Chapter 5 Contemporary India: Good Governance


Chapter 5 Contemporary India: Good Governance

Chapter 5 Contemporary India: Good Governance

1. (A) Complete the following statements by selecting the appropriate option.

Question 1.
The concept of Lokpal is taken from
(a) United States
(b) United Kingdom
(c) Sweden
(d) Russia
(c) Sweden

Question 2.
The Right to Information was passed in the year

(a) 1950
(b) 1976
(c) 2016
(d) 2005
(d) 2005

(B) State the appropriate concept for the given statements.

Question 1.
Person investigating complaints against government officials.

2. (A) Complete the concept map.

Question 1.


(B) State whether the following statements are true or false with reason.

Question 1.
Lokayukta can investigate complaints against political executives.

This statement is True.

  1. Lokayuktas were created by the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 to look into allegations of corruption against public functionaries in the States.
  2. A member of the public can file specific allegations with the Lokayukta for inquiry against any public servant including legislators, political executives, local bodies, public enterprises.

Question 2.
Good Governance aims at efficient use of natural resources.

This statement is True.

  1. One of the core values of good governance is effectiveness and efficiency.
  2. It refers to sustainable human development in the context of efficient use of natural resources and the protection of the environment.

3. Explain the correlation between the following.

Question 1.
Good Governance and E-Governance.

Good Governance aims to replace traditional public administration riddled with corruption and redtapism and to make it more citizen-centric, responsible and responsive. The core values of good governance include efficiency, inclusiveness, being consensus-oriented, transparency, accountability, etc. Specific programmes aimed at good governance include setting up of Lokpal and Lokayuktas, Creating of Citizen’s Charters, Right to Information Act, institutional mechanisms like NHRC, NCW, etc.

E-Governance is one of the most important aspects of good governance. It involves the employment of Information and Communications Technology (I.C.T) to facilitate efficient and instant transmission and processing of information as well as storing and retrieval of data. Thus, e-governance helps to implement core values of good governance such as transparency, effectiveness, accountability and participation of citizens.

4. Express your opinion of the following.

Question 1.
E-governance speeds up governmental processes.

I agree with this statement.
E-governance refers to the use of Information and Communications Technology (I.C.T) to carry out the varied and complex aspects of governance and of citizen’s expectations. E-governance facilitates instantaneous transmission and processing of information as well as efficient storing and retrieval of data. This helps in speeding up governmental processes and taking decisions expeditiously. Large scale digitisation of records enables easy and reliable access over the internet.

Question 2.
E-governance brought administration closer to people.
I agree with this statement.
E-governance refers to the use of Information and Communications Technology (I.C.T) to carry out the varied and complex aspects of governance and of citizen’s expectations. Large scale digitisation of records enables easy and reliable access over the internet.

E-governance helps in increasing the geographical and demographical reach of the government. Efforts have been made at various levels to improve the delivery of public services and simplify the process of accessing them. The objective of National e-Governance Plan is to bring public services closer to the people i.e., make them citizen centric.

5. Answer the following question in 80 to 100 words.

Question 1.
Explain various institutions protecting rights of different sections in India.
The core values of good governance include administration being consensus-oriented based on principles of inclusiveness and equity as well as responsiveness to the needs of citizens.

The benefits of good governance must be available to all the sections of the society. The constitution provides for socio-economic and political safeguards to certain disadvantaged sections of the society. Besides the safeguards, provided for them the government has created several commissions to safeguard the rights of different sections of the society. These include the following:
1. National Commission for Scheduled Castes – Deals with matters related to the safeguards provided in the constitution for the Scheduled Castes and inquire into specific complaints relating to deprivation of rights of the Schedule Castes.

2. National Commission for Scheduled Tribes – Deals with matters related to the safeguards provided in the constitution for the Scheduled Tribes and inquire into specific complaints relating to deprivation of rights of the Schedule Tribes.

3. National Human Rights Commission – It deals with protection of rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity guaranteed by the constitution.

4. National Commission for Women – This was created to facilitate the redressal of grievances and accelerate socio-economic development of women.

5. National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights – It seeks to protect, promote and defend child rights in the country. The Commission defines a child as a person in the 0 to 18 years of age group.

6. National Commission for Backward Classes – The focus is welfare of socially and economically backward classes.

7. National Commission for Minorities – It monitors the working of the safeguards for minorities provided in the Constitution and by laws enacted by the Parliament and the State Legislatures. The National Commission for Minorities recognises the following religious communities as minority communities: Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist, Parsis and Jain.

8. National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission – This provides for a consumer disputes redressal mechanism e.g.,consumer courts are set up.

6. Answer the following question with reference to the given points.

Question 1.
Explain in detail the following values of Good Governance.
(a) participation
(b) transparency
(c) responsiveness
(d) accountability

In development administration, not only the government but also citizens and NGO’s play a vital role. The term ‘governance’ is used to describe this cooperative effort of the government and non-governmental bodies in public administration. Governance is broader than government as

  1. it includes formal institutions of government e.g., legislature, bureaucracy as well as informal institutions e.g., NGO’s.
  2. it aims to improve the performance of public institutions with focus on values like accountability, transparency, citizen feedback, etc.

The Good Governance approach aims at the following-

  1. to reform the traditional, huge-sized public administration which was riddled with red tape and corruption.
  2. to replace the archaic systems with responsible, participative and equitable systems.
  3. to look at interlinkages between government and civil society.
  4. to make the administration citizen-centered and not rule bound.

a. Participation – The effective functioning of any democratic system requires that people get an opportunity to participate in the process of decision making and its implementation.

b. Transparency – This value of good governance enables people to keep the government under scrutiny for e.g., Right to Information Act (2005) provides citizens access to information about public policies and actions.

c. Responsiveness – The government must be prompt and sensitive while designing policies to serve all stake holders within a reasonable time frame.

d. Accountability – This cannot be enforced without the rule of law and transparency. Any organization is accountable to those who will be affected by it’s decisions and actions, i.e. to stakeholders. Governmental institutions, private sector and civil society institutions must be accountable.


