The West Bengal government has received the top award from the Skoch Foundation for the performance of the grievance redressal cell of the Chief Minister's Office. The prestigious and highest Digital India Platinum Award was given away digitally at the 66th Skoch Summit on Thursday at New Delhi.
PB Salim, IAS, senior secretary in the Chief Minister's Office, accepted the award on behalf of the government.
"Under the dynamic leadership of our honourable chief minister, the government of West Bengal has taken very many steps reach out to citizens to make the government responsive and accountable. I am happy one of the efforts has been recognised by the Skoch Group," Mr Salim said.
"This award and recognition make us more and more responsible to the citizens and in the days and years to come, I am sure we will rise up to the occasion and continue serving the people," he added.
The Skoch Foundation confers ten Silver - three gold and one platinum award every year to outstanding projects or schemes selected from across the country through a competitive process. Bengal had won the Skoch Platinum award in 2014 for the eAbgari project of the Excise Department.
The award for Bengal was for eSamadhan which is the CMO Public Grievance System. It was adjudged best in all categories out of approximately 4,000 nominations, a press release by the government said.
The eSamadhan system is unique, Mr Salim explained, to ensure the government is accessible to citizens. People can voice their grievance through multiple digital platforms, including call centres. For those who do not have digital access, 2,700 centres have been set up to physically collect grievances.
The time frame for grievance redressal is 24 hours to 7 days. Once dealt with, the government contacts the complainant to ask if they are satisfied with the quality of the redressal. If there is any issue, the grievance is revisited till the complainant is satisfied, Mr Salim explained.
"This is the only platinum award being conferred today. You must have done a good job," said the host of the programme Gursharan Dhangal, who is also the Editor Inclusion and CEO of Skoch Media.
Skoch Award celebrates excellence of governance delivery. Instituted in 2003, it has positioned itself as "the highest civilian honour in the country conferred by an independent organisation".
It recognises people, projects and institutions "that go the extra mile to make India a better nation."
Among other winners of the Skoch awards were Wardha in Maharashtra and and Jagatsingpura in Odisha. They were among several cities and towns that won silver medals for their coronavirus response. Telangana also won silver for governance as well as two golds.