SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [14th December 2017]- Day 19
1. The concept of good governance is linked with the citizens’ right of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. This could be secured in a democracy only through the rule of law. Comment.
- The concept of good governance
- How rule of law can secure good governance
The concept of good governance:
Good governance starts from a recognition that the nation, institution or enterprise is operated for the benefit of others, with an obligation of accountability. Governments, bureaucracy, the executive arm of government, and civil society, all behaving under the rule of law.
Good Governance has a very dynamic aspect is the present forms of government in the world. But the common purpose of all those systems is to provide the right of life, liberty, and happiness to its citizen.
Securing good governance through rule of law:
The concept of good governance is undoubtedly linked with the citizens’ right of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. This could be secured in a democracy only through the rule of law.
Securing liberty– The rule of law is expressed through the axiom that no one is above the law. Under the rule ‘of’ law no one is above the law not even the government. It is under this framework that rule of law not only guarantees the liberty of the citizens but it also limits the arbitrariness of the government and thereby it makes government more articulate in decision-making.
Securing right to life– In our constitutional system, every person is entitled to equality before law and equal protection under the law. No person can be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law. Thus, the state is bound to protect the life and liberty of every human being.
In the majority opinion in Keshvananda Bharti vs State of Kerala that “rule of law” and “democracy” were declared as the basic structures of the Indian constitution not amenable to the amendment process under article 368 of the constitution.
Rule is through laws, and laws shall abide itself to basic structure of constitution and uphold fundamental rights of citizens. Eg. Article 21 – Right to Life, RTE Act, National Food Security Act etc
The pursuit of happiness is the end result of good governance and surely can be achieved if liberty and right to life are secured through rule of law.
Further, In a country like India where there is a huge diversity, the rule of law is the best way to ensure right of life for all.
The fundamental purpose of any Government or public authority should be maximizing the welfare of its citizens. Good governance is a tool which ensures that authority is executed with due respect to law, institutions, people’s rights and aspirations and all other associated stakeholders. Thus, ultimately it can be concluded that ‘rule of law’ is a fundamental criterion in any polity which works towards upholding citizen’s right of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. But apart from rule of law it should be ensured that justice is secured and there isefficient delivery of services.
Best answer: No answer
Q2. The principal feature of the scheme of effective delivery of services needs to be seen in the context of the fact that demands have to flow from the bottom up and not the top down. Elucidate.
- In your introduction try to answer why the top-down approach has failed
- Then in the body, you should mention the benefits of a bottom-up approach along with pertinent examples
- Lastly mention how the government is shifting towards a decentralized approach
- Conclusion should include a recent initiative along with an optimistic tone
Effective service delivery of any welfare scheme depends on the accurate assessment of demand and identification of beneficiaries. In this regard, the ‘one-size-fits-all’ top-down approach adopted by India since independence failed to produce desired outcomes.
The trickle-down theory proved ineffective in improving the social indicators (such as poverty) as seen in India’s poor rank in UNDP’s Human Development Index. Hence, the policy makers suggested a shift towards a bottom-up approach to better account for the regional and developmental inequalities and demands of various states.
The recent shift towards bottom up approach holds the following benefits:
- Identification of real beneficiaries – for e.g. PM Gramin Awas Yojana uses data from the Gram Sabha level
- Targeted delivery – such as in Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme
- Reduction on leakages and corruption – for e.g. social audit of government schemes
- Better implementation at the ground level – for e.g. SMS-enabled PDS system in Chhattisgarh
- Inclusive and regionally balanced growth – for e.g. different literacy levels of Kerala and Bihar require unique approaches instead of a common centrally sponsored scheme
Starting from the 73rd and 74th amendments to the recent GST Council reflects the shift towards a bottom up planning approach. It has been felt that states need to be made equal stakeholders in national development. Decision making should be decentralized to the grass root level to make Indian democracy truly participative – which is the hallmark of good governance.
Thus, cooperative federalism as emphasized by NITI Aayog is the best way forward to improve service delivery and efficient resource mobilization.
3. For the success of e-governance and superior service delivery, it is imperative that the government agency focuses on overall citizen experience. Comment.
In Introduction, define what e-governance is and why it was started. In body, you need to make it into two parts, first part is benefits of e-governance and problems to make it reach citizens and second part how to make it citizen centric. Most of the people have not understood question properly here.
