[Answered] “Reforms and polices which aim to weed out adverse practices often lead to disruptions and fail to achieve its objectives.” Comment.

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Discuss the Issue of disruption due to reforms and various reasons for reforms and policy failures.
Conclusion. Way forward.

Improved governance requires an integrated, long-term strategy built upon cooperation between government and citizens. This requires proper design of policies keeping all stakeholders benefits in mind along with proper implementation of programmes and policies at the ground level. Reforms and polices generally aim to remove inefficiencies and adverse practices, but that often lead to changes that are not comfortable and thus many policies fail to achieve its objectives.

Issue of disruption due to reforms and various reasons for reforms and policy failures:

  1. The critical element of governance is policy making. Generally policy design create problems for the citizens and society, that hinder its implementation. E.g. Many reforms are opposed by citizens as it try to change the traditions of the society.
  2. Public policy making is the principal function of the state. It decides major guidelines for action, mainly by the governmental organs. Often these guidelines cause disruption. E.g. recent increase in traffic violation fines has caused unease to many which many state governments tried to modify.
  3. Public policy can be authoritative imposition by the political system. This often lead to opposition and poor implementation of reforms.
  4. One of the main problems with policy-making in India is extreme fragmentation in the structure. Such fragmentation fails to recognize that actions taken in one sector have serious implications on another and may work at cross purposes with the policies of the other sector.
  5. Part of the problem is that the enactment of right based schemes in an environment of illiteracy and lack of awareness and empowerment does not ensure that people will claim their rights or are ready to accept the reforms.
  6. Another problem is the excessive overlap between implementation, program formulation and policy making which creates a tendency to focus on operational convenience rather than on public needs. This ignorance of public needs lead to disruption and failure of policies and reforms.
  7. Often public policy is made without adequate input from outside government and without adequate debate on the issues involved. The policy processes and structures of Government have no systematic means for obtaining outside inputs, for involving those affected by policies or for debating alternatives and their impacts on different groups. Thus reforms are many times become radical in nature.
  8. Policy decisions are often made without adequate analysis of costs, benefits, trade-offs and consequences.

In India there has been a dramatic rise in expenditure on programmes of social inclusion in the last five years but this is accompanied by growing complaints about implementation. However, it is also true that the schemes continue to be implemented in a business-as-usual mode, while what is demanded by these programmes is an innovative break with the past. Without reforms in implementation structures, schemes aimed at social inclusion will continue to be afflicted by the poor quality.

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