Public Administration Mains 2018 :
Solved Paper Question Paper-2 (Question-8)
Q8. a. "Effective public grievance redressal requires
administrative commitment. But process reengineering can help prevent some
grievances.” Discuss. (Civil Services)
ANSWER: ONLY FOR PAID MEMBERS
b.“Institutional change is a necessary but not a
sufficient condition for reducing criminalisation of politics." Examine. (Law
and Order Administration)
ANSWER: ONLY FOR PAID MEMBERS
c. "The disempowerment and depoliticisation of urban local
government has happened in multiple ways.” Comment. (Urban Local Government)
ANSWER: The disempowerment and depoliticisation of urban local government
has happened in multiple ways. The “implementation failure” narrative tends to
focus on how local governments are financially constrained and do not have the
administrative capacity to carry out its functions. It is also important to
explore how urban local governments are actively disempowered and depoliticised
as an institution.
The disempowerment and depoliticisation has happened in multiple ways.
- Elected representatives at the city-level are rendered powerless by
making them subservient to the State government. In most municipal
corporations, while the mayor is the ceremonial head, the executive powers
of the corporation are vested with the State government-appointed
commissioner. This disjuncture in municipal governance has been exploited by
State governments to ensure that no city-level politician challenges their
control over a city.
- Municipal corporations are further denied their political role by the
continued operation of various parastatal agencies created by the State
government. These agencies, which function with a certain autonomy, are
accountable only to the State government, not the local government. Even
urban planning and land-use regulation (globally a quintessential local
government function) is with State government-controlled development
- Even for performing functions that are within its purview (such as
levying local taxes or undertaking civic projects above a certain budget)
the local government requires State government permissions. Hence,
municipalities are not yet autonomous units that can be genuinely called as
the “third tier” of government in India’s federal system. Even after the
73rd and 74th Amendments, India has effectively only two levels of
government — Union and State.
- The functions listed under the 12th Schedule — which a State government
is expected to devolve to the local government — do not include essential
civic issues such as urban transportation, housing or urban commons.
- The 74th Amendment also contains an industrial township exception
whereby a municipality need not be constituted in areas which are declared
as industrial townships. These provisions have been employed by State
governments to keep local governments weak.
- In fact, civil society’s fixation with nominating its members into ward
committees can further depoliticise local governments and make them captive
to the interests of certain elite resident welfare associations. Instead of
distrusting them, we must acknowledge that local governments are inherently
political spaces where multiple interests compete.