(Sample Material) Gist of Important Articles from IIPA
Topic: Some Perspectives on Governance for
Development B.G. Deshmukh
PERSPECTIVES ON DEVELOPMENT AND GOVERNANCE
When we selected the approach of planed economy it was just a
beginning. In the next two decades or so, the impact of technology was
understood a little better. Basic ideas on managing technology and the link with
‘development’ became clear. This was a time for Indian thought leaders to
reflect and create something that suited the demands of changing times. But
unfortunately, we preferred not to let go the comfort in the belief that time
may solve part of the problems, justifying a need for and the wisdom in setting
our own pace.
Perspective on Innovations
Instead of being innovative like our leaders we waited for
too long to follow the rest of eth world that was engaged in copying with their
problems. This made us defensive, sometimes judgmental and look for perfection.
In the process what we missed was the time when we should have experimented
ingenuously to create something unique for ourselves when that potential and the
time were abundantly available. We lost out of being the leader in this domain.
We also lost out on trusting our people to help us generate solutions bottom up.
Instead polices were pushed down level experimental! So, the second perspective
would be to recognise the importance of innovation, to encourage initiative and
the curiosity, to experiment with some freedom and with trust in people to
evolve workable modes of action as the basis for policy.
Perspective on International Outlook
India has given to the rest of the world innovations such as
Satragraha. Ahimsa, Sarvodya, Punchayatiraj and score of other methods that had
their roots deeply entrenched in certain human values. In a society that was
increasingly burdened with technological choices, there was need for a fuller
understanding of the implication of a maintaining peace and highlighting the
importance of security as preconditions for development. To the Western
community the world was had created enough learning on cross-cultural teamwork
to generate global solutions to the crisis at that time. And yet most of these
communities went back into a preoccupation and an internal process of ‘nation
building’. This time we may have come a little away from the earlier propensity
of geographical ‘domination’ or ‘conquest’, but certainly it led to a more
ideological and other forms of divide, making the process competitive and
non-secular rather than promote a true global vision. Sooner than later than we
were locked in a cold war between nations who were allies! The third perspective
would be to look at India’s environment will influence national and
international affairs of various countries an balance their community’s
intrinsic self-interest or ideology with universal claims of life and stress on
collaboration conductive to governance for development.
India still holds the possibility to make this contribution
to coming with globalisation, as if people and our values really matter. The
formation of the SAARC can the recent proposal on an Asian economic coalition
will have to be seen in this spirit.
Perspective on Governance for Development
The fourth step on building perspectives on governance for
development would be to give ‘human well-being’ its pride of place. And
excessive focus on service delivery of materials or tangibles ignored and
downplayed the human touch required to go with every other progress indicator.
Apart from the paucity of good human development indicators at the time, we
continued far too long supporting the view that progress is just access to goods
and services. It was not only unsustainable but created a rush for goods and
services. It was not only unsustainable but created a rush for imbalanced
consumption. The Planning Commission that own the process for deploying the
human development index could have created a multiple level collaboration with
Department of Human Resources, Industries Agriculture, Education, Health, Labour
and so on only for government but to encourage the adoption of similar ‘codes of
conduct’ for other stakeholders in development like business, industry and civil
society institutions to evolve their won approaches and measures to make their
specific statement on how each sector and component of the economy is ultimately
improving the quality of life as a whole.
Perspective on Environment and Ecology
Since the Bhopal gas task, India has become certainly more
sensitive to environmental concerns. The signing of the Kyoto Protocol is also a
proactive step besides the reforms in environmental and safety regulations. But
to shift clearly into the core domains of development would requires us to
become more self-regulated than regulated. Management of environmental impact of
our activity not only in terms of fauna and flora but also in terms of deeper
sense of bio-diversity restoration and rehabilitation of affected people is
central to the process of governance.
Although we have a long tradition of coexisting with nature
in harmony, the solutions for our time may not entirely be found in history or
mythology. We will have to evolve at least some of them through experimentation
and replication coupled with intense participation of the people. Evolving
developmental alternatives in self-regulation on environmental issues would be
another important thrust area.
Perspective on Leadership in Governance
It is quite common to make a wish Liston issues related to
law and order, honest and effective administration; transparent and accountable
public spending; and a host of other aspects of responsible service delivery.
While these are admittedly preconditions for better governance the need for
acceleration, precaution and prevention are often understand. This has bedeviled
our coping mechanisms for accelerated change and weakened our voice in the
global context. While regulation and the law have to play a major role in a long
time to come, adoption of scientific models and systematic approaches to become
proactive and prevent some wrong-dong or avert a disaster is the need of the
hour. Drunken driving our just over speeding could be a traffic offence as
serious as a bone-feature suffered by an accident victim to make it is
cognizable offence! The process of governance and leadership must focus on
building technical and social capability to foresee, expect and remove obstructs
to good governance and leadership must focus on building technical and social
capability of foresee, expect and remove obstacles to good governance. This
perspective would have to be generated through a process of trial and error
using participatory mechanisms, diverse forms of inclusion, various modes of
collaboration and reconciliation where a practice on ‘conflict resolution’ set
in as a way of life. The panchayat and ward samithis would be ready platforms to
enable these processes of maturation in governance by first resolving everyday
problems. What is desperately necessary is a perspective that will shift gears
into anticipatory behaviour that is conductive to governance the post-mortem
mindset of the rule ship.
Perspective on Assurance Approach
It is a well-accepted view today that government must lay the
role of a ‘facilitation’ and not so much as the ‘doer’. Having said that, it is
imperative to build certain distinct capacities and skills that would make
government departments respond to the new demand. One such capacity is the one
which trains institutions and its people to provide assurance. No matter who
produces the goods and services under the private and non-governmental sectors,
what is needed is the concept and procedure to deliver ‘assurance’ rather than
our outdated modes of ‘regulation’. Government continues to play the role of a
custodian of social justice but through a new mechanism of ‘assuring’ its people
that system, processes and trained people are positioned in a credible and
responsible design to deliver predefined outcomes. Building on traditional ideas
of ‘accountability’ and ‘auditability’ the ‘assurance’ approach is a paradigm
shift in creating a high degree of maturity in process and system of enhance
This is not entirely new to us. The Federal Department of
Commerce of the United States of America innovated the Malcolm Baldrige Award of
Business Excellence that greatly contributed to the turnaround in their economy.
This is an inspiring example for governments all over the world to take the lead
to build ‘assurance models’ for various developmental sectors of the economy
rather than create webs of regulation. Among some important perspectives at the
level of administrative reform, the deployment of e-governance is an important
step as it is not only enables technology to accelerate transactions, but it
creates an opportunity to day away with a number of outdated mechanism based on
centralised control and usher in empowerment of the local authority to serve
common citizens more directly.
Over a period of time it will assist in creating a high-trust
society where inter-dependent agencies and system in place of people can
function with considerable integrity all within the fold of issues that
strengthen good governance in a paper-free environment of our times.