What are the parameters to measure good governance? Examine the performance of the State on at least two of those parameters.
Good governance is becoming a silent global resolution and demanding for it, it is difficult to define but there are specific characters of it
- Rule of law as per constitutional values
- Transparency in information flow to all section of society
- Government should be responsive to people need
- Government should be participative and decision based on consensus
- Governance should be inclusive in approach and accessible to all irrespective of caste, class, religion, gender and other hierarchy.
- Executive should be accountable to people
Indian government is moving towards good governance which can be justified by few examples-
People participation- now more in governance through digital platform like mygov, social media, and ministry invitation to people on legislation discussion like education policy. People suggestion to prime minister for better policies and policy like digital India has encouraged people participation in governance.
Accountable- Now executive are direct and more accountable to people up to grassroot level. Social audit make local administration accountable to people. RTE act empowered to ask questions to administration. Initiative like PRAGATI has ensured top officials monitoring by Prime minister. Competitive feeling among states pushing them to do more; public service bill in Maharashtra is example of it. Judiciary, CAG report, and other institutions also compelled for it.
India is gradually moving with good governance agenda but lot more need to be done for achieving future ambitious targets like SDGs, house for all, and top 50 rank in ease of doing business index, and so on.
The RTI law is not merely a tool for financial oversight of the expenditure of the taxpayers’ money by various government agencies. Rather it is the harbinger of the philosophy of transparent and accountable governance. Critically comment.
Recently one international report has accepted Indian RTI as fourth best law in total 110 countries who have such provision. This fact with decade of success RTI law proves its importance for transparency and accountability. It can be justified as –
No more secrecy- earlier under office act and other provision administration could check the information flow which should be accessible to citizen as right. This is no more the case after RTI act.
Information flow- transparency is not possible without information flow, after RTI law government compel to disclose the public welfare information. If not, people can ask the information.
Check on corruption- because of it many corrupt cases uncovered. Adarsh society scam, 2G scam, commonwealth game scam all get disclosed because of RTI act. It enforces accountability on officials.
Accessible- by paying mere 10 Rs anyone can look for needed information, so it empowers the most deprived people also in democracy. Same time it ensures that no one is far from reach of common man.
However still lot need to be done to ensure effective use of RTI in Indian context;
- Whistle blower act need to strengthen for safety of RTI activists.
- RTI scope need to widen but actually it is reducing and states are using different tricks to reduce its access to common man.
- 12500 cases is pending to CIC itself and this number is huge cumulatively.
RTI actually empowered the Indian democracy and one of the landmark acts; awareness creation and its widening its scope should be next focus for government.
What do you understand by ‘hidden hunger’? Which sections of the population are affected most by hidden hunger? What are its causes? Analyse.
Hidden hunger is deficiency of essential micro nutrients, minerals, and vitamins in the body because no or poor diet. It is different from hunger because food availability is not a challenge but issue is with nutrient uptake by body. It is important because even micro nutrients, minerals, and vitamins are required in very little amount but it is important for regular functioning of body. It can affect any section of population who do not take quality food in diet but more prone are-
- Malnourished population especially children and adolescents are susceptible to it.
- Pregnant women, tribal community, and disable people
- People affected by migration, disaster, and unsettled by different reasons.
Cause of hidden hunger
- Poor PDS service and limited food access through it.
- Limited food habit in recent time and little diversity
- Promotion of fast food culture.
- Economic poor so not able to afford quality food like vegetables and fruits
- Social reason as girls do not treated same as boy so limited access of quality food.
- State social welfare have limited access to poor and needy people
- Supplementary medicines are limited available in PHCs at affordable cost.
- Agriculture policy so farmers promote more grain crops and limited focus on oil crops, pulses, and vegetables.
To address it, NFSA act and mid day meal scheme can be a game changer. Here focus need to shift from food access to quality and quantity of food. Similar at PHC level need to make affordable access of important nutrients for lactic mothers and adolescents.