Current Public Administration Magazine (MAY 2018)


Sample Material of Current Public Administration Magazine

1. Indian Government and Politics

::Coalition Country::

Years ago, the late Ravinder Kumar, then Director of the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, defined India as a civilisation-state, rather than a nation-state, because of its capacity to amalgamate into one coherent whole a large number of cultural influences. This approach — articulated by an historian in a longue durée perspective — has a clear political implication: India is also a coalition-state.

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2. Administration of Union Territory


Delhi, our national capital, is an embodiment of the entire nation. Hailed often as a city of immigrants, lakhs of citizens from all parts of the country make Delhi their home every year. The single reason that draws them to the city is hope. Hope for a better future for themselves and the city they call home. Naturally, they expect the best from themselves as well as their elected government. It was this spirit that gave birth to the historic anti-corruption movement in 2011, culminating in an unprecedented mandate of 67 out of 70 seats for the Aam Aadmi Party in the 2015 Delhi Assembly elections. This fact alone speaks volumes of the resentment among the people of the city with Delhi’s governance woes and their yearning for a better tomorrow — better schools, healthcare, water supply, electricity, transport, environment, safety and above all else, a government that is honest and accountable to them.

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3. Personnel Administration

::More Open, Merrier::

The Centre’s decision to make possible “lateral entry” of “talented and motivated Indian nationals” into the senior levels of the bureaucracy is a much-needed reform. In an advertisement issued on Sunday, the Department of Personnel and Training invited applications from outstanding individuals, including those from the private sector, for appointment to joint secretary-level posts. Although it is an initial offering of 10 posts in areas such as financial services, agriculture, environment, renewable energy, transport and revenue, the move could be a significant step towards fulfilling the longstanding need for domain specialists in positions crucial to policy-making and implementation of government schemes.

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4. Social Administration

::The Numbers Lie::

That manual scavenging is banned by law in the country and state agencies are bound to act against its prevalence could be the reason why every official count of those engaged in the activity is low. Though a recent inter-ministerial task force has estimated 53,000 manual scavengers in 12 states, four times more than an official count from 2017, the real numbers could be much more than that. As this newspaper reported on Friday, the methodology used to survey the workers, the various exclusions, especially of workers in urban areas, and rampant under-reporting by state agencies could be the reason for the relatively small numbers.

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5. Current Development

::Steel frame, more flexible::

Every year with the onset of summer, thousands of villages across Maharashtra struggle to obtain drinking water. Temporary solutions include waiting for water tankers, buying expensive “jar” water or relocation. The immediate reason for this is the failure of an important public good — the public water supply system. Other development sectors also face a similar affliction, for example, severe malnutrition in tribal areas despite the presence of anganwadis or an inefficient public transport service. The obvious questions are: Who is responsible? And what is to be done?

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