

Participants: V.Srinivas, Secretary Department of Administrative Reform and Public grievances.

Context: Release of Special Campaign 2.0, on the successful completion of a similar campaign in 2021. This campaign was launched with a special focus on cleanliness in government departments, digitisation of government records and freeing up blocked resources. 

Introduction: The first of this type of campaign was launched in 2021, with the objective of reducing pendency in various government departments and making swachhata a people’s movement. Steps were taken to reduce the number of rental premises which were not in use and judicious maintenance of the government files and getting rid of the obsolete ones. In other words, record management activities of the government offices were to be improved. In this campaign, nearly 12 lakhs square feet of office space were freed, and about 62 crores of the scrap were disposed of. This campaign was carried out at various verticals in numerous government departments. 

A number of best practices that emerged from Campaign 1.0 are as follows. 

  • The space was freed up and converted to utility centres like cafeterias, parking lots, etc. 
  • Obsolete papers were identified and recycled for reducing the total quantity of waste.
  • NGOs and civil societies were involved in the whole process. 
  • Improvement in record management practices and identification of underutilised assets.
  • Saving government expenditure from getting wasted and using those freed resources for better utilisation. 

Campaign 2.0: The successful completion of Campaign 1.0 has induced a sense of confidence and triggered the government to take up similar steps to improve the efficiency of the government departments with coordinated steps. The department of administration was the nodal agency in the process of coordinating this campaign across various departments. It aims to bring cleanliness to the people’s level and sensitise government agencies about its utility. Once the campaign is concluded, it is reviewed by a third party and then the proposal is presented before the council of ministers. Various best practices would be disseminated out of this activity and be displayed in a workshop.  

Objectives of Campaign 2.0: 

Campaign 2.0 seeks to institutionalise the best practices derived from the robust exercise of the previous campaign. In this phase, the number of campaign sites has been expanded to include the remotest sites and offices that have the highest public interference like police stations, railway stations, krishi vigyan kendras, etc in the country. The objective of this campaign is to institutionalise cleanliness in government departments and to sensitise government officials about cleanliness. It also aims to provide a good experience to the people who come to government offices with their problems and recommendations. 

Reporting mechanism of the campaign: 

Efforts were made to track the development of the campaign and integrate all the data on a single platform. All the ministries and government departments will publish data on a daily basis. The secretary to the respective department of the government would review the data on a weekly basis. It will also have the highest level of supervision from the Council of Ministers overseeing the progress made during the campaign. 

Importance of Campaign 2.0

  • Minimising the pendency in government departments is directly related to the level of satisfaction derived by the citizens.
  • It will enhance citizens’ experience and improve the quality of governance in the country. 
  • It will provide a better interface between the government and the citizens. In other words, it aims to keep citizens at the centre of the decision-making process. 
  • It will create smart offices with digital record maintenance and a clean environment for visitors. 
  • This campaign gives lots of importance on quick decision-making, so the pendency and cost overrun of the projects can be reduced to a great extent. 
  • It will also play an important role in enhancing inter-ministerial coordination. 
  • A faster decision-making process will boost investors’ sentiments and attract investments to India. 
  • It will also help in creating environmentally friendly practices by reducing the quantum of waste generated through digitising government records. 
  • It aims to make digitisation an integral part of government departments. So the objective is to shift from physical data management to digital data management. 
  • Data of historical importance is being transferred to the National Archives of India. Records which hold importance in the present context would be kept in a safer format and the records which have outlived their utility would be scrapped with due process. 

Way forward: 

India is one of the fastest growing countries in the world, with India becoming the centre of economic activities. Under these circumstances, it is cardinal for India to adopt modern practices of governance and shed traditional value systems. Digitisation of government records, quick decision making and doing away with inefficient practices is the need of the time. Campaign 2.0 aims to achieve these objectives which are necessary for India to move on the path of progress and enable the citizens to derive the best experiences. 

Read previous AIR Spotlight articles in the link.

AIR Spotlight: Special Campaign 2.0:- Download PDF Here

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