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(Download) NCERT Book For Class XI : Mathematics

(Download) NCERT Book For Class XI : Mathematics

Table of Contents

  • Sets
  • Relations and Functions
  • Trigonometric Functions
  • Principle of Mathematical Induction
  • Complex Numbers and Quadratic Equations
  • Linear Inequalities
  • Permutations and Combinations
  • Binomial Theorem
  • Sequences and Series
  • Straight Lines

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(Download) NCERT Book For Class XI : Chemistry (Part 1)

(Download) NCERT Book For Class XI : Chemistry (Part 1)

Table of Contents

Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry

  • Importance of Chemistry
  • Nature of Matter
  • Properties of Matter and their Measurement
  • Uncertainty in Measurement
  • Laws of Chemical Combinations
  • Dalton’s Atomic Theory
  • Atomic and Molecular Masses
  • Mole concept and Molar Masses
  • Percentage Composition
  • Stoichiometry and Stoichiometric Calculations

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(Download) NCERT Book For Class XI : Business Studies

(Download) NCERT Book For Class XI : Business Studies

Table of Contents

  • CHAPTER 1 Nature and Purpose of Business
  • CHAPTER 2 Forms of Business Organisation
  • CHAPTER 3 Private, Public and Global Enterprises
  • CHAPTER 4 Business Services
  • CHAPTER 5 Emerging Modes of Business
  • CHAPTER 6 Social Responsibilities of Business and Business Ethics
  • CHAPTER 7 Formation of a Company
  • CHAPTER 8 Sources of Business Finance
  • CHAPTER 9 Small Business
  • CHAPTER 10 Internal Trade
  • CHAPTER 11 International Business - I
  • CHAPTER 12 International Business - II

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(Download) NCERT Book For Class XI : Accountancy - (Part -2)

(Download) NCERT Book For Class XI : Accountancy (Part - 2)

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 9 Financial Statements - I
    9.1 Stakeholders and Their Information Requirements
    9.2 Distinction between Capital and Revenue
    9.3 Financial Statements
    9.4 Trading and Profit and Loss Account
    9.5 Operating Profit (EBIT)
    9.6 Balance Sheet
    9.7 Opening Entry
  • Chapter 10 Financial Statements
    10.1 Need for Adjustments
    10.2 Closing Stock
    10.3 Outstanding Expenses
    10.4 Prepaid Expenses
    10.5 Accrued Income
    10.6 Income Received in Advance
    10.7 Depreciation
    10.8 Bad Debts
    10.9 Provision for Bad and Doubtful Debts
    10.10 Provision for Discount on Debtors
    10.11 Manager’s Commission
    10.12 Interest on Capital
    10.13 Methods of Presenting the Financial Statements
  • Chapter 11 Accounts from Incomplete Records
    11.1 Meaning of Incomplete Records
    11.2 Reasons of Incompleteness and its Limitations
    11.3 Ascertainment of Profit and Loss
    11.4 Preparing Trading and Profit and Loss Account and the Balance Sheet
  • Chapter 12 Applications of Computers in Accounting
    12.1 Meaning and Elements of Computer System
    12.2 Capabilities of Computer System
    12.3 Limitations of a Computer System
    12.4 Components of Computer
    12.5 Evolution of Computerised Accounting
    12.6 Features of Computerised Accounting System
    12.7 Management Information System and Accounting Information System
  • Chapter 13 Computerised Accounting System
    13.1 Concept of Computerised Accounting System
    13.2 Comparison between Manual and Computerised Accounting
    13.3 Advantages of Computerised Accounting System
    13.4 Limitations of Computerised Accounting System
    13.5 Sourcing of Accounting Software
    13.6 Generic Considerations before Sourcing an Accounting Software
  • Chapter 14 Structuring Database for Accounting
    14.1 Data Processing Cycle
    14.2 Designing Database for Accounting
    14.3 Entity Relationship (ER) Model
    14.4 Database Technology
    14.5 An Illustration of Accounting Database
    14.6 Relational Data Model
    14.7 Relational Databases and Schemas
    14.8 Constraints and Database Schemas
    14.9 Operations and Constraint Violations
    14.10 Designing Relational Database Schema
    14.11 llustrating the Database Structure for Example Realities
    14.12 Interacting with Databases
  • Chapter 15 Accounting System Using Database Management System
    15.1 MS Access and its Components 15.2 Creating Tables and Relationships for Accounting Database
    15.3 Vouchers Using Forms
    15.4 Information Using Queries
    15.5 Generating Accounting Reports

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(Download) NCERT Book For Class XI : Accountancy - (Part -1)

(Download) NCERT Book For Class XI : Accountancy (Part - 1)

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1 : Introduction to Accounting
    1.1 Meaning of Accounting
    1.2 Accounting as a Source of Information
    1.3 Objectives of Accounting
    1.4 Role of Accounting
    1.5 Basic Terms in Accounting
  • Chapter 2 Theory Base of Accounting
    2.1 Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
    2.2 Basic Accounting Concepts
    2.3 Systems of Accounting
    2.4 Basis of Accounting
    2.5 Accounting Standards
  • Chapter 3 Recording of Transactions - I
    3.1 Business Transactions and Source Document
    3.2 Accounting Equation
    3.3 Using Debit and Credit
    3.4 Books of Original Entry
    3.5 The Ledger
    3.6 Posting from Journal
  • Chapter 4 Recording of Transactions - II
    4.1 Cash Book
    4.2 Purchases (Journal) Book
    4.3 Purchases Return (Journal) Book
    4.4 Sales (Journal) Book
    4.5 Sales Return (Journal) Book
    4.6 Journal Proper
    4.7 Balancing the Accounts
  • Chapter 5 Bank Reconciliation Statement
    5.1 Need for Reconciliation
    5.2 Preparation of Bank Reconciliation Statement
  • Chapter 6 Trial Balance and Rectification of Errors
    6.1 Meaning of Trial Balance
    6.2 Objectives of Preparing the Trial Balance
    6.3 Preparation of Trial Balance
    6.4 Significance of Agreement of Trial Balance
    6.5 Searching of Errors
    6.6 Rectification of Errors
  • Chapter 7 Depreciation, Provisions and Reserves
    7.1 Depreciation
    7.2 Depreciation and other Similar Terms
    7.3 Causes of Depreciation
    7.4 Need for Depreciation
    7.5 Factors Affecting the Amount of Depreciation
    7.6 Methods of calculating Depreciation Amount
    7.7 Straight Line Method and Written Down Method - A Comparative Analysis
    7.8 Methods of Recording Depreciation
    7.9 Disposal of Asset
    7.10 Effect of any Addition or Extension to the Existing Asset
    7.11 Provisions
    7.12 Reserves
    7.13 Secret Reserve
  • Chapter 8 Bill of Exchange
    8.1 Meaning of Bill of Exchange
    8.2 Promissory Note
    8.3 Advantages of Bill of Exchange
    8.4 Maturity of Bill
    8.5 Discounting of Bill
    8.6 Endorsement of Bill
    8.7 Accounting Treatment
    8.8 Dishonour of a Bill
    8.9 Renewal of the Bill
    8.10 Retiring of the Bill
    8.11 Bills Receivable and Bills Payable Books
    8.12 Accommodation of Bills

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CDS Exam Solved Papers - 2013- II Paper I: General Knowledge

CDS Exam Solved Papers - 2013- II Paper I: General Knowledge

1. The Westerlies have their origin in the :

A. Polar highs
B. Subtropical highs
C. Equatorial lows
D. Sub polar lows

2. Mid-latitude cyclones :

A. Usually move across North-America from east to west
B. Are generally found only over the Ocean
C. Generally bring clear skies and little precipitation   
D. Are formed in regions of strong temperature contrasts

3. Red soil colour is caused by:

A. Aluminium compound
B. Mercury compound
C. Iron compound
D. Clay

4. Which of the following statement about Nathu la Pass are correct?

1. It links Sikkim with Tibet
2. It was the main artery of the ancient Silk Route
3. It was reopened in the year 2006

Select the answer using the code given below:

A. 1, 2 and 3
B. 1 and 2 only
C. 2 and 3 only
D. 1 and 3 only

5. Which one among the following may be considered a reason for India having ‘high dependency’ ration?

A. High rate of population growth
B. Large section of population is in the age group of 0-14 years
C. High percentage of population in the age group of 15-59 year
D. Low pace of human resource development

6. A liquid initially contract when cooled down to 4°C but no further cooling down to 0°C, it expands. The liquid is;

A. Alcohol
B. Water
C. Molten iron
D. Mercury

7. The main source of energy is Sun is :

A. Nuclear fusion
B. Nuclear fission
C. Chemical reaction
D. Mechanical energy

8. Dispersion process forms spectrum due to white light falling on a prism. The light wave with shortest wavelength :

A. Refracts the most
B. Does not change the path
C. Refracts the least
D. Is reflected by the side of the prism

9. Magnetic, electrostatic and gravitational forces come under the category of :

A. Non contact forces
B. Contact forces
C. Frictional forces
D. Non frictional forces

10. A ray of white light strikes the surface of an object. If all the colours are reflected the surface would appear :

A. Black
B. White
C. Grey
D. Opaque

11. Motion of an oscillating liquid column in a U-tube is:

A. Periodic but not simple harmonic
B. Non periodic
C. Simple harmonic and time period is independent of the density of the liquid
D. Simple harmonic and time period depends on the density of the liquid

12. Dirty cloths containing grease and oil stains are cleaned by adding detergents to water. Stains are removed because detergent:

A. Reduces drastically the surface tension between water and oil
B. Increase the surface tension between water and oil
C. Increase the viscosity of water and oil
D. Decreases the viscosity in detergent mixed water

13. Which element forms the highest number of compounds in the periodic table?

A. Carbon
B. Oxygen
C. Silicon
D. Sculpture

14. NaOH + HCl ® NaCl + H2O

A. Sodium is oxidized and chlorine is reduced
B. Sodium is oxidized and chlorine is reduced
C. Sodium and hydrogen are oxidized
D. None of them are oxidized or reduced

15. Which one among the following is not a correct statement?

A. Cathode rays are negatively charged particles
B. Cathode rays are produced from all the gases
C. Electrons are basic constituents of all the atoms
D. Hydrogen ions do not contain any proton

16. Which one among the following colours has the highest wavelength?

A. Violet
B. Green
C. Yellow
D. Red

17. What are the elements which are liquids at room temperature and standard pressure?

1. Helium
2. Mercury
3. Chlorine
4. Bromine

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

A. 2 and 3 only
B. 2, 3 and 4
C. 2 and 4 only
D. 1 and 3

18. A compound that is a white solid which absorbs water vapor from the air is :

A. Sodium nitrate
B. Calcium chloride
C. Sodium carbonate
D. Calcium sulphate

19. What type of mixture is smoke?

A. Solid mixed with a gas
B. Gas mixed with a gas
C. Liquid mixed with a gas
D. Gas mixed with a liquid and a solid

20. By what mechanism does scent spread all over the room if the lid is opened?

A. Pressure in the bottle
B. Compression from the bottle
C. Diffusion
D. Osmosis

21. The Circle of illumination divides Earth into two hemispheres know as:

A. East and West
B. North and South
C. Day and Night
D. Summer and Winter

22. Which one among the following State does not form part of the Narmada basin?

A. Madhya Pradesh
B. Gujarat
C. Rajasthan
D. Maharashtra

23. Which one among the following is the correct sequence of the rivers from north to south?

A. Damodar – Brahmani – Mahanadi – Tungabhadra
B. Damoda - Mahandi – Brahmani – Tungabhadra
C. Barahmani – Tungabhadra – Damodar – Mahandi
D. Damodar – Brahmani – Tungabhadra – Mahanidi

24. Which one among the following is a sea without having a coastline?

A. North sea
B. Sargasso sea
C. Baltic sea
D. Bering sea

25. The production function of a firm will change whenever :

A. Input price changes
B. The firm employs more of any input
C. The firm increases its level of output
D. The relevant technology changes

26. If the average total cost is declining then :

A. The marginal cost must be less than the average total cost
B. Total cost must be constant
C. The average fixed cost curve must be above the average variable cost curve
D. The marginal cost must be greater than the average total cost.

27. In a perfectly competitive economy production and consumption will both be Pareto optimal if the economy operates at a point where :

A. There is general equilibrium
B. Output levels are below equilibrium
C. Output levels are above equilibrium
D. Consumption is less than output

28. The average fixed cost curve will always be:

A. A rectangular hyperbola
B. A downward sloping convex to the origin curve
C. A downward sloping straight line
D. A U-shaped curve

29. The income elasticity of demand for inferior goods is :

A. Less than one
B. Less than zero
C. Equal to one
D. Greater than one

30. The main functioning of the banking system is to :

A. Accept deposits and provide credit
B. Accept deposits and subsidies
C. Provide credit and subsidies
D. Accept deposits, provide credit and subsidies

Direction: The following seven (7) items consist of two statements, statements I and statement II. You are to examine these two statement carefully and select the answer to these items using the code given below:


A. Both the statements are individually true and Statement II is the correct explanation of Statement I
B. Both the statements are individually true but Statement II is not the correct explanation of Statement I
C. Statement I is true but Statement II is false
D. Statement I is false but Statement II is true

31. Statement I. Typical laterite soils in India are generally fertile.
Statement II. Lateerite solis generally experience leaching.

