Lok Satta Junction

For better governance in India.

KPS Gill: How can the bureaucrats sit in Delhi and decide what the development model for the Chhattisgarh tribal will be?

with one comment

This is what he said in the context of the Govt response to the Naxal problem in Chattisgarh. Do read this whole interview with KPS Gill, for valuable insights into how every problem is different and how local problems need local solutions.

What Delhi cannot accomplish, Hyderabad cannot accomplish either. Governance need to be brought to the people’s localities. The failure of an excessively centralized governing system is more often due to lack of information about local needs and local problems and what works in a particular region. The local self governing bodies exist in name, but are stripped of financial resources and power to tackle the issues. This centralized governance also leads to situations where no single person can be held responsible for any failure (the credit for successes is all taken by the political families in charge of course, be it YSR/Nehru-Gandhi/Babu) or negligence, leading to no motivation among the bureaucrats to take control of any situation. Decentralizing spending responsibilities and clearly identifying a single person to be in charge of affairs goes a long way in fixing the duties and responsibilities, while leading to better tailored solutions for the problems. This will also lead to fast response and a more responsible resource utilization.

Loksatta on decentralization:

Speaking on governance reforms, Dr. JP pointed out that many districts in India are bigger than 50 percent of the countries in the world and the metropolitan cities are larger than 80 percent of the countries. Yet the local governments have been made irrelevant. No wonder, most people in the country do not know the names of Mayors of even large metropolitan cities in India, unlike those of London, New York or Mexico City.

Dr. JP said that power had been concentrated so much that there are only three decisions makers in India – the PM, the CM and the DM (district magistrate).

He called for genuine decentralization with devolution of powers, responsibilities, resources and personnel on the local governments. The people would not realize the importance of their vote unless they appreciated how it was going to transform their lives. Otherwise they would succumb to short-term sops or money and liquor offered by political parties.

Dr. JP underlined the need for civil service reforms. India is perhaps the only modern democracy in the world, which clings to institutions created by colonial rulers a century and half ago.

The Lok Satta President said that decentralization should provide for local policing and local courts. There has been a market demand for criminals and thugs because the people could not depend on the police and the courts to render them timely justice.


Written by jujung

October 20, 2009 at 6:41 PM

One Response

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  1. […] one comment Loksatta’s take on the problem of regional imbalance and its solution of decentralization is admirable. On several occasions, JP has called for genuine decentralization with devolution of […]

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