Important Aspects of Governance

X-Factor Notes on Important Aspects of Governance for UPSC CSE Mains GS Paper II Prepared by Civilsdaily IAS’ Core Team & AIR 2, Animesh Pradhan

Previous Year Questions on Important Aspects of Governance

[2019] In the context of neo-liberal paradigm of development planning, multi-level planning is expected to make operations cost effective and remove many implementation blockages.’- Discuss.(15M)

[2019] The need for cooperation among various service sectors has been an inherent component of development discourse. Partnership bridges bring the gap among the sectors. It also sets in motion a culture of ‘Collaboration’ and ‘team spirit’. In the light of statements above examine India’s Development process. (15M)

[2016] In the integrity index of Transparency International, India stands very low. Discuss briefly the legal, political, economic, social and cultural factors that have caused the decline of public morality in India.

[2016] Effectiveness of the government system at various levels and people’s participation in the governance system are interdependent. Discuss their relationship with each other in context of India.(12.5M)

[2016] Has the Indian governmental system responded adequately to the demands of Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization started in 1991? What can the government do to be responsive to this important change?(12.5M)

[2015] In the light of the Satyam Scandal (2009), discuss the changes brought in corporate governance to ensure transparency, accountability.

1. Important Quotes & Definitions

“Good governance is not about implementing everything; it’s about prioritizing intelligently.” – Ha-Joon Chang
“Governance is not merely a necessity but a catalyst for the development of any nation.” – Narendra Modi
“The best form of governance is the one that accomplishes the desired societal goals at the least social cost.” – Kaushik Basu

“Governance is about designing, building, and maintaining institutions that serve widely shared ethical values.” – Frances Hesselbein
“Good governance is perhaps the single most important factor in eradicating poverty and promoting development.” – Kofi Annan
“Governance has to be responsive to the needs and claims of people and, more specifically, to those of the poor and the underprivileged.”       – Amartya Sen

International Monetary Fund (IMF): Governance is a framework of rules, institutions, and practices that set limits on behavior, steering the actions of individuals and firms, and defining their rights and obligations.
World Bank: 1992 report entitled “Governance and Development” – Governance is the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resources for development.”

Corporate Governance

World Bank: Corporate governance is about promoting corporate fairness, transparency, and accountability.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): Corporate governance involves a set of relationships between a company’s management, its board, its shareholders, and other stakeholders. Corporate governance provides a structure through which the objectives of the company are set, and the means of attaining those objectives and monitoring performance are determined.

Good Governance

The African Development Bank (AfDB): Good governance is an approach to a government that is committed to creating a system that protects human rights and civil liberties.

World Bank: WB defined Good Governance as the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resources for development. 

Good governance is epitomized by predictable, open, and enlightened policy-making; a bureaucracy imbued with a professional ethos; an executive arm of government accountable for its actions; and a strong civil society participating in public affairs.

2. Evolution of Governance in India

Entitlement-Based Model: Post-Independence EraState-led Development Theory – Initially focused on establishing administrative frameworks necessary for a new nation.Five-Year Plans (1951): Aimed to industrialize and modernize the economy. 
License Raj (1950s-1980s): Required numerous licenses, fostering bureaucratic oversight and limiting economic freedom.
Shift Towards Participation-Based Model: Late 20th CenturyPromoted equality and freedom, moving towards participatory democracy and neoliberal economic policy.73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments (1992): Empowered local bodies, enhancing grassroots governance.
LPG Reforms and Rolling back of state
Establishment of Rights-Based Legislations: 21st CenturyRights-Based Approach – Solidified the rights-based model with key legislations recognizing basic services as legal rights.Right to Information Act (2005): Increased governmental transparency.  
Right to Education Act (2009): Made education a fundamental right for children aged 6 to 14. 
Food Security Act (2013): Guaranteed subsidized grains to 67% of the population.
Governance Reforms and Initiatives Post-2014Minimum Government Maximum Governance – Focused on digital governance, transparency, and enhancing citizen engagement.Digital India (2015): Aimed to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. 
Goods and Services Tax (GST) Implementation (2017): Simplified a complex tax system into a single tax regime, enhancing business efficiency.

