This article begins by giving historical context to India’s Bureaucracy. That being the British instituting plenty of structures and institutions that would help the present state, as well as hindering it with hierarchy and elitism. Then the article goes on to describe how much influence the bureaucracy has on policymaking; a lot of influence. Finally, the article concludes with a description of the discrepancy between policy creation and actual policy implementation.
Do Reforms Affect the Quality of Service? (India)
During the 90’s India underwent a series of reforms in response to a failure of the government to translate economic growth into improving the social and economic quality of life for it’s citizens. A big priority became transparency, particularly using technology to enable citizen access to government actions in order to promote the ability for citizens to benefit more directly from government action, while also promoting transparency. As a result of the computerization of India’s Government there was a dramatic reduction in communication costs, as well as a significant decrease in many instances of corruption in their government. Although there are some adverse effects (such as the ability to deliver social benefits to each individual effectively, especially those without access to the internet) the study found that increased internet presence of a government is helpful is decreasing instances of corruption, as well as improving government service delivery.
A substantial number of policy and administrative reforms were attempted in India during the 1990s and early 2000s in response to failures of state and national governments to translate economic growth into social and eco- nomic well-being for the majority of citizens. Many of these reforms con- centrated on making the government more responsive to citizen demands and more transparent in its operations. Indian has used several potential of technology-enabled service reforms to improve the quality of service delivery in general to reduce the prevalence of corruption in service delivery.
National Civil Service System in India by R.K. Mishra
This article provides a very in depth overview of both the long history of Indian bureaucracy, its structure today, and the corruption it faces and possible reforms. Starting in the medieval period, the state had the capacity to collect taxes and conduct trade, and this moved into English colonization which created a strong bureaucracy to further the interests of the UK, but for only the British and eventually a limited group of Indian citizens. When India gained independence again, they have structured their bureaucracy into groups based on importance, A, B, C, D. The system is dominated by the Weberian principle that bureaucratic work is impersonal, creating a system where procedure precedes results.
The 8 million civil servants makes up 50% of organized employment in the country, which causes many to believe the government is oversized. Corruption has grown rapidly in recent years. There is much more to this article as it provides wide ranging information.
“Corruption and Reform in India: Public Services in the Digital Age” by Jennifer Bussell – Chapter 3
In this chapter, Bussell argues that using technology can improve the quality of reforms and increase the efficiency of service delivery. She begins by giving a brief history of the rise of the “one-stop, computerized service centers.” Starting in the late 1990s, they were implemented with the goal of making government services more transparent and accessible, with example uses including queuing system, document transfer, and holding databases of citizen information. The general goal of them was to reduce the frequency of government-citizen interaction in helping to combat corruption. The author transitions to looking at the Karnataka case study, by contrasting government offices without computerized services to both traditional and private owned offices with computerized services. In short, Bussell’s data concludes that computerized services reduce bribery and generally, lead to better economic, governance, and service outcomes. In future chapters, Bussell further explores the trade-off between implementing technology-based service reforms and preexisting corruption.
I really enjoyed the US invents clientelism article as it gave a historical point of view and offered reasons of shifts and change through different presidencies and periods throughout US history. I think it is always advantageous, and in many cases crucial, in political science to have the historical background to understand modern trends. While I felt like I had a strong grasp on US history, looking at it only through the lens of clientelism was really helpful in understanding current bureaucracy and potential corruption in the US today.