Current Public Administration Magazine (JANUARY 2020)

Sample Material of Current Public Administration Magazine

1. Accountability and Control

Swachh Bharat Mission

The proverb “the proof of the pudding is in the eating” perfectly summarises this government’s delivery first approach to governance — the policy of implementation. Governments have always focused on designing the right policies and development schemes. However, over the years, many such well-designed schemes failed to make a significant dent on the lack of access to basic services that a large proportion of our population faced. While the focus on design and policy architecture may have been well meaning, there may not have been a strong enough focus on ensuring that these policies translate to effective implementation on the ground.

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2. Indian Government and Politics

Indian Secularists Debate

India’s constitutional commitment to secularism is under serious threat. This is not just because the BJP government, riding its strong electoral mandate, appears determined to undermine India’s secular ethos. More fundamentally, it is because popular scepticism of secularism has grown substantially in the last few years. In my recent travels across India, covering places as diverse as Amritsar and Goa, Ladakh and Hyderabad, and Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai, I have been struck by the fact that the recent flurry of perceived anti-Muslim measures — revoking Article 370 and downgrading Kashmir to a Union Territory, the triple talaq ban, the Supreme Court verdict on Ayodhya, and now the CAA/NRC — are seen as a good thing not only by Hindutva diehards but increasingly by the “moderate middle”.

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3. Significant Issues in Indian Administration

State and Society

As I reflect on the decade that has just ended, and the year ahead, three thoughts cross my mind. First, most of the issues that are at the front and centre of this government’s policy agenda have also been on the previous government’s priority list for years. Irrespective of the acronym defining the politics of the government or the personalities in charge, the needle of change has hardly moved on these issues. Second, there are multiple reasons for this policy statis but the one that is relevant for all governments is the steady erosion of the institutional underpinnings of governance and the resultant concentration of power in the hands of extra constitutional authorities and individuals. Decisions have been held in abeyance because of the blurring of the lines of responsibility and accountability and the lack of clarity on where power truly resides.

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4. Current Topic

Eradicate Tuberculosis by 2025

At the End TB Summit, 2018, the prime minister of India made a bold commitment to end tuberculosis by 2025 — five years ahead of the global target. To many, this goal may seem unattainable, but as someone who has worked at the grass roots all his life and had the privilege to dream of a polio-free India — and work for it for almost two decades — I believe it is possible, if we come together as a country to fight TB the way we did for polio. India still has the highest TB burden in the world and despite the disease being fully curable, people still die from it. TB usually affects people in their most productive years and drives families into debt. It has a direct link to human suffering, discrimination and also poverty. Due to its infectious spread, it directly affects our economic growth as well. But, with resilience, sufficient investment, innovative approaches and strategies and the participation of all stakeholders, TB can be defeated.

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5. Financial Administration

Tax Reductions and Increasing Rural Spending

The first advance estimate pegs India’s economic growth at 5 per cent in 2019-20 — the slowest since the global financial crisis of 2008. While one may quibble over whether the actual print may be lower or higher, the cause of the slowdown can be attributed to subdued private consumption and investment activity. And given the current trend of high frequency indicators, not much upside to growth is expected. The slowdown can be attributed largely to a structural demand problem in the economy
along with some cyclical factors. Despite largely stagnant incomes, private consumption, which is the largest driver of growth, has been financed over the past few years through progressively lower savings, easy credit, and certain one-offs such as the Seventh Pay Commission led payouts.

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