In its 1992 study "Governance and Development," the World Bank expounds on the ideal concept of Good Governance as "the exercise of power in the management of a country's economic and social resources for development."
Ancient India and Good Governance
Good Governance is not a new concept in India. From ancient times, it has been celebrated in India.
- Ram Rajya is seen as a model for Good Governance. In the Ayodhya Kanda of Ramayana, Rama gives Bharata the lessons of Good Governance.
- The Bhagavad Gita mentions a list of duties and the importance of leadership in Good Governance.
- Arthasastra declares all administrators, including the King, as the people's servants.
- Bheeshma advises on Good Governance to Yudhishthira in the Shanti Parva of Mahabharata.
Pillars of Good Governance
There are eight pillars of Good Governance as described by the United Nations. All of them aim to minimize corruption, respect minority rights and opinions, be open to changes, and meet the future needs of society.
Participation of People in the Daily Affairs of the State
- People shall be able to participate in the decision-making process. They shall be represented, and their voices shall be heard.
- People shall have the right to participate through various forms like protests, mass movements, demonstrations, social media campaigns, criticizing the government, etc.
Rule of Law
Rule of Law includes two concepts:
- First, everyone, including the State, is equal in the eyes of the law.
- Everyone shall be entitled to equal protection of laws.
Rather than a mere aggregation of individual consensus, the spirit of Good Governance lies in distributing the benefits and burdens of society so that even if people do not get everything they desire, everyone gets a common minimum.
It is closely associated with the idea of a welfare state.
The government shall preach the concepts of equality and justice and shall be inclusive, tolerant, and equitable.
In the Good Governance model, the State shall optimally distribute benefits and burdens in society. Everyone shall be entitled to equality of opportunity.
Accountability towards the public is the currency of Good Governance.
Governmental activities shall not be a chamber of secrets. On the contrary, it shall be open to public scrutiny. Moreover, information related to the functioning of the government shall be accessible to the public, and there shall be a free flow of information.
In contrast to a body anchored in obstination, the State is supposed to be a proactive, responsive body that shall rapidly address the problems arising in the society.
Efforts Towards Implementing Good Governance in India
Right to Information
The Right to Information Act of 2005 grants Indians the right to seek any available information from a public body, making the government and its personnel more accountable and responsible.
The National E-Governance Plan has made all government services available to the citizens through the internet or standard services outlet.
The plan envisions using information and communication technology to eradicate red-tapism and enhance efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency in the public sector.
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Based on the idea of maximum governance, some of the significant efforts to promote e-governance include:
- Digital India
- My Gov
- MCA 21
- Passport Seva Kendra
- Digi Locker
- Umang App
Among many others.
Other attempts toward Good Governance include:
- Good Governance Index ranks all the states and UTs in India in terms of Good Governance based on ten sectors and 58 indicators.
- Citizen's Charter
- Celebration of Good Governance Day and Good Governance Week
To sum up, Good Governance is a governance model that aims to promote a just and peaceful society while protecting human rights and civil liberties.
Only a few countries have come close to Good Governance. To ensure long-term human development and the ideals of democracy, steps must be taken to make it a reality.
FAQs on Good Governance
Q.1 Why is Good Governance important for nation-states?
Many international organizations, notably the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), condition their support to countries on their adherence to Good Governance standards.
Q.2 When is Good Governance Day celebrated in India?
Good Governance Day is celebrated on the 25th Day of December, the birth anniversary of AB Vajpayee.
Q.3 Who prepares the Good Governance Index for Indian states?
The Good Governance index is developed by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions (DARPG).
Q.4 What is India’s position vis-a-vis other countries in terms of Good Governance?
The Chandler Good Government Index (CGGI) recently placed India in the 49th position out of 108 countries, in terms of Good Governance