Governance in the Digital World

Dr CV Ananda Bose 

Representative Image | Photo: AFP

Good governance is the key to the growth and development of society. Ours is a nation where from time immemorial, people’s will is at the core of governance philosophy, 'Bahujan hitaya, bahujan sukhaya’, is the watchword of our administrative ethos. Mission Karma Yogi has been launched to keep our governance system greased and rust-proof. India endorses the 8-point recipe prescribed by the United Nations, to ensure good governance in the country.

The governance of India should be consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follow the rule of law. Open systems of governance openly operated should form the pith and substance of the nation’s governance pattern.

There shall be zero tolerance for corruption. Special tribunals should be set up in adequate numbers for trial and punishment in corruption cases. Governmental expenditure would be displayed in the public domain so that the common man has access to information on how the taxpayer’s money is utilised. A report card system should be introduced whereby the people should assess and report on the performance of Ministers and other governmental functionaries. Development-oriented performance appraisal (Dopa) should be introduced. Global best practices in governance should be identified, adapted and absorbed into the governmental system, dovetailing those with the requirements of India.

Reforms should be introduced as an integral process of public governance. Governmental regulations should be tempered with mercy and implemented through an iron fist and velvet glove approach. Regulatory administration should give way to development administration.

Those days are gone when government servants held, the procedure is more important than performance and that their role ends once the rules are observed. The shift from rule-based to role-based is a cardinal shift that is essential in bureaucracy. Government servants should be role models rather than rule models. Through mission karma yogi, we should change our administration and keep it ready as an efficient delivery system. Merit should be rewarded and sloth punished. The carrot and stick should play their role well to tame the bureaucratic shrew. India expects its public servants to move from the file to the field. A ‘File to Field’ programme should be launched at the national level to bridge the gap between the bureaucracy and the common man. This should take the government to the doorstep of the people. Social monitoring should be encouraged to improve the quality of governance. A watchdog portal should be created which should provide the forum for any citizen to bring to public attention, instances of corrupt practices within government and seek immediate action.

In a technology-driven world, society needs to adopt technology-driven systems. India is ready for a decisive thrust in digitalisation which should make the new generation the digital masters of the future world. Digitalisation should have a demonstrably perceptive impact on vital areas like education, transportation, food distribution and multiple spheres of man’s daily life. Digital tourism, digital healthcare, digital supply, and digital banking, should bear testimony to the efficacy of the digital medium in transforming everyday life. Government should come to your doorstep, entertainment to your drawing room, education to your study table, health care to your bedroom and, services should be brought to your homes. Technology-driven systems should ensure that everyman’s home is his office, hospital, cafeteria, megamall and whatnot. Figuratively digitalisation can make you hold,’ infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.

Atmanirbhar Bharat realises that change is the key to progress. To survive in the digital world the speed of byte should exceed the speed of light.

Bridging the digital divide, and increasing techno literacy, should be the focus and we should ensure that every household should have access to digital literacy and equipment. On the Cyber highway, India should ensure its digital sovereignty, without permitting the digital masterminds, sitting abroad and trying to turn the wheels of self-reliant India.

By increasing mobile connectivity and internet access, our rural areas should be integrated with the national fabric through the digital net.
Broadband connectivity should be increased, optic fibre expansion to the Panchayats should be speeded up and the digital thrust should be taken up vigorously as the Prime Change agent of rural India. We should achieve software sufficiency and surplus so that the export of software can give a fillip to cyber commerce in this country.

Emerging as the most tech-savvy country in the world, the IT-friendly new generation of India is slated to be the command and control centre of an IT-directed world. India’s connection with itself, the world and the future revolve around the fast emerging IT paradigm with its vast transformational potential. India is well connected within itself and should help connect the world through its expertise and innovative spirit.

Governance in the digital world has to be redefined and rejigged. From dependence through independence, the world has reached a state of interdependence. Governance has to meet the expectations of the globalized world and hence should look beyond borders.

An assertive India is what the nation has to project internationally and domestically India is strong and we should reflect this strength. India is great and we should reflect this greatness. There is no need for India to be on the defensive anymore.

We want an India which is ready to live so that humanity may not die. The essence of India is sublime and lofty. But the perception of India is confused and confusing. This is more so with the younger generation of India. There is a feeling that the west is the best. We have to rediscover the nation in all its glory and may young India feel proud of Mother India. Good governance should have this focus for sure.

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