Question : Grassroots level administration is the bedrock of our vibrant democracy. Explain the importance of decentralisation of power along with the steps taken by the government to strengthen local administration.
It is important to have a strong local governance system for any democracy to succeed. This act of decentralisation can ensure that people are empowered to take decision concerning them.
Importance of decentralisation of power
The decentralisation allows the authorities to focus on the group of beneficiaries more precisely. This precision can ensure that welfare measures of the government reaches every citizen without any discrimination.
Ex: Role of panchayats in identifying beneficiaries of government schemes.
- Faster decision making
Every small decision to be taken on ground level will take lots of time if directions have to arrive from the top most level. By decentralisation of power, smaller decision can be implemented easily without waiting for directions unnecessarily.
Ex: Fixing village water supplies.
- Awareness of ground reality
Decision makers at the top level are most of the time far away from ground reality. This fact can result in failure of decision making. By dividing powers, the issues can be handled at the lowest level without involving top level decision makers.
Ex: Decision taken by panchayats for giving land rights to tribals can help prevent left-wing extremism.
Steps taken by government to strengthen local governance
- Conducting elections
Elections ensure that a local administrator is a representative of people rather than representative of the government.
- Citizen involvement
Local governance can be strengthened by involving people in decision making. This will ensure that policies and decisions concerning citizens are take by themselves.
Ex: Social audit.
- The current system needs certain reforms that will turn decentralising authorities into facilitators instead of hurdle creators.
- This step can make decentralisation more effective form of governance.
Thus, it can be said that the role of local administration in improving governance in India is phenomenal. The institution’s role in strengthening democratic values reiterate the importance of decentralising governance structure in India.