3. Data on Important Aspects of Governance

CategoryData and Details
Public Delivery of ServicesAadhar Generated: 1.35 billion (99% Adults)
Exclusion due to Aadhar Issues: 2.3% (2023 survey), 1.3% PDS biometric failure
Total DBT transfer in 2023-24 – 6.91 Lakh Cr through 314 schemes of 57 Ministries. It has saved around 3.5 Lakh Cr of the government
Under the state government schemes, the cumulative DBT is Rs 274934 crore. For the financial year 2021-22, it amounts to Rs 1674 crore under 137 schemes of 27 Departments.
Governance – RTIRTI Applications: Since 2005, more than 4.2 crore RTIs have been filed and 26 lakh second appeals are there before the commissions.
In 2019-20, the Central government ministries and departments received 1.29 million RTI applications. 
The rejection of RTI applications on grounds of “national security” by Central government ministries increased by 83% during 2020-21, even though the overall rejection rate decreased by 2.95%
In 2022, 3.14 lakh RTI appeals were pending. This is a 44%  increase from 2019 and a 10% increase from 2021.
highest number of pending cases were in Maharashtra at 99,722 followed by Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, the Central Information Commission (32k) and Bihar.
In 29 information commissions across the country only 5% of the positions are occupied by women.
4.6% rejection rate, 35% increase in national security rejections
Only 11 information commissions out of 29 provide e-filing facility for RTI applications or appeals, but only five are functional.  
E-GovernanceAccess: 30% of women in rural areas have internet
Schools with Internet: 27% (2023-2024)
E-Courts: HC disposed 24 million cases, DC disposed 44 million cases
over 188 million individuals and 18,000 organizations have issued over 8 billion documents on DigiLocker.
Legal, Judicial, and Police ReformsPending Cases: 70,000 in SC, 60 lakh in HCs, 4.35 crore in lower courts
Vacancy: 5,900 judges
Police and PrisonsPolice-Population Ratio: 155 per lakh. Best police ratio in Nagaland, Andaman & Nicobar
Prison Occupancy: 132% (2024)
Undertrials: 68% of prisoners
CorruptionIndia ranked 93 out of 180 countries on the corruption perceptions index for 2023.

4. Key Aspects of Governance

Political DimensionNature of Political ContestationInstitutional Autonomy for RBI, ECI etc
Exercise of FranchiseEnsuring free and fair elections
Profile and Conduct of Political RepresentativesIntegrity, accountability, and behavior of elected officials
Quality/Functioning of the Political ExecutiveEfficiency, responsiveness, and transparency of the executive branch
Political DecentralizationPrinciple of Subsidiarity
Legal & Judicial DimensionGeneral Conditions of Rule of Law and Internal Security
Accessibility, Approachability, and Citizen-Friendliness of the Policee-FIR
Police Administration and FunctioningPolice Reforms – Prakh Singh Judgment
Access to Justice and Judicial Administrationtimely and affordable access to justice for all citizens FR U/A 21
Corruption Perception, Vigilance, and EnforcementLokpal Act
Administrative DimensionCitizen Orientation, Responsiveness, and TransparencyRTI, Citizen Charter
Efficient management and development of human resources within the administrative machineryMission Karmayogi
Ensuring sound financial management practices to optimize resource utilizationPFMA
Basic Service DeliveryHousing for All
Economic DimensionEnsuring responsible fiscal management, budgeting, and financial disciplineFRBM Act
Creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive, including regulatory reforms and ease of doing businessFDI Liberalization
Enhancing support and development of agriculture, fisheries, and forestryPM Kisan
Social DimensionWelfare of the Poor and Vulnerable Sections and Improved Standard of livingMGNREGA
Encouraging the active participation of civil society organizations in governance and development processesSocial Audit
Ensuring a free and responsible media that acts as a watchdog and provides a platform for public discourseInvestigative Journalism
Promoting sustainable development through effective environmental governance and management practices

5. Different Models of Governance

ModelDescriptionSpecific Example
Government-as-Machine ModelThe government functions like a machine with strict adherence to rules and regulations, lacking flexibility and responsiveness.Traditional public administration in India, where bureaucratic processes often lead to delays and inefficiencies in service delivery.
Government-as-Network ModelThe government operates as a complex, interconnected system, emphasizing connection, communication, and collaboration to solve problems.Smart City initiatives in India, where various stakeholders, including government, private sector, and citizens, collaborate to improve urban living.
Market ModelThe government allows the private sector to provide services, aiming for efficiency and better service delivery compared to traditional public sectors.Delhi Electricity Board’s privatization.
Participatory State ModelEmphasizes increased individual and collective participation in government decision-making processes, especially for typically excluded segments.Gram Sabhas 
Deregulated Government ModelFocuses on reducing bureaucratic control, providing more managerial freedom, and making decisions based on societal needs and collective input.Liberalization reforms in India post-1991
Entitlement-Based ModelThe state provides essential goods and services to citizens who are seen as passive recipients, e.g., food grains under the Public Distribution System (PDS) in India.Public Distribution System (PDS) 
Rights-Based ModelAims to empower citizens as active participants in decision-making and strengthens the capacity of governments to fulfill their duties to citizens.Right to Information Act (RTI) 

