Thursday, 13th June, 2024

Celebrating Excellence in Public Consultation: PLCP Awards Recognize Pioneers in Governance

Celebrating Excellence in Public Consultation: PLCP Awards Recognize Pioneers in Governance

India’s Inaugural Public Consultation Awards program, hosted by Civis, in partnership with the Indian School of Public Policy (ISPP), was successfully concluded on Friday, marking a significant milestone in recognizing excellence in public consultation practices across India.

India’s Inaugural Public Consultation Awards – #CIPCA2024

Crafted with precision and alignment to established guidelines, the selection criteria for the awards were meticulously designed to reflect the principles outlined in The Pre-Legislative Consultation Policy of 2014 (PLCP 2014), coupled with insights from the OECDs Practitioners Guide for Engaging Stakeholders in the Rule-Making Process. Grounded in the belief that recognition drives change, the awards aim to spark a ripple effect by identifying ministries, departments, and authorities embodying the essence of PLCP. Through structured evaluation the awards aim to bridge the gap between policy intent and implementation, inspiring a shift towards more meaningful consultations.

Keynote speech by Dr. R Balasubramaniam

Speaking on the occasion, Antaraa Vasudev, Founder – CIVIS said, “CIVIS, through the PLCP Awards program, remains committed to fostering a culture of effective consultation and good governance, recognizing ministries, departments, and authorities driving positive change through public engagement. It provides a unique opportunity to devise a rigorous framework for public consultations in the country, fostering a culture of greater participation and good governance.

In the category of Best Consultation: Ministry, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment was awarded for their commendable outreach efforts on the Draft National Policy for Persons with Disabilities, 2022, where they provided a simplified explanatory note in Hindi and English, promoted through various channels and encouraged state governments to translate it into regional languages. The Ministry had also released this draft in Braille and sign language videos ensuring engagement for those stakeholders with visual and hearing impairments.

In the category of ‘Best Consultation: State‘, the Government of Kerala was awarded for their efforts on the Draft Kerala Industrial and Commercial Policy. The public consultation conducted by them showcased a commitment to engage a wider audience through clear and accessible communication, explaining the proposed policy in straightforward language for individuals from diverse backgrounds.

In the category of ‘Best Consultation: Statutory Body‘ the Central Electricity Authority was awarded for a thorough public consultation process on the National Electricity Plan Vol. 1, that addressed stakeholders’ concerns comprehensively over a three month period. The final notified plan reflects their commitment to a participative democracy, acknowledging input from multiple stakeholders.

In the category of ‘Special Mention for Responsive Governance‘, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India was awarded for their efforts in encouraging effective stakeholder feedback through a dedicated website section, offering multiple avenues for expression and fostering transparency. Their commitment to responsiveness is evident in the resultant policies being adapted based on public feedback, stakeholder comments being made publicly available and providing long and sufficient feedback periods.

In the category of ‘Special Mention for Sustained Excellence‘, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) was awarded for their collaborations with the Ministry of Education to develop four National Curriculum Frameworks with active participation at state and national levels, showcasing their commitment to participatory governance through inclusive approaches.

The evaluation process unfolded through three distinct stages. Initially, the CIVIS team diligently gathered and analyzed data from over 175 consultations conducted between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023. This comprehensive review ensured that the nominated consultations epitomized excellence in consultation practices. Subsequently, a jury comprising three distinguished public administrators, Mr. G.N. Bajpai, Dr. Sekhar Bonu, and Dr. M. S. Sahoo, meticulously reviewed the shortlisted nominations against specific criteria. Their collective expertise enriched the assessment process, ensuring a thorough evaluation of procedural integrity and consultation quality.

Mr. G.N. Bajpai, esteemed for his leadership in Indian business and previous chairmanships of SEBI and LIC, brought visionary insights to the jury. Dr. Sekhar Bonu, a Senior Fellow at NITI Aayog, contributed valuable perspectives drawn from his extensive experience in public policy and administration. Dr. M. S. Sahoo, with a distinguished career in academia and regulatory bodies, provided expertise in assessing consultation practices.

Public consultation is both an art and science. Over the last decade, it has evolved and matured to an extent in India. The authorities need to embrace it wholeheartedly, allowing citizens to have the law they need. Civiss pioneering initiative to recognise the best consultation will empower citizens to have a say in the law, while improving the quality of consultation,” says Dr. M.S. Sahoo, Former Chairperson of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India and jury member of the awards.

India’s Inaugural Public Consultation Awards, a significant milestone in commemorating the 10th anniversary of PLCP, honored remarkable achievements in public consultations. While the winners of the PLCP Awards have been acknowledged, its worth appreciating the dedication and contributions of all nominees. Their steadfast commitment to inclusive consultation processes continues to shape Indias governance landscape for the better. Since the establishment of PLCP in 2014, public consultations have become integral to Indias legislative process.

About Civis

Civis is a non-profit platform which works towards building inclusive laws in India, through encouraging citizens participation in lawmaking. Civis gathers public feedback on draft laws and policies and shares this feedback with the government – to create better laws that meet the felt needs of the citizens. To date, they have worked on 470+ laws and gathered feedback from citizens in 720+ cities pan-India. Their solutions are trusted by premier government institutions such as NITI Aayog, CBSE, and others.

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