In a series of articles on ‘Kolar District Human Development Report-2014’, the Local Governance Clinic explains the development and issues that are perturbing development in Mulbagal Taluk (our work site) and in the district of Kolar. This article, eleventh in the series, titled “Governance and Human Development” explains the status of governance, basic infrastructure for service delivery in the district of Kolar and in Mulbagal Taluk. This article,being last in this series, also provides the brief summary of the report. It is important to mention here that the data represented in this article is extracted from the HDI report.
Good governance has eight major characteristics. They are participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law. Governance is important as it influence the planning, prioritization and decision making processes that effects the outcomes of various developmental policies, schemes and programs of the government. It is important to understand local governance structure i.e. Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), political and bureaucratic stability in the district of Kolar. Kolar is also has multiple non-governmental organizations, women groups, self help groups and youth groups working on governance issues.
The Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act, 1993 establishes a three- tier Panchayat Raj System in the State with the elected bodies at Gram, Taluk and District levels for greater participation of the people and more effective implementation of rural developed programs in the State. Further, The government of Karnataka has also passed Belur Declaration in the year 2004, to strengthen PRI systems. It sought to advance the scope of PRIs by bringing primary schools, rural libraries, adult education centers, Anganwadis, ANM Sub-centers and fair price shops within the administrative ambit of Gram Panchayats. Key indicators of the efficiency of decentralization at the district level and below are: equitable political representation in decentralized structures like ZP, TP and GP, political and bureaucratic stability, effectiveness and efficiency of fund utilization and progress in important development schemes and initiatives. A brief about the status of all these parameters is discussed below.
(a) Political Representation:
The report observes that the different social classes are duly represented politically at the GP level and there is scope for increasing their representation in the ZP and TP levels (specifically of the SC category). In the ULBs, political representation of SCs (22.23%) in slightly less than the population proportion of SCs in urban areas (28.84%). The political representation of women at the GP level is yet to reach the prescribed norm of 50%, whereas at the ZP and TP levels, their representation is above the minimum prescribed norms. In the ULBs, women’s political representation is 39.16%.
(b) Stability of Political Leadership and bureaucracy
The stability of any governance structure derives from the stability of its political and bureaucratic leadership. To analyse the stability of the governance regime of the PRI structure in the district, the terms of office of key political and bureaucratic positions of the ZP serve as useful indicators. The tables below present the terms of office of the ZP’s political leadership (President and Vice President, both having a term of office of two years) and its top bureaucratic positions: Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ZP, Deputy Secretary (DS) and the Chief Planning Officer (CPO), all of which are senior positions in the state bureaucracy.
From the above table, it is important to note that political and bureaucratic stability is important for achieve the objectives of Human Development in Kolar district.
(c) Fiscal Trends:
ZP and TP levels are dependent on devolution of government funds entirely, the GPs have the power of taxation and can raise their own resources for fund
mobilization. However, in reality, the PRI structures are dependent substantially on funds devolved from Central and State governments. The graph shows that, on the average, the share of own resources in Kolar’s GPs was only 4.61% of the total receipts of its GPs.
(d) Basic Public Service delivery infrastructure.
Not only governance structures but also physical infrastructure for delivering public goods and services , is another important parameter that contributes to the Human Development. The below picture indicates the status of basic public service delivery infrastructure in Kolar district.
From the above table, it is evident that Health infrastructure , expenditure and the number of villages not having PDS shops- requires immediate attention.
Further, many E governance Initiatives like Health management Information Systems (HMIS), Mother and Child Trafficking System (MCTS), Panchatantra, Panchamitra, MGNREGA Management Information System (NREGA MIS), Housing Schemes, SSA Management Information System, Bhoomi Software have also been implemented to address some of the governance challenges in Kolar District.
Key summary details of the Kolar HDI Report:
In summary, the report highlights the necessity of attaining higher literacy rates and reducing gender disparities in literacy rates ; improving the effectiveness in guaranteeing universal primary education; addressing the issues of declining sex-ratios, MMR, Child health; impacts of ground water contamination on health, regulation and mitigation strategies ; sustainable agricultural growth ; better provisioning of basic amenities, access to latrines and to drinking water to all communities and inclusion of Persons with Disabilities into the main stream community.
Written by: Vikash Madduri