On Wednesday, 7 November, I will be moderating a session on Inclusive Governance: Enabling Capability, Disabling Resistance at the World Economic Forum on India 2012, with some eminent panellists.
Ahead of the session, I thought of initiating a discussion on how we can achieve good governance in India and, to my mind, transparency and inclusion are the two integral parts of a good government.
The recent upsurge in civil society movements against corruption, followed by a widespread media dissection of the government decisions and expenditure is reflective of an increasingly aware India. The implementation of a Right to Information (RTI) Act has been a commendable milestone for the government when it comes to accessibility of data/information. However, there are still challenges to be overcome for it to become more effective with regard to monitoring accountability. The next step is to evolve from an “application-based right to access information” to “public information being automatically shared on a public platform” using technology. The issue of corruption, for example, can be tackled by equal retribution to bribe-takers as well as bribe-givers.
Good governance is not created solely by the government and this is a fact I agree with. Every stakeholder has an equal role in achieving it. There is a need for greater accountability of any action/decision taken within the public domain.
I believe that inclusion will also make sure that well-intentioned government programmes and policies do not stray from their intent. On another note, to make governance participatory, I think the need of the hour is to have stakeholder consensus in the government’s policies and projects. Any programme being implemented must be outcome-oriented and achieved through larger stakeholder consensus building.
As I prepare to discuss these points with the panellists at the World Economic Forum, I also look forward to hearing from you what steps could help India achieve inclusive and transparent governance. Do post your views.
Author: Deepak Kapoor is Chairman of PwC India and a Member of the Global Strategy Council.
Image: The Indian parliament building is seen behind marigold flowers in New Delhi REUTERS/B Mathur