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 The concern for good governance emerged out of
the thick layer of slow economic development viz-a-viz reforms, social justice,
lack of healthy administrative response, corruption, corrupt practices,
poverty, illiteracy, lack of transparency and lack of service especially in
public sector. The concept of good governance became prominent in the era of
globalization, liberalization, urbanization and privatization in 1980s’ when an
All round the world a debate started for transparent socio- economic political
order, best quality of life  for every
citizen even the lower strata of society 
was on the top priority in almost every government’s agenda in the world.
Accountable administration i.e. accountability to its public interest was the
key constituent of a good governance. THE ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES OF A WELFARE
STATE  sworn in  as public servants started realizing  the necessity to frame and  to promote national policies, national
resources  in a way  to attain the notion  of SUSTAINTABLE DEVELOPMENT. The governing
style of govt, may be at national, state, regional or local level should be
SMART i.e. simple moral, accountable, responsive and transparent. The paper
makes an attempt to provide a framework for good governance in India by
identifying its essential features and shortcomings in its working and
emphasizes the need for an innovative approach. Elimination of poverty,
Efficient Delivery of service, quality improvement in education and in health
sector will be the area of more concern. An analytical approach will be
introduced in order to understand the Politico-Cultural set up of


                       India is a land of multi-folded
cultures, languages, religions and   with multi-mixture of heterogeneity. Six
decades of Indian independence experienced the days of charismatic leadership
and hero worship both in political and administrative sphere. Political
leadership has given its own push to administration in this regard in order to
earn private profit and individual (personal) domination. This is as much   true of
governmental institutions as of political parties with the result political
awakening emerged on the surface among all sections of society including both
prosperous and disadvantaged groups. THIS AWAKENING   has made India  more difficult  to govern at a time  when  political
decay has seriously  damaged  the 
institution  of govt. At present
good governance is catching attention of policy makers , political
leadership  and the people at large. The
policies of globalization, privatization  introduced in 1991 given a new boost and carve
a niche for the need of good governance in India.  

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Meaning :  A student of political
science knows that four essential elements are required for a state i.e.
definite territory, a population, government and sovereignty. Hence, state is a
master and government is an agent or a  machinery
through which the will of a state is formulated expressed articulated and
realized. The role of government and description of government have been
changing from time to time as per the requirement and circumstances and even at
a given point of time, there is considerable variation whether a form of
government is a democratic or otherwise.    

                       There is no particular
definition of governance or good governance. This term has been used to
describe how public institution conduct public affairs by managing public and
human resources in order to guarantee the realization of Human rights. There
was a different view point prevailing amongst liberals, neo liberals,
capitalists, socialists, communists etc. Hence as per the World Bank definition
governance means the exercise of political authority and use of institutional
resources in the pursuit of widely accepted social goals and to manage
society’s problems and affairs. It includes the ‘process’ of decision making
and the ‘process’ by which decisions are implemented or not implemented. In
recent years the word governance has become a very fashionable term and is
being used in a variety of ways and that covers a large number of organizations
both in public  and private domains.


                       But for our purpose we
are concerned with the form of government which provide security to its
citizens maintains rule of law, maintains territorial security and delivery of
services ranging from employment, education, health and food security.




Challenges of Good Governance in India

 NO, theory of governance  would be intelligible unless it is tested in
the context of its time. States with minimum government emerged
administratively sound. It resulted that an efficient, effective and democratic
government is the best guarantor of social justice as well as an orderly
society. It is foremost responsibility of the Govt to create Eco-friendly and
healthy environment with full utilization of material resources and human
efforts so that new enterprises could take initiatives and could flourish to
increase the development level and growth rate. The civil society and market
has to rely on government for their efficient functioning for society. The
transition from socialists order to capitalist model should necessarily be
coupled in the hands of government along with the hands of civil society. Both
should jointly solve problems under public sphere and where more govt role is
required to provide welfare schemes like :

To cover social protection

To upgrade health care

To protect children ,
empower women, uplift depressed classes and minorities.  India’s policy makers, leaders, civil society
members and business tycoon to concentrate their energy towards making India an
Economic super power in 21st Century. India has gained ample
confidence by acquiring continuous high growth rate despite global recession,
rising sensex figure and huge foreign exchange reserves. Presently India is
considered as role model by world communities for :

