Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Citizen Administration Interaction - Importance, Norms, Modes, Responses, Research and Institutional Strategies and Devices.

In keeping with the direction of the previous post on this blog,the new post is hereby presented.


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As discussed in the previous posts on this blog, it is of utmost importance of any country's government through its administration to maintain good relations with their people in order to gain longevity of their rule and the required cooperation and support need from the citizens for the same.

The different modes of interaction between the two are of the following forms:
a) Clients - Government provides services to the citizen like education,health care,etc.
b) Regulatees - Citizens are regulated by the administration through the police,income tax authorities,etc.
c) Litigants - When an aggrieved person goes to court,tribunal and Lok Adalats for justice.
d) Participants - At all levels like elections,policy formulation,policy implementation and monitoring,etc.
e) Protesters/People's struggles which has mostly been caused because of socio-economic deprivation  of the people especially the marginalised sections by the vested and corrupt interests of politicians and corporates/industrialists.

The State on its part has many ways to respond to the above interactions:
a) Anti Participatory - Mostly visible in capitalist systems where there is accumulation of assets and downtrodden are not cared for. People's participation is thus not politically acceptable.
b) Manipulative mode - The State looks to weaken the opposition by co-opting autonomous movements with ulterior motives in order to ultimately gain total control over them while camouflaging as a very accomodative government so that the opposition's immediate protests do not get substantiated.
c) Incremental mode - It is an ambivalent approach of the State towards interactions where compromises are made to just muddle through and there is no long term solutions.
d) Participatory mode - The State takes the initiative to create institutions of community participation and ensure involvement of even the grass root level people for real development and so is the goal of the bureaucracy in such a State.
e) Repressive mode - The State in this mode reacts negatively and ruthlessly to people's struggles through force at times.

i) Citizen's ignorance about procedures involved in getting things done.
ii) Unhelpful attitude of government officials,especially the lower level functionaries.
iii) Inordinate delay and waiting period.
iv) Prevalence of favouritism in administration.
v) Rampant corruption among officials.
vi) Dependence on middlemen to get things done.
vii) Urban dwellers being more critical about public administration than rural counterparts.
viii) The rich having easy access to administration and the officials generally avoiding the poor and underplaying their needs and interests for favouring the rich.

Across the world:
i) Ombudsman- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ombudsman

ii) Parliamentary Commissioner - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliamentary_Commissioner_for_Standards

iii) The Administrative Courts

The Indian Scenario:
i) In accordance with the Santhanam committee report the Vigilance Commissions were set up at the Centre and various states later.
ii) Lokayukta has been created in many states.
iii) Citizens Charter initiatives in almost all government offices.


i) The Right To  Information ( RTI ) Case Study- In order to exercise ones legal and constitutional rights and duties, information is necessary and that information is to be provided by the government dutifully. But, sadly this wasn't being done in India even in the late 20th century and that is when the watershed movement of RTI stormed the corrupt corridors of the powerful and elite and brought equality and justice to the people in the form of the Right To Information Act, which took roots in Rajasthan.
To read the complete case study in detail, click on - http://www.sasanet.org/documents/Case%20Studies/MKSS%20Case%20Study.pdf

ii) The Chilka Movement - When State arbitrariness and indifference hands in glove with the vested interests of corporate looked upon the only means of livelihood of a small village of fisherman in rural Orissa, the Chilka Movement is a landmark example of what strength, unity and informed citizenry can do to nip the above mentioned corruption in the bud and make the legislators create laws to punish them in the future.
To read the complete Chilka Lake Case study in detail, click on - http://thelivelihoodschool.in/publication/case-studies/Chilka-Bachao-Andolan-Mihir-Sahana.pdf


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