GENERALISED ADMINISTRATION / GOVERNANCE

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GENERALISED ADMINISTRATION / GOVERNANCE

The administration continues to be what is aptly described as general administration, civil administration however much the area or sector would have become specialized today. The inherent contradiction which the governance of the country faces is having a generalized administration for the specialized, complex and technical requirements of the day. The whole exercise of extremely complex administration is brought to notes, points, approvals, procurements and utilization et al. If this were to be the correct roadmap, we would have been able to meet at least some of the parameters of developed nations in our seventy-five years of existence. If not the concrete milestones, we could have gained some outstanding expertise in which we would have lead the world.

If the same expertise is required to run all departments, ministries, large chunks of agencies; regulatory to quasi-judicial, then for sure, we have missed the woods for the trees.  Managing resources; financial and otherwise, in a century old process cannot do wonders. Even the budgetary mechanism has not seen the light of the day, program budgeting, which we find the world over. We don’t believe in the world parameters and benchmarks in broadly any area which falls under general administration. Crudest of it all, can our construction parameters be different from the rest of the world, from the buildings which depict and represent government in rural areas to the pot holed to eternity roads of Bangalore. Judicial directive and road quality would not have any connection anywhere else in the world.

The marriage of financial, physical and performance audit will happen in this country, it seems only in the twenty second century. Till such time we will have to satisfy with our dream auditors which this country has; the benchmarks and thoughts woven in an accounting dream, no reference points for validation or cross referencing. What he writes it is the law of the land, from the 2G audit to the multinational style as in the case of Satyam. Accounting procedures and auditing regimen, whether we believe or not decide the financial propriety of the country. Can a general banking department  in a ministry have the wherewithal, knowledge and expertise and might be power too, to professionally come in way of accumulation of NPAs in the country.

Coming to sectors, can revenue dept experts be the sentinel of social sector administration.* Is it not the most mammoth social enterprise the country has? What vision, skills and expertise is going into it, if any. The famed social enterprise of the NGOSs; what do they bring to the table? Are we even ready to battle it out? Have we not even thought of social development as a separate expertise niche to transform this country which we keep talking about day in and day out. Have you built up an expertise for economic administration of this country? Managing it at a very high level through generalists in finance depts and ministries have not brought us a long way. Besides, there are lots of departments and ministries, which need economic administration of a totally different level. Ditto for technology, including disruptive ones, changing our existence beyond recognition. Science is not very far behind. We can keep naming sector after sector.

GENERALISED ADMINISTRATION FOR SPECIALIZED NEEDS IS AN ANATHEMA.

Sanjay Sahay

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