32. Statement I. Southern part of France is famous for wine making industry.
Statement II. Southern part of France produces a variety of fruits due to Mediterranean climate.

33. Statement I. Kali age reflects the presence of deep social crisis characterized by varnasankara i.e., intermixture of varnas or social orders.
Statement II. The vaisyas and sudras (peasants, artisans and laborers) either refused to perform producing functions or pay taxes or supply necessary lobour for economics production resulting in weakening of Brahminical social order and social tension.

34. Statement I. The social institutions of caste in India underwent major change in the colonial period.
Statement II. Caste, in contemporary society is more a product of ancient India tradition than of colonialism.

135. Statement I. The Russian Revolution of 1917 inspired the India Working Class Movement.
Statement II. The Non-Cooperation Movement (1921-22) saw the involvement of the Indian Working Class.

36. Statement I. In India tribal movements of nineteenth century resulted out of the process of land displacements and the introduction of forest laws.
Statement II. The Indian national movement resolved the problem faced by the tribals.

37. Statement I. The economy of India in the 19th century came to a state of ruin under English East India Company.
Statement II. English East India Company’s acquisition of Diwani right led to the miseries of the peasants and those associated with the traditional handicrafts industry of India.

38. In soil, water this is readily available to plant roots is :

A. Gravitational water
B. Capillary water
C. Hygroscopic water
D. Bound water

39. Blood does not coagulate inside the body due to the presence of :

A. Haemoglobin
B. Heparin
C. Fibrin
D. Plasma

40. Which one among the following is responsible for formation of ‘Ozone Holes’ in the stratosphere?

A. Benzopyrene
B. Hydrocarbons
C. Chlorofluorocarbons
D. UV radiation


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CDS Exam Solved Papers - 2013- I Paper II: General English

CDS Exam Solved Papers - 2013- I Paper II: General English


Directions (Qs. 1 to 12) : In the following two passages, at certain points you are given a choice of three words in a bracket, one of which fits the meaning of the passage. Choose the best word from each bracket. Mark the letter, viz., A, B or C, relations to this word on your Answer-sheet.

Examples Y and Z have been solved for you.

Y. The ______ was in the school in Shimla.

A. boy
B. horse
C. dog

Z. _______ was homesick.

A. She
B. It
C. He

Explanation : Out of the list given in item Y, only boy is the correct answer because usually a boy, and not a horse or a dog, attends school. So A is to be marked on the Answer-sheet for item Y. A boy is usually referred to as “he”, so for item Z, the letter C is the correct answer. Notice that to solve this kind of item you have to read the preceding or succeeding sentences of the given passage,


A young man riding a motor-cycle approached a policeman in a market place and sought his assistance in reaching a particular locality. The policeman gave him some __1__and the motor-cyclist left. He __2__back after some time and __3__the policeman that he could not __4__ the place. The policeman got the __5__to help him and agreed to __6__with the motor-cyclist. On reaching the __7__the motor-cyclist left in a hurry leaving the policeman on the road. The policeman was surprised and returned to his spot. A little later, a senior police officer reached the place and took the policeman to task for dereliction of duty.

1. A. instructions
B. directions
C. advise

2. A. reached
B. came
C. went

3. A. asked
B. convinced
C. told

4. A. find
B. hit
C. see

5. A. idea
B. inclination
C. urge

6. A. start
B. go
C. proceed

7. A. station
B. destination
C. spot


Picasso is considered by many as the greatest painter of the modern age. There are stories at legends about him. Once, on a beach in Southern France, a little boy, obviously sent by his parents, approached Picasso __8__a sheet of paper and begged for a small autographed drawing. Picasso __9__for a moment, then tore up the paper, took __10__colour crayons, drew designs on the boy’s chest __11__neck and signed his ‘work’ and sent the youngest __12__to his parents.

8. A. with
B. by
C. on

9. A. painted
B. thought
C. stood

10. A. back
B. some
C. aside

11. A. near
B. and
C. to

12. A. after
B. again
C. back


Directions (Qs. 13 to 18): Each of the items in this section has a sentence with a blank space and four words given after the sentence. Select whichever word you consider most appropriate for the blank space and indicate your choice on the Answer-sheet.

13. An accomplice is a partner in………… .

A. business
B. crime
C. construction
D. gambling

14. A person who pretends to be what he is not is called an ………… .

A. imbiber
B. impresario
C. imitator
D. imposter

15. His ………. nature would not let him leave his office before 5 p.m.

A. honest
B. selfish
C. unscrupulous
D. conscientious

16. The Committee’s appeal to the people for money ………. little response.

A. evoked
B. provided
C. provoked
D. prevented

17. Too many skyscrapers ……….. the view along the beach.

A. reveal
B. obstruct
C. make
D. clear

18. Though he has several interim plants, his …….... aim is to become a billionaire.

A. absolute
B. determined
C. only
D. ultimate


Directions (Qs. 19 to 27) : In the following items, each passage consists of six sentences. The first and sixth sentences are given in the beginning as SI and S6. The middle four sentences in each have been jumbled up. These are labelled P, Q, R and S. Find out the proper sequence of the four sentences and mark your answer accordingly on the Answer-sheet.

19. S1 : Ronald Ross was born in Almora, in the Himalayas in 1857.
S6 : Manson directed him to an effective study of the disease and with his help, Ross solved the mystery in three years.

P : He began to feel that he ought to try to do something about it.
Q : He was educated in England and returned to India as an officer in the Indian Medical Service.
R : He started to study malaria and during a vacation to England, met Patrick Manson and studied tropical diseases under him.
S : His medical conscience was stirred by the appalling disease and misery with which he was surrounded in the course of his work.

The proper sequence should be


20. S1 : Science has turned the world into one unit.
S6 : Practically every part of the world has friendly or hostile relationship with every other part.

P : Nowadays such pleasing illusions are impossible to have.
Q : Since that time they have been coming closer to each other.
R : Before the 16th century, America and the Far East were almost unrelated to Europe.
S : Augustus in Rome an Han Emperor in China simultaneously imagined them-selves masters of the word.

The proper sequence should be


21. S1 : Plants need carbon for building the tissue of their bodied.
S6 : Thus through a complex process called photosynthesis, plants receive their requirements from soil and Sun.

P : The breaking up of carbon dioxide into its components requires energy, which they derive from the Sun.
Q : Plants’ other needs of nutrients are derived from the soil and water through their roots.
R : They derive this carbon dioxide, absorb the carbon and discharge oxygen into the air for animals to breathe.

The proper sequence should be


22. S1 : I searched for my friend all day.
S6 : When I woke up the Sun was already above the horizon.

P : Although I was weary and hungry, I was not discouraged.
Q : I crept in and lay on the ground with my bag for a pillow.
R : When midnight came I felt that I could not walk much further.
S : At last I came to a place where the pavement was raised and had a hollow underneath.

The proper sequence should be


23. S1 : While on a fishing trip last summer, I watched an elderly man fishing off the edge of a dock.
S6 : Cheerfully, the old man replied, “Small frying pan”.

P : “Why didn’t you keep the other big ones?” I asked.
Q : He caught an enormous trout, but apparently not satisfied with its size, he threw it back into the water.
R : He finally caught a small pike, threw it into his pail, and smiling happily prepared to leave
S : Amazed, I watched him repeat this performance.

The proper sequence should be


24. S1 : Mr. Johnson looked at his watch.
S6 : He always says to his friend at the office: ‘It is nice to have breakfast in the morning, but it is nicer to lie in bed.’

P : He was late as usual, so he did not have time for breakfast.
Q : Then he washed and dressed.
R : He ran all the way to the station and he arrived there just in time for the train.
S : It was half past seven and he got out of bed quickly.

The proper sequence should be


25. S1 : The essence of democracy is the active participation of the people in government affairs.
S6 : By and large it is actual practice of our way of life.

P : When the people are active watchmen and participants, we have that fertile soil in which democracy flourishes.
Q : Our democracy is founded upon a faith in the overall judgement of the people as a whole.
R : When the people do not participate, the spirit of democracy dies.
S : When the people are honestly and clearly informed, their commonsense can be relied upon to carry the nation safely through any crisis.

The proper sequence be


26. S1 : Always remember that regular and frequent practice is essential if you are to learn to write well.
S6 : If you keep your eyes and ears open, you will find plenty of things to write about.

P : Even with the most famous writers, inspiration is rare.
Q : Writing is ninety nine per cent hard work and one per cent inspiration, so t he sooner you get in into the habit of writing, the better.
R : It is no good waiting until you have an inspiration before you write.
S : You learn to write by writing.

The proper sequence should be


27. S1 : Human ways of life have steadily changed.
S6 : During the last few years charge has been even more rapid than usual.

P : From that to this, civilization has always been changing.
Q : About ten thousand years ago, man lived entirely by hunting.
R : Ancient Egypt – Greece- The Roman Empire – the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages – The Renaissance – the age of modern science and of modern nations – one has never stood still.
S : A settles civilized life began only when agriculture was discovered.

The proper sequence should be



Directions (Qs. 28 to 47) : Look at the underlined part of each sentences. Below each sentence, three possible situations for the underlined part one given. If one of them A, B or C is better that the underlined part, indicate your response on the Answer-sheet against the corresponding letter A, B or C. If none of these substitutions improve the sentences, indicate D as your response on the Answer-sheet. Thus a “No Improvement” response will be signified by the letter D.

28. She told the children not to stop the word.

A. not stopping
B. don’t stop
C. not stopping of
D. No improvement

29. I am not telling that you should hunt out people to pursue your policies.

A. asking
B. saying
C. speaking
D. No improvement

30. He succeeded by dint of hard work.

A. by means of
B. by doing
C. by virtue of
D. No improvement

31. You have read that book for ages.

A. Have been reading
B. had read
C. will be reading
D. No improvement

32. The only bit of relief for the victims has been the increase in compensation.

A. were
B. have been
C. was that they were given
D. No improvement

33. He is resembling his father.

A. has been resembling
B. resembles like
C. resembles
D. No improvement

34. I am not sure why she is wanting to see him.

A. she wants
B. does she want
C. is she wanting
D. No improvements

35. Everybody who finished writing can go home.

A. had finished
B. have finished
C. has finished
D. No improvement

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CDS Exam Solved Papers - 2013- I Paper I: General Knowledge

CDS Exam Solved Papers - 2013- I Paper I: General Knowledge

1. Which one among the following countries intiated the process of Fourth Wave of Democratic Transition ?

A. Libya
B. Afganistan
C. Tunisia
D. Marocco

2. Which one among the following regarding G-20 is not correct ?

A. A group of developed countries
B. An integral part of the United Nations
C. Outside the World Bank and IMF
D. An offshoot of G-7

3. ONGC Videsh (the State-owned oil and gas company of India) recently (September 2012) signed a definitive agreement with

A. Russia
B. Azerbaijan
C. Iran
D. South Sudan

4. Forth BRICS Summit, held in New Delhi in March 2012, deliberated on the challenges faced by India for sustainable growth. Which one among the following is not a part of the formulated challenges ?

A. Improvements required in public sector management
B. Inclusive growth
C. Improvements required in physical infrastructure
D. Development in the agricultural sector

5. Which among the following has been included as a parameter for the first time under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) based on Central Pollution Control Board and IIT, Kanpur research, WHO guidelines and European Union limits and Practices ?