6. Good Governance

“In the happiness of his people lies the king’s happiness, in their welfare his welfare”.   -Kautilya

“The exercise of economic, political and administrative authority to manage a country’s affairs at all levels. It comprises the mechanisms, processes and institutions, through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations and mediate their differences.” – UNDP

12th FYP – Good governance is vital for a well-functioning society, ensuring effective resource use and service delivery, while providing social legitimacy.

Minimum Government Maximum Governance emphasizes reducing the size and scope of government intervention, while ensuring that the governance mechanisms are effective, transparent, and accountable. The government focuses on creating a conducive environment for businesses and citizens, acting more as a facilitator than as a controller.

Evolution of Good Governance

  1. 1980s: Rise of Governance: With globalization-led economic reforms, “governance” became a key term, emphasizing the process and manner of governing towards sustainable development.
  2. End of Cold War: Changing Perspectives: The end of the Cold War altered the approach of developed countries and multilateral aid agencies towards developing nations, previously influenced by the bi-polar world.
  3. 1990s: World Bank’s Role: The World Bank introduced good governance in its lending policies for developing countries.
  1. 1992 Governance and Development Report: Advocated using good governance to manage a country’s economic and social resources for development.
  2. 1996 Policy Shift: Focused on corruption in borrowing countries, making it central to lending decisions.
  1. IMF’s Structural Adjustment Programme 1990: Recognized the necessity of good governance for successful market reforms.
  2. Policy Shifts and Foreign Investment: Developing countries, competing for foreign investment, shifted policies to improve governance.

Core Principles of Good Governance (UNESCAP)

PrincipleDescriptionSpecific Example
ParticipationEveryone can voice their opinions through institutions or representatives, ensuring freedom of association and expression.Gram Sabhas where villagers gather to discuss and make decisions on local issues.
Rule of LawImpartial enforcement of laws, especially human rights laws.SC Judgment in K. Bharti Judgment
TransparencyGovernment policies must be carried out under existing regulations and accessible to everyone, including those affected.Right to Information Act (RTI)
ResponsivenessInstitutions and processes should serve all stakeholders in a reasonable time.Online grievance redressal systems like the Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS).
Consensus-OrientedDecisions should be acceptable to all, even if not everyone’s wishes can be accommodated.EIA
Equity and InclusivenessEnsure justice and equal opportunity for everyone to improve their welfare.Reservation policies, RTE
Effectiveness and EfficiencyDecision-making processes and institutions should meet everyone’s needs while using resources wisely.Implementation of the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system 
AccountabilityInstitutions must be answerable to the public to improve societal quality.Public audits by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India 

7. Impact of Poor Governance on Development 

PESTLE AspectAspectDetailsExamples
PoliticalCorruptionCorruption leads to inefficient resource allocation, hindering economic growth and public trust.The 2G Spectrum scam and the Commonwealth Games scam.
Political Instabilitydisrupts development processes and deters foreign investment.Frequent changes in state governments due to political turmoil.
Policy Implementation Failureslead to ineffective governance and unmet development goals.Leakages in PDS
Lack of Transparencyreduces accountability and increases corruption.Non-transparent allocation of natural resources (“Coalgate” scandal)
Low Public Trustleading to decreased civic engagement and social cohesion.Lower voter turnout in 2024 elections compared to 2014 and 2019
EconomicPoor Economic ManagementIneffective economic policies and poor fiscal management can lead to economic instability and reduced investor confidence.1991 BOP Crisis
Regulatory UncertaintyFrequent changes in regulations and policies can create an unstable business environment.Changes in GST Slabs
Inefficient Market Systemsreduce competitiveness and innovation.Monopolistic practices, inverted duty structure.
SocialSocial InequalityPoor governance exacerbates social inequalities, limiting opportunities for marginalized communities.Inequitable access to quality education and healthcare services in rural and urban areas.
Quality of lifeInconsistent access to basic services like clean water, sanitation, and healthcare in various regions.Delhi Water Crisis 2024
Human Rights ViolationsPoor governance can lead to violations of human rights, affecting citizens’ well-being and freedom.Custodial Deaths in TN
Displacements and poor rehabilitationDisproportionately affecting TribalsSardar Sarovar Dam Project
TechnologicalDigital DivideUnequal access to digital technologies limits opportunities for education and economic growth.Only 27% of rural households have internet access, compared to 66% in urban areas (National Sample Survey).
Cybersecurity ThreatsPoor governance in cybersecurity can lead to data breaches and financial losses.The data breach at Aadhaar 
E-Governance Implementation IssuesDelays and inefficiencies in e-governance projects can reduce their effectiveness.The delay in rolling out the e-Health initiative in various states 
Inadequate Tech InfrastructurePoor technological infrastructure hampers access to online services and economic activities.Frequent power outages and slow internet speeds in rural areas limit digital engagement
Legal-AdministrativeJudicial DelaysSlow judicial processes undermine the rule of law and discourage investment.over 4 crore cases pending in lower courts.
Bureaucratic Inefficiency and Red TapismInefficient bureaucracy can delay project approvals and implementation, hindering development.The average turnaround time for Indian ports is 2.1 days compared to 0.4 days for Norway, 0.6 days for Netherlands, and 0.8 days for Singapore.
CorruptionCorruption within administrative bodies can lead to misuse of resources and unfair practices.The Vyapam scam, NEET paper leak
Human Resource MismanagementPoor management of human resources can lead to underperformance and low morale among public servants.shortage of healthcare workers during the pandemic 
EnvironmentalEnvironmental DegradationIneffective governance in environmental regulation leads to degradation and unsustainable resource use.Poor implementation of EIA

