WHAT IS policy if it isn’t executed innovatively on the ground? What is change if governance doesn’t translate to a difference in people’s lives? The foot soldiers of governance are District Magistrates (DMs), who hold charge of the basic administrative unit of India and bring order, stability and often some very imaginative changes to those who live in their districts.
It is to honour the work of these DMs, who form the “steel frame” of bureaucracy, that The Indian Express started the Excellence in Governance Awards (EIGA) in 2019. The biennial awards could not be held last year because of the pandemic. The Indian Express is launching its second edition this year and is calling for entries, the deadline for which is September 15. The jury will then evaluate DMs from 780 districts in the country for innovations implemented by them, which had a positive impact on the welfare of citizens and government efficiency.
The first edition of the awards attracted entries from all corners of India; from officers who helped citizens clean rivers, raised success rates in school exams, introduced intelligent transit systems that made bus journeys smoother, helped relieve farm distress, used technology to allow smart warnings for floods, turned garbage dumps into parks, gave a voice to school students, helped “reverse” the scourge of dowry and fought corruption through an app.
This year, the award has 14 categories: innovative education, healthcare, swachhata, gender and inclusion, social welfare, agriculture, e-governance, skill development, MSMEs, start-up and innovations, sustainability, water, energy, resource utilisation from central and state schemes. There is a special jury awards category this year for disaster management, law and order, public amenities and jury special. Significantly, over the last two years, governance on the ground has faced the unprecedented challenge of Covid.
The award-winning works will be chosen by a distinguished jury of former Chief Justice of India R M Lodha; former chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities and first Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah; former Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao; former Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar; and former Advisor to the PMO and Secretary, Department of Rural Development, Amarjeet Sinha.
All entries will be evaluated by a specialist knowledge partner after which the jury will shortlist the finalists. Then, field checks will also be carried out by The Indian Express correspondents.
Like the Excellence in Journalism Awards instituted by the Express group, the EIGA recognises and celebrates the best of the work ushering change in the country. To apply, click on eigawards.indianexpress.com.
To apply visit – eigawards.indianexpress.com or scan the QR Code