Current Public Administration Magazine (FEBRUARY 2021)

Sample Material of Current Public Administration Magazine

1. Accountability and Responsibility

  • Why Opposition must not only oppose

For anyone who cares about Indian democracy, the most important priority right now should be to restore political contestation for the power of the Indian state. Ultimately, what matters for the preservation of democracy is the distribution of power among competing factions — not the ideological or moral purity of the stakeholders. It is this political contestation that provides the context, backing and pressure for institutions of democracy to function as a countervailing power to the executive and thus allow multiple voices and narratives to coexist. It‘s not that the constitutional framework and moral rectitude are irrelevant, but institutions of democracy work only when political power is factionalised; else they are captured, overruled, bypassed or undermined. 

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2. Indian Government and Politics

  • Across the aisle: Coalitions are collaborations

There was a time when an idea or an ideology was a strong bond that brought together people from different states, speaking different languages, professing different faiths, born in different castes and belonging to different economic classes of society. Political parties were founded on the basis of an idea or an ideology. The foremost example in India is the Indian National Congress started in 1885.

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3. Social Administration

  • Gender Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic‘s role in amplifying gender inequality has exacerbated one of the toughest challenges to the India story. Women are being pushed out of the workforce at an alarming rate, as several economic surveys and a special series of reports in this newspaper have highlighted. Women‘s labour participation rate in India was worryingly low to start with. But the economic blow of the pandemic has fallen disproportionately hard on women, with the female labour participation rate falling from around 11 per cent between mid-2018 and early 2020 to 9 per cent, according to data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). By November 2020, 49 per cent of total job losses were of women, who were already present in fewer numbers in the workforce. Again, while India was an outlier in the distressingly low levels of female urban workforce participation, the devastation of service sectors and the textile industry, which tend to employ more women, has battered urban women incomes. 

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4. Current Topic

  • Lateral Entry: A challenging administrative reform

The lack of administrative reform in India has frustrated many stakeholders for a long time. Occasionally, it finds a voice at the highest levels, most recently when, during a speech in Parliament, Prime Minister Modi complained about the overreach of the elite IAS cadre. Unsurprisingly, one of the key focus areas of such reform is enabling lateral entry into an otherwise ―permanent‖ system of administrators. But the success of lateral entry hinges entirely on how it is designed. 

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5. Indian Administration

  • The Election Commission of India was built on public trust

On March 15, the Citizens‘ Commission on Elections (CCE), chaired by retired Supreme Court judge Madan B Lokur, which examines critical aspects of conducting elections, released the second part of its report. Titled ―An Inquiry into India‘s Election System,‖ the report evaluated the integrity and inclusiveness of the electoral rolls, increasing criminalisation, the use of financial power to create an economic oligarchy, compliance with the model code of conduct, the role of media, particularly social media and the overall electoral process. 

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