A. Sulphur dioxide
B. Oxides of nitrogen
C. Ozone
D. Carbon monoxide

6. The fortification of Calcutta by the British in 1756 was regarded by the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj-ud-daulah, as

A. growth of large-scale British trade
B. an attack upon his sovereigntly
C. insecurity of the British in India
D. British control over Bengal

7. Which one among the following statements with regard to the National Security Council (NSC) of India is not correct ?

A. It is a three- tiered organization
B. The Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission is its member
C. It is the apex body looking exclusively the security concerns of the country
D. RAW and Intelligence Bureau (Indian) report to NSC

8. The highly polished monolithic Ashokan pillars were carved out of single pieces of a buff-coloured sandstone, usually mined from the quarries of

A. Chunar near Mirzapur
B. Lauriya in Nandangarh
C. Sarnath near Varanasi
D. Udayagiri near Bhubaneshwar

9. In the Gupta age, Varahamihira wrote the famous book, Brihat Samhita. It was a treatise on

A. Astronomy
B. Statecraft
C. Ayurvedic system of medicine
D. Economics

10. Human Poverty Index (HPI) developed by UNDP is based on which of the following deprivations ?

1. Income deprivation
2. Literacy deprivation
3. Social services deprivation
4. Employment deprivation

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

A. 1, 2, 3, and 4
B. 1, 2 and 3 only
C. 1, 3 and 4 only
D. 2 and 4 only

11. The lower growth coal production in India during 2011-2012 was primarily due to

1. environmental restrictions
2. non- availability of forestry clearance
3. poor law and order situation in coal producing states
4. excessive rainfull in coal mining areas.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

A. 1, 2, 3 and 4
B. 1, 2 and 3 only
C. 2, 3 and 4 only
D. 1 and 4 only

12. The sharp depreciation of rupee in the Forex market in the year 2011 was due to

1. flight to safely by foreign investors
2. meltdown in European markets
3. inflation in emerging market economics
4. lag effect of monetary policy tightening

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

A. 1, 2, 3 and 4
B. 1, 2 and 4 only
C. 3 and 4 only
D. 1, 2, 3 and 4

13. Which of the following occupations are included under secondary sector as per the national income accounts ?

1. Manufacturing
2. Construction
3. Gas and water supply
4. Mining and quarrying

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

A. 1, 2, 3 and 4
B. 1, 2 and 4 only
C. 1, 2 and 3 only
D. 3 and 4 only

14. The government can influence private sector expenditure by

1. taxation
2. subsidies
3. macroeconomic policies
4. grants

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

A. 1, 2, 3 and 4
B. 1, 2 and 4 only
C. 1, 2 and 3 only
D. 3 and 4 only

15. Which one among the following is a fixed cost to a manufacturing firm in the short run ?

A. Insurance on buildings
B. Overtime payment to workers
C. Cost of energy
D. Cost of raw materials

16. Which of the following are included in the category of direct tax in India ?

1. Corporation Tax
2. Tax on Income
3. Wealth Tax 4. Customs Duty
5. Excise Duty

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

A. 1, 2 and 3
B. 1, 2, 4 and 5
C. 2 and 3 only
D. 1, 3, 4 and 5

17. Which one among the following programmes has now been restructured as the National Rural Livelihood Mission ?

A. Swarna Jayanti Shahri Rozgar Yojana
B. Swarna Jayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana
C. Janshree Bima Yojana
D. Rashtriya Swasthaya Bima Yojana

18. The concept which tries to ascertain the actual deficit in the revenue account after adjusting for expenditure of capital nature is termed as

A. revenue deficit
B. effective revenue deficit
C. fiscal deficit
D. primary deficit

19. Which of the following institutions was/ were asked by the Government of India to provide official estimates of black (unaccounted) money held by Indians, both in India and abroad ?

1. National Institute of Public Finance and Policy
2. National Council of Applied Economics Research
3. National Institute of Financial Management

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

A. 1 only
B. 1 and 2 only
C. 2 and 3 only
D. 1, 2 and 3

20. Outstanding historian Eric Hobsbawn who expired on 1st October, 2012, haS authored a large number of books. The title of his famous autobiography is

A. Bandits
B. Uncommon People : Resistance, Rebellion and Jazz
C. The New Century : In Conversation with Antonic Polito
D. Interesting Times : A Twentieth – Century Life

21. Some atheists, skeptics and no-believers called to celebrate ‘December 25’ as Newtonmas day instead observing Christmas Day. He reason they propose that

A. both Isaac Newton and Jesus Christ were great
B. Isaac Newton was born on 25th December
C. ‘Skeptic Society’ was founded on 25th December
D. Isaac Newton was a deep believer of Christianity

22. European Union’s Annual Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought for 2012 has been won by

A. Guillermo Farinas from Cuba
B. Nasrin Sotoudeh and JafarPanahi from Iran
C. Ali Farzat from Syria and Mohamed Bouazizi from Tunisia
D. Asmaa Mahfouz and Ahmed al-Senussi from Egypt and Libya respectively

23. The Rohingya are the minorities of

A. South Africa
B. Canada
C. Myanmar
D. Bhutan

24. Consider the following statements :

During the last week of November 2012, Palestinian engineers dug up the tomb of Yasser Arafat. This was done primarily to

1. place the remains of Yasser Arafat in a mosque compound
2. confirm the prevaling suspicion that Israel had poisoned him

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2

25. Rafael Nadal won the French Open Tennis Title, 2012. He defeated

A. Andy Murray
B. Roger Federer
C. Novak Djokovic
D. David Ferrer

26. Which one among the following was added in the year 2012 in the list of World Heritage Sites of the UNESCO ?

A. Western Ghats
B. Agra Fort
C. Ajanta Caves
D. Meenakshi Temple

27. Which one among the following is not a salient feature of the Companies Bill as amended in the year 2012 ?

A. For spending the amount earmarked for corporat e social responsibility, the company shall give preferences to local areas where it operates
B. Punishment for falsely inducing a person to enter into an agreement with bank or financial institution with a view to obtaining credit facilities
C. There is no limit in respect of companies in which a person may be appointed as auditor
D. ‘Independent directors’ shall be excluded for the purpose of computing ‘one-third of retiring directors’

28. FDI in Multi-Brand Retail Trade (MBRT) in all product is now permitted in India subject to

1. a ceiling of 51%
2. minimum amount to be brought in as FDI by the foreign investor is US$ 100 million
3. at least 50 % of the procurement of manufactured/processed products should be sourced from ‘small industries’
4. retail sales locations set up only in cities with a population of more than 10 lacs

Select the correct condition/conditions using the code given below.

A. 1, 2, 3 and 4
B. 1 and 4 only
C. 2 only
D. 1, 2 and 4 only

29. Why was Kaushik Basu, the ex-economic advisor to the Prime Minister of India, in news recently ?

He was appointed as

A. the President of the IMF
B. the President of the World Bank
C. the Economic Advisor of the United Nations
D. the Chief Economist of the World Bank

30. Who among the following was selected for the prestigious Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development, 2012 ?

A. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
B. Ela Bhatt
C. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
D. Sheikh Hasina

31. Between 1309 and 1311, Malik Kafur led two campaigns in South India. The significance of the expeditions lies in it that

1. they reflected a high degree of boldness and spirit of adventure on the part of Delhi rules
2. the invaders returned to Delhi with untold wealth
3. they provided fresh geographical knowledge
4. Ala-ud-din promoted Malik Kafur to the rank of Malik-naib orVice-Regent of the Empire

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

A. 1 and 3 only
B. 1, 2 and 4 only
C. 2 and 4 only
D. 1, 2, 3 and 4


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Public Administration Global Journals : The Future Of Public Administration

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Current-Public-Administration-Magazine-(Septembert-2017)- Good Urban Governance - Municipal Management Perspective

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Urban Development

Good Urban Governance - Municipal Management Perspective

The term or the concept of ‘Good Governance’ is not a new one. It is one of the basic concepts, which the human society has confronted with political discourse throughout the course of history. The discipline of political science has developed with the changing meaning of this concept. The present context of the term or concept of ‘Good Governance’ is quite different and much broader. It is shadowed and shaped by the process of globalization, economic liberalization and privatization.

The process of globalization, economic liberalization and privatization that world is witnessing since 1980 (in India since 1991) is bringing about landslide change in the philosophy behind the role of government, and in the relationship between the state and its citizens. Citizens are perceiving themselves more as consumers than a ‘subjects’ with respect to the government (State). Governance is increasingly being seen as a participatory and contractual process in which citizens wish to play a prominent role in designing, implementing and monitoring public policies. The fact that the productivity and well being of an individual now depends not only on his own talents and hard work, but also largely on the quality of governance and the quality of life made possible by the government is a new dimension acting heavily on the concept of ‘Good Governance’.

In this changing context, it has become increasingly necessary for the government to respond to the needs of its citizens, who are now to be looked upon as its customers, by measuring their responses to its initiatives. The government is, now expected and is actually forced to pursue ‘Good Governance’ based on objectives of transparency, accountability and efficiency for fulfilling its ultimate objective of the citizens’ welfare at large.

The case for ‘Good Governance’ is becoming stronger as the philosophy of governance is changing with the rise of expectations and competitiveness in society (especially in the urban society).

An urban local government (ULG) is a public institution concerned with community welfare, social justice and economic prosperity of its people. The urban local body is supposed to manage resources in public trust and (among all tiers of government) is closest to the people. These two aspects play a prime role in deciding the quality of the urban life and thereby the level of urban productivity. They make the three sutras of new millennium – accountability, transparency and efficiency, indispensable for the ‘Good Governance’ of urban local bodies. Thus by its very nature or by its constitution it has to be efficient, transparent and accountable to the public. The objective of ‘Good Governance’ is not only philosophically relevant but has become a compelling necessity for urban local bodies.

Though the philosophically relevant concept of ‘Good Urban Governance’ has become compelling necessity, in practice it has not taken firm root in ULGs of India. The Government of India launched this movement two years ago, but most of the State Governments and almost all ULGs have failed to take this movement forward. ‘Good Urban Governance’ is equated with the technology savvy cosmetic efforts like starting single window system or GIS based information center or automated voice response system or making some information or services available on web or internet or putting up hi-fi touch screen kiosk etc. Good urban governance should not be something external or cosmetic, it has to spring internally from every aspect of an ULG and needs to integrate into its culture.

This paper is broadly divided in the four parts – Part one attempts to describe the concepts of ‘Good Governance and Good Urban Governance’, while part two tries to outline the management and finance function perspective of ‘Good Urban Governance’. Part three of the paper examines management and finance function of Indian urban local government and enumerates how it fails to deliver ‘Good Urban Governance’. The last part of the paper enlists suggested municipal reforms from the management and finance function perspective for attaining ‘Good Urban Governance’.

Part I

Concept of ‘Good Governance’ and ‘Good Urban Governance

Governance is "the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country's economic and social resources for development." For a city, governance is the exercise of power to manage a city's economic and social development.

Traditionally governance is equated to ‘everything that government does attain general welfare of the people. The present concept of governance is quite different and broader. Governance is now viewed as a broader notion than government. It involves governments (exercise of power) but also civil society (citizens, civic institutions, etc) and management of resources. When we talk about governance in the urban management context we are talking about all the formal and informal laws, regulations, frameworks, systems and processes that shape the way in which an urban local government operates.

The formal governance structures relate to the political and legal framework in which a city operates. The informal governance structure refers to behavior, systems and processes that have become part of the way the city does business through non legal (informal) influences such as culture, historical traditions, social norms, business practices etc.

From an urban local government perspective good governance means:

  • Involving the community in identifying their wants and needs - this implies that the city government will uphold democratic processes and be accountable to the people of the city
  • Developing policies and approaches to meet community needs with the involvement of the community in the process. (For example, involving the community in developing the strategic vision for the city)
  • Making sure that all levels of the government system understand their roles and responsibilities (and the community should also know what each level of government is responsible for)
  • Developing effective intergovernmental relationships
  • Ensuring that the allocation of resources across levels of government is fair and equitable
  • Encouraging innovative management that contributes to successful outcomes for the community
  • Determining ethical standards of behavior for those working within government (as politicians or administrators) and monitoring people's performance to make sure they do meet those standards.

A critical element of good governance at the urban local government level is the establishment of an inter-governmental institutional framework that:

  • Clearly specifies the responsibilities of each level of government
  • Provides the appropriate authority to support the delegated responsibilities
  • Specifies and enforces a code of conduct to underpin administration
  • Encourages private sector and civil actors to participate in development or management.

In addition, good urban governance requires:

  • A sound public - private partnership
  • Effective government and citizen interaction

Thus ‘Good Urban Governance’ refers to the legal, political and networking framework in which good management flourishes and in which public – private partnership and peoples participation has sufficient legitimate space. An urban local government is now required to perform both governance and management roles in partnership with private sector and civil societies (citizens, civil institutions) in order to attain good urban governance.

Part II

Municipal Management Perspective of Good Urban Governance

The modern concept of Good Governance (and of-course of good urban governance) is not confined only to improving the regulatory, maintenance and development function of a government. Besides this governing role, it includes a management (attaining goals by using resources efficiently and effectively) role, partnership with private institutions and participation of civil societies.
The concept of Good Governance essentially postulates that the government is an organization working in social ecology and is confronted by the problems of employing limited resources (four ‘M”s – man, machine, material and money and now information) judiciously to achieve maximum common goals and objectives. Thus the concept of good governance has, besides legal, political and social perspectives two additional perspectives - one, management perspective and two, peoples’ participation (private and civil institutions) perspective. Every endeavour to achieve good governance inevitably must have management and peoples’ participation perspective. This paper, as mentioned earlier, deals only with the management perspective of good governance.

