SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [26th January 2018]- Day 45
1. Commitments of the Citizen Charter cannot be expected to be delivered by a workforce that is unaware of the spirit and content of the Charter. Comment.
- Issue of unawareness
- Way out
The concept of Citizens’ Charter enshrines the trust between the service provider and its users. It is a document setting out standards of service for public and private sector bodies.
The Charters are expected to incorporate- Vision and Mission Statement; of the organisation, details of business transacted by the organisation, details of clients and services provided to each client group, details of grievance redress mechanism and how to access it and expectations from the clients.
The issue of unawareness:
By and large service providers are not familiar with the philosophy, goals and main features of the Charter. This is because eof following reasons-
- Adequate publicity to the Charters had not been given in most of the government departments.
- No funds have been specifically earmarked for awareness generation of Citizens’ Charter or for orientation of staff on various components of the Charter.
- Lack of adequately training and sensitization.
- Ambiguity in citizen charter.
- An effective awareness campaign amongst all the stakeholders at the initial stage is essential to overcome this skepticism. These awareness campaigns should be designed and delivered innovatively and effectively.
- Capacity building workshops, training programme.
- The process of making of citizen charter for any organization should be such that all the officials, irrespective of their position, are involved for sharing their ideas regard to the charter.
- Involving and consulting them at all the levels of formulation and implementation of Citizens’ Charter will go a long way in overcoming this resistance and will make them an equal partner.
- Making citizen charter binding, and punishing those not following it in true spirit.
- Regular, untiring and persistent efforts are required to bring about the attitudinal changes.
- The charter initiative should have an built-in mechanism for monitoring, evaluating and reviewing the working of the Charters, preferably through an outside agency.
The implementation of Citizens’ Charter is an on-going exercise because it has to reflect the extensive and continual changes taking place in the domain of public services. For its effective implementation it is necessary that the service providers are made aware of its intent.
Best answer: Warrior 16
2. What is the role of transparency in good governance? Do you think a less transparent system is more prone to corruption? Examine.
- Introduction: Define what Transparency is.
- Body: In body, the answer should contain three parts. First the role of transparency in good governance, then your opinion about less transparency in this make it into two parts for yes and no.
- Conclusion: 2-3 line conclusion.
There are many definitions for transparency, you can write in your own words.
Transparency can be defined as a principle that allows those affected by administrative decisions, business transactions or charitable work to know not only the basic facts and figures but also the mechanisms and processes.
Transparency helps in following ways for good governance:
- Ward off Corruption.
- Spirit of public service and responsibility.
- Confidence and trust.
Example: For instance, government decides to buy some spare parts for official vehicles, it takes online bidding process. This ensures all the above mention criteria which in turn results in good governance.
Some times less transparent system results in corruption:
- Defence: Bofors scam, VVIP choppergate.
- Civil recruitment: State civil service board recruitment scams across country.
Sometimes less transparency is necessary and might not result in corruption:
- Judiciary: To maintain independence.
- Defence: National security and sovereignty.
- International Relations: To maintain relations with neighbors and super powers.
Note: In ethics be cautious about word limit. Examples are must along with explanations.
There is one pre-determined rule for governance. As per changing situations and demands, one should adapt and also there can be two different approaches at the same time. So government should uphold and restrict transparency wherever necessary.
Best Answer: Maximus
3. Accountability measures and institutions in the government impede decision making and lead to inaction and delays. Do you agree? Critically examine.
- Introduction: Define what accountability is.
- Body: In body, the answer should contain two parts, one showing how it impede decision making and lead to inaction and other showing how it helps government.
- Conclusion: 2-3 line conclusion.
Accountability in government workplace refers to acknowledgement and owning up the responsibility for actions taken, decision made, policies formulated along with result obtained due to these.
Accountability measures and institutions in government impede decision making and lead to inaction and delay:
- Engineer in NHAI: He will delay awarding contract to new companies even when it is cost advantageous government because of his responsibility in case of any delay’s or issues.
- Bank Manager: Will not sanction loan to poor or marginal farmers for worry about recovery and blame game in case of default.
- Police: Even when rioters cause havoc, they will be hesitant to use force to prevent damages to public property because of Human rights worries in case any casualties occur during force usage.
But citing these things accountability cannot be rules off entirely as it helps in many ways:
- Bringing order to the society.
- Public trust towards government.
- Efficient service delivery and Responsibility.
- Checking misuse of power, abuse of power in form of nepotism, favoritism, partiality etc.
Note: Above points and examples are for better understanding, you can use your own examples. Explanations are required.
It is true that accountability measures are sometime used as harassment by public or for taking revenge on public officials especially after RTI came into force. But that should not be the reason to restrict them instead innovative methods should be formulated to address them.