8. Steps Taken

AspectStepDetailsSpecific Data
PoliticalLokpal and Lokayuktas Act (2013)Established an anti-corruption ombudsman to investigate corruption complaints against public officials.1,200 cases investigated by Lokpal as of 2023.
Increased EnforcementStrengthened actions against corruption with more cases prosecuted and assets seized by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).Assets worth ₹1 lakh crore seized between 2014-2023.
E-Voting Pilot ProjectsTesting electronic voting methods to increase voter participation.Conducted in 8 states with positive feedback.
Electoral ReformsReforms to enhance the transparency and efficiency of the electoral process.Use of VVPAT machines
EconomicGoods and Services Tax (GST)Simplified the tax structure, making it more transparent and efficient.GST collections averaged ₹1.4 lakh crore monthly in FY 2023.
Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC)Provided a structured process for insolvency resolution to improve the ease of doing business.4,540 cases resolved, recovering ₹2.5 lakh crore as of 2023.
Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT)Transfers subsidies directly to beneficiaries’ bank accounts to reduce leakages.₹20.98 lakh crore transferred through DBT schemes.
Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) ActEnsures fiscal discipline by setting targets for the government’s fiscal deficit and debt.Fiscal deficit reduced to 4.5% of GDP by FY 2023.
Disinvestment and FDI ReformsEncourages private sector participation in public sector units and liberalizes foreign direct investment norms.Disinvestment target of ₹1.75 lakh crore set for FY 2023; FDI inflows increased to $81.72 billion in 2021-22.
SocialSwachh Bharat MissionA nationwide campaign to clean up the streets, roads, and infrastructure of India’s cities and rural areas.Over 100 million toilets built; rural sanitation coverage increased to 100%.
Skill IndiaProvides skill development training to enhance employability of the workforce.Over 5 crore people trained under the PMKVY (Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana).
Atal Pension YojanaProvides pension benefits to workers in the unorganized sector.4 crore subscribers enrolled as of 2023.
National Pension Scheme (NPS)A voluntary, defined contribution retirement savings scheme.4.5 crore subscribers with ₹7.72 lakh crore in assets under management as of 2023.
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)Aims to provide affordable housing to the urban poor.1.12 crore houses sanctioned under PMAY-Urban as of 2023.
TechnologicalAadhaar (Unique Identification)Provides a unique identity to residents, facilitating direct benefit transfers and reducing leakages.1.3 billion Aadhaar cards issued, reducing leakages in subsidies by 20%.
E-Governance ProjectsImplementing e-governance initiatives to improve service delivery and transparency in government processes.3.5 billion e-transactions recorded under Digital India in 2023.
BharatNetAims to connect all gram panchayats with high-speed internet.1.5 lakh gram panchayats connected as of 2023.
National Digital Health Mission (NDHM)Creates a digital health ecosystem to manage health records electronically.24 million health IDs created by 2023.
UMANG AppProvides a unified platform for accessing government services.Over 3.75 crore downloads and 2000+ services available as of 2023.
LegalRight to Information Act (2005)Empowered citizens to request information from the government, increasing transparency.4.8 lakh RTI applications filed annually.
Judicial ReformsImplementing fast-track courts and e-courts to reduce case backlogs and improve judicial efficiency.1,800 fast-track courts operational, reducing pendency by 20%.
Data Protection BillAims to protect citizens’ data privacy and regulate data usage by companies.Bill passed in 2023, aiming to regulate data handling.
Consumer Protection Act (2019)Strengthens consumer rights and provides mechanisms for redressal.Over 3.5 lakh cases resolved under the new act.
Lok Adalats (People’s Courts)Offers alternative dispute resolution to reduce court burden.1.3 crore cases settled through Lok Adalats in 2023.
EnvironmentalNational Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC)Outlines eight missions focusing on climate change mitigation and adaptation.Solar capacity increased to 60 GW as part of the Solar Mission.
Namami Gange ProgrammeAims to clean and rejuvenate the Ganges River.₹30,000 crore sanctioned; significant reduction in pollution levels.
Afforestation and Green India MissionPromotes afforestation to increase green cover.1.5 million hectares afforested under the Green India Mission.
National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)Targets reducing air pollution levels across cities.20-30% reduction in particulate matter in 102 cities by 2024.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)Requires environmental clearances for large projects to assess and mitigate environmental impacts.Over 5,000 projects assessed annually for environmental impact.
Improving Service DeliveryCitizen’s ChartersOutlines service delivery standards for government departments, improving transparency.Over 1,000 Citizen’s Charters implemented across various departments.
Sevottam ModelFramework for improving public service delivery through standard setting and performance evaluation.Adopted by multiple government departments to enhance service quality.
