By Lalit Garg
By Lalit Garg
There is a strong need of improvement in administrative reform. The administrative reform should be efficient, responsible and time bound in their work. Even more important is to make the administration corruption free. Many committees and commissions have set up for this and submitted their suggestions on several occasions. Some of them have also been implemented, but the kind of efficiency, duty, honesty, punctuality and accountability that administrative officers and employees are expected to achieve is not being met; it is a serious challenge and a tragic situation.
There is a lack of these qualities in the officers and employees, so the dream of corruption-free administration is impossible, ordinary citizens will not get rid of the troubles and the expected pace in government schemes, programs will not come. The government has started the National Civil Service Capability Program: Mission Karmayogi for this, surely it will reveal the directions to improve the government bureaucratic system.
Transparency International’s Corruption Index report for the year 2018 has shown that India has improved in terms of corruption. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his BJP government have been making efforts to improve the functioning of government offices since their last term. For this, several steps have been taken, in which a mechanism has been developed to monitor every employee’s timely arrival and work. Their accountability was ensured. There has been some improvement but overall not so effective; it is like ‘A drop in the ocean’.
Despite strict rules and policies, the prevalence of corruption in administrative work is very high, due to which the common citizens are facing problems, bribery is being perpetrated, and brokers are in control. All government processes are complex; take an example, the process of free holding the flat in DDA is so complex and impossible that it is not possible without brokers.
One of my friends courageously decided to freehold the flat himself without touts, but after more than a year and rounding up, completing all the ideologies, his flat has not been able to get freehold. How can a common citizen believe in Narendra Modi’s policy of a corruption free environment?
Whether it is police or officers, they are still trying to collect bribes and not willing for public service and cooperation. The public will be bothered then it will give bribe, this corruption is embedded in the roots of governance and administration. In these terrible situations, the same line is remembered repeatedly, ” Ravana (Evil thoughts or people) sitting in every household, how much Ram (Good thoughts or people) should I bring?”
Corruption, dishonesty and bureaucracy have become so dominant that even breathing has become difficult. To get a ration card, a driving license, to freehold a house / flat in DDA, to submit a challan, to get admission in school, to get treatment in a government hospital, and even to take a breath, it also requires a bribe. If the people continue to deny these things, then how long will we find Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath. When will the declarations of corruption-free quick administrative action by these leaders be limited to slogans only? When will the administration wake up from sleep? The administrative staff and officers also have some responsibility to shape the resolutions of the leaders.
In 1985, when Rajiv Gandhi became the Prime Minister, he openly announced to take strict action against corrupt bureaucrats. Although Narendra Modi had successfully run the administration of Gujarat for twelve years with the help of bureaucrats, it seems that despite this satisfying experience, there was some small doubt in some corner of his mind. Therefore, as soon as he became the Prime Minister, he announced that ‘Now what to do or I don’t know’ type attitude has not entertained in administrative services.
The efforts of his effective governance are recognizable; it is a good thing, but in the midst of these discussions, the mentality of our country’s corruption and late hanging of government work is also known in the world, it cannot be called good. So we need to stop this. We are ashamed and regretful to say that we have no honesty, no national character, no moral value, and no accountability towards work. Today’s work to avoid tomorrow’s mindset, how many government offices rotate a common man is well known. When national values are weakened in the nation and it becomes important only to elevate personal selfishness and personal status then that nation definitely becomes weak and becomes a nation of negatives and corrupters.
Certainly the administrative sector has been awakened by the efforts and policies of the present government, now regular evaluation of the functioning of employees is also under consideration in the government. In this sequence, the National Civil Service Capacity Development Program: Mission Karmayogi has been started to develop the efficiency of administrative officers. Under this, efforts will be made to make the selected officers of public service efficient in their work. The government has prepared a training program for this in collaboration with various foreign universities and institutes. Until now the training and evaluation of officers was rule based, now based on their work. But there is a need to train more employees and make them accountable.
The root of real corruption is babu or office peon, who will warn them, who will train them?’Administrative reform’ means that such well-planned changes should be brought in the administration, which will increase the administrative capabilities, the time period to do any work, the mindset to do the work now and at the same time, corruption-free administration only. It will be possible to move towards achieving. Administrative reform is a process that progresses along the development path in a planned manner.
Administrative officers, employees are called public servants. It is their responsibility to listen, to understand and try to solve their problems by keeping them close to the common citizens. But the fact is that the gap between administrative officials and ordinary citizens has increased so much that an ordinary person is not able to stand up to them and speak out of fear.
Whereas, administrative officials are the most convenient means of reaching the government. It is only through the authorities that democracy comes to the ground level. But due to increasing distance between the officers and the public, there is also an increase in the arbitrariness of the employees below and the trend of bribes has also increased for small tasks. This can be called a healthy democracy with a bad reputation. Hence the demand for administrative reform has been rising. If the latest initiative of the central government helps in preparing administrative officers and employees as karmayogis, then it will be a huge administrative reform.
However, in the past, officers and employees had facilities for training and skill development studies according to the changing conditions. Those officers wanted and the government considered them suitable, they also went abroad for special studies. But the functioning of the administration was not able to change because the mind of the officials is tied to a corrupt, indolent mentality over there. The distance between the officers and the public will be erased only when this mindset changes. There are many such examples, when an officer worked closely with the common people, then it has brought remarkable results. Apart from this, administrative officers have to be free from political pressures only then it is possible to develop their duty.
Committees constituted for administrative reform have repeatedly outlined the political pressure on their work. Therefore, skill development is possible in officers and employees. The need for administrative reform and keeping them free from political pressure will also have to be considered. The Administrative Reforms Commission says that a clear determination of the responsibilities between the political executive and the permanent bureaucracy is very important in terms of public welfare and good governance. There is a need for such karmayogi (like Arjuna) officers and employees who, due to their indomitable courage, dedication, responsiveness to work, service to the people and determination, make us sunk and light in the black “system”. Every Arjuna in his own Kurukshetra has his own people in front of whom he has to fight. This is the destiny of every Arjuna.
(Lalit Garg is a writer, journalist and a columnist.)
By Lalit Garg