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Governance is a Latin word that means steering. In


the context of public affairs, steering means taking
society in a particular direction by harnessing its
resources- material and human.
Governance is generally understood as the process of
decision-making and the process by which decisions
are implemented. Public institutions conduct public
affairs, manage public resources, and ensure civil
rights - Good governance does it transparently and
with due regard for the rule of law.

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Participation

Universal adult participation is important. Constitutional


rights like freedom of association and expression, local
self-government and RTI are examples.

Rule of law

Impersonal implementation of laws;


judiciary; and professional police force.

independent

Transparency

Decisions taken and enforced on the basis of rules; rules


are in public domain; people can- verify if rules are being
followed or not; not only that, if rules are fair or not too.
Due process norms ensure the same.

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Responsiveness

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It means that administration is responsive to peoples


demands expressed in any forum- parliament, civil
society etc within a reasonable timeframe.

Consensus-driven

Governance is characterized by balancing of various


interests in society for development. These needs may
be mutually conflicting landed and landless; workers
and factory owners; polluters and the victims of
pollution. Consensus based governance all viewpoints
are considered and addressed. It leads to efficient
allocation of resources and guarantees sustainable
human-development.

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Equity and Inclusiveness

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Long term interests of society are best served only when


all sections develop. Inclusiveness is the key to social
development. Governance should ensure that fruits of
growth reach all- rural, urban, women, men, all regions,
rich and poor etc.

Effectiveness and Efficiency

Effectiveness of the government relates to how far


government can connect. With people delivery of
services, access to people, responsiveness to their needs
and demands etc. Efficiency means value for the given
resources. Outcome budget is an example of the
government concern for efficiency - outlays are
necessary but far from sufficient for good governance.

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Accountability

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All public authorities- government, corporate and civil


society- are expected to be accountable for their
conduct. Accountability is based on statute. It extends
to the clients and other stake holders primarily but
where necessary, for the whole society.
For example a corporate is accountable to its
stakeholders. But in matters of environment, the entire
society can demand answerability. RTI citizens charters,
stock exchange-listing by a company etc. help in
accountability.

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The democratic government that the elaborate


Constitution establishes, incorporates norms of good
governance- in the Preambular values, in Fundamental
Rights, other Constitutional rights and various statutes
like Representation of People Act 1951 etc.
Constitution sets up a welfare state whose
responsibilities require good governance so that the
target groups benefit fully and social divides are
bridged. Millions of poor and illiterate people need to
be served and hundreds of billions of rupees are
involved.

Good governance has been at the forefront of


governance in India as can be seen from the Balwant
Rai Mehta Committee recommendations in 1958.

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Administrative Reforms Commission under Morarji


Desai in 1966-69; LK Jha Committee on Economic
Administrative Reforms in 1982; Arjun Sen Gupta
Committee to Review Policy for Public Enterprises in
1984; P.C. Hota committee.
Report on Civil Service Reforms (2004); Second
Administrative Reforms Commission under Veerappa
Moily (2005) and so on.

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Corporate governance refers to a system by which


organizations are directed and controlled. It is the
process by which company objectives are established,
achieved and monitored. Corporate governance is
concerned with the relationships and responsibilities
between
the
management
and
stakeholderscustomers,
shareholders,
employees,
suppliers,
customers, banks and other leaders regulators, the
environment and the community at large-within a legal
and regulatory framework.

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Public-private partnerships are acquiring an ever


greater role in the delivery of services and are
replacing the traditional bureaucracy in areas like
power supply, roads etc. They are expected to be
more efficient and responsive given that they- have
no political compulsions. They need to be citizenfriendly and accountable.

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The World Bank: the manner in which power is


exercised in the management of a countrys economic
and social resources.
OECD (30-member Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development, an international
organization helping governments tackle the economic,
social and governance challenges of a globalised
economy): the use of political authority and exercise of
control in a society in relation to the management of its
resources for social and economic development

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In recent years, methods to measure good governance


have been developed. Worldwide Governance Indicators
project, developed by members of the World Bank and
the World Bank Institute chose six dimensions of
governance measure how fair and effective the
governments are : voice and accountability, political
stability and lack of violence, government effectiveness,
regulatory quality, rule of law, control corruption.

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