Introduction: E-governance refers to application of Information and communication technology (ICT) for delivering government services, exchange of information, communications between government to citizens and business. It was initiated to deliver superior services at affordable and faster time.
Points to be covered:
Benefits of E-governance:
- Transparency and accountability.
- Faster service delivery.
- Corruption elimination.
- Increased participation of people.
For its success, it should be made citizen centric but there are issues with making citizens adapt to it because:
- Digital literacy and language.
- Inequality in access i.e. Urban and Rural divide.
- Portability, maintenance, necessary infrastructure.
- Privacy and security.
- Multiservice interactions.
How to make it citizen centric and enhance their experience:
- Provision for Local Language.
- Improving Digital literacy via kiosk training, awareness etc.
- Proper infrastructure, using of solar to power system for 24 hours energy supply among others.
- Local level adaptability of services.
Note: Points are listed out. Total answer should consist of 8 to 10 points. Explain each point for a line or two.
National E-government Mission was initiated by central government to make all government service available to citizens via electronic mission and the project is under mission mode completion. Also many other programs like Digital India, PRAGATI, E-citizen Charter are other programs to enhance e-governance and superior service delivery by government.
Connecting the dots:
- Digital India.
- National E-governance mission.
Best Answer: No best Answer.
4. What is digital divide? Why is it an impediment to e-governance initiatives? Illustrate with the help of suitable examples. Also suggest measures to bridge the digital divide.
The question is direct with four parts. The problem with such answers is that, most of the candidates know the correct answer but they are not able to keep their answer under the word limit. In short, it is a trap. Try to finish such answers in 200 words.
The Digital Divide, or the digital split, is a social issue referring to the differing amount of information between those who have access to the Internet (specially broadband access) and those who do not have access. The term became popular among concerned parties, such as scholars, policy makers, and advocacy groups, in the late 1990s.
Dimensions of the Divide
Broadly speaking, the difference is not necessarily determined by the access to the Internet, but by access to ICT (Information and Communications Technologies) and to Media that the different segments of society can use. With regards to the Internet, the access is only one aspect, other factors such as the quality of connection and related services should be considered. Today the most discussed issue is the availability of the access at an affordable cost and quality.
The problem is often discussed in an international context, indicating certain countries are far more equipped than other developing countries to exploit the benefits from the rapidly expanding Internet.
The digital divide is not indeed a clear single gap which divides a society into two groups. Researchers report that disadvantage can take such forms as lower-performance computers, lower-quality or high price connections (i.e. narrowband or dialup connection), difficulty of obtaining technical assistance, and lower access to subscription-based contents.
Note: Following section is not required in the answer. It is there for your information.
There are a variety of arguments regarding why closing the digital divide is important. The major arguments are the following:
- Economic equality
Some think that the access to the Internet is a basic component of civil life that some developed countries aim to guarantee for their citizens. Telephone is often considered important for security reasons. Health, criminal, and other types of emergencies might indeed be handled better if the person in trouble has an access to the telephone. Another important fact seems to be that much vital information for people’s career, civic life, safety, etc. are increasingly provided via the Internet. Even social welfare services are sometimes administered and offered electronically.
- Social mobility
Some believe that computer and computer networks play an increasingly important role in their learning and career, so that education should include that of computing and use of the Internet. Without such offerings, the existing digital divide works unfairly to the children in the lower socioeconomic status. In order to provide equal opportunities, governments might offer some form of support.
Some think that the use of the Internet would lead to a healthier democracy in one way or another. Among the most ambitious visions are that of increased public participation in elections and decision making processes.
- Economic growth
Some think that the development of information infrastructure and active use of it would be a shortcut to economic growth for less developed nations. Information technologies in general tend to be associated with productivity improvements. The exploitation of the latest technologies may give industries of certain countries a competitive advantage.
Challenges of e – governance
1.Trust: It is the emerging challenges of e – governance. Trust can be defined regarding users of new software and trust of the govt.former aspect implies that users of any type of software or technology must be confident, comfortable and trusting of it. Another very important aspect related to trust of govt. Nowadays, citizens using e – governance services, trusting the innovations of e – governance to some extent. Furthermore, there might be some fraudulent activities done by any other entity for the sake of finance,valuable info and even about personal information, etc. Besides, in govt. offices, dept. valuable info sometimes left out or missed; it definitely erodes trust about e – governance among all classes citizens of the economy
- Digital divide: Even in the era of science and technology, there is still huge gap exists between users and nonusers of e – govt. services. In fact, in India, majority of the masses, who living below poverty line and they deprived of govt. services. In contrast, some portion of people is immensely using the e – services of government. However, this gap needs to be made narrow, then only, the benefits of e – governance would be utilized equally.