High Growth Rate model  and also for

Its equity

           Though these two objectives are not
always contradictory but the conflict arises when scarce resources are diverted
to meet the demands of the growing middle class of business houses by ignoring
the needs of the poor. Governments both at national and state level are now
forced to look deeper into the matter and causes of the sufferings of the poor’s’.
We need to justify the national value system which seems to have been perhaps
ignored previously by academicians, media or analysts of Indian political


Good Governance                                    

all over the world look upon their governments may be national, regional or
local for high quality performance. Good governance is guaranteed to its
citizens about their personal business and pursuits with enhanced expectations.
Good Governance helps to create an environment in which sustained economic
growth become achievable. Conditions of good governance allow citizens to
maximize their returns on investment. Good Governance does not occur by chance.
It must be demanded by citizens and nourished explicitly and consciously by the
nation state. It is, therefore, necessary that the citizens are allowed to
participate freely, openly and fully in the political process. The citizens
must have the right to compete for an office, form a political party and enjoy
fundamental rights and civil liberty. Good governance is accordingly associated
with accountable political leadership enlightened policy-making and civil
service imbued with a professional ethos. The presence of a strong civil
society including a free press and an independent judiciary are pre-conditions
for good governance. What is Good
Governance in the Indian context ?  
The central challenge before good governance relates to social
development. Good governance as stated by Jawahar Lal Nehru in his popular ‘trsyts with destiny’ speech of 14th
August 1947 is  “Ending of poverty and
ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunities”. Thus good governance
carries   securing justice, empowerment,
employment and efficient delivery of service.



The common
masses of India need to be empowered without any discrimination as they are
themselves principal agency for development and also an object of the
development programmes. Our constitution is committed to two set of principles, namely



Principle of equal opportunities for all.

principle of upliftment  of economic and
social backwardness.


The poor are doing well in Self-Help.
A group of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh  women involve in  micro-financing institution in SEWA (Self
Employed Women’s Association) A  group of
Gujarat people involving in self help EFFORTS  have demonstrated that if deprived section are
given chance and empower through education and  given skill development, they can outperform  and could create a more  profitability. We can say that

 the role of Market and the Civil
Society has increased manifold in present circumstances but still State
continue to play vital a role in transformation of society toward equality. The
reservation in Government employment will benefit socially, educationally and
economically backward person. Earlier, there was provision of Reservation for
SC/ST candidate, which was then extended to Other Backward Caste (OBCs) as
well, after acceptance of Mandal Commission in 1990. This Affirmative Action
has improved the distribution of opportunities amongst Scheduled Caste,
Scheduled Tribe, also to other notified OBCs. Now Children of poor and lower
status parents can be selected for All India Services like the IAS, the IPS or
other services. Still the advantage of Reservation has not been distributed
equally amongst the entire community of poorer and lower status parents.

Since constitution provides
reservation in government employment to only notified “educational and social
backward people”, hence poor and economic backward people were completely
ignored till. The Supreme Court, in Sahnwney & Others vs. Union of India,
directed for 27% reservation in favor of OBCs. It also directed to exclude “the
Creamy Layer” from reservation provision in appointment for Government Job.
The Government of India has directed that sons and daughters of persons having
gross annual income of Rs 2.5 lakhs per anum, are excluded from said
reservation of services, so that reservation helps needy and poor. The
constitution under scheme of Affirmative Action also provides reservation of
woman and children, apart from aforesaid reservation for SC, ST & OBCs, in
government employment. Government has made provision of reservation of woman to
the extent of 33% in Local bodies.


economic criteria, is the best option to provide benefit to needy, cutting
across religion, caste, region, gender etc. As per UNDP, Human Development
Report 2009, India ranked 134 out of 182, which project its dismal performance.
However the HDI Index has increased from 0.427 in 1980 to 0.556 in 2000
However, the HDI value of India has increased gradually from 0.427 in 1980 to
0.612 in 2007, still we are lacking   behind from our   neighbors’
i.e.  China, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. As
stated in the Table given below. In fact India lags behind in various social
indicators of developments.
















































Human Development Report, 2009



Government has to enhance and enlarge skills of its citizen by imparting the
basic and vocational education to poor students. They have to uplift the
meritorious student by providing them soft loan through nationalized bank and
credit institutions. We require an effective administrative system to fulfill
demands of masses.




