Current Public Administration Magazine (APRIL 2019)

Sample Material of Current Public Administration Magazine

1. Accountability and Control

Gap Between Expectations and Realisation

For decades, issues like deepening democracy dominated the global discourse on democracy. But sadly, the reasons behind the inherent limitations of democracy in the context of its ability to deliver rarely got the attention they merit.

The gap between reasonable popular expectations from democratic governance and the actual performance of elected governments seems to be ever widening. Largely, people get disenchanted with elected politicians as they realise that the capacity of democratic governments to deal with many of the enduring challenges — from overcoming social and economic inequality to controlling pollution — is woefully short. This underscores the fact that all is not well within the old and established democracies.

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2. Indian Government and Politics

Women’s Reservation Bill

Political parties have once again promised to pass the Women’s Reservation Bill in their manifestos. However, with the release of each party’s candidates’ list, one can’t help but notice the lack of women candidates fielded by the national parties. As of April 3, 2019, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party have given tickets to women on 13.7 per cent and 12 per cent seats respectively. Notably, regional parties outdid these national parties, with Trinamool Congress fielding women in more than 40 per cent seats and the Biju Janata Dal followed close with 33.3 per cent seats for women.

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3. Indian Administration

State Financing of Poll Funding

In just 28 days since the announcement of the general election, the Election Commission (EC) has seized cash, drugs, alcohol, precious metals and other items worth Rs 1,800 crore. Compare this to the legal upper limit of expenditure per candidate — Rs 70 lakh. Simple arithmetic would show that the seized amount can fully finance up to five candidates from each of the 543 constituencies. The amount seized is just the tip of the iceberg. The expenditure in any election is estimated to be several times the legal upper limit.

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4. Social Administration

Ambedkar’s Ideas of Social Justice

B R AMBEDKAR is rightly regarded as the principal architect of our Constitution. In the course of his labours, he studied the constitutions of several countries and worked tirelessly.

Ambedkar believed that unless the moral values of a constitution are upheld, the grandiloquent words in it will not protect the freedom and democratic values of the people. Ambedkar also attached great importance to constitutional morality in the working of the Constitution: He explained this — by referring to Grote, the Greek historian — as paramount reverence for the forms of the Constitution, enforcing obedience to authority acting under and within these forms yet combined with the habit of open speech, of action subject only to definite legal control.

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5. Current Topic

Google Example

Consider this: An external advisory council, the Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC) — essentially an ethics council to guide new technologies — set up by Google in the last week of March, being disbanded in the first week of April, within less than a fortnight. However, one wants to play it, this was a major goof up by the company — a failure of conception, planning and execution. Google could have avoided this huge embarrassment if they had only googled to find out what lay ahead. But to do so, one must know what questions to ask. Even they seemed to have asked the wrong questions.

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