The World since 1991
Key Concepts and Issues since 1991: Globalisation
Key Concepts and Issues since 1991: Humanitarian Issues
Contemporary India: Challenges to Peace, Stability and National Integration
Contemporary India: Good Governance
India and the World
Initiatives for Good Governance and Citizen Centric Administration in India:
In the post-independence period India adopted a socialist and welfare model of development. The development administration approach had a focus on people’s participation. However, despite periodic efforts and programmes, genuine participation of people in the process of governance was not able to be achieved.
The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India, looks after administrative reforms in India. Its objectives are to
- promote administrative reforms in government policies, structures and processes,
- Promote citizen-centric governance with emphasis on grievance redressal, and
- Conduct innovations in e-governance.
The Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) was set up with a mandate to prepare a blue print for revamping the public administration system in India. It was expected to suggest measures to achieve a pro-active, responsive, accountable, sustainable and efficient administration for the country at all levels of government. One of the main tasks of the Commission was concerned with Citizen Centric Administration.
The commission maintained that governance, in order to be citizen-centric, should be participative and transparent. It should be effective, efficient and responsive to the citizens. Furthermore, an ethos of serving the citizens should permeate all government organisations. Government organisations should also be accountable to the people. One of the primary functions of the State is to promote the welfare of its citizens. Therefore an evaluation of the functioning of the institutions of governance will ultimately have to be based on the satisfaction they provide to the citizens. In this regard, prominence would need to be attached to the voice of the citizens themselves.
In particular, the Second Administrative Reforms Commission looked at the following issues to revamp the traditional public administration in India:
1. Accountable and Transparent Government:
The focus was on creating a system of accountability and transparency in administration. There was also a need to avoid delays in the service provided.
2. Make the administration more result-oriented:
Various administrative processes were to be simplified made user-friendly.
3. Citizen centric administration :
Ensure greater involvement of people’s representatives and the community at large in the conceptualisation and execution of programmes.
Reforms that aimed at changing public administration in India:
There have been a large number of reform measures which have sought to bring administration closer to the people. Broadly these initiatives include:
(i) Enacting laws giving certain rights to people
(ii) Setting up of new institutional mechanisms to redress citizens’ grievances
(iii) Improving accessibility to citizens by setting up units closer to people
(iv) Simplifying procedures to reduce bureaucratic delays
(v) Using technology to improve internal efficiency
(vi) Rewarding government employees who perform well
(vii) Improving discipline within the organisation
(viii) Reducing regulatory control
(ix) Holding public contact programmes etc.