Reforming Governance System

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Context:

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Ambition, Ability, Agility, Accountability and Achievement, are five important directions in which the country must move forward to reform our governance system cautioning officers not be complacent with current achievements.

Addressing the 64th Annual meeting of the General Body of Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), as its President, the Vice President stressed:

  • the need to acquire skills to increase efficiency and effectiveness while implementing schemes. He tasked officers with an aim to take the benefits of the programmes to the needy, most vulnerable populations.
  • the bottom line of a development programme is the impact on human lives, the transformation it brings in the dignity, capability and prosperity of each citizen. He said resource institutions like the IIPA must take lead in order to make a leap forward in the way we govern ourselves.
  • called for setting up of realistic but ambitious goals to stand up to the aspirations of the 600 million young Indians. He called on the civil servants and administrators to make efforts to meet the challenges such as the urban rural divide, the gender divide, discrimination against women and social groups like Scheduled castes, pockets of poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy and etc.
  • There is a need to develop the ability to adapt, improvise, innovate to create programmes and strategies to make them effectively address the challenges.  We must be agile and pro-active.

India and Governance System:

  • Our country has many strengths and competencies that can easily propel us into higher development trajectory. Our rich human resource is one of them. We have a strong steel frame in the shape of a competent civil service created by our constitution makers led by Sri Sardar Patel.
  • The civil service has the mandate to translate the policy intent of the legislature into implementable programmes. It has the duty to monitor and evaluate, suggest mid course corrections and ensure that the programmes yield the desired results. It has done so in quite a remarkable way over the last seventy years. 

So much more to be done:

  • There are so many gaps to be bridged, so many dots to be connected.
  • The rural-urban divide, the gender divide, discrimination against women and social groups like Scheduled castes, pockets of poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, ill health persist.
  • Basic issues like sanitation, clean drinking water, clean environment and dependable power remain key challenges in many parts of our country.
  • While we have moved up the league table in making our business environment more investor- friendly, there is considerable room for improvement.

India is at cusp of a major transformation:

  • The economy is growing at rate much faster than many major economies of the world. The World Bank in its 2018 Report has noted that India’s GDP growth is projected to reach 6.7 percent in 2017-18 and accelerate to 7.3 percent and 7.5 percent in 2018-19 and 2019-20 respectively. At the same time, there are challenges of translating economic growth into inclusive development.
  • We need a fresh look at the way we govern.
  • The Swarajya for our country was a hard earned outcome of a persistent struggle waged by countless patriotic women and men. It was led by men and women of rare vision, dedication and national pride.
  • Su-Rajya for our people is an equally challenging task that requires enlightened leadership at various levels, aware citizenry, a vibrant civil society, a robust institutional framework and a learning, forward looking governance structures.
  • Unlike Swarajya, where the goal post was clear and unmoving, Surajya has constantly moving goal posts. Good governance is a process that has no finality.  We have to keep improving upon the past accomplishments.

Reforming our governance system:

Five important directions in which we should move forward to reform our governance system.

They are:  Ambition, Ability, Agility, Accountability and Achievement.

  1. At the outset, we must set realistic but ambitious goals. This is especially necessary when we have an aspirational India driven by the dreams of 600 million young people. We should aim high and not be complacent with our current achievements.
  2. Second, we must imbibe the skills required to increase our efficiency and effectiveness.  We must be competent practitioners with the state of the art knowledge drawn from good practices around the world. 
  3. Third, we must have the ability to adapt, improvise, innovate to create programmes and strategies to make them effectively address the challenges.  We must be agile and pro-active. 
  4. Fourth, we must constantly evaluate the successes and failures.  We must enhance the accountability through a culture of measurement and evaluation and improvement – oriented monitoring.
  5. Fifth, we must focus on the ‘outcomes’ or actual results on ground. Very often, we lose sight of this important aspect. We do not carry our initiatives forward till results are achieved.

Swarajya to Surajya:

  • The journey from Swarajya to Surajya is an arduous one.  But it  is the duty of each one of us who share the fruits of a free India to make this mission possible.

Source:PIB