Indian economy is facing most
challenging task of unemployment. India’s working age population exceeds 50%
and in future it is estimated to reach above 60% by 2050. Hence fast growing
working population ensure more workers, result in more salary, more income,
more saving and more investment, which will further generate employment in
Indian economy. There is an urgent need to educate and provide vocational
education to our young generation. Since India has 300 million illiterate,
State should promote Civil Society, Self Help Group and micro-financing
institutions for creating entrepreneurship skills amongst them. Government
should widen the scope of Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. And accelerate the
rate of implementation of Bharat Nirman Scheme and other programmer. For this
State must take assistance of


sector / Public Private Partnership

Help Group & NGOs, and;

financing Institutions.


Employment / Regional Inequality: of
states resulted into slow economic  development 
that indirectly encouraged   increase of naxalism and insurgency.  Government
should strive for containing employment in northern and eastern states and
reduce the gap between rural and urban India. Fighting against Generation of
employment among the youth in rural areas in northern and eastern States could
be the catalyst. Employment Growth has been declined as shown in the table
given below .




                                       Growth Rate of employment in organized

Per annum












– 0.30


Delivery of Services

Both Central and state governments
have been assigning huge public funds to health, education and creation of
infrastructure, but such services have been enjoyed more by non-poor rather
than poor or deprived classes. The government   schools
and the government   health centre’s are available for the areas of
marginal sections of society, or for the poor people are absolutely in bad
shape and are not providing  the minimum
requirements and lack of clinical arrangements are persistantiely prevailing . Hence the institutions which can play notable roles in improving public
delivery service in India are :-


The Civil Society: There is sudden increase in activity
of Civil Society, Self Helping Groups (SHGs) and NGOs, which has emerged as
Social Capital. They are involved in various activities like:


micro financing.

based Food security assignments.

Development Programmers.

of goods.

distribution of old-age pensions.


 – Both 
electronic  and  Print  have emerged as  a source of 
pressure for a change  in favor of
a common man, poor man. To some extent   debates on different National Channels
registered a healthy response in this regards 
They exerted enormous pressure on public officials and political
leaders  to deliver  good.


The  intervention of independent
judiciary  has been  proving a good, successful initiative to
prepare the ground  for  good 
governance in this regard. JUDICIARY’S 
initiative of public interest 
litigation (PIL) has emerged as a powerful  tool  in the hands of individuals  as well as 
non – governmental  organizations   NGO’S.  High courts and supreme court have intervened
in diverse matters  to improve  delivery of services.                                                                                                                                 

ADMINISTRATIVE  RESPONSES :   Indian administrative scenario shown
the  presence of poor administrative
machinery. Need is of an innovative approach   and
practices so that excellent public services could be provided  to all sections of society. Centre and state
governments are required to explore information technology to help the citizens
to communicate their requirements.  Paper
documentation should be replaced with computerization or with on line services.

Karnataka  state govt has taken a
lead. And made available land records for some 25 million farmers by putting
all details online under Bhumi initiative. Indian governments initiative of the
preparation of Aadhar Card and introduction of the Computer System work through
Information Technology will prove to be a great help in the departments like
public health, electricity, education and transportation etc. Application of
this new  methods in delivery of services
will give a new face (CLEAN &
CLEAR) to the administration it will be a 
great help to the  needy and poor


CAPACITY BUILDING at all levels of  an organizations is widely perceived as the
most important approach to achieve quality of services and customers
satisfaction. Federal form of   governments success is based on
decentralization of powers. Capacity building demanded that staff should behave
responsibly and produce desired results. It means a ‘collegiate effort’ in
which an individual or an organization could be made accountable and
responsible for their every action whereas in our country traditional organizations
preserve information with high officials or with higher level of bureaucracy.
Capacity Building encouraged staff to actively participate in the group


Other Major Challenges to Good


Criminalization of Politics:

