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Good Governance Day

  • 26 Dec 2022
  • 8 min read

For Prelims: Good Governance Day, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Quit India Movement

For Mains: Good Governance and related challenges, Government Policies & Interventions

Why in News?

Good Governance Day (25th December) is being celebrated on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

What is Good Governance?

  • About:
    • Governance is the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented).
      • Governance can be used in several contexts such as corporate governance, international governance, national governance and local governance.
    • Good Governance is defined as “the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resources for development”
    • The concept of good governance existed even during the days of Chanakya. He had mentioned it elaborately in Arthashastra.
    • Citizens centric administration lies on the foundation of good governance.
  • 8 Principles of Good Governance:
    • Participation:
      • People should be able to voice their own opinions through legitimate immediate organizations or representatives.
      • This includes men and women, vulnerable sections of society, backward classes, minorities, etc.
      • Participation also implies freedom of association and expression.
    • Rule of Law:
      • Legal framework should be enforced impartially, especially on human rights laws.
      • Without rule of law, politics will follow the principle of matsya nyaya i.e. the law of fish which means the strong will prevail over the weak.
    • Consensus Oriented:
      • Consensus oriented decision-making ensures that even if everyone does not achieve what they want to the fullest, a common minimum can be achieved by everyone which will not be detrimental to anyone.
      • It mediates differing interests to meet the broad consensus on the best interests of a community.
    • Equity and Inclusiveness:
      • Good governance assures an equitable society.
      • People should have opportunities to improve or maintain their well-being.
    • Effectiveness and Efficiency:
      • Processes and institutions should be able to produce results that meet the needs of their community.
      • Resources of the community should be used effectively for the maximum output.
    • Accountability:
      • Good governance aims towards betterment of people, and this cannot take place without the government being accountable to the people.
      • Governmental institutions, private sectors, and civil society organizations should be held accountable to the public and institutional stakeholders.
    • Transparency:
      • Information should be accessible to the public and should be understandable and monitored.
      • It also means free media and access to information.
    • Responsiveness:
      • Institutions and processes should serve all stakeholders in a reasonable period of time.

What are the Challenges to Good Governance in India?

  • Women Empowerment:
    • Women are not adequately represented in government institutions, and other allied sectors.
  • Corruption:
    • The high level of corruption in India has been widely perceived as a major obstacle in improving the quality of governance.
  • Delay in Justice:
    • A citizen has the right to avail timely justice, but there are several factors, because of which a common man doesn’t get timely justice. One such factor is lack of personnel and logistics under disposal of court.
  • Centralisation of Administrative System:
    • Governments at lower levels can only function efficiently if they are empowered to do so. This is particularly relevant for the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), which currently suffer from inadequate devolution of funds as well as functionaries to carry out the functions constitutionally assigned to them.
  • Criminalisation of Politics:
    • The criminalisation of the political process and the unholy nexus between politicians, civil servants, and business houses are having a baneful influence on public policy formulation and governance.
  • Other Challenges:

What are the Indian Initiatives to improve Good Governance?

  • Good Governance Index (GGI):
    • GGI has been launched by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions to determine the status of governance in the country.
    • It assesses the impact of various interventions taken up by the State Government and UTs.
  • National e-Governance Plan:
    • It has the vision to “make all government services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets and ensure efficiency, transparency & reliability of such services at affordable costs to realise the basic needs of the common man.”
  • Right to Information Act, 2005:
    • It plays an effective role in ensuring transparency in governance.
  • Other Initiatives: Setting up of NITI Aayog, Make in India programme, Lokpal, etc.

Who was Atal Bihari Vajpayee?

  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee was born on 25th December, 1924 in the erstwhile princely state of Gwalior (now a part of Madhya Pradesh).
  • He entered in national politics during the Quit India Movement of 1942 which hastened the end of British colonial rule.
  • In 1947, Vajpayee started working as a journalist for newspapers of Deendayal Upadhyaya — Rashtradharma (a Hindi monthly), Panchjanya (a Hindi weekly) and the dailies Swadesh and Veer Arjun. Later, influenced by Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Vajpayee joined the Bharatiya Jana Sangh in 1951.
  • He was the former Prime Minister of India and was elected to the position twice in 1996 and 1999.
  • As a parliamentarian, Vajpayee was awarded with the Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant Award for Best Parliamentarian in 1994, which defines him as "a role model par excellence for all legislators."
  • He was conferred with the country's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna in 2015 and second-highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan in 1994.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Q. Effectiveness of the government system at various levels and people’s participation in the governance system are inter-dependent”. Discuss their relationship in the context of India. (2016)

Q. What do you understand by the terms ‘governance’, ‘good governance’ and ‘ethical governance’? (2016)

Source: PIB

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