Kerala, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh Recognized for Innovations in Governance by the United Nations

Jul 19, 2013

New Delhi - Three public service initiatives were felicitated in New Delhi today for receiving the United Nations Public Service Awards 2013. Public institutions from Kerala, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh were recognized for innovative solutions that have helped improve service delivery, ensured greater transparency and empowered women through rural markets.

Representatives from the initiatives and institutions were felicitated by Lise Grande, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative and Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Honourable Minister of State for Human Resource Development. The United Nations Public Service Awards is an annual international competition that rewards creative achievements and contributions of public institutions to improving the quality of life of citizens.

Mr. Oommen Chandy, the Chief Minister of Kerala, accepted the felicitation on behalf of the Office of the Kerala Chief Minister for the Mass Contact Programme, which has strengthened direct communication between citizens and the state government by connecting people with decision makers and improving complaint resolution.

In his speech, the Chief Minister said, “The Mass Contact Programme followed a three pronged approach of ensuring the right to accessing public services, fast tracking grievance redressal and developing a first-hand understanding of real issues.” 

Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Honourable Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Government of India who presided over the event, said, “if used effectively, public service can transform society and pull people out of difficult conditions.”

Commending the awardees, Lise Grande said, “Now more than ever, innovative ways of connecting people to their governments are needed. The three initiatives we are felicitating today are proof that India is a global leader in finding creative, cutting-edge solutions for ensuring inclusive governance.”

The Swavalamban initiative, which is being implemented in Dhanbad district in Jharkhand, is a simple, accountable and transparent payment and monitoring system set up to enable direct cash transfers of monthly pensions to senior citizens. According to Ajoy Kumar Singh, , Secretary,  Department of Food, Public Distribution and Consumer Affairs, Government of Jharkhand “Improving the efficiency in disbursement of pension benefits involved business process re-engineering, digitizing information, collaborating with banks and post offices to receive pensions and simplifying procedures involved in securing pensions.” 

The Gramin Haat initiative in Madhya Pradesh helped boost local economies, improve the economic status of women and strengthen women’s self-help groups by handing over to them the management of rural weekly markets. Accepting the Award on behalf of the initiative, Ms. Ranjana Baghel, Minister for Women and Child Development highlighted the numerous women’s empowerment schemes in the state saying, “Giving women leadership roles in development initiatives has created positive forces of change.” 

Contact information

Nandita Surendran; +91-9810084776;

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