- The issue is related to GS-4 syllabus under the following heading –
- Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.
- The question wants us to express our knowledge and understanding of the working and philosophical concept of the term governance. It also wants us to write in detail about the indicators of good governance.
- In the introduction, define and briefly explain in 1-2 lines, the term governance. E.g The word “governance” came from the Latin verb “gubernare,” which means “to steer.” Basing on its etymology, governance refers to the manner of steering or governing, or of directing and controlling, a group of people or a state.
- In the main body:
- Explain and discuss the term further, give its working definition ( what it practically means), its relation to government etc.
- Discuss in points, the indicators of good governance. E.g transparency, rule of law, accountability, absence of corruption etc.
- Summarize your overall discussion in a short conclusion.
- Take the help of the article attached to the question and also other related material, in order to frame your answer.
Kautilya in his treatise Arthashastra propounded the qualities of good governance by the ruling king as follows: In the happiness of his subject lies his happiness, in their welfare his welfare, whatever pleases himself he shall not consider good. The concept of good governance is associated with capable and real administration in a democratic setup.
- Governance is commonly defined as the exercise of power or authority by political leaders for the well-being of their country’s citizens or subjects.
- It is the complex process whereby some sectors of the society wield power and enact and promulgate public policies which directly affect human and institutional interactions and economic and social development.
- A great deal about governance is the proper and effective utilization of resources.
- Today, governance includes three sectors: the public sector (state actors and institutions), the private sector (households and companies), and the civil society (non-governmental organizations).
- These three sectors are said to work hand in hand in the process of governance.
Good governance is understood through its eight indicators or characteristics:
- Good governance essentially requires the participation of different sectors of the society. The management of highly complex societies and of their ever-growing needs requires a participatory form of governance by diffusing power.
- The move for decentralization is a response to this as it widens the base of participation and allows local government units to exercise governmental powers directly within their respective districts.
- This means freedom of association and expression and an organized civil society should go hand in hand.
- Rule of Law: Democracy is essentially the rule of law. It is through the law that people express their will and exercise their sovereignty.
- Effective and Efficient: Good governance requires that the institutions, processes, and actors could deliver and meet the necessities of the society in a way that available resources are utilized well. That the different actors meet the needs of the society means that it is effective
- Transparent: Transparency, as an indicator of good governance, means that people are open to information regarding decision-making process and the implementation of the same.
- Responsive: Responsiveness means that institutions and processes serve all stakeholders in a timely and appropriate
- Equitable and Inclusive: Equity and inclusiveness means that all the members of the society, especially the most vulnerable ones or the grassroots level, must be taken into consideration in policy-making.
- Consensus Oriented: Governance is consensus-oriented when decisions are made after taking into consideration the different viewpoints of the actors of the society. Mechanisms for conflict resolution must be in place because inevitably conflict that will arise from competing interests of the actors.
- Accountability: Accountability means answerability or responsibility for one’s action. It is based on the principle that every person or group is responsible for their actions most especially when their acts affect public interest.
“Good” governance promotes gender equality, sustains the environment, enables citizens to exercise personal freedoms, and provides tools to reduce poverty, deprivation, fear, and violence. The UN views good governance as participatory, transparent and accountable. It encompasses state institutions and their operations and includes private sector and civil society organizations.
Good governance is significant in public institutions to conduct and manage public affairs and resources to guarantee human rights in free of abuse and corruption, and with due regard for the rule of law.
Good governance is thus, a function of installation of positive virtues of administration and elimination of vices of dysfunctionalities. It makes the government work effective, credible and legitimate in the administrative system and citizen-friendly, value caring and people-sharing.