Chapter 36: INDIAN ADMINISTRATION ISSUES


Introduction to Regional Administration


The need to coordinate between directorates and field operations led to creation of regional administration. It allows for better supervision at field levels. It sets norms, standards for comparatively young district officers to follow. It also guides the Panchayati Raj institutions. However it has only a supervisory role and so can add to redundancy and delay.


It has following advantages: State HQ can't supervise effectively. Burden at top level. So regional administration encourages delegation, coordination, catalyze regional planning and improve accessibility.


Public Policy


Policy is a strategy to achieve a goal.  It is the relationship of a government unit to its environment.


Characteristics:

  1. Goal oriented as it spells out government programs.
  2. Outcome of government action.
  3. Government decisions and concerns and action to a problem.


Policy Making:

  1. It is a complex process that consists of various components which communicate with each other via feedback loops to make a policy.

  2. It is a dynamic process.
  3. Directed at future.
  4. Use of best possible means and involvement of various bodies.
  5. Aims at achieving public interest.


Policy evaluation:

  1. Front end analysis: Certain factors that decide a policy like magnitude of problem, people affected, cost benefit are analysed.
  2. Evaluability assessment: Rationality, utility are checked to see if they match policy objectives.
  3. Process evaluation: Analysis of process of implemented policies.
  4. Effectiveness evaluation: Checks how well or badly a policy is implemented and its outcomes or relationship with policy.
  5. Evaluation synthesis: Checks policy formulation, implementation and accountability.


Policy Making:

  1. Group Theoretic model: Public policy is a result of group struggle and when equilibrium is reached among various groups engaged in policy process, policy is formulated. Policy reflects interests of dominant groups.
  2. Elite theoretic model: Policy is the product of elites, reflecting their values and serving their ends. Those who govern are drawn from elite.
  3. Incremental:Past decisions are accepted as basis of future decisions.


Delegated legislation


Executive power to supplement the law made by legislature.


Need:

  1. During emergencies, special measures speedy action might be needed.
  2. Due to lack of time parliament might not provide quality legislations.
  3. Technical expertise is not present in law makers and so given to appropriate administrative agencies.
  4. Certain contingencies can't be foreseen by parliament and so "removal of difficulties clause" is present to empower administration to exercise powers.


Type:

  1. Skeleton: Executive agencies make rules for carrying out purposes of the act.
  2. Machinery:Administrative details like forms, methods, procedures, manner of work is given to the concerned department to specify.


However delegated or subordinate legislation's can't give unlimited powers to executive and they are restricted by. Judicial controls that can invalidate any rules that run contrary to constitution. Rules under delegated legislation are publicized and all interest groups are consulted. Also a parliamentary committee on subordinate legislation checks if they are within the framework of the law.


Panchayati Raj institutions


Panchayati Raj institutions aren't taken as units of planning or implementation of rural development programs. The concept of PRI is narrow and isn't viewed as an institutional framework which could play an important role in overall development of rural masses.


Poor capacity building in PRI's so can't be involved in policy formulation, implementation or monitoring.


No source of revenue as they depend on funds from the states. Most PRI's are dominated by higher castes and so interest of poor don't matter.


Administration at local level frustrates the PRI's. The bureaucracy isn't loyal to them. Lack of political support from state as it fears losing its powers. Article 40 and Schedule 11 are both having no clear directives on mandatory devolution of powers.


State finance commission though has a broader role than the central finance commission as it decides devolution of plan and non plan grants. But the government may choose to ignore it directions. There is no specified qualifications for members.


District planning committee is an important planning body but state haven't decided the manner of representation or specific list of functions assigned to the body.