[Answered]“Effectiveness of the government system at various levels and people’s participation in the governance system are interdependent.” Discuss their relationship with each other in context of India.

Demand of the question

Introduction. Contextual introduction.

Body. How people’s participation is related to effectiveness of government and vice-versa?

Conclusion. Way forward.

One of the components of good governance as stated by UNDP is participation of citizens in decision making. It is important to view them as active participants in governance since they have a legitimate role in influencing decision making processes that affect their lives, businesses and communities.

How people’s participation is related to effectiveness of government?

  1. People participation lead to demands and accountability that make the government more responsive, efficient and effective.
  2. People participation enables the poor and marginalised to influence public policy and service delivery to improve their lives.
  3. People’s participation can influence policy and project formulation through membership of committees, submission of memoranda directly or through elected representatives, and interactive rule- making in the implementation of policies, projects and schemes affecting citizens.
  4. Citizens participation in governance contributes to a healthy democracy.
  5. People’s effective participation, transparency, responsiveness, consensus orientation, equity and inclusiveness, the rule of law, effectiveness and efficiency, accountability, and strategic vision.
  6. Participating actively in administration and decision making through panchayati raj institutions and urban local bodies mandates by the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts.

How effectiveness of government lead to people’s participation?

  1. Effectiveness means ensuring communities get services and results they need. E.g. the Citizen Grievance Redressal mechanism, PRAGATI where they can address their grievances.
  2. Enabling citizens to give feedback for improved service delivery. e.g. through Consumer forums, public forums like Facebook, RTI etc.,
  3. Politically, shift from citizens being considered passive beneficiaries to statutory right holders. For example, RTI, NREGA, RTE, Right to Services Act etc.
  4. Making sure that there is no mismatch between what is being demanded and what is being provided, how is it provided (means) and of what quality by RTI and social audits.
  5. Listening to the voices of citizens and their suggestions through public hearings, writing to various Parliamentary Committees and commissions when policies are put in public domain, surveys etc.
  6. Effectiveness means keeping the needs of citizens in focus i.e. to deliver the services at an pre-accepted standards and within a specified time limit. This ends are met with either employing more human hands or by using technology, minimum government, maximum governance focuses more on the technological aspect, by rightsizing the government apparatus and streamlining the procedures.

Thus, government efficiency and people’s participation has a direct relationship. Both are interdependent in a way that people’s participation is a must to keep government accountable, responsible and answerable to its people. Effectiveness of government ensures transparency and timely resolution of people’s issues through their involvement.

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