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The Draft Manifesto PART I : Dr. Subroto Roy's comments.



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[Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE
___Help make this manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!___
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Here is the PART I (GOOD GOVERNANCE) part of the IPI Manifesto. I have
tried
to incorporate as many of Dr. Roy's comments
(reference :
http://www.indiapolicy.org/lists/core_india/1999/May/msg00146.html)

as I could, while on others, Dr. Roy seems to challenge opinions of
other
able members. My aim is only to edit what has already been agreed to,
so,
unless his other points (which have not been incorporated here) are
debated
again by both sides,I won't know what to do with them. I do not wish to
change it so much so that it ceases to retain its identity as the
document
representing the IPI community. I have not touched the parts where I
didn't
think I could do anything.

Please go ahead and suggest any corrections, either grammatical or in
the
language, in order to make it presentable and acceptable to all.

Thank You.


Umesh
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                        The Manifesto
                            PART I
                    GOOD GOVERNANCE

The people's manifesto aims specifies guidelines for good governance in
the
following points :
1.      Individual Autonomy and Participative Democracy
We believe that a radical democratization of government in India is
urgently
needed in order to fulfill the promise of freedom to all its citizens.
Our
government needs to protect the freedom and autonomy of individuals and,
by
implication, that of all organizations of the people. A government that
limits itself to fulfilling the basic mandate that it is entrusted to,
by
the ordinary citizens, the masters of our democracy. The mandate that is

limited to protecting individual freedom, liberty, right to choice of
enterprise, opportunity to earn a dignified living, and order in the
society
to insure peaceful coexistence of all, without regard to individual
differences.
In order to achieve the above mentioned objective,
a) Individuals wanting to become politicians and represent the people in
the
government, must state clearly their stand on specific critical policy
issues that are important for the citizen's day-to-day life. This
specific
information about the views of the candidates, along with a, published,
detailed background information of the candidate's recent past, must be
used
by the citizens to elect their best representative for the government.
b) All government control of the media must be released back to the
people.
Prasar Bharati  bill, though aimed at achieving this target, remains to
fully achieve its intended objective, and there is still the
Communication
and Broadcasting Ministry owning and controlling at least a major
portion of
electronic media organizations. This should change, government should
get
out of media ownership, and should only support some public service
programs
through grants to people owned stations, which, in turn, would have
local
control rather then a central control. Government should only limit
itself
to policy formulation and enforcement in telecommunication sector to
ensure
competition in the industry, protection of consumer's interests, and
setting
up guidelines for entertainment programs to protect social norms and
children's education.

c) Freedom of Information would be guaranteed as a fundamental right to
the
citizens. Every citizen would have the right to obtain the information
pertaining to him/her that is maintained by the government for any valid

reason.

d) Officials nominated by central authorities cannot solely govern
public
service organizations. Every public service organization, serving at
specific location, has to have local representative(s) participating in
managing the affairs of such organizations.


2.      National Reconciliation
The government, through grants to people owned public television, radio
and
other community organization, should promote programs that encourage
national reconciliation and integration efforts. The government cannot,
and
should not directly participate in promoting any individual points of
view,
but it should definitely promote the academicians and  educated citizens
to
freely exchange opinions, constantly debate on issues that challenge
national integration. Government, as representative of all citizens,
should
function as a catalyst in strengthening national spirit.

3.      Electoral Reform
A legislation needs to be enacted that strictly requires individuals to
show
proof of no criminal record involving conviction of the candidate, as a
precondition for qualification to run for any elected public office.

Election Commission also needs a legislation requiring a mandatory
accounts
audit of every individual political campaign committee accounts. Such
accounts must document every small as well as large donation from
citizens
as well as organizations. Such political donation records containing
information about donors as well as the amounts donated, should
automatically become a public property accessible to all.

Election Commission must impose a strict upper ceiling on the amount of
money a single individual or organizational donor can donate to a
political
campaign. Such limit should be revised every ten years in order to
adjust
the limit with inflation.

Elected representatives of the people in the government need to be
rewarded
with good remuneration. Public service should be made attractive enough
to
retain talented and people of honor in its fold. However, the
compensation
needs to be strictly defined without any loopholes for the politicians
to
exploit for their benefits. Transparency needs  to be the norm here
rather
then exception.

Summary information totaling Income from all sources, including gifts
etc.,
and the taxes paid by the people holding elected public offices, should
become public property accessible to all. This step can help reduce the
amount of corruption in politics.

Bureaucrats would be given  incentives to document corruption by elected

representatives (including taped evidence). They would have the power to

present such  evidence to the Lok Pal who, in turn, would have the power
to
protect the bureaucrat as well as to reward such effort if found to be
true.



Law regarding State & National Political Parties :

Nominations of the official candidates of individual political parties
for
contesting elections, should be democratically done by conducting
preliminary rounds of elections, where only the party members residing
in
the constituency under consideration would be eligible to vote. This
should
be done no sooner then four months and no later then six weeks before
actual
elections to the constituency are due.

4.         Parliamentary Reform

Voting records of each and every MP/MLA on each and every Bill would be
publicly available on the internet, so that citizens could determine how

well their interests were represented by the said representative.
5.      Defence
Constant preparedness is needed to keep our defense forces in the state
of
readiness to defend our borders. Availability of sufficient funding has
to
be ensured for investment in personnel, modern weaponry, and suitable
technology in accordance with current military needs.
6.        Foreign Policy

We should try to find common interests with nations that have similar
democratic norms of government. This would include extraditing criminals

from other nations who are sought by their police, shutting down
operations
of foreign terrorists on Indian soil, signing extradition treaties with
more
nations.

