Latasinha's Weblog

Social and political Values and Systems in India.

How to deal with Issues

Never play with the feelings of others. Because you may win the game but the risk is that you will surely lose the person for a life time.  Shakespeare 

Correct diagnosis is necessary for curing a disease. If diagnosis is not correct, it would be difficult to treat the disease properly. Similarly if a nation is not able to assess correctly its weaknesses, which are putting hurdles on the way of its development, it would become difficult for it to achieve its targets within time and cost parameters.

India has everything, a nation needs for its development – like tremendous amount of skilled and unskilled manpower, all kinds of raw materials in abundance, a good legal system, a huge market and potential to export virtually everything, provided cost of its inputs are kept at international levels. Still success is far away and still much more is required to be done to achieve its desired goals. Everything depends on how those in the realm of authority perceive and handle them.

One of the main reasons behind it is that there is difference of opinion amongst decision making authorities about the issues to be tackled on priority basis and its possible solutions. Like Four Blind Men and the Elephant, different people and groups in power echelons or leaders of political parties perceive and project disparate parts of nation’s issues differently. Usually they ignore harsh realities/facts and see only those aspects of a problem what pleases them ignoring the root cause of the problems or bothering about the psyche of the common men. Damage is usually done by vested interests of various pressure groups, which usually form opinions on half cooked knowledge or incomplete data. They are interested in short term gains.

It is easier for the authorities to play on emotions of the populace rather than to make efforts address real issues. To  divert mob attention from real issues, most of the politicians put emphasis on abstract ones based on the emotions of the people, like Equity, Secularism, Social Justice”, “ reservation” etc., which gives at-least some hope to the people. But the end result of all this is that instead of bringing prosperity, it has incited people to pit emotional venom against each other, bred in them intolerance, inflexibility, narrowness, unadulterated materialism or/and feeling of otherness/estrangement. The result is persistent backwardness and endemic instability.

Development of nation demands awareness and a sense of responsibility amongst masses and amongst its leaders will to find out honestly the real issues posing challenges before the government rather than wasting their efforts on peripheral/abstract ones for short terms gains. Authorities should make sincere efforts to address basic problems.

Until and unless basic issues are analyzed and tackled sincerely and honestly taking the total scenario in view, it will be difficult to find out proper solutions for the sustainable development of the nation as a whole. 

 

August 15, 2008 Posted by | Bureaucracy/Civil Services | | Leave a comment

Good Governance

In modern times, of all acts of civilized society, perhaps, governance is one of the most difficult tasks, as it deals with issues – political, economic or social, that directly affect public life of living human beings, who are full of psychological and sociological complexes and prone to unpredictable behavior. Good governance is the foundation stone to build a forward- looking society. The ultimate aim of governance is to help common men live a peaceful, safe and secure life. Today, this simple and powerful truth is too often forgotten.

An efficient administration can successfully comprehend what is attainable, what is practical and what can help the various institutions to formulate plans and policies, by which the nation can seek to assure welfare of all its members. For pursuing the desired objectives  for the sustainable development of the nation, good governance is necessary.

 Good governance demands maintenance of law and order all over the country.  Then only, those engaged in the task of governance could yield maximum results with minimum labor and resources within time and cost parameters and provide convenience to public at large.  

In India, there are many factors, which have made good governance difficult. As a developing nation, it is reeling between many internal contradictions like between prosperity-poverty, between plenty of resource endowments-scarcity of their management, between its culture of peace and tolerance-its tendency of sliding towards violence, intolerance and discrimination.

Due to arbitrariness of few powerful groups or persons, lawlessness is prevalent all over the country, which has generated a sense of frustration, distrust, venom and agitation/violence amongst masses. Quite often, it threatens to shake the whole system and its structures. Sometimes, general public becomes so inured that any amount of harassment, violence, assaults on human dignity and human rights, bloodshed, caste-wars, carnage, riots, corruption, scams or scandals hardly fazes it anymore. One feels secure, until not affected personally, but how long?

The greatest damage to the nation has been done by intellectuals belonging to six main constituents of national elites of the country – political executive, legislators, businessmen, organized workers, surplus farmers and bureaucrats. In recent past, some unpleasant developments have taken place and are continuously happening in the character, role and inter-relationship of these groups.

In such an atmosphere, it is not easy for upright bureaucrats responsible for the good governance of the country to give free and frank opinion to their political masters. For their own security and career prospects, they have to play safe.  

August 15, 2008 Posted by | Bureaucracy/Civil Services | | Leave a comment

Why training necessary for civil servants?

 

Of all acts of civilized society of modern times, governance is one of the most difficult tasks as it deals with issues – political, economic or social, that directly affect public life of living human beings, which are full of psychological and sociological complexes and prone to unpredictable behavior. In order to make the persons engaged in governance i.e. civil servants well-versed with the changes in the strategy, structure and management techniques, and gear them to meet the challenges of modern times and make the services more effective, efficient and goal-oriented, training becomes necessary. It is training that imparts knowledge, shapes attitudes, cultivates skills and builds work-habits. Education of the recruits before entering into civil services is mostly degree-oriented rather than job-oriented. Training is supposed to fill-up gaps between learning and practical requirements. What is the difference between education and training? What are the types of training? What are the requirements, techniques and methods to impart training? This project tries to find out the answer to all these questions with context to higher civil services in government of India.

