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Mains Answer Writing

16-october-2023

1.  ‘Satisfactory and timely redressal of grievances is the cornerstone of ‘minimum government, maximum governance.’ In this context discuss the challenges associated with current grievance redressal mechanisms and suggest measures to strengthen the process.

ANSWER

  • Grievance redressal can be understood as all the processes, institutions, and decision-making procedures that are present to resolve a complaint filed by a citizen, consumer, or any other legal entity. Only through an effective, responsive, speedy, and affordable system that is satisfactory to all parties involved within a reasonable time can usher good governance which can adhere to a “minimum government and maximum governance” approach.

CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH CURRENT GRIEVANCE REDRESS MECHANISMS IN INDIA

  1. Huge Pendency: The formal court structure suffers from a huge backlog and pendency. For example – according to the National Judicial Data Grid 3.5 crore cases are pending in Indian Courts.
  2. High Cost: The cost involved in the grievance redressal process is high in India which limits the accessibility to poor and vulnerable sections of the society.
  3. Lack of Awareness about ADR: There is a lack of information and awareness about alternative dispute/grievance redressal mechanisms like lok adalats, mediation, and arbitration among the general public.
  4. Human Resource Deficit: There is a lack of quality mediators, lawyers, and arbitrators who can facilitate effective grievance redressal at a low cost and in a timely manner.
  5. Infrastructure Deficit: Various institutions involved in grievance redressal mechanisms suffer from infrastructure deficits. For example, – fast-track courts mandated under laws like POCSO are nothing but normal courts designated to work as special courts for a few days in a month.
  6. Structural Bottlenecks: Effective grievance redressal requires coordination and cooperation between different stakeholders like investigation, evidence collection, etc. The lack of coordination among different stakeholders creates challenges for effective grievance redressal.
  7. Low Rate of Technology Adoption: Low awareness and lack of financial resources along with low investment in training have led to slow adoption of technology for grievance redressal.

STEPS TO FACILITATE EFFECTIVE GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL

  1. Investment in Capacity Building: Government can attract investment in infrastructure creation for grievance redressal through the public-private partnership model. For example – Private investment in the construction of judicial complexes.
  2. Investment in Training: All stakeholders involved in the grievance redressal mechanism should be trained to optimize the process and ensure justice is provided within a reasonable time and affordable cost.
  3. Increase Rate of Technology Adoption: The government along with the private sector must invest heavily in increasing the rate of technology adoption. For example, an Automated case filing system, etc
  4. Create Awareness about ADR: Wider awareness about the alternative grievance redressal mechanisms needs to be created by incorporating such concepts in school and college curriculums.

Effective, timely, and satisfactory grievance redressal is crucial to maintain the social contract between the government and the citizen. It not only ensures equality and accessibility to Justice for every section of the society but also leads to increased coordination and cooperation among different stakeholders thereby creating a fertile ground for a resilient society and economy.

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