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Lokpal Not a Mere Slogan

Lokpal Not a Mere Slogan

Measures to ensure probity and integrity in public life have been at the centre stage of national consciousness, particularly during the tenure of UPA II.  Lokpal, though not a “cure for all ills”, was embraced by masses as a significant step to deal with corruption at the highest levels of Government and political machinery.  Anna [...]

Miles to go for Lokpal

Miles to go for Lokpal

Rajya Sabha on December 17, 2013 and Lok Sabha on December 18, 2013 passed the amended Lokpal Bill.  Thus, the jinx has been broken after more than four decades.  The first Lokpal Bill was proposed and passed in the fourth Lok Sabha in 1969.  However, it did not get passage in Rajya Sabha.  Subsequent Lokpal [...]

Political apathy on Lokpal is shameful

Political apathy on Lokpal is shameful

Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare has once again threatened to take to the streets for the cause of a Lokpal. In view of continued inaction with regard to promises made and the midnight resolution of Parliament, what grounds do the parliamentarians have to claim that their authority to work on their own accord is being undermined [...]

A Guarantee without Accountability Right to Public Services

A Guarantee without Accountability Right to Public Services

As if involuntarily acting on account of pressures from civil society and various other counters, the Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services Bill, 2011 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 20, 2011.  It was referred to the Parliamentary Committee in January, 2012.The Committee sent its report in August, [...]

Citizen-centric public services

Citizen-centric public services

The delivery of public services in a time-bound manner at the level of States and the Centre, if implemented efficiently, could become a single most revolutionary step imparting relief at the cutting edge level. The citizens, particularly our rural brethren, are shunted from one office to other for procuring documents relating to birth, death, caste, [...]

Why bureaucracy baulks at decisions, should omit draconian provisions in Prevention of Corruption Act

Why bureaucracy baulks at decisions, should omit draconian provisions in Prevention of Corruption Act

Our Prime Minister has time and again appealed to bureaucrats for taking fair and objective decisions based on sound evidence and designed to serve the national interest. Manmohan Singh exhorted civil servants to fight the tendency of not taking decisions because of the fear that things might go wrong and the civil servants might be [...]

Get cracking on corruption!

Get cracking on corruption!

The issue of ending endemic corruption, including combating the menace of black money, needs to be addressed with both sincerity and speed. The government claims to have taken a series of measures to meeting the challenges posed by corruption in public life. However, the impression remains that it is ineffective in tackling the scourge of [...]

Fixing the ‘right’ to public services

Fixing the ‘right’ to public services

The states and the Centre recently skirmished over federalism, following contentious legislation like the Lok Pal Bill, the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) and a proposed amendment of the Railway Protection Force Act, 1957. Now, the Centre is planning to step into troubled waters once again by transgressing the federal structure of governance through its draft [...]

Do we need Parliament to debate on the Team Anna Show!

Do we need Parliament to debate on the Team Anna Show!

A few months ago, Baba Ramdev demanded a time-bound commitment from the Union Government to bring back the black money stashed away abroad.  Sticking to his demand to end corruption in the Indian polity, he undertook a protest fast at Ramlila Maidan grounds.  After a series of clarifications made through its emissary, the Union Government [...]

Suggestions on the Rights of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of Their Grievances Bill, 2011

Suggestions on the Rights of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of Their Grievances Bill, 2011

1. In the Statement of Objects and Reasons enclosed with the Bill presently under the consideration of the Parliament, it has been stated that an over-arching structure is necessary as the impact of various legislations by the State Governments has been diffused and limited.  It is difficult to appreciate that the Rights based approach as [...]

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