The management improvement perspective of the good governance concept has not received due attention in India in all forms of government and governmental organizations. The management perspective (which includes the finance function) of good governance is much more relevant in case of urban local government than any other level of government. This is because of its pronounced dual character. Urban local government is not only a ‘miniature body politic’ but at the same time it is also a ‘body corporate’. It is this ‘body corporate’ character of an urban local government which makes management improvement perspective most essential for attaining good urban governance. Before we outline management perspective of good urban governance let us describe what term management and governance mean. How can they be separated to have focused attention? And what are the elements of good governance.

Management Role

  • Management is defined as the process that ensures the goals of an organization are achieved and resources are used efficiently and effectively. Good management involves:
  • Ensuring that the vision, goals and strategies for the organization are determined in consultation with key stakeholders and the governing body
  • Developing plans to ensure the vision, goals and strategies are achieved
  • Ensuring the objective consideration of options and choices; of advantages and disadvantages, costs and benefits and of risks
  • Effectively managing the resources of the organization (people, financial, physical) to achieve results
  • Monitoring the performance of the organization and of individuals
  • Adjusting strategy when the environment changes
  • Accepting responsibility for performance.

Good management requires a wide range of skills and abilities including:

  • The capacity to listen and learn from stakeholders and others
  • The ability to provide leadership and direction in the development and achievement of the vision
  • The ability to identify issues and solve problems
  • The capacity to effectively and efficiently utilize financial and physical resources to achieve objectives i.e. Using resources in a cost effective way to achieve the best results.
  • The ability to inspire, lead and manage people (including the ability to ensure staff have the appropriate skills, knowledge and attributes required to do their jobs effectively.)

Governance Role

Through community driven advocacy, strategy and policymaking and through the purchasing of products and services determined as part of the annual budget and plan, local governments exercise their power to manage the city's economic and social development i.e. Elected representatives perform their governance roles.

Through the delivery of quality services via contracts with public employees or private contractors and through the enforcement of regulations, local government management functions are performed by employees.

  • Specifically, governance roles include: Strategy setting - determining, with stakeholders, the longer term direction for the city including what services are a priority and what are not
  • Policy making - setting the framework for implementing the strategies (for example, the city may decide its policy on transport that is it will not provide buses; but it will support the private sector to establish an effective bus service through subsidies, licenses etc.
  • Defining service standards - this means deciding the level of service the city will provide - For example, will the city aim for a high cost air conditioned, frequent bus service or a low cost, basic bus type service
  • Monitoring the administration's effectiveness in delivering on the priority strategies and services
  • Assuring the provision of information to the community to enable the community to effectively participate in local government affairs.

The urban local government administration develops its strategies and policies based on the direction for the city set by the municipal council (usually determined by the political wing). The management role of local government thus lies in the service delivery and enforcement of regulations. Management roles are usually in:

  • Delivery of services - this means actually making sure the services are provided to the city either by public service provision or through private sector provision. For example, a city may decide it will not operate a bus system but will contract the private sector to deliver. The city will take on the role of defining exactly what is required of the private sector provider and select suitable providers based on their requirement. The city will monitor the performance of all service providers and intervene when there are problems.
  • Enforcement of regulations - cities usually have rules and regulations that they are required to administer and enforce. This may be in relation to building (permits to build, inspections to ensure quality etc) or parking rules or ……

Management's job is to ensure services are delivered in an efficient and effective way to the standard required.

Elements of good government –

These elements should be reflected in the governance and management structures and processes of the city. Good government requires

  • Accountability
  • Transparency
  • Contestability

Accountability – Accountability means decision makers accept responsibility for their decisions. Good governance and management requires clarity about where responsibilities lie. Accountability means having information available and processes applied so that those responsible for decision-making can be called to account for their decisions.

The hierarchy of accountability for local governments will usually be - the elected Mayor and Councilors are accountable to the public • the Municipal Commissioner is accountable to the Mayor and Councilors • Local government staff are responsible to the Municipal Commissioner. Being accountable means: • Articulating collective and individual responsibilities through plans and performance agreements • Reporting openly and honestly on progress against achievement of those plans and performance agreements using performance measurement of indicators • Being prepared to accept responsibility when things go wrong (it also means receiving recognition for success.)

Transparency - Transparency relies on a presumption of access to information about how the government works i.e. transparency means operating in a manner that is open, honest and amenable to questions, provided there is ready access to information...A transparent government is characterized by:

  • Public ability to influence decision processes
  • Public involvement on all plans and significant issues
  • The development of annual plans
  • Monitoring against agreed performance indicators
  • Separation of strategy, policy development, regulation setting and funding, from provision and enforcement.

Contestability - Contestability is about using competition to achieve value for money in service delivery. There is greater evidence to suggest that services provided by the public sector are more expensive than those provided by the private sector. There are many reasons for this. Sometimes it is because the public service is very inefficient; sometimes it is because the private sector has better access to technology or resources.

Whatever be the reasons, an ULG has a responsibility to ensure that services are provided in the most cost effective manner.

Contestability means choice in the provision of services through open competition between potential providers. This may compel an ULG to make a choice between public and private service provision. The outcome of contestability is more efficient use of community resources to deliver services required by the public. Contestability means

  • There is competitive bidding for delivery of services and functions to ensure services are delivered by the most efficient and effective means and to the standard required
  • Contracts are established between the purchaser of services (an ULG) and the deliverers of services i.e. business (public or private)
  • Creation of choices for communities for different kinds of local facilities and services through having a mixture of providers.
  • The above discussed management perspective of municipal reforms for good urban governance can be graphically presented as shown in Figure A. Let us now examine its functioning in the Indian urban local governments.

Part III

Management Function in Urban Local Governments

The management function described above constitutes ‘maintenance factor’ as defined in the ‘two factor theory of motivation’ in management science. This theory states that the presence of ‘maintenance factors’ of motivation does not bring great fortune or employee motivation but their absence brings disaster or great employee de-motivation to an organisation. Similarly absence of efficient management function in Indian urban local governments is really acting against the delivery of good urban governance to the people. The presence of efficient management function may not bring 100 per cent good urban governance but will certainly bring considerable good urban governance and more importantly lay foundation or pave way for other reforms like participation of people (private and civil institutions) to attain and to sustain good urban governance. In following passages an attempt is made to describe the present status of management function in Indian urban local governments and how it is hindering good urban governance.

Planning Function

The most basic and pervasive process of human activities, it refers to deciding in advance what actions to take and when and how to take them. It may be a shocking statement to say that there is almost absence of planning in Indian ULGs but it is true. How can a ULG having hundreds of employees and doing multiple of jobs be without a planning function? There does exist planning in ULGs but as a part of reactive or crisis management. What ULGs lack is proactive planning culture. Vision planning or strategic planning is almost absent and operational planning exists in a grossly inadequate manner in ULGs.

Usually one does not find a department, a section or a person in ULG responsible specifically for planning. Rarely one can find a ULG engaged in preparation of long-term or medium term physical planning of the city or a development planning for urban services or even maintenance planning for existing infrastructure or a man-power planning for ULG itself.

The proximity to the people and ever-changing day-to-day field situation has put ULGs into crisis management or reactive management mode and kept them away from planning. But precisely for these two reasons ULGs should have strong planning function as it can help them to plan routine works and be ready for exigencies or non-programmable activities.

In recent years some ULGs have shown recognition of planning aspects by getting urban services related technical master plans and in few cases even city development strategy from professional consultancy firms. This initiative has paid rich dividend to these ULGs. For example preparation of technical master plan for services development has helped ULGs of Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara to bring in focus in their infrastructure development. Still it cannot be said that planning has become integral part or culture of their management.

Organizing Function

Orgnising refers to the formal grouping of people and activities to facilitate achievement of the organizations objectives. It’s a vehicle to actualize plans prepared to attain common objectives. In ULGs this function is found inadequate and evolved in an unplanned manner as explained below.

Organisation structure refers to the specific manner in which people are grouped. Usually people are grouped on the basis of the various functions or geographical territories or by product or service lines etc. In ULGs it is possible to group people in different way but such grouping must have inherent logic. In most of the municipal bodies we find mixing up of various basis of structuring organization (grouping people). Another characteristic of municipal organization structure in ULGs is flatness, which means that it lacks various levels of management and has high degree of centralization. For example in Vadodara Municipal Corporation hardly 35 officers control an organization employing more than 11000 peoples. Similarly there is a high degree of centralization, for example in most of the ULGs no officer other than the chief accountant has powers to make payment. The flatness and centralization increases the span of management of municipal officers enormously. There is absence of clear unity of command and appropriate delegation of authority. For example the engineering, health and field level administrative departments handle the solid waste management function simultaneously in many ULGs.

Similarly in ULGs, which have gone for zonal administration (decentralization) the revenue function has become subject to ambiguous unity of command. All these problems associated with organizing are the direct outcome of the fact that organizing function in ULGs is an evolved one rather than structured or planned one. The net result is absence of an appropriate vehicle to carry forward concept of good urban governance.

Staffing Function

An organization may draw up any number of ambitious plans and may structure its organizing function logically and scientifically but if it does not have right kind of people, it can never succeed in implementing these plans. One of the biggest challenges is matching right people with the right jobs. ULGs traditionally suffer in this respect. There are several reasons for this Achilles’ heel of ULGs. To start with there does not exists formal defining of the job, then there was rampant nepotism in earlier days, even today the recruitment process is highly politicized. Most importantly the ULG jobs do not have social status and are on lowest preference scale of job aspirants. In earlier days and even today in case of many ULGs the employment or service terms are inferior compare to other governments and governmental form of organizations. The flatness of organsation structure has resulted in virtual absence of ‘vertical or upward movement motivation and the excessive job security associated with government job has put them beyond the operation of ‘positive and negative motivations‘. Motivation depends on several factors from physical working environment, design and content of work to relationship at work and freedom to experiment. All these factors have not been given any thought in ULGs. There is a total absence of capacity building concept; it is very common that a ULG employee retires after 30 years of service without getting single day formal training. Most of the ULGs do not have in house training facility. In simple words there is absence of concept of human resource development in most of the ULGs. Good governance has more do with mind set, attitude and culture of human element than any other thing like resources, technology etc. The underdeveloped and inappropriate human element of ULGs is considerably responsible for lack of good urban governance in India.

Decision Making Function

Underlying the processes of planning, controlling, organizing, staffing, and leading is the all-important process of decision-making. This function implies making rational choice between alternations. It involves defining the issue or situation, searching of alternative solutions, evaluation of alternatives, taking the decision and collecting feedbacks.

The legal structure of ULGs in India is such that policy-making powers are with the elected wing represented by the council and various committees made up of elected representatives, while executive powers or operational powers lie with the executive, which is represented by Municipal Commissioner. This separation of operational decisions with executive wing and policy decisions with elected wing has truncated the decision-making process and decapitated accountability for decisions made in ULGs. It has become conflict of human egos, reactive (as every body waits other wing to move first), long drawn and more importantly inconclusive. The quality of decision-making can be improved by using modern information technology but Indian ULGs have not harnessed this source. Non-existence of formal management information system is a common feature one can observe in ULGs. Good governance essentially requires quick, rational and conclusive decision-making but it is lacking in ULGs.

Finance Function

It involves the procurement of funds and their effective utilization in business. It covers financial planning, forecasting of cash receipts and disbursements, the realization and recovery of funds, allocation of funds, and utilization of funds in the best possible manner, and financial control. It deals with the three basic decisions - investment decision, financing decision, and dividend decision. These decisions are interrelated and hence, their joint impact must be taken into account. Management in this context means evolving optimal combination (mix) of these decisions to maximize the wealth of the firm.

Investment Decision - Capital budgeting, a major aspect of this decision, is the allocation of capital to investment proposals whose benefits are to be realized in future. It also includes decision to reallocate capital when an asset no longer economically justifies the capital committed to it. Efficient management of current assets, liquidity etc. also forms part of this area.

In ULGs this area of decision-making is much less than satisfactory. For example in ULGs allocation of resources (investment decision) to various activities is done in an adhoc manner. It lacks scientific project appraisal and selection procedure. As a result, resources are allocated to non-priority, non-essential or wasteful activities, while obligatory, essential works get neglected. ULGs are not only expected to attain the objective of maximizing the return but also the objectives of equity and social transformation (good urban governance). The defective functioning of the investment decision-making area has defeated this basic purpose and has drained ULGs resources through wasteful and non-priority expenditure.

Financing Decision - This is concerned with determining the best financing mix or capital structure for an organization. This involves deciding upon needs and sources of new external financing. Risk, return and control are the most crucial factors relevant in formulating the financing decision.

The financing decision area (resource augmentation) is a glaring failure of Indian ULGs. Indian ULGs have failed to optimize whatever tax resources they have. They have also failed to raise/develop non-tax resources. Similarly ULGs have failed to raise adequate loans from appropriate sources at minimum possible cost. This total failure of the financing decision-making area has left them too starved of resources to be able to go for good urban governance.

