New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday said that "citizen first" was the mantra of his government and promised a transparent and accountable administration as various ministries launched initiatives towards e-governance to mark the Good Governance Day.
In his message to the nation, Modi said that it had been his dream to bring government closer to citizens so that they become active participants in governance and consistent efforts had been made in this direction over the last seven months.
"Citizen First is our mantra, our motto and our guiding principle," he said.
The National Democratic Alliance government had decided to observe Good Governance Day Dec 25, which is birthday of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Vajpayee was Wednesday named for Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour. The event coincides with Christmas, a public holiday.
In his message, Modi described Vajpayee as "our beloved leader" and said that good governance was the key to the country's progress.
Modi, who was in Varanasi Thursday and inspected the progress of cleanliness works at Assi Ghat, said in the message that simplifying procedures and processes in the government was one of the easiest ways to ensure good governance.
"The push towards self-certification in place of affidavits and attestations is another indicator of the relationship of trust between the citizens and the government," he said, adding the government was also working on a simpler internal work process manual, which would be delivered through an e-learning module.
"Technology could and must bridge the divide between the government and the citizens," Modi said.
Various union ministries held events and launched initiatives Thursday, while BJP MPs in different parts of the country took part in cleanliness drive.
Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad launched a slew of initiatives and schemes related to his ministry, as he said the focus of the department of telecommunications is to create the communication infrastructure for enabling e-services.
Some of the key projects launched included: Time Stamping of Digital Signature, Integrated Indian Languages Virtual Keyboard for Android, PARAM Shavak (Super computer in box solution), .bharat domain in Gujarati and Bangla, e-launch of Support International Patent Protection in Electronics & IT scheme (SIP-EIT).
E-books were launched by the departments of electronics and information technology, telecommunications and posts. The last also launched a pocket book.
The civil aviation ministry announced an e-initiative, integrating in a single portal all affairs of its departments and affiliates, including regulation, safety, certification and training.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the officials have been asked to evolve a policy to reduce court cases and address public grievances in a time-bound manner, while Science and Technology Minister Harshvardhan dedicated an SMS-based weather information and disaster alert system to the nation to mark the event.
The finance ministry announced that it had taken up the initiative of an e-Book intended to bring the governance closer to the public.
The information and broadcasting ministry meanwhile held a multimedia exhibition on Vajpayee to mark the day.
At the closing ceremony, Information and Broadcasting Secretary Bimal Julka said archival footage on eminent personalities was being digitized and would be available through Doordarshan and All India Radio.
Rural Development Minister Birender Singh said guidelines of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana(PMGSY), launched during the Vajpayee government, will be revisited to reduce cost of constructing rural roads.