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SYNOPSIS: PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION OPTIONAL – Paper 1- TLP UPSC Mains Answer Writing [18th August, 2020] – Day 10

  • IASbaba
  • August 19, 2020
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TLP Public Administration Optional
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1. Development administration is impossible without transparency. Comment                                                                                15 marks (250 words)

Approach

Here we need to just link transparency to the Development Administration (DA). Correct explanation of development administration, with precise analysis carries the maximum marks.

From Paper2

There is no dearth of examples from the second paper in this question. However, maintain a balance by providing example outside India. Best practices in some of the private organizations can also be quoted here.

Introduction

George F Gant defines the development administration as “that aspect of Public Administration in which, focus of attention is on organizing and administering public agencies in such a way as to stimulate and facilitate defined programmes of social and economic progress.”

Here, what can be deduced from the words of Gant is that, any improvement in the organisation that strengthens them to achieve the developmental goals is development administration. If this is the meaning, then transparency is surely a part and participle of development administration, as it strengthens the organisations in various ways.

Body

Transparency is very much essential for the Development administration because of the following reasons;

  • Edward Wiedner defines DA as the action and goal orientation. While formulation and fixation-of-targets provide a goal to the organisation, disseminating the target to the public gives a sense of moral and legal obligation, for the organisation, to achieve the goal at any cost. This is nothing but the ‘goal orientation’.  

Ex:  Organisations displaying their goals in their vision and mission statements.

  • Further progressivism is another component of DA, i.e. the organisation should not only progress form within but also has to bring the progress in the society [a combination of development administration and administrative development]. 

Transparency on its part helps progressivism by bringing to light, all the short-term and long-term achievements of the organisation. This will act as both inspiration and deterrence (fear of missing the target) for the workers of the organisation.

Ex: Dissemination of Human Development Index, Multi-Poverty Index, etc. lead to assessment of our progress toward achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Participation of the public is a sine-qua-non for the DA. And transparent policies can help the people to get to know about the policies so that they can take an active part in the implementation of the policies.

Ex: Wider publication of Prevention of Child Marriages Act has resulted in; the public voluntarily taking stock of any acts of child marriages in the vicinity, and bringing it to the notice of the concerned officers.

  • Also, an accountable and responsive administration is indispensible for DA. But, transparency on its part is very much essential to bring in responsiveness and accountability in the governmental organisation.

Ex: As per the Studies conducted by RaaG, the very presence of the RTI instils a sense of responsibility on the governmental officials to work with honesty. This prompts them to respond to the people’s problems with the due diligence.

  • Lastly, DA is also defined as the development of skills and capabilities to achieve the desired goals. And some of the initiatives like, voluntary dissemination of departmental information, e-RTIs, keeping open the account books to the general public, etc are aimed towards improving the administrative efficiency of the organisation. These are equivalent to up gradation of administrative skills of the organisation as a whole.

State of affairs of the development administration in the absence of transparency;

  • Without transparency DA fails to get proper cooperation from the public. As publics lacks awareness about the rule and policies of the government.
  • The implementation agencies that work in shadows will sooner become the homes of corruption, embezzlement and nepotism; which are however antithetical to the development administration.
  • Development administration is impossible without continuous monitoring and fine-tuning of policies. And, monitoring in turn is impossible without the information about the implementational reality is made available to both the government and the public.
  • Also, DA stresses on soliciting creative ideas from all the stake holders, so that the best of the ideas are selected and brought to implementation. However, a non-transparent organisation gets few creative ideas as most of the stakeholders (academia and scholars) will not be having proper information about the plans initiatives of the organisation. 

Conclusion

Hence, we can say that transparency is an inalienable adjunct of Development Administration. So, any attempt to move towards the Development Administration should begin from transparency.

As rightly said by F.W Riggs “Development of Administration requires Administration of Development”, and transparency is one of the basic tools to administer the development.


2. Media hyper-activism hurts citizen centric administration. Justify the statement.                                                                                10 marks (150 words) 

Approach

In this question we have an obligation to prove that the media activism is detrimental to the citizen centric administration, as the question asks to justify the statement. Justification with good facts and examples carries more weight age.

From Paper2

Again it is easier to bring examples from the second paper here, but we need to maintain the paper specificity by providing examples from the private organisations and best administrative practices outside India.

Introduction

2nd ARC defines Citizen Centric Administration as the way of governance by keeping ‘citizen’ at the centre of the Public Administration. Moving further it mentions that, vibrant institutions, accountability and responsibility, public participation, monitoring and evaluation of the policies, etc, as some of the elements of Citizen Centric Administration.

And, it is no surprise to learn that media as the fourth pillar democracy, helps in all most all the elements of citizen centric administration as mentioned above.     

Body

Coming to the darker side of the moon, while an active media can be an enabler of Citizen Centric Administration; a hyper-active media can be counter-productive.

  • Policy Evaluation: Excessive criticism of the government Schemes and Policies can act perversely on both the citizens as well as the Administration machinery. This is because while the citizens get mislead by the policy; the misled citizenry rises up against the government, and forces it to repeal those schemes and policies even without giving it proper gestation periods. 

Ex: Obama Care lost its effectiveness due to the unnecessary critics from media. Also, local media going critical on every moves of the government during Inter-state River disputes, only leads to more clashes.

  • Media Trials: Hyper activity of the media during crimes and controversies results in, naming and shaming of the accused; even before the court of law decides over the veracity of the allegations. This can mete out a grave injustice on the accused individuals; if they turn out to be innocent after the prosecution and trials.

Ex: Media highlight on the Aruna Shanbag rape convict (after her death) led to him being terminated from his job. But it is to be noted that he was working there, after finishing the term of his imprisonment. Here, media should understand that even the convict is also a citizen, and citizen centricism equally applies to all the citizens.

  • Paid News: Rather than keeping citizen at the centre of the administration, media actually keeps economic benefits at the centre. When it publishes manipulated news for the sake of receiving monitory gratification, in return for their paid news.

Ex: Cobra post reports that, all most all news channels and all the political parties of India have involvement in paid news.

  • Media as a public organisation: It is a mockery of the Citizen centric administration; if media, which is an apostle of transparency and accountability, doesn’t be transparent and become amenable to the public scrutiny. 

Ex: Media and Social media entities had approached the Madras High Court, over Central Governments Intermediary Guidelines on Media Accountability in 2019. 

  • Sting Operations as institutions of grievance redressal:  Sting Operations which are otherwise known for providing instant justice to the aggrieved. Stands to predate the very public that it intends to protect. When illegal and inhuman means like, the financial allurement and honey trappings, are carried out; to entice and tempt the vulnerable – but innocent – people to commit the crime.

Ex: In the Madhya Pradesh 2016 sex scandal, a Delhi based news channel was accused for negotiating extortion deals with victims on behalf of the honey-trap syndicate. 

Conclusion

As we have seen above, anything which is beneficial to anyone turns out to be detrimental to everyone if it crosses a limit. Hence, it is better for the both the citizens and the administration to keep media on its toes by bringing in reforms like, Code of conduct and code of ethics for the media, Mandatory self regulations and also making media transparent and accountable to the public.

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