Dividend Decision - This area of decision-making includes the percentage of earnings paid to stockholders (citizens in case of governments), the stability of absolute dividends over time, stock dividends and the repurchase of stock. The value of a dividend (return) to the citizen must be balanced against the opportunity cost of the savings lost by way of tax payment to government.

The dividend decision area of the finance function is, many times, wrongly considered to be non-relevant for the ULGs. The term dividend should be understood in generic term - return. ULGs function using public money and they provide return to the people in the form of various urban services and social welfare activities. Thus the way a business enterprise strives to maximize the wealth of its shareholders, municipal bodies should also strive to maximize return or wealth to the citizens under its jurisdiction. Again this has not happen, like other governments, ULGs have provided negative rates of return to the people at large that is they have failed to provide good governance.

The finance function is an all-pervasive function and hence equally relevant for ULGs. Unfortunately since the working of its three constituent decision areas is defective, it is non-existent in all the ULGs. Other reasons for its non-existence in ULGs are described subsequently.

Absence of Scientific and Appropriate Accounting System - Accounting is recording, classifying and summarizing events & transactions in a meaningful manner and interpreting the results thereof. It is a process of identifying, measuring and communicating information to permit judgment and decision by the users of the accounts. As the accounting system is inadequate and defective, in ULGs it has becomes non-transparent not only to the outsiders but also to insiders who often happen to be decision makers, and incapable of identifying (or locating) accountability for inefficient performance. This lack of accountability and transparency is ultimately hindering good urban governance.

Inadequate Auditing - Auditing is a corollary to the accounting system. An independent, professional auditing system lends sanctity and credibility to the correctness and transparency of the accounts written. Auditing specifically serves the accountability objective as it unearths irregularities, lapses and inefficiencies and indicates persons and events accountable for them. The positive and constructive use of the auditing system ultimately helps management and stakeholders to spot and remove inefficiencies. Inadequate auditing has allowed inefficiency to perpetuate and thus indirectly hindered good urban governance.

Absence of Financial Reporting - Disclosure norms and financial reporting systems ensure presentation and dissemination of data, results of an organisation to the people at large in a transparent, comparable and user-friendly manner. An organisation may have a good accounting and auditing system but if the financial reporting system is inappropriate then it may not depict real picture of an organization’s performance. Thus it acts like a magnifying glass for the society at large, helping it to know about the efficiency with which an organisation has worked or served the society. It provides people with an information tool through which they can demand accountability for its performance. There is formal financial reporting system for ULGs; even most of the Municipal Acts are silent about it. The virtual absence of financial reporting standards and system has robbed people of an effective tool for pressing for good urban governance.

Unaugmented Budgeting System - Budgeting, in simple terms, is identifying what we want and devising ways to achieve it. Though historically it evolved as a controlling tool, today it is considered a very important management tool encompassing both planning and controlling functions. Budget in government (public institution) context is much more than tool for management. It is an instrument of socio-economic reforms. It is legal authorisation, a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide, a communication device and basis for performance evaluation. The transparency about an organisation’s vision stems from the structure, format of its budget. The budget provides benchmarks for efficiency analysis and also provides modalities for fixing up accountability. In ULGs budgeting is a highly unaugmented, ritualistic and non-participative process. As any government gets actualized through the medium of budget, it has turned out to be biggest stumbling block in attaining good urban governance.

Controlling Function

Controlling provides a means of checking the progress of the plans and correcting any deviations that may occur along the way. Planning and controlling go hand to hand. It is difficult to conceive one without another. There can be no control without a plan and plans cannot be successfully implemented in the absence of control.

The type of control depends on factors to be measured and controlled. It is meaningful only when there is a clear-cut responsibility for activities and results. Like the other management functions, controlling is found wanting in the ULGs as follows.

Controlling requires standards for its operation and standards are established on the basis of plans. As plans are not made meticulously in ULGs it becomes difficult to set standards for performance. Having set standards it is necessary to devise a system of measuring the performance of individuals, and departments. ULGs have not developed performance indicators and they do not use any formal system to measure performance. The next aspect of controlling is correcting deviations, which depends on feedback. Feedback refers to the information about the critical control variable of the operations or activities. Usually ULGs do not have formal feedback system based on critical control variables of the activity.

The budget is a traditional and widely used control process but as noted above, it fails to work as a control devise in the ULGs. Recent years computer technology has made it possible to use sophisticated control techniques but as computerization level is still very minimal in ULGs, even this recourse is not used by ULGs for controlling.

The result of such a stark absence of controlling function is obvious. One finds cost and time overruns, lack of cost control, poor resources recovery performance etc in ULGs Not only this weak controlling remove the concept of accountability from the minds of people working in an organization. In the wake of weak controlling, it has become difficult to determine what is good urban governance for a particular ULG, how to measure it, and how far the actual performance is deviating from the standard.

The above discussion regarding the status of management function in the ULGs clearly indicates that each and every aspect of management function in ULGs is ridden with deficiencies, neglect and non-augmentation. Without strengthening it or making it efficient and effective it will not be possible to have good urban governance. Good urban governance is not something external or cosmetic, it has to spring internally from every aspect of an ULG. It needs to become integrated into the culture of an ULG. Starting single window system or holding ‘Lok Darbar at regular intervals or automated voice response system or making some information or services available on web or internet or putting up hi-fi touch screen kiosk etc do not necessarily lead to good urban governance, but is unfortunately being equated to those. These things do have relevance and role to play but they can do real quality addition to governance only if its core full of accountability, transparency and efficiency. As noted earlier management function is the basis, foundation, or ‘maintenance factor’ of good urban governance and until and unless it exists in the ULGs in an efficient, effective form, the good urban governance will remain an elusive mirage. In the next part of the paper an attempt is made to outline municipal reforms pertaining to management and financial systems to make good urban governance possible.

Part IV

Municipal Management Reforms for Good Urban Governance

The reforms enumerated in following pages pertain to the strengthening of the management function in ULGs to attain good urban governance. It is difficult to prioritise these reforms, as all of these are basic or fundamental, and have already become overdue. Ideally an ULG should adopt all of them simultaneously at a one go, but that seems impossible. An ULG striving to deliver good urban governance should select some of these reforms based on its own perception of situation, requirements, resources available and commitment. It can be observed that most of the reforms suggested are simple and mainly pertain t to attitudinal change and common sense at the institutional level. They do not require sophisticated technology, sizeable financial resources or professional support. What is most important is to get started with the reforms process (instilling willingness to reform) and to go on expanding its scope and composition as an ULG moves forward on the path of reforms. The municipal reforms for good urban governance can be enumerated as follows –

Separate Governance and Management Functions

Because of considering an ULG a miniature body politic till date, attention has been paid to its governance role only, but an ULG is a body corporate also. It is necessary to separate management function from governance function so that adequate attention can be paid to it.

Benefits of separating governance and management functions –

Some argue that there is little to be gained by separating the roles of governance and management. However it is experienced that separation of the two functions will contribute to more effective city management. The benefits of separating the two roles are hereby enlisted:

  • The political objectives and goals for the city are clearly defined (by the politicians)
  • Politicians are free to concentrate on policy and performance and can hold the City Manager accountable for effective achievement of objectives
  • The administrative goals and objectives for the city are clearly defined
  • Management of the organization is professionalized, to usher in higher standards of performance
  • Accountability is enhanced at all levels because the public knows who is responsible and for what
  • The risk of corruption and manipulation of the rules is reduced because the public knows exactly what each office bearer (political or administrative) should be doing
  • Objective policy advice can be given by the Municipal Commissioner with options and trade offs transparent
  • There will be less volatile changes in standards of service provision at times of change in political control.

Introduce Planning Function

The heading may appear surprising and trivial, but, as observed above, ULGs are devoid of a planning culture. They should introduce an appropriate planning function in each and every aspect of governance and inculcate an appropriate planning culture. For achieving good urban governance, introduction of planning function will not be sufficient, unless it is made real participative. 74th CAA has provided one way in the form of ward or circle committees. Beside this medium an ULG should explore all possible ways to involve people in its long and medium term planning process. The specific municipal reforms under this head would be –

  • Preparation of long-term vision plan for the city with the involvement of all its stakeholders. This exercise is also known as city development strategy or city corporate plan. It should be updated at a regular time intervals.
  • All the plans to be linked with each other.
  • Preparation of capital investment plan based on vision or city development strategy.
  • Preparation of financial and operational plan for implementing capital investment plan.
  • Beside such long and medium term strategy plans ULG should prepare detailed operational plans each and every important aspects of urban governance-management. For example vehicle replacement plan, manpower recruitment plan, assets maintenance plan etc.

Rationalize Organising Function

Organising is a vehicle or medium through which plans get actualized. ULGs will have to tune and tone up various apparatus of its organizing function. More specifically an ULG should undertake the following reforms -

  • Restructure and rationalize organization structure to make it logical. An ULG may choose any factor for such grouping but once it is selected there should be no mess up; only the logical structure should prevail.
  • Increase levels of management that is reduce existing flatness. This will reduce span of control and would also address the vertical motivation problem to some extent.
  • Review of jobs and responsibilities carried by different organizational positions and the authority delegated to them. On basis of such evaluation adequate delegation of authority should be carried out.
  • Establishing clear unity of command by removing overlapping jurisdictions of organizational positions. Organizational structure should evolve out of a well thought out exercise, rather than by default or accident.

Develop Human Resource

It is the human element, which ultimately carries out plans and controls by using the organization structure. It communicates with the world. Good governance is ultimately rendering satisfaction to the people at large and it refers to the mutual interaction of different human elements. Beside specific municipal reforms listed below regarding staffing function, good urban governance will really require attitudinal change or change of mindset of the people working in an ULG. For this appropriate capacity building and attitudinal transformation, efforts will have to be taken on a sustained basis, and an accountability fixing mechanism, to which even a common man can contribute to catch errant ULG employees, will have to be put in practice. The other specific municipal reforms should include -

  • Professionalised recruitment procedure. Recently Vadodara Municipal Corporation carried out its recruitment through professional agencies or two years back Government of Gujarat recruited municipal chief officers through GPSC.
  • Measures to create social credibility to municipal jobs.
  • Introduction of merit based promotion policy and creating adequate levels in management to facilitate upward mobility.
  • Infrastructure to conduct different types of training – induction, refresher, technical beside above discussed attitudinal training.
  • ULGs should improve physical and social work environment, relationships at work and culture of freedom.
  • Creation of a platform for sharing of experience, knowledge and innovations. City Managers Association, which started in Gujarat and now getting replicated in nine other states is a step in right direction. It has tried to fill the void but such efforts should be complemented further.
  • The political and more importantly executive leadership will have to become decisive and ready to shoulder responsibility. The exemplary experience of Surat, Ahmedabad, Thane and Nagpur testify to the tremendous potential of decisive and responsible leadership to gain unprecedented achievement from the very same municipal employees.

Decision-Making Function

  • The decision-making process in ULGs needs overhauling. The present legal structure separating policy making and operational or executive decision-making should undergo an urgent change. The present structure has given rise to the syndrome of authority without accountability. The Mayor-in-council format has worked successfully in some ULGs. It should be adopted widely. It will be in tune with the democratic polity we have adopted. When political executive is given full decision-making powers, they should be made equally accountable to the people for their decisions.
  • In order to bring about informed decision-making, ULGs should install sound management information systems and should make use of all means of modern information technology.
  • In order to speed up the decision-making process especially in the general council and various committees made up of elected representatives, the concept of ‘Guillotining’ should be introduced.
  • In order to make decision making transparent in ULGs, state governments should frame suitable transparency legislation binding to ULGs. For example State of Karnataka has made a beginning in this direction.
  • In order to make decision-making participative, the mechanism of ward and circle committees envisaged in 74 CAA should be put in practice in right earnest. Similar kind of other mechanism promoting peoples’ participation should be adopted by ULGs.

Finance Function

There is urgent need to install a finance function in ULGs in place of the present inadequate bookkeeping, procedural auditing, ritualistic budgeting and zero financial reporting. The investment, financing and dividend decision-making areas of finance function must be carried out in a scientific way. For this ULGs will have to undertake following reforms –

  • Adoption of modified accrual base fund accounting system. Ideally right from the beginning it should be implemented on on-line computerization basis. This reform is quite possible. More than 100 ULGs have implemented this reform. For example accounting reforms have been implemented by all ULGs of Tamil Nadu State and by individual ULGs like Vadodara, Indore, Surat, Ahmedabad, Banglore and Ludhiana etc.
  • Introduction of performance or efficiency auditing in place of conventional procedural auditing.
  • Financial reporting with adherence to accounting standards and disclosure norms in a reasonable time frame. Special efforts to disseminate financial results to the people.
  • Adoption of Participative and performance budgeting practices. For example efforts of Vadodara Municipal Corporation of Gujarat.

