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Evaluation is key for good governance

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By Lalit Garg

The criteria tomake power and society more humble is not issues or lobby, not rank or glory; only honesty and good governance is responsible to achieve a good society. To achieve this entire one should not compromise with honesty, because it is also a fact that nation, government, society, institution and constitution run in honesty, not false appearances, assurances and promises. While assuming power; every government makes claims of giving good governance, but in reality those claims do not go upright, proving to be blatant appearances. Good governance means better law and order, better infrastructure and services, good business and employment opportunities, equality in speech and action, civil safety and security, etc. All these things do not depend only on the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the citizens divided in favour or opposition, but on the scale of prosperity, security and peaceful living of civil life.

Now-a-days, good governance and model-style evaluation of governments is not only done during elections but many national and international agencies have started evaluating this study. The main standards of such evaluation are what condition of the world, what state and city do the civic amenities. The agency called Public Affairs Centre of Bangalore has studied various states and union territories of India on public affairs and categorized them on the basis of the points that Chandigarh tops the level of good governance among union territories.

Among the states, Kerala is at the top and all the other states in the south are at the top, while Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Orissa are in the worst position. Uttar Pradesh is at the lowest rung. Just a few days ago, another agency had reported in its report that the conditions in Uttar Pradesh are better than all other states in terms of doing business. Similar contradictions may also arise in the case of some other states.

Responsibility is necessary for good governance and its honest outcomes. But the irony is that the government neither carries out the responsibilities in a responsible manner nor carries out the obligations faithfully. Ignorance of obligation and honest outcomes is not as cruel as it is in the world. Good governance is established by overall effort. It can never be one-sided. It is not possible to make conditions for business in the state better by making flexible policies or by giving some temptation, but keep relaxing in cases of preventing crime and corruption. When good governance and prosperity are judged in a state, it is seen how the life of the people there is, how much public facilities-roads, hospitals, public transport, electricity-water, security-system are employed, health there, how are educational institutions? How comfortable are the farmers and shopkeepers there. How safe are women and people belonging to the weaker sections of society. How close the common people are to the administration. If there is a crime, how promptness is shown in the convictions of the culprits and how judiciously it is dealt with.

The institute in Bangalore, which has released the latest report on good governance in the states, also studied on the basis of equality, transparency, vigilance, development and continuity. The importance of these points can be understood. On the basis of these, it can be estimated that in the coming days, which states can contribute to the economic development of the country and how much. How much they can help in terms of sustainable development. Some people may argue that small states and union territories are small in size and have a small population, so they work better in terms of law and order and basic amenities, but Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan like Governments in large and densely populated states may face many difficulties.

 But this argument cannot be a way of avoiding responsibilities. Budgetary allocations are made to states according to their size and population, their income may also be considered higher than smaller states in the same proportion. In such a situation, if they are not able to do better at the basic level, then it will be called their failure. In the case of good governance, every backward state should take inspiration from better states than its own.

For peaceful and good governance it is necessary that there should be at least government formalities in common life, laws should be reduced, and government departments should be at least. There are some states where there should be 20-25 government departments, but their number is more than 50-60. There are many states where there are a lot of old and irrelevant laws. They are also a hindrance to good governance, and are complex for public life. In the ideal-governance system, the state governments should get rid of these useless laws. It is good that state governments also understand that they are suffering the most due to the existence of old laws in the working of bureaucracy. Regardless of the better policies of public welfare and development, if there is no government system to implement them properly then nothing is going to be achieved. State governments can make the lives of the common people happy by fulfilling their promises only by establishing good governance at every level.

A major hurdle in the barriers of good governance is that governments do the work in a planned manner. Such governments start work first and make plans latest; they are surrounded by problems and difficulties layer by layer. Their hard work is not meaningful. Their resources are insufficient and they are unable to live up to the sentiments of the people even if they want to. As diseases enter the weak body, similarly weak planning and weak governance systems lead to many incurable diseases and they become a major obstacle to good governance. Those who capture power find their name, position and glory. Whereas the responsibilities and challenges are many times more than that.

Such scenes are seen everywhere today, where there is a complete lack of imagination and creativity in planning and the goal stumbles upon itself. We have not learned regularity and will not learn. Nowadays there is another trend of issues. Which issue is of public interest, they have no meaning. Which is meant by selfishness? And the second wind which has come is to make lobbies, to form groups. Neither constitution nor obstructionism comes in it because “even thought” is such an open word that everything is hidden within it. Whether it is a small province or a large province, lobbying has been done in all the governance. The power which should be used in the interest of governance and society, seems in the wrong direction. The basic values of theory and order are sought to be charged at social, political and religious levels. Truth is covered or naked but not accepted. And those who follow the lamp of truth cast their own shadow on the way. And such people become an abuser in the name of good governance.

Learn to behave decently by developing the tendency to consider the superiority of our authentic position and the honesty of responsibility above personal ego; otherwise it would not be surprising if the pawn bearer was beaten in this chessboard. Many people like to carry the disease instead of medicine for a long time, but do they not get destroyed while living? It is understandable to cool down ‘kheer’ but what is the meaning of freezing it till it becomes stale? It is necessary for an ideal governance system that those who lead the power today should not become consumers of the trust of the people, but to be the guardians.

(Lalit Garg is a Journalist, columnist, writer and member of Rajbhasa samiti, Ministry of Home Affairs. The views expressed are personal opinion of the author. He can be reached at lalirgarg11@gmail.com)

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