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Day 40 – Q 1. What laws can’t enforce, citizen charters can. Do you agree? Critically examine.

1. What laws can’t enforce, citizen charters can. Do you agree? Critically examine.    

जो कानून सुनिश्चित नहीं कर सकता, नागरिक चार्टर्स कर सकते हैं। क्या आप सहमत हैं? समालोचनात्मक जांच करें।


The Citizens’ Charter is an instrument which seeks to make an organization transparent, accountable and citizen friendly. A Citizens’ Charter is basically a set of commitments made by an organization regarding the standards of service which it delivers. While Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behaviour



  • It enhances accountability by providing citizens with a clear understanding of service delivery standards, including timetables, user fees for services, and options for grievance redress.
  • It increases organizational effectiveness and performance by making a public commitment to adhere to measurable service delivery standards.
  • It creates a way for both internal and external actors to objectively monitor service delivery performance.
  • It creates a more professional and client-responsive environment for service delivery.
  • It fosters improvements in staff morale.
  • It decreases opportunities for corruption and graft by increasing transparency and educating citizens about their rights.!
  • It increases government revenues by ensuring that the money citizens pay for services goes into the government’s coffers (and not into employees’ pockets).

In contrast law mechanisms at times fail to enforce the measures required because

  1. Law lacks checks and balances in most of the cases
  2. Laws put in place lack wide publicity and lack of access to information
  3. Law sometimes framed in such a manner that don’t specialise citizen friendly manner
  4. Law cannot be found in all domains of the situation as they arise

For eg complexity in RTI act

However, some major obstacles encountered in the citizen charter too:-

  1. The general perception of organisations which formulated Citizens’ Charters was that the exercise was to be carried out because there was a direction from the top. The consultation process was minimal or largely absent. It thus became one of the routine activities of the organisation and had no focus.
  2. For any Charter to succeed, the employees responsible for its implementation should have proper training and orientation. However, in many cases, the concerned staff were not adequately trained and sensitised.
  3. Sometimes, transfers and reshuffles of concerned officers at the crucial stages of formulation/implementation of a Citizens’ Charter in an organisation severely undermined the strategic processes which were put in place and hampered the progress of the initiative.
  4. Awareness campaigns to educate clients about the Charter were not conducted systematically.
  5. In some cases, the standards/time norms of services mentioned in Citizens’ Charter were either too lax or too tight and were, therefore, unrealistic and created an unfavourable impression on the clients of the Charter.
  6. The concept behind the Citizens’ Charter was not properly understood. Information brochures, publicity materials, pamphlets produced earlier by the organisations were mistaken for Citizens’ Charters.


Write a suitable and apt conclusion

Best answer: Juhi Tomar

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