Controlling Function

  • Setting up of controlling network for each critical activity point, section or department or individual.
  • The plans should be prepared and expressed in such a way that they facilitate their conversion into standards for controlling.
  • Identification of suitable performance indicators for measuring performance.
  • Creation of suitable database and information system to facilitate measuring and evaluation of performance objectively.
  • The possible deviations, which may take place with the plans, should be thought out in advance and appropriate contingency plans should be kept prepared to facilitate correcting deviation efforts of controlling function.
  • Feedback essentially involve time lag, computer technology should to used to speed up feedback process so that corrective actions regarding deviations can be taken as early as possible.

Summing Up

The term ‘Good Governance’ has continuously evolved with the development of human civilization. It has acquired much broader meaning recently in the wake of globalization, economic liberalization and corporatisation.

Good Governance is a broader notion than good government. It involves governments and also civil society (citizens, civic institutions, etc). Good governance in the urban management context includes all of the laws, regulations, frameworks, management systems and processes, social and cultural surroundings in which an urban local government operates. Thus good urban governance has now more of management and social overtones than political or philosophical.

In recent years it’s the social perspective, which involves civil society in governance that has received some attention. But the management perspective has remained unattended in Indian ULGs. The management perspective (which obviously includes finance function) of good governance is much more relevant in case of an ULG than any other level of government as ULGs possess a dual character. An ULG is not only miniature body politic but it is also a body corporate.

The management function described above constitutes ‘maintenance factor’ whose presence does not bring great fortune or employee motivation but their absence brings disaster or demotivation to an organization. The absence of hard-core municipal management system reforms efforts is the root cause of weak urban governance situation in India.

Each and every aspect of management function in ULGs is riddled with the deficiencies, neglect and non-augmentation. Without strengthening it or making it efficient and effective it will not be possible to have good urban governance.

There can be several reforms to strengthen management function in the role of an ULG; it is difficult to list all of them. Some of them have been enumerated in this paper. It is also difficult to prioritise them as all them have become overdue and essential. An ULG striving to deliver good urban governance should select some of these reforms based on its own perception of situation, requirements, resources available and commitment.

Source : Dr. Ravikant Joshi, National Workshop on Municipal Reforms for Good Governance

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Current-Public-Administration-Magazine-(Septembert-2017)- Administrative Restructuring

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Administrative Reforms


When India achieved independence, it inherited a colonial legacy in administration, which was suited to the needs of revenue collection and maintenance of law and order. During the. years following independence, the Indian government was mostly pre-occupied with the problems of administrative integration of the princely states and the rehabilitation of the refugees and the displaced.

With India becoming republic the objectives for the development of the country was spelt out. The focus shifted to the social and economic development of the country. Attention was directed to people-oriented administration. Administration had to be responsive to the development needs of the people. Thus, there was a need to reform the administration to suit the needs of independent India.

The Government of India undertook various measures for bringing in reforms in administration. It constituted various committees and commissions and organised conferences to suggest reforms in administration. We will be discussing them in the ensuing sections.

We will first discuss the meaning, needs, and types of administrative reforms, which will be followed by the reform steps and measures undertaken in the country since independence.


'Administrative reforms can, in short, be defined as artificial inducement of administrative transformation against resistance. This definition highlights three distinct elements, namely:

  • Administrative reform is artificially stimulated;
  • It is a transformatory process; and
  • There is existence of resistance to change process.

Obviously, reforms do not take place by themselves. They are pre-meditated, well studied and planned programmes with definite objectives in view. Reform is an induced and manipulated change, for it involves persuasion, collaboration and generation of conviction for betterment.

Reform is more than a series of incremental changes or marginal adjustments, though it may result from the cumulation of small changes, which periodically creates requirement for comprehensive and systematic efforts.

Administrative reform paves the way for new order. It refers to the formal, mechanistic and meditated process of structured change.


The distinguishing characteristic of modernised social system is its ability to deal with continuous systematic transformation. Society has to change in order to free itself from the shackles of traditionalism, cope with the changes in environment, adopt fresh innovative culture, adopt new knowledge and technology and crave for a new order through elimination of the old structures and system.

Administrative reform is but a part of the universality of this change, for administration is nothing but a sub-culture, a social sub-system reflecting the values of the wider society. Administration must also correspondingly change to be in step with the outer modernisation process. Or else, disequilibrium would set in, resulting. in imbalances, dysfunctionalities, maladjustments and goal displacement.

According to Fred W. Riggs administrative reform is a "problem of dynamic balancing ". Since public administration functions within a political context, its basic character, content and style of functioning is greatly influenced by the political environment, its institutional dynamics and process, in not merely setting national goals, priorities, or deciding between competing values, and allocating resources but also in devising the most effective instrument for translating these policies into successful programme realities. Added to this, the advances in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and the state's pervasive role in managing national assets and resources, controlling the entire economy through regulation and development, ensuring a just and equitable economic order, correcting age old social imbalances through newer forms of institution-making, and ushering in an egalitarian social system, has thrown up new tasks for administration. This requires fundamental and foundational improvement in the administrative capabilities. The latter, in turn, requires proper planning, educational re-arrangement, skill-generation, attitude-formation and a host of other structural-functional reorganisation.

With the nineties came the market reforms, and there was an emphasis on structural adjustment. Good governance is the stress of the governments of the day, with focus on accountability, efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and decentralisation. With focus on good governance today, there has been a greater change in the conventional role of the State, the government and the bureaucracy. Today, there is shift from responsiveness to partnership and collaboration. The importance is given to people's participation in governance and the involvement of the multiple actors. With citizen's participation and collaboration taking centre stage, the government have to act as partners with the citizens. Administration cannot fulfil the newer roles with the traditional organisation and methods. - It has to be people friendly and work on public trust. Hence, the bureaucracy has to change to adapt to the new role. This need for change in turn necessitate reforms.


Administrative reforms, according to Gerald E. Caiden, can be of four types.

  • Reforms imposed through politica changes.
  • Reforms introduced to remedy organisational rigidity.
  • Reforms through the legal system, and
  • Reforms through changes in attitude.

Reforms imposed through political changes

Administration is shaped and influenced by political forces. The change in political scene also affects administration. Structure and working of administration is affected by political changes.

Reforms introduced to remedy organisational rigidity

Bureaucratic structures have to change to be flexible. The rigidity in the structure of administration has to be removed. The changes can take place in the form of restructuring, reinvention, realignment, rethinking and reengineering.

Reforms through the legal system

Laws pertaining to administrative reform can lead to significant changes in administration. Legislation is normally preceded by consultations and deliberations in several forums such as committees, commissions, press etc.

Reforms through changes in attitude

Human beings are an important part of any organisation. Change in their attitude will help in bringing reforms. No legal, structural and political change can lead to desired reform unless and until these are appreciated and accepted by the people working in the organisation.


At the Central level, various ministries and departments have been slow in implementing the reforms. The citizen's charters lack quality, as many of the ministries and departments have renamed their information brochures as charters. The citizens as well as the employees also seem to be unaware of the charters. The computerization and networking is yet to be fully implemented by the Centre and the States;

The review of laws has not been taken up at the required pace. The Lokpal Bill is lingering in the Parliament. The Department of AR&PG found that many of the Information and Facilitation Counters set up by the ministries and departments are non-functional. The code of ethics is yet to come up. The voluntary retirement scheme has also not been properly taken up. At the State level, much is left to be achieved. The Right to Information Act has been place in several States, but it has not been properly implemented.

Nothing has been going beyond the 73rd and 74•h constitutional amendments. The States have not implemented the constitutional amendments in letter and spirit. As a result, decentralisation has suffered a setback. The States have not adequately streamlined the function of the panchayats. In some States more powers has bee.n vested with the district and intermediate levels whereas in some States more powers have been given to the gram panchayats and the intermediate levels and not to the district level. The States have not provided these bodies with adequate staffand finances in relation to the subjects allocated to them. Again, the district planning committees have not been set up by a number of states. The gra~ sabha are not fully empowered as their powers and procedures have not been properly laid down. The urban local bodies have lost their importance due to the multiplicity of corresponding institutions that have come up to carry out varied functions pertaining to housing, urban regulation, water and sewerage, and power distribution. Also, there is dearth of resources, which creates problems for rendering better services.


A Department of Administrative Reforms was set up within the Ministry of Home Affairs in March 1964 to suggest reforms and conduct studies on all aspects of administration relating to the organisation, methods and personnel.

The 0 & M Division, which was earlier functioning under the cabinet secretariat, was transferred to it.

Based on the recommendations of the ARC, a Department of Personnel was set up in the cabinet secretariat on l st August 1970. All matters pertaining to the civil services were transferred to this Department from the Ministry of Home Affairs. Further, on 7th February I 973, the work relating to the Department of Administrative Reforms was also transferred to it and the Department was redesignated as Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms. Jn Anril 1977, the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms was shifted from the cabinet secretariat to the Ministry of Home Affairs and this arrangement continued till the end of 1984. Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms. was also set up at the State level.

The Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms was elevated to a full fledged Ministry• of Personnel and Training, Administrative Reforms, Public Grievances and Pensions in March 1985. On December 10, 1985 this Ministry underwent further change in its nomenclature and was re-designated as the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions with three departments namely, Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT), Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances and Department of Pension and Pensioners' Welfare.. A major highlight of this arrangement was that, firstly the Ministry was placed under the overall charge of the Prime Minister assisted by a Minister of State. Secondly, the subject of public grievances was added to Department of Administrative Reforms. This allocation was effected under the rationale that it would provide a closer and integrated view of the inadequacies of the administrative system that gives rise to grievances, on the one hand, and how the administrative machinery could be made adaptive to the changing requirements, on the other. Thirdly, a separate Department was created to handle the subject of Pension and Pensioner's Welfare.

We will be basically concentrating on the functions of the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances.

Functions of the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances

With the creation -of the Department under the Ministry in 1985, the following tasks were assigned to it:

  • Matters pertaining to the conduct, coordination and evaluation of administrative reforms.
  • Matters pertaining to organisation an methods.
  • All policy matters and issues relating to the redressal of public grievances in general and grievances pertaining to the Central government agencies in particular.

Administrative reforms are vital for the sustenance of the government machinery. The focus on good governance today has necessitated reforms in government as well as in administration. The Government of India undertook reform measures since independence. Various commissions and committees were set up to suggest reforms in the administrative system, organisation, methods and procedures. One of the important commissions to suggest reform was the ARC, which made recommendations covering the entire gamut of administration at the Centre and States.

Major reforms in the recent years pertain to the implementation of the Action Plan on Effective and Responsive Government. There are three vital components of the Plan that aims at making administration responsive and citizen friendly, transparent with the right to information, and improvement of the performance and integrity of the civil services. The Centre and States have implemented the Plan to a certain extent. More steps in this regard are on the anvil.

The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances is the nodal agency of the GO! for administrative reforms as well as for redressal of public grievances.


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Accountability and Control

Citizens As Customers – Charters And The Contractualisation Of Quality In Public Services

                                        - The UK Citizen’s Charter

The original version of the UK Citizen's Charter was officially launched in a White Paper, published in July 1991 (Cabinet Office, 1991). Although it pursued themes (value for money, increased competition, privatisation, greater emphasis upon performance measurement, etc.) that were already well in train by the time Mr Major took over the premiership from Mrs Thatcher in 1990, the Charter was presented from the outset as encapsulating the prime minister's personal vision of the public services. The initiative had support from, among others, the free market think tank, the Adam Smith Institute (Pirie, 1992), and it remained a core part of the Conservative Government’s programme until the change of government in 1997. It was then repackaged and relaunched by Tony Blair’s Labour administration, and has become absorbed into the continuing process of ’modernising’ public services.

The original Citizen’s Charter reaffirmed the Government's continuing commitment to privatisation, to the further contracting out of public services, and to the extension of compulsory competitive tenderingiii; but it implicitly accepted that a lot of services should remain within the public sector - while arguing that they must be more consumer-sensitive. Its main themes (to paraphrase some of the relevant sections of the1991 White Paper) were:

  • Higher standards: publication, in clear language, of standards of service; tougher, independent inspectorates; a ‘Charter Mark’ scheme to commend bodies that abide by the terms of the Charter.
  • Openness: elimination of secrecy about organisational arrangements, costs of service, etc. Staff to be identified by name badges.
  • Information: regular publication of information about performance targets, and how well they have been met.
  • Choice: ‘the public sector should provide choice wherever practicable’.
  • Non-Discrimination: services to be available regardless of race or sex; leaflets to be printed in minority languages where there is a need.
  • Accessibility: ‘services should be run to suit the convenience of customers, not staff.’
  • Proper redress when things go wrong: ‘at the very least the citizen is entitled to a good explanation, or an apology’; better machinery for redress of grievances (including, as originally envisaged, a system of local lay adjudicators to deal with minor claims for redress); adequate remedies, including compensation where appropriate.

