UPSC Exam  >  UPSC Notes  >  CSAT Preparation  >  Good Governance & Decision Making

Good Governance & Decision Making | CSAT Preparation - UPSC PDF Download

Introduction

Governance involves the exercise of authority in economic, political, and administrative matters to effectively manage a country's affairs at various levels. It encompasses the mechanisms, processes, and institutions that enable citizens and groups to express their interests, exercise their legal rights, fulfill their responsibilities, and resolve disputes.
The term "governance" applies to different contexts, including corporate governance, international governance, national governance, and local governance. It encompasses the decision-making process and the implementation of decisions in various spheres.
The concept of governance is not a recent development; it has existed since the earliest human civilizations. Governance entails decision-making and the subsequent execution of those decisions.
By linking good governance to sustainable human development and emphasizing principles such as accountability, participation, and the protection of human rights, while rejecting rigid approaches to development assistance, the resolution implicitly supports a rights-based approach to development.

Characteristics of Good Governance

Good Governance & Decision Making | CSAT Preparation - UPSC

The characteristics of good governance can be summarized as follows:

  • Transparency: This refers to the need for decisions and their implementation to adhere to established rules. Information about these decisions should also be easily accessible to those who are affected by them.
  • Responsiveness: Good governance should be able to meet the needs of its people promptly and effectively.
  • Accountability: A prominent feature of good governance is accountability. This applies not only to the government and its institutions but also to civil society. It is important to note that transparency is essential for ensuring accountability.
  • Participation: Participation is a fundamental pillar of good governance. The involvement of the public, without discrimination based on gender, is crucial. Participation can take various forms, including direct or indirect participation or representation. It is a cornerstone of democracy, allowing people the freedom of speech, expression, and association.
  • Rule of law: The rule of law emphasizes equality before the law. It involves the separation of powers among the three branches of government: the legislature, executive, and judiciary. Impartial enforcement of the legal framework is necessary to uphold the rule of law.
  • Task accomplishment: Task accomplishment is a vital characteristic of good governance. It entails completing tasks within predetermined timelines, overcoming obstacles, and achieving desired goals.
    When making decisions related to governance, the following points should be considered:
    • Select a solution that is both strategic and operational.
    • Choose an option that minimizes losses for the administration.
    • Apply constitutional relevance to the selected solution.
    • Utilize your knowledge to address the situation.
    • Make judgments based on principles of equality, liberty, and freedom.
    • Maintain a positive and courageous mindset to effectively solve problems.
    • Prioritize transparency when selecting an option, especially in cases involving irregularities by government authorities.
    • Remember that you are a responsible citizen.

Example 1: 

There is a shortage of sugar in your district, where you are the District Magistrate. The government has ordered that only a maximum amount of 30 kg of sugar is to be released for wedding celebrations. A son of your close friend is getting married and your friend requests you to release at least 50 kg of sugar for his son’s wedding. He expresses annoyance when you tell him about the government’s restrictions on this matter. He feels that, since you are the District Magistrate, you can release any amount. You do not want to spoil your friendship with him. In such circumstances, how would you deal with the situation? UPSC (CSAT) 2013

(a) Release the extra amount of sugar which your friend has requested for
(b) Refuse your friend the extra amount and strictly follow the rules
(c) Show your friend the copy of the government instructions and then persuade him to accept the lower amount as prescribed in the rules
(d) Advise him to directly apply to the allotting authority and inform him that you do not interfere in this matter

Answer: (d) The question is directly related to local governance, where one has to apply the rule of law and responsiveness. As a District Magistrate, you have to advise him to apply directly to the allotment authority from whom he can get a good response and will be accordingly satisfied. He may be displeased if you try to convince him to accept a lower amount of sugar as you cannot release extra amounts of sugar. Besides, you want to avoid getting bitter with your friend.

Example 2: 

A person lives in a far-off village which is almost two hours away by bus. The villager’s neighbor is a very powerful landlord, who is trying to occupy the poor villager’s land by force. You are the District Magistrate and busy in a meeting called by a local minister. The villager has come all the way, by bus and on foot, to see you and give an application seeking protection from the powerful landlord. The villager keeps on waiting outside the meeting hall for an hour. You come out of the meeting and are rushing to another meeting. The villager follows you to submit his application. What would you do? UPSC (CSAT) 2013

(a) Tell him to wait for another two hours till you come back from your next meeting

(b) Tell him that the matter is actually to be dealt with by a junior officer and that he should give the application to him

(c) Call one of your senior subordinate officers and ask him to solve the villager’s problem

(d) Quickly take the application from him, ask him a few relevant questions regarding his problem, and then proceed to the meeting

Answer: (d) 

For tackling these types of problems, you have to be responsive towards serving all the needs of the people well in time and in an effective manner. Accomplishing your tasks must also be your priority. Here, you have to achieve two objectives at the same time. Firstly, you have to help the villager, who has come from far off. Secondly, you have to reach the second meeting on time. Option (d) allows you to achieve both. Option (c) also achieves the same objectives, though it means that the villager will have to wait a little longer, so it is not as appropriate. Options (a) and (b) are wrong as they will increase the troubles of the villager, who might not be able to wait longer. So, the best option to tackle this problem is as mentioned in option (d).

