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Making govt responsible, accountable

I read Rajan Kashyap’s article, “Making ministers, officers accountable” (Perspective, Nov 21). The writer had introduced Management Information Systems (MIS) while heading various departments in Punjab, including Markfed where the system is working effectively and efficiently.

In fact, it is not accountability but responsibility which can always be shared. Accountability requires an approach that strengthens links between citizens and policymakers. The idea is to improve efficiency in the administration and provide good governance.

Governments all over the world are serious about performance, incentives and punishment to improve the working of the system. Today, when anything can be searched, viewed and reviewed with a click of the mouse, the Results Framework Document (RFD) is a befitting monitoring system. Even the introduction of self-assessment forms will help if the adverse remarks are recorded by the immediate reporting authority.

Unless everyone — from Class IV employees to the Prime Minister — is accountable and do the job assigned to him/her properly and diligently, no RFD or any other system will help. We need a new system like the single window system for prompt delivery of services.



The writer has highlighted the RFD’s significance in assessing the performance of ministers and secretaries to the government. However, the RFD is no panacea for eliminating red tape.

Moreover, can the RFD be effectively applied in Punjab? The answer is an affirmative No. For example, what would the Ministers and secretaries do when a Chief Minister doles out freebies in sangat darshans in a particular area for strengthening the ruling party’s vote banks? Similarly, is it not a mockery of the well established rules when for the appointment of the Chief Secretary, eight to nine senior bureaucrats are sidelined? More than red tape, when nepotism rules the roost in Punjab, the RDF has little meaning.



In today’s system, the politicians and the bureaucrats are not accountable for any wrong doing. Governance is in a terrible mess as officers are corrupt. The unholy nexus between politicians and bureaucrats has given rise to favouritism, cronyism and vendetta administration.

True, government servants are paid for attending office. While the Administrative Reforms Commission has failed to reform the administrative system, it is unable to reward or punish performance in a befitting manner. Even the Sixth Pay Commission has proposed the introduction of performance-based incentives for officials but little has happened.

The RFD has not measured ability to achieve specific targets. The Punjab government needs to strive for improved governance. There is need to implement monitoring and evaluation system in the state. The governments in developed countries are serious about performance, incentives and punishment. This is impossible to implement.

M.L. GARG, Chandigarh

Faith and festivity

I read Dhananjaya Bhat’s piece, “Faith and festivity” (Spectrum, Oct 31). The writer has made an attempt to write about “Sikhs and their religion”. The article is quite informative. But I am constrained to point out that he lacks deep study. He has repeatedly referred to the Sixth Guru as ‘Hargobind Singh’.

It is only after Guru Gobind Singh had administered Amrit to the Panj Pyaras and he himself partook of Amrit from them that Guru Gobind Rai added “Singh” to his name and ordained that henceforth “Singh” would be added to all Amritdhari Sikhs’ names.


Good, bad and ugly

I read V. Gangadhar’s article, “Ads & Actors” (Saturday Extra, Nov 27). He has depicted the real money mania mindset of the present-day film personalities who are rather mad after money and stoop to any level. This is not true of the whole industry. Barring a few, there are many who are leading a graceful retired life and doing yeoman’s service to society, to quote a few like Dev Anand, Dilip Kumar, Manoj Kumar and Dharmendra. Their status is far higher than those mentioned in the article.

The most disappointing aspect of the article is slur on the rural candidates of KBC (Para 2, column II with rustic look and accent…etc). The writer should have kept in mind that handsome is what handsome does. Mere beauty without virtue and utility is of no use. Oily skin is not a symbol of wisdom. History is full of examples where people from rural background and rustic look have done wonders in their fields, to mention a few like Gandhiji, Shastriji, Lincoln, Nelson Mandela and US President Barack Obama.





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