Social AuditsEngages community participation in auditing government programs for transparency and accountability.Conducted in over 6 lakh Gram Panchayats under MGNREGA.
Decentralization73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments (1992)Strengthens local governance through Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies.Over 3 million elected representatives in Panchayati Raj Institutions.
NITI AayogPromotes cooperative federalism and involves states in policy formulation.States’ active involvement in policy planning and execution since its establishment in 2015.
14th Finance CommissionIncreases financial devolution to states for better local governance.42% share of central taxes devolved to states, enhancing their fiscal autonomy.
Other InitiativesAspirational Districts Programme (ADP)Targets rapid development in underdeveloped districts to improve quality of life.115 districts identified, with significant improvements in health, education, and infrastructure.
Good Governance Index (GGI)Ranks states and Union Territories based on governance performance to encourage reforms.Regular ranking published to promote competitive federalism among states.
StateInitiativeDetailsSpecific Data
KeralaKerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB)Mobilizes resources for large infrastructure projects.Over ₹20,000 crore mobilized for infrastructure projects.
Haritha Keralam MissionFocuses on sustainable development through waste management and water conservation.Over 1 crore saplings planted and numerous water bodies rejuvenated.
e-District ProjectProvides government services digitally for quick and efficient delivery.Over 1 crore transactions processed through the e-District platform.
Citizen’s Call CenterA 24/7 helpline for information and assistance on government services.Over 10 lakh calls handled annually.
MaharashtraRight to Public Services ActEnsures timely delivery of public services with penalties for non-compliance.Over 500 services covered under the act.
Aaple Sarkar PortalDigital platform for accessing a wide range of government services online.Over 3 crore users registered and millions of services availed.
Maharashtra State Skill Development Society (MSSDS)Focuses on skill development and vocational training.Over 10 lakh youth trained and placed.
Jalyukt Shivar AbhiyanA water conservation initiative to make Maharashtra drought-free.Over 16,000 villages benefited from the program.
Tamil NaduAmma Unavagam (Amma Canteens)Provides subsidized meals to the urban poor.Over 500 canteens serving lakhs of meals daily.
Amma Maternity Nutrition KitProvides nutritional supplements to pregnant women.Over 10 lakh kits distributed annually.
Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency (TNeGA)Implements e-governance initiatives for better service delivery.Over 200 government services available online.
Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance SchemeProvides health insurance to economically weaker sections.Over 1.5 crore beneficiaries enrolled.
KarnatakaSakalaGuarantees timely service delivery and tracks application status online.Over 1.5 crore applications processed with 98% on-time delivery.
Ksheera BhagyaProvides free milk to school children to improve nutrition and academic performance.Over 65 lakh children benefited.
JanasevakaDoorstep delivery service for government services.Over 1 lakh services delivered at doorsteps.
BhoomiDigitizes land records for transparency in land transactions.Over 70 lakh land records digitized.
Andhra Pradeshe-PragatiA comprehensive e-governance initiative to provide integrated services to citizens.Over 400 services integrated under the platform.
NTR Bharosa SchemeProvides financial assistance to senior citizens, weavers, and disabled persons.Over 50 lakh beneficiaries supported.
Mana Badi Nadu-NeduAims to transform government schools with improved infrastructure and facilities.Over 15,000 schools upgraded.
RajasthanBhamashah YojanaEmpowers women and promotes financial inclusion through direct benefit transfers.Over 1 crore women benefited.
RajNetConnects all panchayats and government offices through high-speed internet.Over 11,000 panchayats connected.
Jal Swavlamban AbhiyanFocuses on water conservation and management to ensure water self-sufficiency.Over 21,000 villages benefited from water conservation projects.
GujaratMukhyamantri Amrutam (MA) YojanaProvides health insurance for families below the poverty line.Over 50 lakh families covered.
Gujarat Solar Power PolicyPromotes solar energy generation to make Gujarat a solar hub.Over 9,000 MW of solar power capacity installed.
Smart Village InitiativeEnhances infrastructure and services in villages to promote rural development.Over 300 villages transformed into smart villages.
West BengalKanyashree PrakalpaProvides financial aid to girls for education and prevention of early marriage.Over 70 lakh girls benefited.
Sabuj Sathi SchemeDistributes bicycles to school students to promote education and reduce dropouts.Over 1 crore bicycles distributed.
Utkarsh BanglaOffers vocational training to improve employability of youth.Over 6 lakh youth trained.
Uttar PradeshMission ShaktiFocuses on women’s safety, dignity, and empowerment.Over 1.5 crore women benefited.
Mukhyamantri Arogya AbhiyanProvides free medical treatment to economically weaker sections.Over 1 crore beneficiaries covered.
One District One Product (ODOP)Promotes local crafts and products to boost the economy and create jobs.Over 1,000 products from various districts promoted.

