How far has the governance in India achieved the twin objectives of transparency and accountability? Discuss.
NITI Aayog’s recent step to bring out a “Good Governance Index” to measure parameters like transparency & accountability has brought focus on India’s positions on the two.
Analysis of governance in India:
- In formulation of schemes: Citizen feedback has become an important element of scheme like EIA, MGNREGA.
- Implementation of schemes – Digitization of beneficiaries list for various schemes. E.g. PMAY, Integration with Aadhar to reduce exclusion & inclusion errors. E.g. PDS.
- Grievance redressal in schemes. E.g. PMGDisha platform to address grievances & track status online.
- Social Audit as a tool has become a compulsory component for some schemes. E.g. MGNREGA, Meghalaya Social Audit Law.
- Some states have came out with laws allowing recall of legislation.
- Online portals like PFMS, CPGRAMS to track funds and deliverable schemes.
- RTI Act – section 4 provides for proactive disclosure by departments.
Despite above steps, several challenges remain:
- Lack of manpower at 3rd tier to carry out effective social audit.
- Citizen feedback processes are weak due to lack of awareness.
- Bureaucratic apathy & attitude of superiority.
- Despite RTI, proactive disclosure is not a norm.
- Many departments still run on pen & paper.
- Official Secrets Act provides undue protection.
Steps like compulsory digitization across departments, code of ethics & compulsory social audit for all major schemes are needed to usher in truly transparent & accountable government.
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