The Charter was to apply to central government departments and their Next Steps executive agencies; also to local government, the National Health Service, the police – and even the courts, where there are special sensitivities about judicial independence. It also promised stronger powers for the regulatory agencies that oversee the privatized public utilities like British Telecom, and the gas, electricity and water industries (all of which have their own charters).

The Raison d’Être of the Charter Initiative - The ‘New Right’ Perspective

In a pamphlet published by the Conservative Political Centre, John Major’s Public Service Minister, William Waldegrave. wrote as follows about the post-war reforms of public services:

By a process that was, in retrospect, inevitable, it turned out that we had designed public services where the interests of the providers systematically outweighed those of the users, and which, driven only by the natural tendency of all provider organisations to claim that they can only do better with more money, contained an overwhelming dynamic for increased cost which was bound to end in conflict with reality. Many loyal public servants did good work within them - but the seeds of their own destruction were firmly embedded in the organisations' structures (Waldegrave, 1993, p. 8).

He conceded that the language used in support of policies of privatisation in the 1980s was not focussed ‘where in reality the focus of our concern is - on the user of the service until the language of the Citizen's Charter began to turn the national debate in the right direction before and after the election of 1992.’ Moving away from expenditure as the only ‘index of compassion’ and reasserting the primacy of outputs is, he argued, a way of avoiding the presentation to the electorate of ‘a false choice between low rates of taxation and high standards of service’ (Waldegrave, 1993, p. 10).

He went on to claim that, internationally, Britain had been ‘blazing a trail on public service reform in the 1990s’ and that innovations like the Citizen’s Charter had influenced and anticipated changes and reform agendas in other countries - for instance, Osborne and Gaebler’s, Reinventing Government (1992; see also Gore, 1993).

But other commentators have stressed that the pre-history of the Charter, and the credit for its invention lies elsewhere, particularly in local government. The public lawyer, Ian Harden, has noted the precedent of the ‘customer contracts, pioneered by some English local authorities in the 1980s’ (Harden, 1992, p. x). Rod Rhodes - citing his own experiences, working with York city council - states categorically that ‘citizen’s charters originated in local government, not with John Major’ (Rhodes, 1997, p.129). And David Prior has concluded that charters ‘arrived on the managerialist tide that flooded local government in the 1980s’ (Prior, 1995, p. 100). In his foreword to the Charter White Paper (Cabinet Office, 1991), John Major himself wrote that, ‘to make public services answer better to the wishes of their users, and to raise their quality overall, have been ambitions of mine since I was a local councillor in Lambeth over twenty years ago.’

While a ‘consumerist’ tendency in local government and elsewhere is an important element of the pre-history of the Citizen’s Charter, it is clear that, in the early 1990s, the ministerial and civil service architects of the Charter were anxious to claim it as a logical extension of the Thatcherite New Right’s public sector reform programme and, in particular, as being a natural evolutionary progression from the ‘Next Steps’ agency programme, launched in 1988 (Greer, 1994). The Charter became, from the outset, a prominent feature of the agendas of executive agencies and of the framework agreements that define their performance targets. Brian Hilton, the first director of the Citizen's Charter Unit in the Cabinet Office, saw the Charter as:

  • the next stage after Next Steps. Next Steps gets management sorted out and now we are saying with greater clarity what we want management to deliver. This is not a nine-day wonder. It is very much a long-term problem (quoted by Hennessy, 1991).
  • John Major’s tenure as prime minister, which ended with his party’s emphatic defeat in the general election of May 1997, saw his Citizen’s Charter reach its sixth birthday. The main features of the Charter regime inherited by Tony Blair from his predecessor included:
  • 41 national Charters covering the major public services: e.g. the Patient’s Charter, the Parent’s Charter, the Courts Charter, the Taxpayer’s Charter.
  • over 10,000 local charters, prepared by local agencies (e.g. doctors’ surgeries, hospital trusts, schools, local authority services and local job centres) in consultation with service users.
  • the annual Charter Mark award scheme, recognising excellence and innovation in public service (at the time of the consultation exercise, below, there were 645 holders of the award. Over 3,600 services had applied for the award, and more than 1,100 were successfulv ).
  • 24 Charter quality networks around the UK. These were established by the Charter Unit in 1994, and consisted of small groups of managers from public services and privatized utilities who met locally to exchange ideas on issues relating to customer service and quality.
  • A Good Practice Guide, produced by a Citizen’s Charter complaints task force, and published in June 1995, containing recommendations on how public services can improve their handling of complaints.
  • The regular publication of performance league tables, notably in the fields of education and health services.

The initiative was signalled as John Major’s ‘big idea’, something that would give a distinctive flavour to the Major era of public service reform, after ten years of Thatcherism. As noted in Waldegrave's apologia, cited above, although the Charter carried forward familiar 1980s New Public Management themes, it also hinted at a confession of past doctrinal (or at least presentational) error – perhaps even a tacit admission that ‘the “minimising” elements of the government’s reform strategy may have gone too far’ (Lffler, 2003, p. 481). But unkind critics might interpret this, not so much as a disclaimer, but as an attempt to claim distinctiveness for what was, in essence, a populist re-packaging of Thatcherite reforms, perhaps designed implicitly to rebut Mrs Thatcher's famously dismissive observation that ‘there is no such thing as Majorism.’ As one commentator put it, ‘the Citizen's Charter is partly a genuine article of belief for John Major and partly a vehicle for symbolically differentiating him from his predecessor’ (Doern, 1993, p. 20).

New Labour, New Charter

In Opposition, ‘New Labour’ politicians had been scornful of some of the more ambitious claims made on behalf of the Charter by Conservative ministers, but its main specific objections were to do with the Charter’s lack of enforceable rights and legislative ‘teeth’ (e.g. with regard to freedom of information). Under the leadership of Tony Blair in the 1990s, the Party had begun to adopt some of the ideas and rhetoric of the ‘communitarian’ movement – represented, for instance by Amitai Etzioni, who had written that:

Communitarians favour strong democracy. That is, we seek to make government more representative, more participatory, and more responsive to all members of the community. We seek to find ways to accord citizens more information and more say, more often (Etzioni, 1995, p. 235).

Lessons were also learned from the Clinton-Gore National Performance Review. And references to the desirability of creating a more socially inclusive ‘stakeholder’ society began to appear in the speeches of Blair and his party associates. There were regular references to the need to restore power and functions to local government and to improving mechanisms of public accountability. The Charter - suitably modified, and relaunched with appropriate New Labour packaging - was seen as having a contribution to make to the new government’s goals.

Charterism – too much stick and not enough carrot?

From the outset the authors of the UK Citizen’s Charter made it clear that one important principle underlying the initiative was to improve value for money for the citizen- taxpayer, by making public resources go further. This has been an important driving force behind public sector reform in Britain, and in many other countries. Charters impose a discipline on service providers at relatively little central cost.

It is plausible to suggest that the new disciplines of a charter may usefully focus the minds of service providers, operating at the interface between a State and its ‘empowered’ citizen-customers, on finding ways of improving standards when resources are having to be squeezed. But, given the hierarchical nature of many public service institutions the definition of the ‘provider’ can be problematical. Much of the immediate impact of charters falls upon relatively low paid and/or junior state employees (e.g. railway station staff, school teachers, hospital receptionists, front line officers in tax and benefits offices) who have to bear - without extra rewards, and sometimes with little or no extra training - the brunt of complaints and criticisms by ‘empowered’ customers. A newspaper article published a few months after the launch of the Charter quoted an assistant manager in the Benefits Agency as saying that ‘most of us see it as quite a cynical exercise to paper over the cracks in the service’; the general secretary of the Civil and Public Services Association was quoted as saying that the Charter is ‘all stick and no carrot’ (Willmore, 1992).

Charters - ‘Rights’ without Laws?

Alongside controversies about the ambiguities of ‘citizenship’ are other issues associated with making reference to a ‘charter’, a word that has formal and legalistic connotations. But despite the resonance of the language with grand constitutional statements of the past, such as Magna Carta, the UK Citizen’s Charter was not a constitutional document. And it has been a feature of the UK Charter that it does not directly imply the conferment of legal entitlements.

The Citizen's Charter offered no Bill of Rights (though it talked a lot about rights), nor a Freedom of Information Act. It comprised a melange of aims and exhortations, rendered more amorphous by the diversity of the services and institutions to which it applied. In the words of the 1991 White Paper:

The Charter programme will be pursued in a number of ways. The approach will vary from service to service in different parts of the United Kingdom. The Citizen's Charter is not a blueprint which imposes a drab and uniform pattern on every service. It is a toolkit of initiatives and ideas to raise standards in the way most appropriate to each service (Cabinet Office, 1991, p. 4).

The Charter itself was never intended to be a justiciable document, conferring legal rights that could be enforced in the courts. William Waldegrave, true to the British tradition of regarding law and lawyers as impediments rather than as aids to good government, told the House of Commons Treasury and Civil Service Committee, with reference to the improved redress of grievance systems promised by the Charter, that 'if we can avoid getting too many lawyers involved in these redress systems, except when issues are very, very serious, so much the better I think...' .

This approach is symptomatic of the historic resistance of the British political and bureaucratic culture to the development of administrative law and administrative codes. As the political scientist Fred Ridley - a European comparativist, well placed to observe the peculiarities of the British resistance to public law - once observed, ‘the idea of 'political' rather than 'legal' protection of citizens against administration is deeply embedded in British political traditions and has imprinted itself on British ways of thought’ (Ridley, 1984, p. 4).

There have been some important recent developments in UK public law. We now even have an Administrative Court, and the Blair Government’s decision to incorporate the European Convention on Human Rights into domestic law by enactment of the Human Rights Act 1998 has already had an impact on law and administration. The development in New Public Management contexts of more contractual, quasi-contractual and pseudo- contractual modes of service delivery also has important implications, some with legal significance.

But the fact remains that, compared with many other countries - particularly some of the UK’s continental European neighbours, such as France - public law has a relatively low profile, as does the concept of legally enforceable rights. As one British commentator has put it.

Charterism - Something for Everyone?

There is plenty of scope for philosophical debate and ideological dispute about the meaning and the merits of charterism. But, for practical purposes, it is probably appropriate to regard these charters, not as a universal and rigidly pre-ordained schedule of principles and objectives but as a series of packages, of broadly similar shape, but with different wrapping paper to suit the location and the occasion. As has been noted, variants of the charter package can comfortably be embraced both by New Right free market individualists and by New Left collectivists with communitarian leanings. The wrapping paper - the rhetoric used to discuss charters, and the relative emphasis placed on one aspect rather than another - may vary, but the actual contents, can often, in the end, look very similar.

Charters are to be found in states with strong traditions of administrative and constitutional law, as well as in the UK, where these characteristics are much less evident. However, one would expect more legalistic systems of public administration to have different perceptions of what charters mean and how they are to be enforced. The ‘empowerment’ ingredient of charters may be played down in countries with weak traditions of electoral democracy; or played up in countries whose governments want to encourage more civic awareness and participation. Charters exist in unitary states with highly centralized systems of governance (paradoxically, they can be used both to reinforce central control of decentralized institutions, and as a counterweight to excessive centralization); they are also found in countries with federal arrangements and/or strong traditions of localized public administration.

To pursue the ‘package’ metaphor a little further, there is a danger that attractive wrapping paper may raise unrealistically high expectations that are doomed to disappointment when the package is opened. This is particularly the case if (as some critics of the original UK Charter complained) some of the contents turn out to be recycled items from the past. A charter package can be made to look very appealing. The ostensible message of charters - simultaneously bureau-sceptical and appealing to democratic and populist sentiments - is hard for anyone to quarrel with. The promise of better and more user-friendly services with no extra burdens falling on the taxpayer may seem almost too good to be true.

There has been a lot of discussion - the UK and elsewhere - whether charters really ‘work’. Some of this debate is of a technical kind: to do, for instance, with the authenticity of performance measurement - what do ‘league tables’ of schools (based mainly on examination performance) and hospitals (based, for instance, on waiting times for surgery) or police forces (based on such indicators as crime clear-up rates and the time taken to respond to emergency calls) really tell us? And, even if the technical controversies about performance rankings could be resolved, what, in the real world, can the empowered citizen, whose choices of alternative service providers are often limited, do with this information?

The impact of the Charter Mark scheme is currently being investigated in various public service organisations, beginning with the Court Service of England and Wales, the first organisation to undertake a corporate programme of Charter Mark applications and to adopt Charter Mark as its national service standard. The consultancy company, ORC International, analysed data from 17,877 civil and family court customers across 218 courts, collected between February 2001 and February 2004. It found that that service at public counters received significantly higher satisfaction ratings (88%) than those without the award (80%); satisfaction with telephone service was 83% for Charter Mark courts, compared with 74% for non-Charter Mark courts; for written correspondence the respective figures were 80% and 74%; and for complaints handling they were 36% and 26% (Thompson, 2005).