- Cost: One of the difficult tasks of the govt. is to spend on implementation of e -governance initiatives to which govt. has to bear huge cost. Few other developed countries UK and Singapore spending 1% of GDP and 0.8% of GDP respectively. India spending only 3% of GDP, indeed, govt. should motivate the officials, administrators and common people using services of e – governance subject to conscious use of public finance on these types of projects.
- Privacy and Security: It is one of the critical challenges of e – governance.
Financial services, medical services and personal information are to be protected with security, and then only, there will be number of people trusting of it. Therefore, implementation of e – governance projects must have security standard and protocols for safeguarding the interest of all classes of masses; otherwise, citizens will lose trust and confidentiality of e – governance.
- Infrastructure: It is essentially required for implementation of e – governance as much as possible in India.
Electricity, internet and poor adaptability of technology will retard the progress of e – governance. In the context of developing countries, there should be enough basic facilities in order to give impetus to e – governance.
Note: The above points are general challenges of e – governance. Following points are the challenges because of Digital divide:
- Development won’t be inclusive as only 10% population is digitally literate.
- Gender divide as very less number of women are digitally literate as compared to men.
- Reluctance to get adapted to new technology is making it difficult for a large population is avail the government services.
- Most of the jobs created from digital revolution are in the service sector. These jobs are not tapped by people living in rural areas.
- e – governance as an idea is very good, but its practicality is curtailed because of digital divide.
- Most of the people, especially in rural areas, are literate in their vernacular language, while most of the content available on internet is in English.
You can add more relevant points to this.
Measures to bridge digital divide:
- Schemes to instill confidence in people and create awareness about use of new technology
- Workshops to train people in rural areas you use ICT.
- Creating proper infrastructure like communication towers, digital networks as well as providing low cost equipments to economically weaker sections.
- Benefits should be provided by the government to attract people to use ICT.
- Instructions should be provided in local languages so that it becomes easier for the people to adapt to new technology.
To implement above measures several government schemes are going on like DISHA, Digital India, CPGRAMS, Bharatnet, BHIM, UPI etc.
Best Answer: Akshat Dwivedi
Q.5) Innovative models for tracking government programs and disseminating this information to citizens is imperative to strengthen public accountability. Discuss.
Addressing governance issues is important because whichever silo you look in, be it education, sanitation, food or health, you would eventually hit the governance deficit. Good governance holds transparency, accountability, accessibility and public participation as its pillars. Though many policies are initiated to promote socio economic and political development of citizens, the reachability and response to those policies determine the citizen centricity and public accountability.
Aim of innovative models in governance:
An innovative models should be aimed at strengthening transparency in India’s public management system and fostering greater engagement between citizens and government. Using government reported data, the people should be able to analyse trends in allocations, expenditures, outputs and outcomes of key social sector programmes. The focus is on making government data more accessible to citizens and advocating with the government to create citizen friendly data portals.
Social accountability is aimed at strengthening public accountability:
- There has been a profound shift in the accountability discourse, both in terms of who demands accountability and the mechanisms through which it is demanded, in the last decade.
- Non-state actors – social movements, non-governmental organizations and the media – have emerged as a powerful force.
- Also known as social accountability, this body of research aims at understanding social accountability by studying the dynamics of citizen-state engagement – the chief instruments, conditions for successes and challenges, and lessons in the Indian context.
These are some of the government programs to make governance not only to make more public centric but also to make communication two way with ease, they are:
- Use of ICT tools like video conferencing, tele-messaging, web portals etc. has been widely used. Ex- PM Interaction with bureaucrats under PRAGATI.
- Food Corporation of India has implemented online monitoring tools which have led to minimize wastage and corruption.
- Capitalizing on mobile penetration and affordable data price government has come up with number of mobile apps for disseminating information; apps like GARV, My Gov, Online RTI and others.
- Under e-governance number of websites has been developed like e-passport seva, Ministries websites, INAM Pro, e-NAM.
Governance is the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented. Government is one of the actors in governance. Good governance must be responsive to administration and has fair legal system to provide protection to societal members
Best answer: sandhya