ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

AdministrationSubscribe to Administration

Policy and Decision-Making in Government

Policy and Decision-Making in Government V A Pai Panandikar ONE of the basic justifications for modern public bureaucracies has been the policy and decision-making functions which such organisations are especially designed and equipped to discharge. To Max Weber, the father of bureaucratic theory, organised career based bureaucracy was the epitome of efficiency, and truly the only available instrument for rational and efficient performance of the functions of a modern government.

A New Civil Service Philosophy

P R Dubhashi THE Report of the Fulton Committee on the Civil Service in Britain is a revolutionary document, which brings to bear a new outlook on the role of civil servants in the modern state. Though the Committee was concerned with conditions in Britain, its analysis of the tasks which public administration in a modern state has to discharge and its diagnosis of the strength and weakness of the civil service in the discharge of these tasks have a familiar ring for Indian conditions. The reforms and remedies the Committee has suggested, therefore, deserve careful consideration with a view to adapting some of them for Indian administrative reform.

Plan Formulation at Grass-Roots

Plan Formulation at Grass-Roots P N Dube PROFESSOR GADOIL has consistently argued for introduction of an clement of 'planning from the bottom' in the formulation of the Plans. This concept emphasises a wide diffusion of initiative, decision making and participation; it also implies a parallel shouldering of responsibilities. This democratic approach is necessary in view of the general agreement that planning so tar has not sufficiently taken into account the special circumstances prevailing in particular areas. Gadgil's two- phased approach would require that (i) exercises made at State and district level should start with collation of data on development resources, requirements and prospects so that the programmes are realistic enough to be achieved, and (ii) the details worked out for each programme should be aimed at justifying the place and priority of the programme in the Plan and should allow sufficient flexibility for improvement in the programme on the basis of subsequent experience and assessment of local requirements. This flexibility is all the more necessary in view of inadequacy of data at the national, State and district levels.

Plan Evaluation

Plan Evaluation P N Dube THE study group of the Administrative Reforms Commission on Centre-State relations has made out a strong case for evaluation of Plan projects and has proposed a full-fledged central evaluation agency in the Planning Commission. It has proposed a three tier set-up: (i) a central evaluation agency in the Planning Commission, (ii) evaluation cells in each ministry of the Union Government, and (iii) an evaluation organisation in each State as part of its Planning Department.

Some Pre-requisites of Reform

Some Pre-requisites of Reform M N WITH independence and planning, the character and structure of Indian administration have changed significantly. The district which was the administrative unit for policy formulation and implementation has now lost its former autonomy and viability. Instead, a highly formalised pattern of ambivalent objectives has been superimposed on the traditional district set-up. An undesirable dichotomy has been created between development administration and general administration (which includes main- tenance of law and order) when, in fact, general administration should have been geared to development administration in many ways.

A More Useful Tariff Commission

A More Useful Tariff Commission ONE of the consequences of the foreign exchange crisis of 1956-57 and the subsequent imposition of quantitative restrictions on imports was the irreverence it encouraged in industry towards the Tariff Commission as a protecting agency. In later years, particularly under the Lal Bahadur Shastri regime, the Commission earned further disrespect when its recommendations vegarding continuance of protection to some industries were rejected. This was the genesis of the apoint- rr.ent of the Tariff Commission Review Committee to determine the future functions of the Commission. The Committee's report has been just published.

Murky Light on Licensing

Murky Light on Licensing Arthagnani INDUSTRIAL LICENSING was intended to ensure the implementation of the industrial programmes laid down in the plans. Properly administered, the licensing system can ensure that capacity does not exceed plan targets, influence the geographical distribution of industrial capacity and counter tendencies towards concentration of ownership and control of industry. In fact, as is by now widely known, licensing has failed to achieve any of these objectives. Why did it? In large part the answer must bo sought in the administration of licensing.
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