Contents

  1. GOVERNANCE INDEX
  2. FOR A HUMANE AND AUTONOMOUS POLICE
  3. INDIA NEEDS A BOTTOM-UP GROWTH MODEL

GOVERNANCE INDEX

FOCUS: GENERAL STUDIES 2

Why in News?

  • The nation­wide comparative study of States on go­od  governance carried out by the Government of In­dia, as seen in the good governance index  is a welcome exercise to incentivize States to competitively deliver on public services to the citizens.
  • Significance about the GGI is that the dubiously­ labelled “BIMARU” States are seeking to catch up with others in development. 

Fallouts of the study 

  • Farmers’ income, prevalence of micro irrigation or water conservation systems and inflow of industrial investment have been left out 
  • The indicator,  “ease of doing business”, has been given disproportionate weight in the sector of commerce and industries, to the virtual exclusion of growth rate of major and micro, small and medium enterprises

FOR A HUMANE AND AUTONOMOUS POLICE

FOCUS : GENERAL STUDIES 2

Why in News?

These are tumultuous times for the Indian police  specially the Delhi police, in  their bid to maintain law and order. Due to bringing of the issues out to the streets, the ground has been provided to the police — To act in the manner they deem fit, and in the interests of public peace.

Binary picture

  • Protests and demonstrations form the core of democracy and are unexceptionable as long as they do not disrupt the life of the common man or cause damage to public property. In the emotion ­ridden and violence prone streets of the present times, this clinical allocation of respective space has, however, repeatedly proved to be mere pontification.
  • One-sided reporting of the events portray  the police as the villain of the piece and the protesters as harmless and pacifist.
  • This binary picture is deceptive and misleading, because it is blind to the

truism that the police do enjoy a measure of operational autonomy, free from the dictates of other state agencies.

Shadow of politics

  • It’s a misconception that modern policing police acts as merely an agency that has been caught in the crossfire between the establishment and protesters.
  • Gone are the halcyon days when life was more orderly and civilised, and the police just received orders from above to be executed as faithfully as they could/can and not necessarily at the speed of lightning.
  • The vicissitudes of politics over the decades have deprived the guardians of law the luxury of resting on the statute book and responding to a developing situation.
  • They will now have to be proactive and react — and react within split seconds to an incendiary situation arising from contentious political situations.
  • There is no law that prohibits such police entry on campuses on their own, and any attempt to frame such a law will be preposterous to the core.
  • The police are obligated under law to intervene wherever and whenever they apprehend danger to lives.
  • If some police leaders have surrendered their autonomy to the Executive, it is their fault and not of the Executive.

On the measure of force

  • Another bone of contention relates to the quantum of force that the police can use in quelling disorder.
  • There is no scientific formula that applies to explosive scenes that have become routine in the national capital.
  • The amount of force used in such situations can vary significantly, and will be related mainly to the strength of the mob, its composition, its mood and the kind of weapons it has at its command.
  • Ultimately, it is the decision of the police commander in the field to use the amount of force.

Controlling Mobs

  • Mob control techniques are a part of the police curriculum in major training institutions. Their impact depends on the imaginative nature of the instruction.
  • In the wake of violence across the country, the police leadership would do well to concentrate on this important aspect of policing, even if it means according a lower priority to other areas of routine.
  • In a democracy such as ours we certainly need a civilized and humane police.
  • This should not, however, dilute the need to have a potent force that will not hesitate to use the resources at its command in order to reemphasize the dictum that democracy can flourish only when violence is checked and not allowed to hold sway.
  • There is a crucial need for senior police officers to devote time to improving the quality of policing in the field, instead of frittering away their energies in concentrating on “politician management”

INDIA NEEDS A BOTTOM-UP GROWTH MODEL

FOCUS: GS3(Economy), GS2(Society)

Why in News?

India’s bold decision to stay out of  the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) until the needs of the country’s small enterprises, farmers, and poorest citizens are properly addressed dismayed many economists.  The Indian government’s fear was that the resulting increase in Chinese exports would harm small producers and farmers.

People-centric policies

A Chinese thought leader said 15 years ago that both countries have the same vision: of prosperity for their citizens. To reach there, they must cross a turbulent stream by feeling the stones underfoot. But how do governments do that?

First, they need to make their policies people ­centric rather than Growth ­centric.

  • In India, there can be different models of development. Thus, there is a ‘Kerala model’, a ‘Gujarat model’, or a ‘common man’s model’ in Delhi.
  • Local, participative governance has been a distinction of Kerala’s model and the State has been well ahead of the rest of the country, matching China in its Human Development Indicators in education, health, and women’s inclusion.
  • The growth must be bottom up to be equitable and sustainable.

Paradox

  • India has climbed many rungs on the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Business’ rankings.
  • Yet, investments to expand production ventures have not increased much because consumer demand has slumped, even for basic items like packaged biscuits.
  • Even democratically elected governments in many countries are focusing on global trade than citizen wellbeing . This has made citizens rise up against the globalization paradigm promoted by an ‘establishment’ of policymakers and economists.
  • Citizens want their governments to put jobs in their countries first, and to implement policies that increase incomes at the bottom of the pyramid rather than facilitating only further growth at the top.

Problems/Challenges in India

India’s complex, socio­economic environmental system is under even greater stress and need to work on multiple front simultaneously:

  • India ranks very low in international comparisons of human development (education and health), even below its poorer subcontinental neighbors.
  • It is the most water ­stressed large economy in the world
  • Its cities are the most polluted.
  • India’s economic growth is not generating enough jobs for its burgeoning population of youth
  • The employment elasticity of India’s growth (numbers of jobs created with growth) is amongst the worst in the world.

The RCEP decision shows that India is now standing up to pressure from a rump of Washington Consensus economists who continue to advocate that more free trade is the solution to India’s economic problems, even when there is evidence that India has not benefited from the agreements it has entered into.

How to get Better

  • Building an Indian ecosystem in which competitive enterprises will grow to create more opportunities for jobs for youth and for increasing citizens’ incomes.
  • Growth of incomes in India will make India more attractive for investors.
  • A stronger industrial system will give India more headroom in trade negotiations too. India’s industrial and entrepreneurial ecosystem’s growth must be accompanied by an improvement in environment.
  • Policies must be managed with a whole systems view. While ‘Ease of doing Business’ gauges health from a business perspective, ‘ease of living’ should become the measure of the health of the whole system.
  • Policy decisions invariably require compromises between competing interests.

Gandhi’s Talisman

  • The government should think of the needs of the poorest citizens first.
  • Reduced duties on imports benefit citizens as consumers.
  • However, a citizen’s more fundamental need is for a good job and source of income to buy the imported goods.
  • India urgently requires an employment and income strategy to guide its industry and trade policies.
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