Question 1.
Find out the information regarding State level commissions working for safeguarding rights of various sections of society (Text Book Page No. 58)

The State Level Commissions are-
1. State Information Commission was constituted with the objective to fulfill the mandate assigned in the RTI Act 2005. It consists of State Information Commissioners headed by the State Chief Information Commissioner.

2. State Commission for Women was constituted on 25th January 1993. It consists of a chair person, 6 nonofficial members, a member secretary and a DGP as ex-officio member. It aims to investigate into practices derogatory to women and suggest remedial measures. It also advises the government on matters related to upliftment to the status of women.

3. State Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was established by the Social Justice and Special Assistance Department dated 1st March 2005. It’s role is to study existing socio-economic, political and educational situation of Scheduled Castes and Tribes and to suggest measures to improve the same. It also investigates grievances raised by members of Scheduled Castes and Schedules Tribes.

4. State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC) was established on 6th March 2001 to protect, promote and enforce human rights. It can inquire suo motu (of its own accord) or on petition presented to it, into complaints of violation of human rights.

5. State Commission for Protection of Child’s Rights was set up in July 2007 to protect and defend child rights in the State.

6. State Commission for Minorities – was set up to safeguard the interests of religious and linguistic minorities.

Question 2.
Find out information about Ombudsman. (Text Book Page No. 58)

Ombudsman is a Swedish term. In general, it means “a legal representative” or an official appointed to investigate complaints especially against public officials. The first country to set up ombudsman institution in 1809 was Sweden. In India, the Lokpal (for centre) and Lokayuktas (for States) are the ombudsman. The ARC (1966-70) headed by Morarji Desai recommended the institution of Lokpal and the Bill was first introduced in Parliament in 1968. Orissa was the first State to constitute institution of Lokayukta.

After the India Against Corruption Movement led by Anna Hazare, the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2013 was passed in Parliament and came into force on 16th January 2014. The Lokpal is a multimember body, consisting of a chairperson and a maximum of 8 members. The Lokpal and Lokayuktas inquire into allegations of corruption / maladministration against public functionaries.

Questions and Answers

ACTIVITY (Text Book Page No. 48)

Question 1.
Identify NGO’s that are working in your Area/City/State. Look at the issues and work done by them. In which NGO would you like to work?

1. For environmental causes

  • Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS)
  • Vanshakti
  • Earth5R
  • Bombay Environmental Action Group (BEAG)
  • Vasundhara
  • PETA

2. For child welfare

  • Child Right and You (CRY)
  • Prerana
  • Helen Keller Institute
  • Bal Asha Trust
  • Salaam Baalak Trust
  • Akansha Foundation
  • Apnalaya

3. For educational purposes

  • Teach for India
  • Door step School
  • Magic Bus India Foundation
  • Pratham Education Foundation
  • VIDYA .
  • Abhilasha Foundation

4. For women’s welfare

  • Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action (SNEHA)
  • Apne Aap Women’s Collective (AAWC)
  • Women’s India Trust (WIT)

5. For the disabled/ill/aged

  • National Association for the Blind (NAB)
  • ALERT-India (leprosy patients)
  • Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA)
  • Committed Action for Relief and Education (CARE)
  • Cheshire Homes India

Question 2.
Find out E-governance initiatives of Government of Maharashtra (Text Book Page No. 54)
Maharashtra is a pioneer in citizen centric e-governance initiatives such as

  1. SARITA (Stamps and Registration Information Technology based Administration) for registration of 67 different types of documents over the entire State.
  2. SETU (Integrated Citizen Facilitation Centres) act as one stop service centre for people who have to visit government offices for permits/affidavits, etc. The Society for promotion of Excellence and Transparency for better Understanding of the requirements of citizen in interface with government.
  3. E-validity for caste/minority status certificates.
  4. Online Disability certificates.
  5. SEVARTH – integrated system to provide electronic salary payment to all government personnel.
  6. SARTHI – Computerisation of driving license and vehicle registration.
  7. Rojgar Wahini – to provide free services like vocational guidance, job opportunities, self employment guidance, etc.

Question 3.
Consumer Protection Act (1986) (Text Book Page No. 56)

The Consumer Protection Act was enacted by Parliament in 1986 to protect the interests of consumers in India. It is replaced by the Consumer Protection Act 2019.
It aims to check unfair trade practices, ‘defects in goods’ and ‘deficiencies in services’ and has led to a widespread network of consumer fora and appellate courts all over the country. The Act provided six rights to consumers:

  • Right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices.
  • Right to be heard and be assured that their interests receive due consideration at an appropriate forum.
  • Right to be assured wherever possible, access to a variety of goods and services at competitive . prices.
  • Right to be informed about the quality, standard, price of goods and services.
  • Right to be protected against marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property.
  • Right to consumer education.

To ensure consumer rights, Consumer Disputes Redressal System included a three-tier level i.e.,

  • National Consumer Commission (set up by central government).
  • State Consumer Commission (set up by each State).
  • District Consumer Forum (in each district of the State).

The redressal agencies (consumer courts) set up were. Central Consumer Protection Council and State Consumer Councils. Consumer courts are special purpose courts dealing with cases involving consumer disputes, conflicts and grievances.