The principal constraint for India is trying to find solutions to 21st century problems using 19th century government structures. Discuss.

21st century India is faced with a novel set of issues & challenges, influenced by globalization, technology revolution, 4th Industrial revolution, climate change, etc.

21st Century Problems:

  • Dual use of technology & their consequences. E.g. AI & associated privacy concern.
  • New forms of security threats. E.g. Cyber threat, Drones, etc.
  • Integrated nature of problems. E.g. Covid-Health-Education-Poverty.
  • Governance issues like beneficiary identification, corruption, identity judging.

Despite changing nature of problems, current government structure is obsolete:

  • Silos based approach – Lack of integration between various departments & organs of government.
  • Lack of adoption of newer technologies. E.g. Absence of smart walls to tackle newer border security issues like drone attacks.
  • Colonial laws emphasizing on prohibition and regulation rather than coordination and cooperation. E.g. IPC section on Sedition.
  • High emphasis on procedures, lack of proactive & empathetic & people driven approach.
  • Lack of intelligence inputs & citizen participation in policy making.

Way forward:

  • Reform existing departments & ministries to increase coordination & cooperation on inter-ministerial issues.
  • People-centric bureaucracy.
  • Technology-driven solutions such as border management.
  • Social audits as an integral element of schemes.
  • Bottom-up planning.
  • Repeal obsolete laws; accept criticism as an integral element of democracy.

Change is the only constant. It is time to align our governance structure to present day needs.

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