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SYNOPSIS [5th April,2022] Day 65: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 1): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)
1. The tools of accountability strengthen governance and empower citizens. Do you agree? Substantiate your views.
Candidates need to define the accountability in introduction. And write about the tools of accountability in body part first and then explain how tools of accountability strengthen the governance and empower the citizens.
Accountability can broadly be defined as the obligation of those holding power to take responsibility and be held answerable for their behaviour and actions. Further Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
Tools of accountability:
- Central Vigilance Commission
- Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)
- Lokpal and Lokayukta etc
Tools of accountability ensures empowerment of citizen and strengthen governance:
- Accountability result in answerability (the duty of an individual or organisation to answer to their decisions and actions) and punishments in case of malpractice.
- Clear delegation of roles and responsibilities with commensurate powers and resources. In the absence of this, delegation could end up confounding rather than strengthening accountability.
- Accountability lead to the obligation of an individual or an organisation (either in the public or the private sectors) to accept responsibility for their activities, and to disclose them in a transparent manner. This includes the responsibility for decision-making processes, money or other entrusted property.
- Social accountability have been highly valued to curb corruption with empowering cirizen, especially in countries with a systematic problem of corruption and weak institutional systems. Therefore the social audits in MGNREGA and other services have made bureaucracy more accountable.
- It helps in improving the delivery of public services, measuring performance and providing incentives to achieve targets and sanctions in case of non-performance.
- It empowers citizens and aids their development through citizen-centric policies. Development through citizen-centric policies.
- Accountability is important in good governance to keep the public servants tuned to the right perspective. It ensures judicious use of public funds and resources and hence, infuses the efficiency in governance.
The Indian democracy remains procedural democracy. The well charted tools of accountability seems effective in their structure but lack tooth when it comes to the actual implementation of the acts. Lack of political will and lack of awareness among people are the reasons for the ineffectiveness. The superstructure of procedures in the acts will fail to bring the expected results unless they are provided with the necessary infrastructure and the spirit to work in a free environment.
2. What do you understand by the concept of collective accountability in civil services? How does the lack of collective accountability affect governance? Explain.
Students are expected to write about or define the collective accountability. Also explain the collective accountability in civil service, how lack of collective accountability will affect the government and governance.
Collective accountability takes an important concept called teamwork into consideration. Most of the times many civil servants cooperate to complete a task. So it is appropriate to hold all of them accountable rather than each individual.
Collective accountability in civil service:
- Collective accountability is the notion that if each individual in a administration can affect the administration’s results, we can attribute the successes and failures of the administration to every civil servants.
- The collective accountability also means that the administration decisions bind all the civil servants even if they differed in the meeting and conference.
- In case of any Individual public servant is not appropriately following code of conduct or indulging in unethical activities being the member of department other members can raise the issue for example whistle blow or resign from the task.
- Holders of public office are collectively accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves collectively to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
Lack of collective accountability affecting governance:
- Over-Reliance on ‘Command’ Control Model develop bureaucratic inertia which defies doesn’t obey for collective accountability.
- The fundamental issue therefore is to define collective accountability in the context of changing public policy and public management discourse in India.
- Institutional incompetence to hold whole team accountable in any action leads to isolated managerial efforts have and inadequate delivery of results and outcomes.
- The issue of ensuring collective accountability is further more complex as there are no upgraded tools assessing collective performance management which adversely impacts the goal of organization.
With increased decentralization there will be creation of culture of collective accountability. Every civil servants must be fully aware of what they are being held accountable for, what they’re responsible for. In this way we can ensure effective accountability and enhance our human resources in government service.
3. What are your views on the practice of transferring civil servants after a new political party comes to power? What message does it convey? What are its implications? Discuss.
Candidates need to explain his views on the practice of transferring civil servants after a new political party comes to power. Also discuss what message does it convey and what are its implications.
Over the years, slowly but surely, the role of the bureaucracy has unfortunately been seriously compromised. The issue of frequent transfers when the new political party comes to power is found across India. The analysis of the SUPREMO (Single User Platform Related to Employees Online) database of the Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India, shows that the average posting spell of civil servants in India is only about 15 months.
The Practice of Transferring Civil Servants After a New Political Party Comes to Power and the message it conveys
- The recently proposed amendments in the IAS Cadre Rules have sparked a massive political row, turning into a Centre vs opposition debate.
- The amendments in the IAS Cadre rule will lead to the Central government having greater control in the central deputation of all three All India Services (AIS).
- The Centre will have to power to depute civil servants to Central ministries without taking any approval from the state governments.
- While implementing the programmes set by the Cabinet and the ministers, bureaucrats were expected to act without fear or favour and ensure that the benefits of the programmes flowed to the people regardless of their political affiliations.
- While the elected politicians were free to overrule the advice rendered by civil servants, the advisory functions of the bureaucracy were expected to be performed without regard to their impact on the private interests of politicians and the party in power.
- But the Practice of Transferring Civil Servants After a New Political Party Comes to Power induce fear & hesitancy among AIS Officers in implementing policies of State government of parties politically opposed to ruling party at Centre.
What are its implications.
- Arbitrary and questionable methods of appointments, promotions and transfers of officers by political superiors also led to corrosion of the moral basis of its independence.
- It strengthened the temptation in services to collusive practices with politicians to avoid the inconvenience of transfers and for officers to gain advantages by ingratiating themselves to political masters.
- It invokes the civil servants to do the politicians’ biddings rather than adhering to rules.
- An oft-repeated argument used for transfers is that they are “in the interest of administration.” However, they essentially weaken administration.
- Transfers often reflect administrative favouritism and create divisions among civil servants. If they are done on a political basis, this impacts the neutrality of the civil services.
- The participation of local people in governance and development is through civil servants. It is this participation that has been the worst affected due to the frequent transfers.
Lest the situation becomes more vicious, it is necessary that a better arrangement be conceived under the Constitution.”