Corruption: A Constraint to Good Governance

Good Governance & Decision Making | CSAT Preparation - UPSC

  • Corruption is a significant problem faced by societies worldwide in the realm of governance. However, it is not a recent development, nor is it exclusive to any particular society, civilization, or era. Instances of corruption have been observed throughout ancient civilizations, and it transcends cultural and geographical boundaries. In the context of public decision-making, corruption manifests itself in the form of both legitimate and illegitimate favors.
  • Legitimate favors can include the granting of trading rights, licenses, permits, awarding contracts and tenders, and amending laws to favor business interests. Illegitimate favors encompass activities such as tax evasion and covering up wrongdoing, including illegal acts. The act of exchanging discretionary powers for personal gain by a public official is often referred to as rent-seeking behavior. In this behavior, the aim is to receive payment for those discretionary powers and profit privately at the expense of the public. Consequently, corruption is closely linked to the concept of public morality.
  • In the public sphere, decision-making should prioritize the welfare of the public, which is a fundamental requirement for good governance. Therefore, civil servants must possess the courage to withstand external pressures and remain committed to their duties without being swayed by monetary incentives or positions of power.

Legal decision-making prioritizes facts and evidence over ethics and a humanitarian approach. The decision-making process involves identifying the problem and exploring potential alternatives.

Good Governance & Decision Making | CSAT Preparation - UPSCThe following qualities are essential for effective decision making in legal matters:

  • Good judgment: Making sound decisions requires considering not only procedures but also the necessary factors that support the situation.
  • Knowledge: Informed decisions are based on a comprehensive understanding of all relevant factors. It is important to make decisions in legal matters while being aware of one's abilities and limitations.
  • Flexibility: Rather than being rigid, flexibility involves being open to new approaches, information, and facts. It requires a willingness to adapt and consider alternative perspectives.

To summarize, decision making in legal issues relies more on facts and evidence. It involves problem identification and exploring alternatives. Essential qualities for effective legal decision making include good judgment, knowledge, and flexibility.

Example 1: 

While traveling in a Delhi-registered commercial taxi from Delhi to an adjacent city (another state), your taxi driver informs you that as he has no permit for running the taxi in that city, he will stop at its Transport Office and pay the prescribed fee of ₹40 for a day. While paying the fee at the counter, you find that the Transport Clerk is taking an extra amount of ₹50 for which no receipt is being issued. You are in a hurry for your meeting. In such circumstances, what would you do? UPSC (CSAT) 2013

(a) Go up to the counter and ask the clerk to give back the money which he has illegally taken
(b) Do not interfere at all as this is a matter between the taxi driver and the tax authorities
(c) Take note of the incident and subsequently report the matter to the concerned authorities
(d) Treat it as a normal affair and simply forget about it

Answer (c) 

If there is no receipt given for the extra amount taken by the person in the Transport Office, then it amounts to lack of transparency, clearly indicates corruption, and also violates the rule of law and lack of accountability. Following any other option rather than option (c) leads to the encouragement of corruption. Thus, only option (c) will be the best option.


Example 2

You, as an administrative authority, have been approached by the daughter-in-law of an influential person regarding harassment by her in-laws on account of insufficient dowry. Her parents are not able to approach you because of social pressures. You would UPSC (CSAT) 2011

(a) Call the in-laws for an explanation
(b) Counsel the lady to adjust to the circumstances
(c) Take action after her parents approach you
(d) Ask her to lodge a complaint with the police

Answer: (d) 

As you are an administrative authority, it is your duty to be accountable to the public without any preconceived notions. For this situation, applying the rule of law can only solve the problem of the girl because calling the in-laws for an explanation may not be fruitful. The girl’s parents are already under social pressure and may not approach you. Likewise, asking the girl to adjust is nothing but asking her to tolerate the harassment. Thus, the most appropriate answer is option (d), to advise her to take a legal measure.

CSAT Examples

Example 1: 

A backward caste of UP has decided to go on strike on the railway tracks in order to get their demands fulfilled. Their demand is to move their status from the OBC category to the SC category. Thus, they stopped all the trains from Delhi to UP to put pressure on the Uttar Pradesh Government, and they are also demanding reservation. Their strike is too strong and they are not ready to withdraw unless their demand is met. What should the Uttar Pradesh Government do at this juncture?

(a) The government should accede to all their demands, so that rail traffic may resume
(b) The government should send the military to drive away the protestors from the railway tracks
(c) The government should do nothing till the protestors go away themselves
(d) The government should give assurance to the protestors that their demands will be considered seriously and ask the protestors to vacate the railway tracks promptly

Answer: (d) 

The government should give assurance to the protestors that their demands will be considered seriously and ask the protestors to vacate the railway tracks promptly. This approach addresses the immediate issue of disrupted rail traffic and public inconvenience while opening a channel for dialogue and negotiation. Acceding to all demands immediately (option a) may not be practical or fair without proper consideration and due process. Using military force (option b) could escalate the situation and cause further unrest. Doing nothing (option c) is not a viable option as it allows the disruption to continue indefinitely.

