(Sample Material) Gist of IIPA Journal: Some Perspectives on Governance for Development B.G. Deshmukh

(Sample Material) Gist of Important Articles from IIPA Journal

Topic: Some Perspectives on Governance for Development B.G. Deshmukh


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 institutional response.

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.

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