We advocate the goal of global disarmament by all nations and the
banning of
all weapons of mass destruction. The sole purpose of creating a nuclear
weapon must be to help the world understand the futility of trying to
hold
on to existing power structures in perpetuity, and to insist that
everyone
in the world will be better off with complete disarmament. India would
never
be the first to use nuclear weapons in the event of a conflict with
another
country.

With over 20% of the world's population, India deserves a place in the
permanent membership of the UN Security Council. Indian foreign policy
must
mature with the aim of leading the international community in the 21st
century. India must work with friends and supporters in the United
Nation to
make it happen. Indian foreign policy needs to focus on protecting
Indian
interests abroad, as well as better promoting/protecting Indian business
and
trade interests.


7.      Law and Order
Vigorous efforts need to be made to raise the morale, competence,
ethical
behaviour and responsiveness of the Police, both through monetary
incentives, improved training and organizational changes:
Organizational Changes :
Indian Police organizations are currently too bureaucratic armies of
police
personnel, controlled through various levels of officers leading up to
the
State level Authority, known as the Director General Of Police.
A relatively more democratic model, as implemented in the United States,
is
the one where Police Organizations are controlled by City
Administration,
the City Police as they call them. Such, relatively much smaller police
organizations work very closely with the people's representatives in the

City Administration. Moreover, a City Police is naturally more closer to
the
local people because of the complete dependence of their success upon
the
cooperation of the local communities.
Education & Training :
Police Training Academies need to be equipped with the best of the
trainings
on all of the following areas :
1. Firearms, the knowledge to identify and use old as well as the very
latest sophisticated firearms.
2. Strict code of conduct, that must involve inculcating deep sense of
duty
towards providing safety and security to common people the police
officers
are trained to serve. This also must involve teaching respect for
civilians
and honoring human rights of every individual, including the criminals.
3. Modern Technology. Police Academies must train police officers with
the
basic knowledge of modern mode of communication as well as computer
operation. They should be equipped with the knowledge to use centralized

information computer database to track criminals, and update criminal
records, telecommunication technology to watch out for hi-tech crimes,
and
internet to protect people from internet crimes.
Monitory Incentives :
Payment and perks for police officers should be good enough, at least
attractive enough  to retain dedicated and able officers into the police

force.

              Implement Past Recommendations :
Past studies and recommendations of expert committees must be looked at
on a
priority basis, and the same should be implemented after making
adjustments
to suite changed organizational structure. Notable are the National
Police
Commission's recommendations and the Vohra Committee recommendations for

study and implementation.


Use Modern Methods Of Record Keeping :
Inter-police organization cooperation to control crime, and efficient
utilization of the personnel resources at hand depends largely upon the
utilization and sharing of the information about collected through
various
investigations, current or over a period of time. In order to
efficiently do
the same, all police organizations across the nation must use a
standard,
and secure computer software to record and share information and
logistics
to help manage the job of protecting citizens more efficiently.
Disincentives for irresponsible behaviour and corrupt practices :
In order to check the prevelent practice of general abuse and disrespect
for
the common man by the police officers, city administration, meaning, the

elected representatives of the local citizens can be granted the
authority
to monitor and control the local police organizations. Moreover, in line

with the position of City Police Chief, or Suprintendent of the Police
in
the United States, the top post in the local police organization can be
made
an elected position , and city administration representatives can elect
from
among the best and most experienced Senior Police Officers Across the
state
who file in their candidature for the job. This way, corrupt practices
can
be checked by giving elected representatives of the people a chance to
decide who runs the local police department.


8.      Administrative Reform
a) Accountability:
Both the elected and non-elected officials of India are paid by the
taxpayer
and are accountable to the Indian people for their deeds being in
abidance
by the laws laid down by the People.

Except for state secrets relating to critical matters of defense of the
country, and those relating very clearly to the internal security of
India,
nothing else shall be considered to be an Official Secret.

Bureaucrats in free India will be Citizen bureaucrats. They will have
rights
to speak out as citizens, both on general issues of governance as well
as on
the private secrets of political leaders, which are not covered under
the
Official Secrets Act. Speaking out on general matters of governance
would be
completely permitted.
In order to protect discipline, though, the bureaucrats would have to
report
instances of misdemeanour by elected representatives to the Lok Pal with

full details.

The Lok Pal, in turn, would be required to publish such complaints (of
course, without revealing the identity of the informer, if that is
mandated
by personal safety of the individual and/or deemed necessary for
smoothly
conducting the investigation) on the internet or any easily accessible
public media. Inherent in the aforesaid statement is the mandate for the
Lok
Pal to perform necessary investigations publicly and in full view of the

media.


b) Organizational Reform :
Jobs at the levels of Additional Secretary and above in the Government
of
India would be delinked from the permanent civil service. These jobs
would
be filled up either from within the service or from any other source,
outside the government, on a contractual basis, and on the merit of the
person concerned. Such public officers would be nominated by the
executive
(the government), and such nominations would be subject to confirmation
hearing by a select committee of parliamentarians, and then subsequent
majority vote in the parliament.
c) Compensation :
Salaries of bureaucrats at all levels would be made comparable with
private
sector salaries for similar jobs. This is required to retain the best
talent
for executing the very important functions of government.

d) Budgeting & Planning :
 The public budgeting and planning process would be decentralized and
made
more transparent.


9.       Citizens' ID Numbers
Each citizen would receive a uniquely numbered citizen identification
card.
This will help keep track of total government benefits provided to each
citizen. This can also help to extend benefits which are not present
today.
10.     Sports

The key responsibility for the development of sports would lie with the
people themselves, in terms of forming organizations for the development
of
competitive sports. Firms would be encouraged to use sports for
marketing
purposes. Wherever necessary, government would assist through raising
funds
for stadia and other infrastructure, and no import duties would be
imposed
on equipment used for purposes of competitive sports."


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