(Sample Material) UPSC IAS Mains GS Online Coaching : Paper 4 - "Probity In Governance (Part-1)"

Sample Material of Our IAS Mains GS Online Coaching Programme

Subject: General Studies (Paper 4 - Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude)

Topic: Probity in Governance (Part-1)


Philosophical basis of governance

Governance relates to the management of all such processes that, in any society, define the environment which permits and enables individuals to raise their capability levels on the one hand, and provide opportunities to realize their potential and enlarge the set of available choices, on the other. These processes, covering the political, social and economic aspects of life impact every level of human enterprise, be it the individual, the household, the village, the region or the nation. It covers the State, civil society and the market, each of which is critical for sustaining human development.

The State is responsible for creating a conducive political, legal and economic environment for building individual capabilities and encouraging private initiative.’ The concept of “governance” is not new. It is as old as human civilization. Kautilya in his treatise Arthashastra elaborated the traits of the king of a well governed State thus: “in the happiness of his subjects lies his happiness, in their welfare his welfare, whatever pleases himself, he does not consider as good, but whatever pleases his subjects he considers as good”. Mahatma Gandhi had propounded the concept of’Swaraj’. Since governance is the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented, an analysis of governance focuses on the formal and informal actors involved in decision-making and implementing the decisions made and the formal and informal structures that have been set in place to arrive at and implement the decision.

Philosophy of Governance

Alter Independence, the well arc and development content of the administration has become very prominent. It might be said that this content is predominant over the law and order and regulatory content. It does not that during the British rule the development and welfare aspect did not exist at all. It was there, but it was subordinate to the chief motivation of the foreigners to rule over this country and its people. Railways, posts and telegraph, highways, canals, ports, banking and insurance, capital cities, were set up; a foundation was laid for the future development of country’s economy.

“We, the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic and to secure to all its citizens: Justice, social, economic and political; Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; Equality of status and of opportunity, and to promote among them all: Fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation; In our constituent Assembly this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do hereby adopt, enact and give to ourselves this constitution.”

Preamble sets out the ssstcm of government and its objectives, the ideas and values. It is the responsibility of the administration to enforce the constitution, and to create an environment in which the application of the ideals enshrined in the Preamble may be possible. The Preamble of the Constitution seeks to secure to all citizens social and economic justice and equality of status and of opportunity. These objectives are further elaborated in Part IV of the Constitution which deals with Directive Principles of the state policy. These principles give guidance to the government in making laws and administering them. Thus, the following are the most important among these Directive Principles.

The State is to strive to minimise the inequalities in income and to eliminate inequalities in status, facilities and opportunities among individuals and groups territorial and vocational. Both men and women have an equal right Hi an adequate means of livelihood. Equal pay for equal work is another Directive given by the Constitution. The moral and material health of children and youth is protected. Equal justice and free legal aid are assured. Within the limits of the economic capacity and development of the state, the right to work, education and public assistance in old age, unemployment, etc., is secured. Humane conditions of work and maternity relief are provided for. A living wage and a decent standard of life would be sought to be attained. Workers’ participation in industrial management would be promoted. Free and compulsory education for children up to the age of 14 years would be provided. The welfare of the scheduled caste and scheduled tribes and other weaker sections would be advanced.

Parliamentary Democracy: In a parliamentary system of government the executive is responsible to the Parliament and not to the President. It creates a strong centre and vesis the constituent and residual powers of legislation in central legislature called Parliament. In the Parliamentary system of government, the executive and legislature are not independent of each other, instead the executive is a part of the legislature an4 therefore, unlike in a presidential system, conflicts are less likely to arise between them.

• Federalism : In a federal state, there are two governments -the national or federal government and the governments of the component states. A federal state is a fusion of several states into a single state in regard to mattes affecting common interests, while each state enjoys Autonomy in regard to other matters. The states are not agents of federal government but both the federal government and the state governments draw their authority from the Constitution. The states do not have a right to secede from the federation. A federal state derives its existence from the Constitution. Every power - executive, legislative or judicial, whether it belongs to the federation or to the component states, is subordinate to and controlled by the Constitution. Courts have the final power to interpret the Constitution and nullify any action on the part of the federal and state governments or their different organs which violate the provisions of the Constitution. Another important feature of a federal state is that there is a division of powers between the federal government and the governments of the componentsstates. All these features are present in the Indian political system.

• Fundamental Rights: The constitution guarantees the fundamental rights to Indian citizens. They are contained in part III of the constitution from articles 12 to 35. The trainers of the constitution drive inspiration from the constitution of USA in this regard. The Parliament can repeal or curtail these rights only by amending the constitution in accordance with the procedures mentioned in the constitution itself. The Supreme Court is also made responsible for the protection these rights i.e. the aggrieved person can directly go to Supreme Court for the enforcement of these rights. Though these rights are justifiable they are not absolute and hence the government can impose reasonable restrictions on them. However, whether such restrictions are reasonable or not is to be decided by the Courts.  % Fundamental Duties: These Fundamental Duties were added by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment of 1976. There are 11 duties which are specified in the article 51A of part 4A of the constitution. Like the Directive Principles these are also non-justifiable. The constitution does not provide for their directive enforcement. Moreover, there is no legal sanction against their violation.

Government is one of the actors in governance. Other actors involved in governance vary depending on the level of government that is under discussion. In rural areas, for example, other actors may include influential land lords, associations of peasant farmers, cooperatives, NGOs, research institutes, religious leaders, finance institutions political parties, the military etc. The situation in urban areas is much more complex. At the national level, in addition to the above actors, media, lobbyists, international donors, multi­national corporations, etc. may play a role in decision-making or in influencing the decision-making process.

Functions of Government

Self preservation The authority of the Sink’ needs lobe preserved both from external aggression and internal disturbances. Government discharges this function by raising and maintaining a national army, a police force and other enforcement agencies and empowering these agencies through legislations Supervision and resolution of conflicts - Strengthening of democratic practices and processes, ensuring equity to all citizens, selliiiL’ up ol conflict resolution mechanisms and fair governance are some ways for minimi/aiion of conflicts.

Socio-economic development Enactment and effective enforcement of laws, assuring welfare of the weaker sections, bringing about desirable social change arc some measures which governments adopl to bring about socio economic development.

Regulation of the economy  - is has emerged as one of the most important functions of government. Adopting sound fiscal and monetary policies is one of the major duties of a government. Provision of goods and services- With increasing emphasis on socio-economic development, governments today are major providers of different types of goods and services such as education, health, public distribution of food grains etc.

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