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Reforming Governance

Why is good governance important?

1. For achieving a $5 trillion economy by 2024-25, India needs to place a whole set of initiatives towards good governance.

2. “Strategy for New India @75” released by NITI Aayog has focussed on governance.

3. Measures taken for reforming governance can potentially transform India into a high growth economy.

4. It will help in fulfilling the aspirations of people and achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Which are the initiatives taken to improve governance?

E-Governance

1. With the advancements in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), many public services are provided through online mode.

2. Various initiatives like biometric attendance, digitalizing database of beneficiaries across all schemes, transferring the funds to Aadhar linked bank accounts, etc have been made.

3. Digital India program is covering multiple projects of various Central Ministries/ Departments and States/ UTs.

4. Digital India also includes connectivity for all Gram Panchayats through BharatNet, setting up Common Services Centres, Digital Locker, etc.

5. Portals like UMANG and MYGov provide various information to citizens.

Outcome-Based Monitoring

1. Outcomes-Based Budget has been introduced since the Union Budget 2017-18.

2. It improves governance as the thrust is on meeting the expectations of people by focussing on outcomes.

Administrative Reforms

1. Reforms in civil services are a continuous process and several initiatives have been taken. Examples – e-office, strengthening training and merit-based postings, etc.

2. NITI Aayog and other Ministries have taken the initiative of inducting young professionals and consultants on a contractual basis.

Law and Order

Government has suggested various measures like

1. Adoption of Model Police Act of 2015, filling up vacancies and greater representation of women, greater use of IT, training of police personal, etc to improve law and order situation in the states.

2. In Judiciary– increased use of IT, improvements in forensic testing, an All India Judicial Services Examination, an Indian legal Service, etc.

What are the steps taken to improve governance in the federal structure?

Various steps are taken to improve Cooperative and Competitive Federalism.

1. Inception of NITI Aayog renewed the thrust on Centre-State relations through cooperative federalism.

2. A number of initiatives have been taken for the engagement of States/ Union Territories on a continuous basis.

3. Various such initiatives include –

a) Meetings between Union and State Ministers,

b) Sharing of best practices

c) Aspirational District Programme,

d) Theme-based extensive engagements

e) Framing model laws for land leasing and agriculture marketing reforms

f) Area-specific interventions for North Eastern, Himalayan States, and Island Development.

4. A new strategy has been adopted to improve state/UTs’ performance by encouraging healthy competition. Some examples are -

a) Composite Water Management Index

b) SDG Index

c) Performance of Aspirational Districts

How DBT and Aadhar improve governance?

1. With Aadhar, Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) is used for policy and service delivery framework.

2. DBT is used for various schemes like LPG subsidies, Public Distribution System, etc.

3. Use of Aadhar and DBT will help in better delivery of benefits in a leakage-proof manner.

Where do we need to focus?

1. Transforming India requires clarity of vision, well thought out strategy and action plans.

2. India is aligning itself towards achieving SDG goals by 2030.

3. This needs a collaborative approach by the Government and all stakeholders including the judiciary, civil society, corporates, think tanks, academia, media, and citizens.