Harsh reality of India being depicted in The New York Times article should not evoke any surprises as more realities of India are going to be revealed in the following article. A glimpse of the article is given below,
This is a picture of an under-nourished child in India. The Ministry of Women and Child Development has probably forgotten about the children of the country and that is why this starvation is not getting addressed in India. In its over-enthused spirit to do women empowerment and safeguarding the rights of “Pub Going Loose and Forward Women”, it has actually forgotten that it had to look after the welfare of children as well who are totally left to live in an under-nourished fatherless society, which is again being created due to the efforts of the same Women and Child Development Ministry.
And here’s an unrelated incident to highlight as to why such gory misdeeds are coming to forth. It clearly shows the lackadaisical attitude with which these so called Babus of ministries work. A concerned citizen had filed an application under the Right to Information Act, 2005 for personal inspection of file records related to the proposed Sexual Harassment Bill. When he went to inspect the records, the behavior of the officer there, who is an IAS cadre officer, Mr. M. R. Mohanty, Director of Women and Child Development Ministry, was very rude. Already the RTI activist had been given the usual complacent treatment with regards to the appointment for personal inspection of file records.
This is what allegedly transpired,
“The behavior of the PIO (an IAS) was very rude and uncooperative. He just showed me three files as all the records for sexual harassment bill in the ministry. I asked him many questions and based on his own answer i asked, where are those documents where all what you just said is documented? He got irritated and even started talking like a goon.
He said “RTI? Kyaa phansi thode hi chadha doge.” (RTI? Will you hang me?)”
Now I need not say more, that with this kind of attitude, what development the citizens can expect from the Bureaucracy of India? Worst is that the bureaucracy is paid by the taxes paid by the citizens. Do the citizens pay taxes for this kind of attitude and treatment?
From a very simple logic, the bureaucracy is the service provider and the citizens are the customers. But the quality of service provided by these Babus is far less than what the clients deserve.
Why the disparity? What is lacking? What more needs to be done in a system that is built on the worlds largest and probably the best Constitution?
And the buzzwords that start doing the rounds are not unfamiliar,
- Sense of accountability
- Sense of responsibility
And so on and so forth.
Prior to 15th June 2005, the citizens were powerless as there was no official channel to question the Babus and their ‘activities’ to bring about transparency in the system. But come 15th June 2005 and the Right to Information Act 2005 received the presidential consent and became the law of the land, empowering citizens to demand information from the Babus about their functioning and play a participants role rather than a spectator.
Fourth year in its execution, still there is very low awareness and respect among the Babus regarding the Act. Many still don’t even know something like this exists. I have heard experiences of Govt. officials addressing it as “RIT”, in shock and disbelief, as they are made to work by the Stupid Common Man, the same Stupid Common Man they ruled for years beings its servants, the Public Servants.
In spite of the law being there and being used as well, the scenario remains grim, Why?
Because periodic and systematic audit and appraisal is missing from the system, an audit that ensures performance is missing. It is worthwhile to note here that Corporates are highly successful in execution, implementation and performance because of their ruthlessness as far as performance is considered.
In most of the Corporates there is a quarterly appraisal system carried out which evaluates the performance of an individual and sets the goals for the next quarter and accordingly ratings are given. If consistently ratings drop, then warnings are issued to improve performance and may even end up in termination of job. However, since there is no such model available in the bureaucracy as of now, the quality of service is pathetically poor.
The Right to Information Act, though being there, is based on a reactive model. The damage is already done, it is merely being exposed. And the fear of exposure no longer works for these thick skinned Babus, who are now used to the usual tactics which are well within the framework.
The call of the day is a pro-active model which is so designed that it tells the bureaucrats before hand as to what can be the consequences of a non-performance and a callous attitude. Such pro-active models can only be built in by bringing in the “Appraisal and Audit Model” wherein there is at least bi-annual evaluation of performance if not quarterly and that audit should not be done by any Govt. Body otherwise it’s like curing the cancer with the cancerous cells.
That audit has to be done by state level committees formed of the ordinary citizens, the Stupid Common Man, as they are the clients of this huge and humungous system. Once this system is in place, the Babus will fear for a ‘pink slip’ from their paymasters aka the Stupid Common Man and this fear will make them work.