Organizational and Procedural Issues in Government, Ramesh Kumar Tiwari & Sujata Singh (Eds.),
Gyan Publishing House, Pp 354, Rs 990.00
Since the administrative system that we adopted is a legacy of the British rulers, we started to face administrative problems soon after Independence. Some of the common shortcomings noted were: unnecessary and excessive notings; inadequate attention to problems and vital issues; lack of a proper system of information and control drawbacks in the system of inter-ministry consultation; lack of scientific problem-solving approach, etc. Various committees including those of Parliament commented on the defective methods and procedures of work in the ministries and department of Government of India.
The cataloguing of the problems of administration since 1947 clearly showed the need for a new approach. It was also realised that reform in pubic administration had to be based on modifying the system rather than bringing radical changes in it.
Since Independence, many reports and commissions by stalwarts like N Gopalaswami Ayyanger, AD Gorewala, Paul H Appleby, LK Jha and others highlighted the need for change in the administrative structure as well as procedures of work. However, nothing concrete has so far happened in these areas. In this book under review, essays are included to address the subject of administration.
In his essay, Anil Chaturvedi focuses on different approaches to effectiveness in organisation where values play an important role. Indrajit Singh and KN Bhutani analyse the experience of the Special Reorganisation Unit regarding the work study of governmental organisations after the methods of work had been “carefully planned out and simplified.” The people engaged in the work study need to be fully trained in the “art of analysis” and to show patience and persuasiveness. Tarlok Singh essentially discusses the measures for speedy implementation and the need to fix responsibility and entrust administration of secretariat services to the Union Pubic Service Commission. SK Pachauri traces the story of the concern efficiency in Indian administration beginning since the time of Lord Curzon. Raj Nandy studies the traffic police department in the metropolitan city and concludes that a large percentage of officers are not clear about the goals of their organisation and lack commitment to the organisational goals. AP Saxena discusses the complexities in state administration due to the enlarged purpose, functions and scope of state government activities. AJ Naftalin calls for simplicity and clarity in effective administration. Lord Curzon’s essay of 1899 refers to the system of filing, noting and inter-departmental references in the Government of India.
It follows from the essays that organisational reforms have been in “form rather in real substance, leaving little impact on the efficiency of the system” and what has been lacking “is congruence between strategy, structure and substance.” This book is meant essentially for policy-makers and the personnel departments.
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