9. Issues With Government Schemes

AspectIssueDetailsExamples and Specific Data
Structural IssuesEntitlement-Based ModelPassive Citizenry: Government welfare schemes often create dependency rather than promoting self-reliance. Public Distribution System (PDS)
Colonial LegacyThe hierarchical and centralized administrative structures inherited from the colonial era often result in inefficiency and a lack of responsiveness.Mai Baap Culture
Poor Accountability MechanismsDespite initiatives like the Right to Information (RTI) Act, mechanisms such as citizen charters and social audits are not effectively enforced.
Secrecy and Multiplicity of LawsThe legal framework is often cumbersome and opaque, leading to delays in justice. The average duration for case disposal in Indian courts is over three years​​.
Design and PlanningTop down approachSchemes often adopt a one-size-fits-all approach without considering regional disparities.Farm Laws
Insufficient Feasibility StudiesLack of preliminary studies leads to impractical schemes and wasted resources.Low cost recovery in Atal Setu Bridge.
Complex GuidelinesOverly complex and bureaucratic guidelines deter private sector participation and delay implementation.Lack of private sector participation in Smart Cities Mission
Overlapping Jurisdictional IssuesOverlap between central and state schemes can lead to confusion and inefficiency.PM-KISAN and state-level schemes like Rythu Bandhu  caused duplication of efforts​.
Centre-State ConflictDisagreements between central and state governments impede scheme implementation.Odisha, West Bengal and Delhi are not implementing Ayushman Bharat Scheme​.
ImplementationCorruption and LeakagesMisappropriation of funds and resources often undermine the effectiveness of schemes.PDS faces 46.7% leakages​. (NSSO)
Poor Monitoring and EvaluationInadequate monitoring mechanisms lead to poor oversight and accountability.40% of PMGSY roads needed repairs within a year​.
Inaccurate TargetingIncorrect identification of beneficiaries leads to exclusion errors and inclusion errors.PM-KISAN had over 10 lakh ineligible recipients​ ​.
Digital DivideReliance on digital platforms excludes those without internet access or digital literacy.25% of rural households lack internet access, affecting DBT reach​.
FundingResource ConstraintsInsufficient funding hampers comprehensive implementation and coverage.Ayushman Bharat has 30% of health centers non-operational​​.
Populist Spending Governments often overspend, leading to fiscal deficits. This results in reduced resources for the private sector and increased inflation.Loan Waivers
Capital vs. Revenue ExpenditureEmphasis on capital expenditure over revenue expenditure leads to numerous infrastructure projects but insufficient staffing, affecting human development indicators.Doctor to population ration in India is 1:834 
Funding Delayshinder timely execution and beneficiary payments.MGNREGA had ₹10,000 crore in pending wages as of March 2023​ .
Misallocation of FundsDiversion of funds due to mismanagement or corruption.Midday Meal Scheme reported substandard meals in several states​​.
Technological Implementation IssuesIssues with integrating and using technology effectively in schemes.PDS technical glitches affected over 1 crore beneficiaries in 2022​​.
Private Sector Dominant Public SectorThe government still controls critical sectors like health and education, lacking the application of “Minimum Government Maximum Governance.”
Slow PrivatizationDespite claims that the government shouldn’t be in business, the pace of privatization is slow, and disinvestment targets are rarely met. The government set a disinvestment target of ₹1.75 lakh crore for FY2021-22, revised it to ₹78,000 crore later, but the actual proceeds were only ₹14,638 crore.
TechnologicalPoor Technological InfrastructureOnly 30% of gram panchayats connected to high-speed internet as of 2023​.
Cybersecurity ThreatsData breaches and cyber-attacks compromise the integrity and trust in digital schemes.Aadhaar data breach exposed millions of citizens’ information​.
Technical GlitchesFrequent technical issues disrupt the smooth operation of digital schemes.GSTN issues caused compliance delays for over 5 lakh taxpayers​.