Example 2: 

You have an urgent meeting with the CM, as you are a District Magistrate. You get a call about the supply of large quantities of spurious drugs into your city. Now, what will be your immediate step to solve the problem?

(a) Issue an order to seize the drugs all over the city
(b) Issue an official order to ban the sale of drugs
(c) Contact the association of drug sellers and give direction to take some actions
(d) Set up a team of doctors and give directions to take action immediately

Ans. (c) 

Taking the decision to seize the drugs all over the city (option a) may not be the most immediate and effective action, as it requires extensive coordination and could take time to implement. Banning the sale of all drugs (option b) is impractical, as it would disrupt the availability of essential medicines. Setting up a team of doctors (option d) is not relevant to the problem of spurious drug distribution, as doctors do not have the authority or capability to manage drug supply and distribution.

Thus, the best course of action is option (c): Contact the association of drug sellers and give direction to take immediate action. This approach leverages the existing network of drug sellers who are directly involved in the distribution and sale of drugs, allowing for a quicker and more targeted response to identify and remove the spurious drugs from circulation.

Example 3: 

You are working in the Public Distribution System as its head. On an inspection in a village, you come across a case wherein an old poor man is unable to submit his ration card and claim ration to meet his basic necessity of life. You will

(a) go strict as per the procedures
(b) take initiatives to make the arrangement of an alternative ration card for the poor man
(c) assist the poor man with some money on your own, but should not compromise on procedures
(d) avoid some procedural steps, since you understand the necessity of the poor man

Answer: (b)

The prime duty of every government official is to adhere to procedural rules. Hence, no compromise should be made in this aspect. However, the need of the poor man is also genuine. Therefore, option (b) is the most suitable, as it ensures the man receives the help he needs while maintaining adherence to procedural integrity by arranging an alternative ration card.

Example 4: 

While going through a file, you come to know that a clerk has embezzled the office pension fund. What will you do?

(a) Hand over the case to the police
(b) Ask the concerned clerk to deposit the embezzled amount
(c) Ask the clerk to give you a share of the embezzled amount
(d) Overlook the case and keep quiet

Answer: (a) 

You should hand over the case to the police for further investigation. This is the best solution in this case. It ensures that the matter is handled legally and appropriately, maintaining integrity and accountability within the office.

Example 5: 

You are on duty and receive a call that an incident is in progress, where a bank is being looted. When you reach the spot, one of the looters who was caught happens to be your close acquaintance. You would:

(a) let him run away
(b) catch hold of him and start an enquiry
(c) take him to the police station but let him abscond on the way
(d) inform his family members

Answer: (b) 

Letting the criminal run away is contrary to the law. Taking him to the police station but letting him abscond is also contrary to the law. Informing his family members is not a remedy. The best course of action is to catch hold of him and start an enquiry. This ensures that justice is served, maintains the integrity of the law, and upholds your duty as an official.

The document Good Governance & Decision Making | CSAT Preparation - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course CSAT Preparation.
All you need of UPSC at this link: UPSC
214 videos|139 docs|151 tests

Up next

FAQs on Good Governance & Decision Making - CSAT Preparation - UPSC

1. What are the characteristics of good governance?
Ans. Good governance is characterized by transparency, accountability, effectiveness, rule of law, participation, and inclusivity.
2. How does corruption act as a constraint to good governance?
Ans. Corruption undermines good governance by distorting decision-making processes, reducing public trust in institutions, and diverting resources away from their intended purposes.
3. How does decision-making in legal issues impact good governance?
Ans. Decision-making in legal issues is crucial for upholding the rule of law, ensuring justice, and promoting transparency in governance.
4. How can good governance improve decision-making processes?
Ans. Good governance can improve decision-making processes by promoting accountability, transparency, and inclusivity in decision-making processes.
5. Why is it important to address corruption in order to achieve good governance?
Ans. Addressing corruption is essential for achieving good governance as it undermines the effectiveness of institutions, erodes public trust, and hinders economic development.
214 videos|139 docs|151 tests
Download as PDF

Up next

Explore Courses for UPSC exam

How to Prepare for UPSC

Read our guide to prepare for UPSC which is created by Toppers & the best Teachers
Signup for Free!
Signup to see your scores go up within 7 days! Learn & Practice with 1000+ FREE Notes, Videos & Tests.
10M+ students study on EduRev
Related Searches

video lectures

,

ppt

,

Exam

,

Semester Notes

,

Sample Paper

,

Objective type Questions

,

practice quizzes

,

Good Governance & Decision Making | CSAT Preparation - UPSC

,

Important questions

,

mock tests for examination

,

Good Governance & Decision Making | CSAT Preparation - UPSC

,

Extra Questions

,

pdf

,

Previous Year Questions with Solutions

,

past year papers

,

MCQs

,

study material

,

Viva Questions

,

shortcuts and tricks

,

Summary

,

Good Governance & Decision Making | CSAT Preparation - UPSC

,

Free

;