In order to make officials engaged in governance i.e. civil servants well-versed with the changes in the strategy, structure and management techniques, and gear them to meet the challenges of modern times and make the services more effective, efficient and goal-oriented, training becomes necessary. It is training that imparts knowledge, shapes attitudes, cultivates skills and builds work-habits. Education of the recruits before entering into civil services is mostly degree-oriented rather than job-oriented. Training fills up the gaps between learning and practical requirements.

Independent India recognised the role and importance of Education and Training for inculcating the qualities of leadership, supervision, efficiency in communication, decision making etc. in its higher officials and also for changing their attitudes. Such a recognition is evident from the successive Five Year plan documents, reports of Administrative Reforms Commission and other Committees – all stressing the need for planned and systematic programmes of training for officials at various levels.

Although considerable attention has been paid so far to improve the system of Education and Training of officers, yet much more is required to be done. It has not been able to bring about the desired results for removing the short-comings of the present system and for making public services more efficient and effective.

August 15, 2008 Posted by | Education and training of civil services | | 3 Comments

Caste-based reservations in India

 

It is a humanitarian obligation of any civilized society to bring suitable changes to uplift and empower the submerged sections of society. But there is a big question – have the benefits of reservation reached up to really needy and desrving persons and helped them?

After the independence, overwhelming poverty of millions belonging to lower strata of society and their near absence in echelons of power has led the founding fathers to intervene and make provision for reservations as a temporary measure, but never intended it to continue in perpetuity as Reservation was not the solution to bring the masses into mainstream.

Growth of literacy and awareness, trend in consumerism, increasing consciousness of rights to detriment of duties or responsibilities attached with each right, paternalistic policies and tall promises by politicians have already aroused expectations of people. There is a wide gap between expectations and opportunities to fulfil them. Assertiveness of Dalits and intolerance of backward castes, especially after Mandalisation of politics, quite often led the nation to caste-wars.

First Backward class Commission’s Chairman Kaka Kalelkar had very wisely commented on caste based reservation practiced in India- “National solidarity in a democratic set up demands Government to recognize only two ends – the individual at one end and the nation as a whole at the other. Nothing should be encouraged to organize itself in between these two ends to the detriment of the freedom of the individual and solidarity of the nation. All communal and denominational organizations and groupings of lesser and narrower units have to be watched carefully, so that they do not jeopardize the national solidarity and do not weaken the efforts of the nation to serve the various elements in the body politic with equity. Mutual help, mutual respect and mutual trust are the touchstone, on which all communal and denominational activities will be tested and anything that undermines it, will be expected and brought to book.i

i BCC I, para IV.

August 15, 2008 Posted by | Reservation/Affirmative action program | | 4 Comments

Caste as a natural social institution in India

 

 

To almost all Hindus and people belonging to other communities as well living in India, caste appears as a natural, dear and inevitable unit of society.

Family, extended family, Kula, Caste and religion are the fundamental social institutions for them. An individual is a natural member of a family, which is the unit of an extended family, extended family of Kula (clan), Kula of a tribe (Vish) and a tribe of a Jana or Jati (Caste). This way, Caste is nothing else but a large extended family bonded by same language, customs, thinking and way of living.

Caste is second only to the family – where a child learns his first lessons in human values and relationships- in widening a person’s social radius and in getting importance in his/her private and occupational life. Caste and Indian culture are inseparably related by traditional customs. It is virtually impossible to think of one without another. Calling maids, sweepers and other workers ‘mausi’, ‘amma’ or ‘kaka’ etc in many families has not been merely a sign of respect to elders, to whatever caste or creed they belong – upper castes or lower-, but younger generation’s first lessons in human relationships as well as a proof of indiscrimination prevalent in cultured sections of society.

 

August 15, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 2 Comments

Resume of Dr. Lata Sinha

Dr Lata Sinha is a research scholar and did her post graduation in Political Science and Doctorate on the project “Education and Training of Higher Civil Servants in Government of India” from Allahabad University, India. She was awarded Fellowship by Indian Institute of Constitutional and Parliamentary Studies (Judicial Review and 42nd Amendment act) in 1975 and by Indian Institute of Historical Research 1979-81. She was also awarded Part-time Research Associate-ship by University Grants Commission, India from 1989-98. She was invited as workshop leader by International University Women’s Association in its triennial Conference in 1992, held at Stanford University, USA. She has many award winning essays to her credit on subjects like “Democratic Values and Indian Society”, “Role and Rationale of All India Service”, “Reservation Policy (Affirmative Action Program) in India”, “Role of Housewives in Nation-building” etc.

August 15, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 1 Comment

   

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