Impact and OutcomeLimited Impact EvaluationLack of systematic evaluations prevents assessment of scheme success and necessary improvements.30% of Ujjwala Yojana beneficiaries reverted to traditional fuels​.
Sustainability IssuesShort-term focus and lack of long-term sustainability planning.20% of Jalyukt Shivar structures non-functional within 2 years​​.
Lack of Beneficiary Feedback MechanismAbsence of systematic mechanisms to gather and incorporate beneficiary feedback.Non-institutionalization of Social Audits
Limited ReachSome schemes fail to reach all intended beneficiaries, especially in remote areas.15% of targeted schools not covered by Midday Meal Scheme in 2022​.
Unintended ConsequencesSome schemes have unintended negative impacts that undermine their objectives.Loan waivers led to reduced credit discipline among farmers​.
Political and AdministrativePolitical InterferencePolitical involvement distorts scheme priorities and implementation, leading to favoritism and inefficiency.25% of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana projects affected by political interference​​.
Bureaucratic HurdlesRed tape and bureaucratic hurdles delay project approvals and implementation.Requirement of multiple clearances
Inter-Departmental Coordination Issuesleads to fragmented and inefficient scheme execution.ICDS faced issues due to poor coordination, affecting 30% of projects​ .
Frequent Changes in LeadershipFrequent changes in administrative leadership disrupt the continuity and implementation of schemes.

10. Citizen Participation and Good Governance

Citizen participation is essential in democracy, allowing people to influence public decisions, hold leaders accountable, and help develop their communities. Good governance includes transparency, accountability, and inclusivity, crucial for sustainable development.

“No one is born a good citizen; no nation is born a democracy. Rather, both are processes that continue to evolve over a lifetime.” – Kofi Annan


Enhances AccountabilityEnsures public officials are answerable and reduces corruption.The Right to Information Act (2005) 
Improves Policy FormulationIncorporates diverse perspectives for comprehensive policies.The National Education Policy (2020) involved extensive public consultations, resulting in a more inclusive framework​.
Enhances Service DeliveryAligns services with actual needs and improves efficiency.The Sevottam model in India improves service delivery through citizen feedback and performance evaluation​​.
Strengthens DemocracyEmpowers citizens and fosters a sense of civic responsibility.Panchayati Raj Institutions in India enable local self-governance and direct citizen participation in decision-making​​.
Builds Trust in GovernmentPromotes mutual trust and perceived legitimacy of actions.Right to Service in Maharashtra.
Facilitates Social CohesionInvolves marginalized communities, preventing conflicts.Social audits in schemes like MGNREGA promote inclusivity and help resolve local issues effectively​​.
Promotes Sustainable DevelopmentEnsures development projects are sustainable and community-supported.The Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan in Rajasthan leverages local participation in water conservation​​.
Participatory Democracy TheoryEmphasizes broad participation of constituents in political decision-making processes.Gram Sabhas
Deliberative Democracy TheoryFocuses on discussion and deliberation among citizens to reach consensus on public issues.public hearings in urban planning projects​​.
Social Capital TheorySuggests that networks of relationships among people in a society enable it to function effectively.Community organizations and social networks likePanchayati Raj Institutions​​.
Agency TheoryFocuses on the relationship between principals (citizens) and agents (government officials), emphasizing accountability.Mechanisms like audits, watchdog organizations, and transparent reporting to ensure government accountability
Public Choice TheoryApplies economic principles to the study of political behavior, highlighting self-interest influences.Understanding how voter behavior and lobbying can influence policy decisions, as seen in the Sevottam model for public service delivery​​.

