DailyPost 1883

Management case studies have been ruling the world for ages and lots of times the bureaucrats and administrators have to manage with the same. Business case studies also emanate out of it. This has been the rationale behind lots of management training being imparted in the business schools for public servants. The stories of governance well remain the sole preserve of private talks, some memoirs, or non-academic and non-practice books. It means it cannot be used for bringing in similar changes in similar and even technically dissimilar scenarios, depending on thought, planning, execution and findings of those governance projects. Suffice to say governmental experience and expertise broadly remain undocumented. The Indian Institute of Public Administration alone has to battle out the prestigious B-Schools and humongous work done by them.

Various academics for a variety of government works, are busy imparting what can be called as the basic course. Refresher courses with the presupposed value add, mandatory or non-mandatory has not be been path breaking, if we go by the governance scenario on the ground, which can be based on your experience or the reportage all around. Peter J Drucker created a discipline out of the already existing ones, what we call management and to his credit, has made monumental change in the management of nearly anything related to business in this world. That has been the genesis of B-Schools. Political Science / Public Administration / private Public Policy Schools have not been able to add up to bring forth that nature of  expertise and practice in governance.

Governance Case Studies still remain in the world of the surreal. Not many even in the government would have even given it a thought. Governance case studies can provide reference, guide and be the north star to initiate knowledge in this area. Governance Schools should mushroom and with it the content and expertise. Academies and ATIs cannot possibly transform to that level. Technology mismatch is another issue. Governance is still searching for its North Star. Even worse is the situation of a level higher to that; the functioning of the democracy itself. The recording / documentation of the legislature proceedings has not been enough, for sure. Democratic Case studies is the dire need of the hour. In a way Governance and Democratic Case studies can complement each other.

What does the political executive look for in times of need? Only hearsay  of supposedly wiser counsels, depending on which side of the fence you are. Half-baked intellectuals and practitioners can manipulate a few connected / unconnected figures to add up to the desired solution. Our democracy would be wiser and more reliable for the people if Democratic Case Studies would have become our custom, tradition and storehouse of knowledge. There would have been lots of experts who would have become well versed in it. Would such documentation and knowledge not have helped in handling the present farmers agitation? Can everything be thought out of the blue and put into practice? How do we evaluate the pros and cons. The agitations of Mahendra Singh Tikait, studied and documented in this manner would have helped. Deft handling can out of acumen created in the process of our tryst with democracy which is immensely valuable. This is the real democratic capital. Democratic Case Studies of times of T N Seshan can be a great eye opener and a learning experience for the political executive and the political class. It’s high time, we start working in this area in the interest of strengthening our democracy.


Sanjay Sahay

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