Good Governance

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 2947 , Published on 18 August 2013

In the coeval world Good Governance is a Buzz world. The word Good Governance is present ubiquitously. Its ring extends from government to corporate sector. Major International agencies like World Bank, IMF are progressively linking their loans aid on the parameter of Good Governance. The word good governance is associated with the enhancement in the quality of life of the people. Concept of good governance states that there is more to well being of people then ensuring law and order by the government.

Equity, Security and healthy environment are not just means, to an end of increased welfare but are end in them. Good Governance has the following eight attributes which link it to the citizens.

Accountability: In modern democracy accountability is the responsibility of those who rule to the one from whom they derive authority to rule. There can be multitude of accountability viz. Political, Legal, administrative, Social. These accountability differ from organization to organization.

Transparency: means decision and its implementation follow due process of law. It means that information is readily available to those who need them. RTI has been a major step in achieving transparency. It has resulted in flow of information to those who are genuinely affected by it.

Abid Hussain says,” Right to information can usher in many benefit, such as speedy disposal of cases, minimizing manipulative and dilatory tactics of bureaucracy, putting check on graft “

Responsive: Institution and process try to serve all stakeholder.

Equitable and Inclusiveness: There must be inclusive development. All citizens should have equal chance for development. This ensures all people feel part of the society.

Effective and Efficient: Institution must make the best possible use of resources. The organization must ensures the sustainable development with due consideration to environment.

Follow the rule of Law: There must be independent judiciary to protect the human right, secure social justice and check abuse of power. Thus Legal framework should be such to ensure free, fare and enforced impartiality.

Participatory:  This is the cornerstone of the Good Governance. It gives power to the men and women to have voice in the decision making. It lays the foundation for the freedom of expression, association and organized civil society.

Consensus Oriented: It aims to achieve sustainable human development by reaching broad consensus after different interest for best interest of the society.  Thus the best interest of the group wherever possible is achieved.

The base on which edifice of Good Governance rests are:

  • Ethos.
  • Efficiency.
  • Equity.
  • Ethic.


The concept of good governance is not new. Kautilya in Arthashastra defined Good Governance as “In the happiness of his subject lies his happiness, in their welfare his welfare, Whatever pleases him he does not consider as good, but whatever pleases his subject he considers as good.”



Since governance is a process of decision making and implementation so plethora of actors are involved in it. For example, In urban area the actors involved are the government, NGOs, research institutes, religious leaders, finance institutions political parties, the military, media, lobbyists, international donors, multi-national corporations, etc.

Following Figure provides the interconnections between actors involved in urban governance.



Why Good Governance?

The Human Development report 2002 have identified few reasons good governance (Democratic Governance )

  • People’s Human Right and fundamental freedom are respected, allowing them to live with dignity.
  • People have a say indecision that affect their life.
  • People can hold decision which they are accountable.
  • Women are equal partner with men.
  • Public and private sphere of life and decision making.
  • People are free from the discrimination based on race, ethnicity, class, gender or any other attribute.
  • Economic and social policies aim at eradicating poverty and expanding the choice that all people have in their lives.



Indian is a country of varied faith, religion and diversity. Therefore India needs varied models of Good Governance. Post Independence efforts have been made by various government.

But, the ideals enshrined in the constitution viz. Justice-Social, economic, political- remain unrealized dream. There is a widespread chaos due to gloomy situation prevalent in the society. Democratic system of governance with modification can provide solution to this problem. So, As Enshrined in the constitution State and union have tried to incorporate good government practices to improve the governance. Thus, country has achieved many successes. In India effort has been made post independence to improve governance. These includes Secretariat Reorganization committee (1947), Gopalaswamy Ayyangar Committee on reorganization of government mechaniary( 1949),. The most comprehensive set of recommendation were made by Administrative Reform Committee ( ARC ) set up in January 1966( note we have 2nd ARC ).   The ARC examined entire gamut of administration and submitted its report. Based on its recommendation ministry of personnel and training, Administrative Reform, Public Grievance . Several institution such as CVC, CBI, Lokayukt were also created.

Government has taken various initiatives to achieve good governance.

  • People participation in Administration: People were given opportunity to take responsibility and participate in decision making process. Participation is vital to achieve good governance. Participation can be direct or indirect or through nongovernmental organization. Thus participation led to harmonious relation between citizens and administration thus good governance.
  • Citizens Charter:  As per Government of India Recommendations various ministries and department have to abide by the Citizen’s charter. The charter states measure like simple procedure to address public grievances, independent scrutiny to ensure proper scrutiny, emphasis on time bound delivery etc.
  • E-Governance: Government has laid emphasis on using Information and communication technology to provide efficient, transparent, fast service to the citizen. Following points need to be noted under the E-Governance.
  1. Easy to access single point delivery of public service to citizens.
  2. High penetration due to automation.
  3. Increased efficiency due to connectivity.
  4. Increased accountability.
  5. Reduction in cost of delivery of service.
  6. Increased in transparency.
  7. Higher availability of public domain information.
  8. Reduced Corruption.

In conclusion, Ever since the concept of state have emerged, good governance is conspicuous by its absence. Alexender Pope stated “ For forms of government, let fools contest; whate’er is best administered is best”. Thus government must demonstrate strong will power along with determination to take hard decision to undertake reform, obliterate corrupt and criminals, ensuring ethical standard of quality governance.

Besides, government in true sense should be by the people, for the people, to the people. The state shall ensure fair inclusion of all in democratic process. From citizen side we need to devise a new vision, a new framework for governance by changing government organization.


The article has been authored by Nilaya Mitash Shanker, IIT-Roorkee(DoMS)


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