Now a day ‘s political process of
state has been criminalized because there exist nexus amongst politicians,
Business Empire and Bureaucrats, which hamper the good governance, hence
Political class are losing the respect and public opinion are formulated
against them. India is also facing threat from terrorism, which scattered from
Jammu & Kashmir to other parts of India. The Gandhian values in public life
are rapidly depleting. Criminal minded people are entering in State as well as
Central legislature for seeking private gain and making lot of money. Now time has changed, at the behest of
Election Commissioner, Parliament has enacted laws to close the door of
democracy for criminals. Now the candidate contesting election has to declare
his property return, his education and his criminal background. Since any
candidate convicted of any offence punishable under law for one year or more
have to declare it to voter, hence it created favorable environment for curbing
criminalization of politics. It is crucial to amend Section 8 of Representative
of People Act, 1951 to disqualify a person, against  whom charges has been framed in court for any
heinous crime or for corruption etc.



The high level of corruption in
India is considered as major obstacle in good governance. Some of other factors
are as follows, which contributed rising graph of corruption in India. May it
be the hierarchical system of administration or it is related with general
public administration (general offices).

law enforcement 

Non transparent system of Command
& Control

Monopoly of Government as service


Fundamental rights of citizens are
restricted with limitations



The Right to Information Act 2005,
have provided strong instrument in hand of common man and Civil Society to
combat corruption. It ensures that people’s resources are rightly used for
common masses.



There is fall in basic core values
that make negative impact on functioning of the Government. India was not always
market friendly. We have entered into a new era of capitalist innovation.
Market laws dominated natural environment and crippled a lot of people and
there were more causalities. State is back, because of fear of growing
inequity, but „licensed Raj? is ruled out. We are linked with
global market, still we can develop better delivery system and good governance
by strengthening government activities, as we cannot leave the life of millions
on market mechanism.

Our policy maker should concentrate
on strengthening our democracy by

commitment of ours civil servants, both in Executive and Judiciary.

boost to the output of country’s’ performance in key areas, namely employment,
empowerment and effective and timely delivery of services.


Ours policy maker should be guided
by magic of Mahatma Gandhi, which he prescribed for social and political
strengthening of democracy. It stated: “I will give you a talisman. Whenever
you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the
following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may
have seen, and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any
use to him. Will he gain anything by it? Will it restore him to a control over
his own life and destiny? In other
words, will it lead to swaraj for the hungry and spiritually starving millions?
Then you will find your doubts and yourself melting away.” We should stop
giving regard to the interest of market at the cost of common masses in the
name of rapid economic growth.. Hence we should give primacy to the principles
of „Antyodya without
forgoing growth. Such governance will bring accountability under a sensitive
leadership. In the post Gandhi-Ambedkar era, the involvement of civil society
in governance has become crucial. Civil society in any form, like religious
group, trade union, cooperative, trust, guilds, NGOs and woman organization
will encourage inclusive growth. We require participation of common masses in
implementation of poverty alleviation program me. We need innovators in two
areas as follows:

Livelihood Programme



1. Livelihood Programme: India
cannot blindly follow capitalist model of growth that relies totally on market
mechanism. Such model would destabilize Indian polity.  Still rapid growth in exclusive form is
remedy to all problems, hence we have to devise a way and mean to secure fast
growth rate and Gandhian moralities. Social and political process is getting
interlinked with ultimate aim of welfare of common masses. Livelihood should be
related to social economy and local resources. Livelihood upgrade existing and
traditional skills, that farmer possess since time immemorial in rural India
infield of Agriculture, Fishing, poultry, animal husbandry etc. Investment in
up gradation of such skills will bring harmony in society. People will be able
to invest for their future, which will bring peace in society and it will be
incentive to stable society.


2. Women: Half of
the population of our country constitutes women hence woman is a key to good governance.
Their participation will provide politic stability. Woman is constructive,
sensible and creative. They are really leaders, care taker and educator. Their
participation both in economic and political spheres needs to be augmented.

 We have heard about „million mutinies?, but now there is need to go for „million
participations or „million negotiations? that will bring Government, Market and Civil Society
together in same platform, that will make every Indian happier. 

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