Good governance is fundamental to achieve speedy and inclusive growth and to provide timely and quality services to citizens in order to meet the aspirations of India@75. Good governance also empowers citizens through better provision of education, healthcare and social security. The trifecta of executive, legislature and judiciary must work together efficiently so that democracy and governance functions effectively. Some important policy suggestions to reform the various arms of the state are laid out in the subsequent paragraphs:
(A). Administrative Reforms
Administrative reforms should be
high on the agenda for excellence in governance. An Administrative Reforms body
needs to be set up to study earlier reports on the issue and identify key
reforms required for performance, accountability, e-governance, training and
capacity building and so on. The body shall present its report in 3 months
which will be actioned within a year. Following are the key actionable items
for the body:
- Stability of tenures
should be ensured in higher levels of bureaucracy.
- Lateral entry of
experts and specialists should be introduced in larger numbers in senior levels
- Skilling and training
bureaucrats at all levels of government should be done to ensure efficient
delivery of services to citizens and enterprises.
- Talented youth should
be deployed for national service at block and panchayat level with adequate
training for commitment to national goals.
- The autonomy,
empowerment and independence of institutions and regulators should be ensured
together with appropriate accountability.
(B). Public Service Delivery
Common Service Centers need to be
set up in all villages to provide online common public services to all in areas
such as birth and death registration, identity and election cards, updating
records, paying taxes, obtaining driving license, etc.
(C). Ease of Doing Business
Reforms should be undertaken, in
partnership with state governments, to improve the Ease of Doing Business
(EoDB) in the country. The objective will be to ensure effective user-friendly
processes at the grassroots while also ensuring that India attains the top 50
rank in global EoDB ranking in near future. Following are the key actionable
items in this regard:
- An EoDB Board,
comprising industry and Government representatives, should be set up to
constantly recommend actions and monitor progress as well as work with
administration for leveraging technology-based solutions. The board should be
chaired by an eminent industrialist.
- Efforts should be
made to synchronize directives from different government authorities.
- A level playing field
for public and private players in government contracts should be ensured.
- A competitive process
for government procurement should be maintained while avoiding the award of
contracts on nomination basis.
(D). Police Reforms
Police reforms are much needed in
today’s milieu. The citizens’ trust in police must be built up so that police
personnel are sought after for assistance. Funds need to be earmarked to
provide police personnel with decent work conditions and high-class equipment
including transportation and housing that will encourage them to perform to
their best ability. It is also pivotal that political interference in police
functioning should be curbed. In this regard, following are the actionable
items for carrying out suitable police reforms:
- States should be
incentivised to implement the Model Police Act, 2006.
- A clear line of
accountability and deterrent consequences should be developed as a model for
- State governments
should be incentivised to separate the investigation wing and the law &
- Training of police
force should be improved.
- Grants for
upgradation of police stations and adoption of modern equipment shall be
provided to the state governments.
- Fixed tenure should
be accorded for the top police officers from Director General of Police to the Inspector
General level. Such tenures will be broken only under exceptional cases as per
- Recruitment of police
should be entirely on merit.
(E ). Judicial Reforms
Judicial reforms need to be
undertaken on a priority basis. With 30 million pending cases and years of
backlog which saps the confidence of law-abiding citizens, it is essential to
provide timely justice. Additionally, there should be a clear division of
criminal, civil and corporate courts.
A Committee needs to be set up to
study simplification of laws and identify outdated laws that continue to exist
on statutes. As a principle, issues that are not criminal in nature should be
dealt with civil liability to the extent possible. In this light, the Committee
will examine the means to appropriately calibrate civil liability and criminal
penalty in existing laws. Following are the proposed actionable pointers for
the Committee in the field of judicial reforms:
- Efforts should be
made to pass ‘The Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill’.
- A paperless court
system with facilities for esummons, e-cause lists, e-payments, digitally
signed court orders and e-filling provisions should be implemented.
- A National Judicial
Service should be created to select Judges for the district courts.
- ‘National Litigation
Policy, 2010’ should be modified to aid effective implementation.
- Quick action should
be taken on decisions so that deterrent punishment is stressed.
- A program to improve
infrastructure of courts should be devised and implemented in a phased manner.
- Existing vacancies
should be filled up in a mission mode.
- Commercial Courts,
Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Act, 2015
should be implemented properly. The law should be strengthened further to
improve enforcement of contracts.
- Alternate dispute
mechanisms should be strengthened.
- Provisions of Code of Civil Procedure that limit
adjournments to three in civil cases should be amended to permit only one
- A system of expert advice for cases pertaining
to specialist knowledge such as advanced technologies, financial matters, IPR,
etc should be instituted to support judges in making their decisions.
(F). Electoral Reforms
The election of representatives
on a regular basis is one of the key successes of our democracy. However,
frequent elections interrupt the development cycle and delay decisions.
Moreover, election funding is often opaque, leading to improper actions. In
this regard, the following electoral reforms are proposed:
- Elections to the
Parliament and all state legislatures should be conducted simultaneously from
2024. In this regard, a committee to study the legislative changes for the
purpose should be set up.
- Cash donations to
political parties should not be allowed. All donations to political parties
should be through the banking system or other means with a digital trail.
- Expenditure limit of
candidates should be increased to reflect practical needs and a formula for
automatic further increases should be devised.
- Fast track courts for
handling criminal cases against elected representatives should be established
as per Supreme Court Judgement.
- Political parties
should be mandated to audit their annual accounts and file tax returns.