Latasinha's Weblog

Social and political Values and Systems in India.

Good Governance

“However good a constitution may be. it is sure to turn out a bad because those who are called to work it, happen to be a bad lot. However bad a Constitution may be turn out to be good if those who are called to work it happen to be a good lot”. B.R. Ambedkar

The world suffers a lot not because of the violence of bad people, but because of the silence of the silence of good people.” Napolean

Good Governance, the toughest job – 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. It is possible only when minimum government works for maximum governance. 

As far as India is concerned, Modi government which came to power during last general elections aroused the expectations and aspirations of opposition parties and few sections of Indian society quite high. Certain hard decisions and steps have been taken by it such as formation of National Institution for transforming India, is a new approach. Present Modi government has taken this decision for greater devolution of finances to provinces, and to involve’ governments of states in union policies   through schemes like Swachh Bharat, Dhan Jan Yojna, Skill India, Make in India, digitalization, GST etc.

Issues before the present Government in India – However, desperation grew among certain groups in view of not finding immediate solutions  for their difficulties and delay in fulfilling its promises on pressing issues/problems like issue unemployment, issue of farmer’s plight, demonetization hitting the interest of small and medium enterprises, issue of black money, continuous rise in prices of essential commodities etc. 

What governance means?  According to World Bank good governance is the manner in which political power is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resources for development.” The ultimate aim of governance is to help maximum number of people to live a peaceful, safe and secure life. Today, this simple and powerful truth is too often forgotten. However what present day political leaders do is that when they see that they are unable to convince the people about their actions, plans and policy they try to confuse the people to grab the political power.

Requirements for good governance – For good administration leading to the development of the nation, and maximum governance, following are requirements –

  • For good governance, transparency is most important.
  • Rule of law – Locke says, “A government without laws is a mystery in politics inconceivable to human capacity and inconsistent with human society. Laws must be applicable to all men, even those in political society. Politicians and those in power echelons are not above law of the land.
  • Justice = Socrates says that, “Justice implies superior character and intelligence while injustice means deficiency in both respects. Therefore, just men are superior in character and intelligence and are more effective in action. As injustice implies ignorance, stupidity and badness, it can not be superior in character and intelligence.”       Justice is founded on the principle equal rights. Each individual is to have equal right, compatible with a similar liberty for other. An integral part of justice is confidence and faith of citizens in it.Justice demands that those who disobey law needs to be punished. For it, freedom of those who don’t obey law of the land, may be suspended till they learn to be governed by the law. It is  necessary for the benefit of whole society.
  • Absolut power corrupts absolutely – Hume says “the rules of equity or justice depend entirely on particular state and the condition in which men are placed and owe their origin and existence to that utility.” He warns that conditions of ‘extreme abundance or extreme necessity’ can result in ‘rendering justice totally useless’. Protecting justice means finding ‘a medium amidst all these extremes’.
  • Equality – The gap between ‘haves’ and ‘have-not’s’ creates problems for good governance and violates principle of mutual advantage. Inclusiveness is the key to concept of justice. Social and economic inequalities needs to be managed in such a way that they are both –
    • reasonably expected to be to everyone’s advantage and
    • attached to positions and offices open to all.

Equality under law and justice are compromised by concentration of wealth in the hands of few.

How to judge good governance – 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.

 Maintenance of law and order – 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.

Mental framework of the authorities responsible for governance– Personnel responsible for governance should have conceptual knowledge of  science, technology and humanities. Along with knowledge, they should have skills (ability for innovative problem – analysis), planning skills, technical skills, managerial skills and human behaviour. Mental framework of the authorities responsible for governance should never be conservative. It should have a scientific outlook and should be progressive, innovative, reformist and even revolutionary in mental attitudes and approaches.

Behavioural pattern = Their behavioural pattern should consist of (a) action and achievement orientation (b) responsiveness (c) responsibility (d) all round smooth relations inside with juniors and seniors and outside with clientele and the public (e) commitment to development ideologies and goals. Besides, there should be –

  • A working partnership between the political leaders and bureaucrats.
  • A sense of service, a spirit of dedication, a feeling of involvement and a will to sacrifice for the public welfare.

Vision – A development-oriented governance requires in the personnel involved, the vision of a statesman and not that of either narrow-minded politicians nor a rule-minded bureaucrat. Along with vision is required dynamism, integrity, drive and passion to convert dreams into reality.

Structures – Good governance requires less hierarchical and more team-like structures of governmental institutions, such as Commissions, Boards, Corporations etc. Structures should be able – 

  • Higher authorities should provide the required leadership to the juniors.
  •  to make the people conscious that the government is alive to their problem; It is possible when there is Constant field inspection by political leaders and senior officials.
  • To establish smooth relation between generalist administrators, professionals and expert specialists.
  • Arrange Refresher courses for officials, from time to time. to understand and evaluate the success already achieved in the field of development administration and the efforts to be initiated in future.

Aware and responsible citizens – In governance, attitude of rulers and ruled matters equally. To make Citizens responsible and aware of its plans, citizen’s rights and duties. the present Prime Minister initiated a system to address millions of people, that too periodically

Decaying trends – According to Ferrel Heady (Ferrel Heady, Public Administration, A comparative perspective, P.270) –  the main hindrances on the way of effective development are:

    1. By the late sixties, a spirit of frustration and despair with `development administration’ and with `development’ in general had set in. For one thing, it became evident that externally induced modernization had failed to eradicate the basic problems of under-developed, it purported to solve. Whilst some significant increase in GNP had indeed taken place, poverty, disease and hunger had either worsened or remained unaltered. The same could be said of the growing gap between the rich and the poor nations or between different social strata within a nation. By seventies, the decaying trends had become noticeable in all the nations of developing world.   Events like the major industrial countries and a crisis of liberal democracy in the seventies and the early eighties have dampened most traces of early optimism.
    2. All developing nations have inherited many things from their past. Their colonial heritage has meant a carry-over of the colonial bureaucratic traditions like elitism, authoritarianism, aloofness, red-tapism and paternalistic tendencies;
    3. There is a deficiency in skilled manpower necessary for development program. It is caused by inadequacies and deficiencies in the educational system, training schemes and brain drain.
    4. There is lack of achievement orientation. The emphasis of government is usually not on programme goals, but on personal expediency, status-orientation on ascriptive grounds. Reason for this is the persistence of traditional value system. Results of this tendency are `institutionalized’ and `socially sanctioned’ large-scale corruption and `over-staffing’ in lower bureaucracy.
    5. There is discrepancy between form and reality. There is wide gulf between the administrative form and reality due to a superficial change to modernizing values and substantial continuation of the traditional ideas. As a result, we find superfluous and excessive legislation or rules (which are normally violated), false delegations and decentralizations, eye-washing reports and actions with continuing backwardness.
    6. Bureaucratic Autonomy – Following factors have all made Bureaucracy more self-serving than development oriented –
    • Monopoly of coercive power,
    • Tiredness, inadequacies and instability of political leadership and
    • Colonial tradition, Monopoly and prestige of expertise for development available in bureaucracy,
    • Near absence or weakness of groups exercising countervailing force over bureaucracy.

Constraints on bureaucracy – According to Valson1, (E.H. Valsan, Development Bureaucracy, A Tentative Model,P.270) the development bureaucracy suffers from the following four constraints:

At higher level –

. Disagreements with political bosses;

. relatively better economic and social status of civil servants;

. Supremacy of seniority and patronage than qualifications in promotions; and

. Unwillingness of bureaucrats to accept new ideas and technology for fear of loss of power and positions.

At Middle level,

.  Bureaucracy is constrained by: –conflict between young and old minds in civil service;

.  High level of corruption;

. Low commitment to development; and

conflict with higher level . development bureaucracy and local politicians.

.  At lower level The government faces:

    • insufficient qualifications;
    • poor salary;
    • loss of morale and loss of faith in development ideology due to frustrating field experience; and
    • loss of initiative, crippling subservience to seniors and sacrifice to developmental objectives.

Remedy

    • Need of a strong and decisive leadership at political level;
    • Through repatterning the Administrative structure; and
    • Through repatterning the behaviour of civil servants. Behavioural changes in bureaucratic patterns are obviously more important.

For efficient and effective governance, more attention should be paid to the proper education and training of government personnel, proper recruitment/selection and training of those, who bear the responsibility of implementing these schemes, at the centre or in the states and also of those officials at all levels, who are responsible for planning the steps/ program-implementation to achieve the targets and monitor/evaluate the progress. 

An appropriate designing and sincere shaping of the bureaucracy is necessary for making it an effective instrument for the ‘Development Administration’ required purpose can be done: –

    • Making civil service to serve development is not an impossible thing. It requires a development of administration itself. Development of Administration means “a pattern of increasing effectiveness in the utilisation of available means to achieve prescribed goals” (E.H. Valsan, Development Bureaucracy, A Tentative Model P.270 ). 
    • Administration mainly means increasing the effectiveness of the human resource of administration termed as personnel or civil service.
    • For an effective development administration, the role of entire personnel system should be efficient.
    • But relatively speaking, the role of the higher civil service or the managerial class of service is always more important.   Because in development administration changes with vision, values, ideas, plans and programmes have to be generated and applied.

 Scenario in India – 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.

Deteriorated position of law and order – In recent past, due to unstable political atmosphere, the arbitrariness of few powerful groups or persons has increased and there is lawlessness, corruption and intolerance in public life all over the country.

It 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, media, 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 and citizens to give free and frank opinion to their political masters. For their own security and career prospects, they have to play safe.

Experiencing the weaknesses of weak coalition governments, in last general election and Assembly elections of Delhi, Madras, West Bengal, public has sent the respective parties in majority so that they could be strong enough take corrective measures. But instead of working in partnership, few ambitious politicians have started blame-game. The result of such a trend has been that neither they could do much for the public welfare nor let others work for the development of the nation such as has happened in the case of chikungunia and Dengue spreading in Delhi in epidemic form or Delhi becoming almost like a gas-chamber, only because the leadership did not take corrective actions in time.

Under the visionary leadership of P.M. Modi, present government in India is trying to address some real issues of the nation. It is trying to educate all and make them aware. It has initiated some policies like ‘Dhan jan yojana’, GST, Ujjwala Yojna’, ‘Educate girl-child’, ‘Skill India’ etc.’ It is also working to develop infra-structure by providing ‘Education to All’, ‘Electrify all areas under ‘Saubhagya Yojna’, developing connectivity through ‘Sadak Nirmaan Yojana etc. It has also taking some strong steps for structural reforms  of bureaucracy. it has taken some very strong decisions to control corruption, black money and terrorism (which had made the nation hollow from within). Results/success of these schemes can not be achieved overnight, It requires some time.

By doing so, he has earned the ire of opposition parties. Failing to convince people of their credibility, they are confusing the people. They attempt to let down the government, arouse public emotions and win the elections and grab the political power They criticize almost all the decisions  or actions taken by the present. 

India is lucky to have a handful of those political leaders, who instead of developing their personal interests and wealth, have guts to take strong actions, such as recent surgical strike against Pakistan’s terrorists and their training camps to curb down the violence at borders. and made the stunning declaration on 8th of November evening to scrap Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500 notes from the midnight of November 8. Honest and upright persons are happy with the decisions and are accepting and co-operating the government by facing the hardships with the hope of better future.

November 12, 2016 - Posted by | Social and political values and systems | ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: