Former Union minister and PU fellow Pawan Kumar Bansal on Wednesday presided over a seminar to study the various aspects of governance and move towards a system of inclusive development and governance.
He was the chief guest during the two-day national seminar, “Innovations in Governance: Multi Disciplinary Perspectives”, organised by the department of public administration, University School of Open Learning (USOL) at Panjab University.
Bansal spoke about the innovative aspects of governance like citizen’s charter, e-governance and Aadhaar cards that have now resulted in the betterment of the society. “Innovation has to come from circumstances. At present, poverty is the biggest curse that India is reeling under. Through efficient governance, the first target should be the elimination of poverty. The mindset of the people has to change and we need to realise that all of us are equal stakeholders in bringing in a system of effective governance,” Bansal said.
Professor Rumki Basu from Jamia Millia Islamia explained that the implementation of a world-class governance system in India is the primary mandate. “Many believe that the 21st century will be an Asian century led by China and India. However, to achieve that, India needs to have a growth rate of 10 percent for the next 30 years. And this can only be achieved by developing a world-class governance system that comprises private and economic policies.”
Pointing out that India has suffered owing to lack of delivery, Basu said: “Poverty has always existed in India as a felt phenomenon. However owing to a weak public delivery and governance system and bureaucratic failures, we have failed to abolish this phenomenon. In the first 40 years post Independence, there was a lack in the delivery of goods and services in the state systems. One could argue that democracy is a slower process and justify how an autocratic government in China ensured that there was no lag in delivery.”
Basu added that the public management must learn and adopt some practices of the private management and explained that public-private partnerships could contribute towards creating better governance mechanisms.
“There has been a paradigm shift in how we look at the government now. The government is now not a monopolistic provider of goods and services in a nation. The state’s capabilities need to be enhanced and public-private partnerships need to be adopted.”
She also went on to add that an index of good governance practices of the 29 states of India needs to be created and on the basis of the index, the best practices should be adopted across all states.
Later, professor Mamta Mokta from Himachal Pradesh University, spoke about how some countries are doing good governance to deliver efficient services to their citizens and highlighted the need for innovation and inclusiveness in governance.
Also present at the inaugural was councillor Saurabh Joshi, who spoke about improvising governance at the grass-root levels.