Good Governance day is celebrated annually on 25th December to mark the birth anniversary of the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The objective is to create awareness of accountability in government among the citizens of India. The Key Points for governance includes the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented). Governance can be used in several contexts such as corporate governance, international governance, national governance and local governance.
Characteristics of Good Governance by the United Nations
There are generally eight characteristics of Good Governance (as identified by the United Nations) to run a country successfully. The Participation of public means we should have a voice in decision-making, either directly or through legitimate intermediate institutions that represent their interests. The Rule of law should be designed in such way that Legal frameworks becomes fair and enforced impartially, particularly the laws on human rights. The system should have transparency which is built on the free flow of information. The Processes, institutions and information are directly accessible to those concerned with them, and enough information is provided to understand and monitor them. The Government Institutions and their processes should try to serve all stakeholders within a reasonable timeframe. Good governance also requires mediation of the different interests in society to reach a broad consensus in society on what is in the best interest of the whole community and how this can be achieved. All groups, particularly the most vulnerable, should have opportunities to improve or maintain their well being. The policies of government institutions should produce effective results that meet needs while making the best use of resources. Decision-makers in government, the private sector and civil society organisations should be responsible towards public.
Challenges towards the Good Governance in India
But amid this, there are specific challenges to good Governance in India which our country is facing continuously. The first among them is women Empowerment as women are not adequately represented in government institutions, and other allied sectors. The second problem is Corruption in our country as the high level of corruption in India has been widely perceived as a major obstacle in improving the quality of governance.
One of the problem is the delay in Justice as a citizen has the right to avail timely justice, but there are several factors, because of which a common man doesn’t get timely justice. One such factor is lack of personnel and logistics under disposal of court. The centralisation of administrative system should be the primary focus as the governments at lower levels can only function efficiently if they are empowered to do so. This is particularly relevant for the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), which currently suffer from inadequate devolution of funds as well as functionaries to carry out the functions constitutionally assigned to them. One of the problem we are facing is the criminalisation of the political process and the unholy nexus between politicians, civil servants, and business houses are having a baneful influence on public policy formulation and governance. Environmental security, sustainable development, challenges of globalization, liberalisation and market economy are such other problems our system is facing towards good governance in the country.
Initiatives by India towards Good Governance
In spite these challenges around, Our government has taken some effective Initiatives towards the goal of good governance. One such is Good Governance Index which has been launched by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions to determine the status of governance in the country. It assesses the impact of various interventions taken up by the State Government and UTs. The National e-Governance Plan is another step which has the vision to “make all government services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets and ensure efficiency, transparency & reliability of such services at affordable costs to realize the basic needs of the common man.”
One of the significant step is the right to Information Act, 2005 which plays an effective role in ensuring transparency in governance. There are other Initiatives also like Setting up of NITI Aayog, Make in India programme, Lokpal, etc.