Best Answer: Rinki
Q4. What is an ombudsman? Discuss its efficacy as an institutional measure to curb corruption.
- It is a two part question
- Define what an ombudsman is. Discuss it briefly in Indian context.
- Then analyze the current position in India with examples.
- Conclude accordingly (as per analysis)
An ombudsman is an official who is charged with representing the interests of the public by investigating and addressing complaints of maladministration or a violation of rights. The ombudsman is appointed with a significant degree of independence to discharge his duties in an impartial manner. For e.g. RBI has appointed a baking ombudsman to look into the grievances of customers against banks under RBI jurisdiction.
In India institutions like Lokayukta, Lokpal, CVC (Central Vigilance commission) act as Ombudsman to control maladministration in governance.
Analysis: Efficacy of Ombudsman in India
- Despite recommended by the first ARC in 1969 and passed in 2013 as an Act, Lokpal is yet to take shape at the ground level. Only certain states like Karnataka and Goa have appointed Lokayukta to look into complaints of corruption by public officials
- These institutions do not have the power to punish. Their recommendations are not binding either thereby weakening their potency.
- Citizens are not made aware of these institutions and proper grievance redressal mechanisms are not put in place. For e.g. in an RBI report, less than 20% people knew about the banking ombudsman scheme
- The appointments to these positions are not done transparently and often retired bureaucrats are given bouquet posts for their loyalty towards the incumbent government
- State and central government create deliberate delays in appointing members to such offices on frivolous grounds despite repeated reprimand from the Supreme Court
Institutions like the CBI are routinely accused of being a “caged parrot”. They are used by respective governments to carry out vindictive politics and take out rival leaders. Therefore, to make the office of Ombudsman meaningful in India, a strong political will is required. These institutions need to be insulated from political vagaries similar to the offices of Election Commission, CAG etc. They can further be given power to punish on par with a civil court. Lastly, there is need for creating awareness among citizens and making them easily accessible to all strata of society.
Best Answer: Ali
Q.5) External drive to strategy change is to be replaced by local commitment and ownership of reform ideas to enhance governance. Comment.
External driving strategy means those kinds of programs, which India adopted from other countries by not considering the situations and their effectiveness in India. But by involving local government, in economy, political influence, technology, people’s satisfaction, decentralization of power and citizens’ empowerment, effective people’s participation through state and non-state mechanisms, reforms and strengthening of land administration and harnessing the power of technology for governance, will help in enhancing the governance many folds in India.
In India all the programs and policies are changed by policy makers as and when they desire. Ideas are implanted from outside and above. All this leads to disarray in governance and disbelief in the masses. If the ideas are seeded, owned and pursued by local people, this scenario would change. Social audit on the other hand would become a tool to ensure accountability.
For example, India spends more on programs for the poor than most developing countries, but it has failed to eradicate poverty because of widespread corruption and faulty government administration, according to the World Bank report. However, due to lack of local government involvement in policy framework and at implementation level, the desired results are not able to achieve at its best.
Through partnerships that the Global Corporate Governance Forum has been forging in India, local institutions are leveraging their resources to build capacity, broaden awareness, and achieve progress in gaining broad acceptance by businesses for corporate governance best practices.
To enhance governance, it requires an integrated, long-term strategy built upon cooperation between government and citizens. It involves both participation and institutions. The programs, central to the local government platform, include food distribution and health insurance initiatives that are supposed to reach hundreds of millions of households, through social audits.
Social auditing is taken up for the purpose of enhancing local governance, particularly for strengthening accountability and transparency in local bodies.
Social Audit makes it sure that in democracy, the powers of decision makers should be used as far as possible with the consent and understanding of all concerned, for example social audits in MGNREGA in Andhra Pradesh.
Rule of Law, Accountability, and Transparency are technical and legal issues at some levels i.e. at local levels, but also interactive to produce government that is legitimate, effective, and widely supported by citizens, as well as a civil society that is strong, open, and capable of playing a positive role in politics and government.
Governance is the exercise of economic, political and administrative authority to manage a country’s affairs at all levels. It consists of the mechanisms, processes and institutions through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations and mediate their differences. Without good governance, no amount of developmental schemes can bring in improvements in the quality of life of the citizens. On the contrary, if the power of the state is abused, or exercised in weak or improper ways, those with the least power in the society – the poor- are most likely to suffer, at the local level these effects can be seen.
Level of information shared with and involvement of stakeholders, particularly of the rural poor, women, and other marginalized sections, if the local government commitment, involvement and if it owns the reforms and if it be able to strategic change according to the demand of the local needs, then the governance and accountability will enhance in many fold.
Best Answer: Garguantun