Challenges in Citizen Participation

Lack of AwarenessCitizens often lack information about their rights and the processes for participation.Low awareness about Pension Schemes​.
Digital DivideLimited internet access and digital literacy prevent many citizens from engaging with e-governance platforms.25% of rural households in India lack internet access, affecting the reach of schemes like DBT​​.
Low Levels of EducationIlliteracy and low educational levels hinder effective participation in governance processes.Low literacy among women leading to ‘Sarpanch Pati ’ in Panchayati Raj​ 
Lack of CapacityCitizens often lack the skills and knowledge required to participate effectively in governance.Training programs for citizen participation in schemes like social audits are limited and inconsistent​​.
Distrust in GovernmentHistorical instances of corruption and inefficiency lead to a lack of trust in government initiatives.
Exclusion of Marginalized GroupsMarginalized communities often find it difficult to participate due to social and economic barriers.Preventing Dalits from participation in Gram Sabha in TN
Geographical BarriersRemote and rural areas face logistical challenges in accessing participatory platforms and services.
Bureaucratic HurdlesComplex administrative processes, red tape discourage citizen participation.Complicated procedures for accessing benefits under schemes like PMAY 
Poor Communication ChannelsIneffective communication between government and citizens leads to misunderstandings and apathy.
Economic ConstraintsEconomic hardship can limit the time and resources citizens can devote to participation.Daily wage laborers might prioritize earning a livelihood over participating in governance activities​.

11. Way Forward

Enhancing Transparency and AccountabilityImproved Effectiveness of the RTI ActReduce exemptions for security and economic institutes, ensure records are machine-readable, implement legislation akin to the Whistleblower Protection Bill of 2015.
Enhancing Service Delivery MechanismsEffective Implementation of Citizen’s ChartersDecentralized formulation, meaningful dialogues with civil society, periodic evaluations, clear procedures for redress.
Promotion of Social AuditsEnsure guidelines for all citizen-centric programs include social audit mechanisms.
Encouraging Citizen InitiativesReward schemes to encourage public service improvements.
Establishment of Public Service ValuesCode of Ethics for Civil ServantsDefining core values applicable across all government levels, enforce penalties for violations, enhance the code of ethics to address conflicts of interest.
Improving Public Sector Work CultureTraining and DevelopmentEnhanced training programs for pre-entry and mid-career, performance-linked pay, managerial autonomy, employee recognition through awards and newsletters.
IT Reforms for Good GovernanceInfrastructure and Skill EnhancementEssential IT infrastructure, reliable electricity and internet services, continual skill upgradation for staff.
Boosting Citizen Participation in GovernanceParticipatory BudgetingCommunity members allocate portions of the public budget.
Joint Assessment and MonitoringCollaborative evaluations for significant local flagship programs.

12. Global Best Practices

Transparency and AccountabilityWhistleblower ProtectionThe United States’ Whistleblower Protection Act provides strong protections for federal employees​​.
Open Data InitiativesThe UK Government’s Open Data portal​.
Citizen Feedback MechanismsSouth Korea’s e-People system allows citizens to file complaints and suggestions online​​.
Public ParticipationParticipatory BudgetingPorto Alegre in Brazil is known for its participatory budgeting process, involving thousands of residents in budget decisions​.
Inclusive Policy-MakingCanada’s Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) ensures diverse perspectives are considered in policy-making​​.
Rule of LawStrengthening Judicial IndependenceThe Judicial Appointments Commission in the UK ensures a transparent and merit-based selection of judges​​.
Anti-Corruption MeasuresThe Anti-Corruption Commission in Botswana has been effective in reducing corruption levels​.
Service DeliveryDigital GovernanceEstonia’s e-Estonia initiative provides a wide range of government services online, improving accessibility and efficiency​​.
Citizen ChartersThe UK’s Citizen Charter introduced in 1991 set service standards for various public services​.
Ethics in Public ServiceCode of Ethics for Civil ServantsSingapore’s Code of Conduct for civil servants emphasizes integrity and accountability​​.
Performance ManagementNew Zealand’s performance management framework assesses the effectiveness of public sector employees and agencies​.
Human RightsHuman Rights-Based ApproachSweden’s approach to governance integrates human rights into all public policies and practices​.
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