These findings obviously relate to only one aspect of charterism, in one service sector, and need to be interpreted with caution. Establishing cause and effect relationships in quality-improvement schemes is notoriously difficult.

The British experience does suggest that the Citizen’s Charter has probably had beneficial effects on quality of service. However, there have been intermittent allegations (many of them anecdotal) that performance outcomes may sometimes be manipulated by those involved - e.g. police officers who are reluctant to log reports of crimes that they know they cannot solve; students being entered for examinations only if their school is sure that they will pass; railway timetables adjusted so that trains are seldom ‘late’; postboxes re-labelled with the last collection time rather than with a series of detailed collection times from morning until evening.

When addressing the question ‘do charters work’?, two related considerations must be borne in mind. First, that what ‘works’ in one national or sectoral context may not work in another. Secondly, and perhaps more crucially, it must be remembered that charters - although they contain a lot of uncontentiously sensible messages about improving service quality and efficiency, and about increasing citizen satisfaction - are not value- neutral documents. Their purpose and content is strongly driven by political considerations. There is a political message to be read between every line of every school performance league table.

Charters – How ‘Contractual’?

A movement towards contractual arrangements, of varying degrees of ‘hardness’ and ‘softness’, has been a pervasive feature of public management reform in many countries around the world in the past two or three decades. However, in their introduction to a volume of essays, published five years ago under the auspices of this study group, the editors, Yvonne Fortin and Hugo Van Hassel, observed that regular usage of the term ‘contract’ in public management contexts is comparatively recent. They noted that ‘the terms agreement, convention, commitment and pact had often been favoured, especially when indicating those agreements with no legal value’ [i.e. what we might nowadays refer to as soft contracts, see below] (Fortin and Van Hassel, 2000, p. 4). And they went on to suggest various explanations for the growing dominance of the term in public management discourse, the first being the nature of some of a contract’s technical attributes:

The contract represents a tried and tested legal technique that serves to implement a mechanism along with a set of arguments easily acceptable to lay audiences; included herein would be: the necessity for the two parties to be distinct entities, the principle of equality between both parties, the principle of negotiation, the notion of reciprocity and the fulfillment of commitments (ibid. p. 6).

They also observe that the perceived neutrality of the term contract makes it an attractive device for politicians seeking to build a consensus for public sector reform; it has international currency; and It also conveys an aura of the private sector, and in particular a commercial tone, which within today’s context of economic competitiveness and attraction for the private sector’s latest generation of management tools gets interpreted as a stamp of seriousness and efficiency (ibid).

The UK provides many illustrative examples, including agency framework agreements and internal markets (soft) to private finance initiatives (hard). However, in practice, the hard/soft dichotomy is seldom clear-cut: for example, the hard contractual bottom line of a private finance initiative may need softening along the way, though negotiation and mutual trust, in order to make it work.

Harlow and Rawlings (1997, p. 211, see also chapter 5) use the term, ‘pseudo-contracts’, noting ‘the link with the idea of citizen as consumer expressed in the Citizen’s Charter: the portrayal of the relationship in contractual terms – services in return for taxes… ‘ At one level, the use of such pseudo-contractual language can be seen as an attractive addition to the armoury of political rhetoric (cf. Fortin and Van Hassel, above). So the contractual resonance of a citizen’s charter is at least as much presentational as substantive.

When we look more closely at how far, if at all, citizen’s charters fit into the contractual picture, with particular reference to the hard/soft dichtomy, an interestingly ambiguous picture emerges. A convenient overview of the main characteristics of hard and soft models of contracting is to be found in Anne Davies’ account of contracting in the UK National Health Service, (Davies, 2001, p. 92):

‘Hard model:

• Low trust relationship between the parties
• Standard-setting through adversarial negotiations
• Comprehensive and precisely drafted standards
• Monitoring through ‘policing’
• Enforcement through sanctions, particularly exit

Soft model :

• High trust relationship between the parties
• Standard-setting through collaborative negotiations
• Broadly drafted, general standards and written assumptions
• Monitoring through shared information or trusting the provider to comply
• Enforcement through ‘persuasion’

How do these characteristics (and those noted by Fortin and Van Hassel) apply to UK- type citizen’s charters? In the remarks that follow, I take ‘the parties’ to be the service provider on the one hand and the citizen customer on the other. However, a more elaborate analysis would require us to factor in the relationship (sometimes a pseudo- contractual one) between the provider and the State/government, particularly in so far as the government may have been the active initiator of a charter programme, which then trickles outwards and downwards into each service sector:

(1) Nature of relationship between the parties: one important object of a charter is to encourage improved trust between citizen and provider, through improved transparency and accountability; in a democracy, regime legitimacy (sometimes a fragile commodity) might be taken as an analogue of trust. However, the ‘empowerment’ subtext of charterism might be regarded as actively fostering ‘distrust’ – encouraging citizens to look more carefully at quality of service and not to take what they are told at face value. The ‘equality’ and ‘reciprocity’, highlighted by Fortin and van Hassel are often conspicuous by their absence, though we have noted (with reference to the UK National Health Service) recognition that consumer entitlements may need to be balanced against reciprocal social and civic obligations.

(2) Standard-setting: in general, the content of charters is unilaterally determined by the providers. There is no negotiation, though providers sometimes take steps to ascertain consumers’ attitudes and preferences.

(3) Formality and precision of the drafting: charters are drafted in general and informal terms (usually by non-lawyers).

(4) Monitoring: varies in scope. Charters themselves are seldom explicitly ‘policed’. But sometimes service-quality outcomes are linked to other mechanisms, such as the framework agreements of next steps executive agencies, and breaches may have implications e.g. for the tenure of chief executives and their performance-related pay. Performance league-tables (e.g. school exam results, hospital waiting lists) are regularly invoked by ministers, who hold the purse-strings of public funding, and may link to more formal quality measurement regimes, such as ‘best value’. Regulatory bodies have regard to service quality criteria (some of which may appear in charters) e.g. when allowing the Post Office to increase postal charges or franchised railway companies to increase their fares.

(5)Enforcement: charters involve no legal enforcement. ‘Exit’, identified by Davies as a common sanction associated with hard contracts, is also potentially a bottom line of informed consumer choice (though is easier said than done in what are often monopolistic or near-monopolistic contexts). Another area of enforcement has to do with what happens inside the provider-organisation itself - the role of a charter as a management tool (cf. earlier reference to ‘sticks and carrots’).

My general conclusion from all this is that citizen’s charters do indeed have a place in the realm of government by contract – albeit as pseudo-contracts, which go nowhere near to satisfying the criteria of mutuality, parity, reciprocity and legal enforceability that are minimal requirements for true contractual relationships. To some extent, the adjective ‘soft’ overlaps with the prefix ‘pseudo’ but the citizen’s charter case suggests that they are not quite identical. Informal drafting and non-enforceability in court are common factors, but the possibility of financial sanctions in some contexts and (if Davies is right) the potential for consumer exit gives this curious species of soft-pseudo contract a slightly hard edge.

Source - Gavin Drewry

Professor of Public Administration,

Royal Holloway, University of London

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Current-Public-Administration-Magazine-(August-2017)-Stand against reform

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Current Development

Stand against reform

                                        - Indian Express Editorial

To shore up a bad argument, it is always a good idea to threaten vague but dire consequences for traditional institutions. The central government has reached for this lifeline in its affidavit filed in Delhi High Court, opposing the criminalisation of marital rape for fear of damaging the very institution of marriage. Its stand goes against the grain of recent progressive rulings like the affirmation of the Right to Privacy and the abolition of triple talaq, and recommendations of the Justice JS Verma committee in 2013. If the government has its way, a woman subjected to sexual violence within the fold of marriage can only seek civil relief through the 2005 Act protecting against domestic violence.

From the time of John Stuart Mill, Western democracies have grappled with the question of women’s sexual autonomy, without which equality is an empty shell. Many have taken the ethical choice. On women’s issues, as in the case of recognition granted by the Supreme Court in 2015 to live-in relationships for purposes of inheritance, conferring rights which even reformist Sweden does not offer, Indian courts and legislatures have often taken progressive positions. Now, however, the government is doing a disservice by impeding the momentum of reform in India. It vainly argued against privacy rights, it wants to keep marital rape off the statute books. It must recall Justice J.S. Verma’s recommendation of a separate bill of rights for women guaranteeing “complete sexual autonomy”.

Autonomy is the big legal question facing India, as the nation decides between a progressive culture of individual dignity and freedom, and a society regimented by traditional norms favouring powers conferred by birth and circumstance. The Delhi High Court is refereeing one skirmish in a larger battle. The contested point is dignity for women who are, by and large, the designated victims of sexual politics. Criminalising marital rape will not damage the institution of marriage, as the government fears. It will humanise it by purging it of its baser elements. The J.S. Verma committee had recommended the mandatory registration of all marriages before a magistrate, irrespective of the personal laws under which they were solemnised. Against the progressive tide of the times, the stand of the government on privacy and marital rape is simply unsustainable. To spare itself further embarrassment, it should seek better counsel.

(Source- The Indian Express)

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Current-Public-Administration-Magazine-(August-2017)-Privacy, dignity and Sexual Autonomy

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Right to Privacy

Privacy, dignity and Sexual Autonomy

                                        - By Apar Gupta

One of the lowest points in the history of the Indian Supreme Court has been when during the proclamation of Emergency, it refused to enforce fundamental rights. By its decision in ADM Jabalpur v. Shivakant Shukla the court agreed with the government to suspend fundamental rights thereby permitting it to hold people in detention, without any opportunity to move court. More importantly, it gave wide police powers to the government to pursue state interests at the cost of fundamental rights. This very tension between the government and the individual came into play in the right to privacy hearings which have delivered a historic judgement.

The right to privacy was a constitutionally accepted and applied right recognised by an interpretative device of the Supreme Court since 1975. Over the decades, more than 30 decisions of the apex court applied privacy as a bundle of rights that permitted liberty of thought and action. Some instances include safeguards against indiscriminate phone tapping, narco analysis and even bodily integrity. However, about two years ago, this was thrown into doubt when in the midst of the hearings of the Aadhaar case the government disputed the very basis of the right to privacy. To be fair, this was a technical argument that required an answer due to judicial propriety, though it lacked substantive merit. Yesterday, nine judges of the Supreme Court said in one voice and six judgements, that the right to privacy is inherent in our fundamental rights.

Lawyers will, over the next few weeks, spend substantial time debating its reasoning but there are a few noticeable features which are clearly evident. The constitutional right to privacy is no longer in any dispute and stands on firm ground. Its breadth is established over the entire chapter of fundamental rights, which include equality, free expression, right to life, religion. This also means the Aadhaar cases will now proceed for arguments on their merits which were gridlocked due to this pending decision. But this case goes far beyond Aadhaar and holds the promise of renewing the vitality of the complete spectrum of civil liberties. For instance, the judgement quite clearly establishes the link between privacy, dignity and sexual autonomy. In doing this, it undercuts the basis of another dark stain on the history of the court when three years ago in the Suresh Koushal v. Naz Foundation case, the court refused to strike down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. It is now only matter of time when the case will be formally overruled.

The basis of this is a key recognition of the nature of privacy being a natural right. The Supreme Court, by stating that the state does not bestow privacy, also has limited its ability to take it away. While recognising that even natural rights are subject to limitations, high thresholds are prescribed. This follows the reasoning of Justice H.R. Khanna in the ADM. Jabalpur case who wrote the sole dissent at a time when confronting the government with constitutionalism seemed impractical. Justice Khanna put his ascendance to the chair of the Chief Justice of India in peril by stating that the government of the day could not destroy fundamental rights. But losing against the majority he fashioned his dissent as an, “appeal to the brooding spirit of the law, to the intelligence of a future day”. This was an act of constitutional principle and judicial courage. Recognising his call, our Supreme Court has finally overruled ADM Jabalpur, but will our court assimilated the principles of constitutionalism?

Right To Privacy Is A Fundamental Right, Says SC

While the privacy judgement is a cause for celebration, its full benefit will only come when it is applied to actual state actions that undermine privacy. Adherence to constitutional principle is not an academic exercise, but requires a prompt protection of real rights and liberties. Judicial action should spring at moments when the state oversteps onto the citizen. Few would dispute that determinations on privacy would be of greater benefit when the Supreme Court protects us with foresight rather than retrospect.

It is necessary to recognise that the government has not only wagered the right to privacy in the Supreme Court but has taken various measures to threaten it. Hence, the true test of the privacy judgement will be in its subsequent application to state actions when it sets boundaries and provides safeguards. This includes the Aadhaar batch of decisions which have not been comprehensively heard for more than two years. If the Supreme Court has to truly secure liberty it has to overrule ADM Jabalpur both in practice and principle.

(Source- The Indian Express)

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