1st Five Year Plan
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Introduction || APPENDIX (CH-4) || APPENDIX (CH-9) || ANNEXURE (CH-12) || APPENDIX (CH-14) || APPENDIX (CH-24) || APPENDIX (CH-29) || Conclusion
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Chapter 5:

The goals of social and economic policy are prescribed in the Directive Principles of the Constitution. The Five Year Plan represents the first attempt on the part of the Central Government and all the States to translate those principles into a national programme based upon the assessment of needs and resources. It is now the task of public administration to carry out this programme in cooperation with the people

2. In some fields of development, the existing agencies will need to be supplemented and strengthened ; in others, new agencies will be required to carry through the Plan. In all directions, the pace of development will depend largely upon the quality of public administration, the efficiency with which it works, and the co-operation which it evokes. The tasks facing the administration are larger in magnitude and more complex, but also richer in meaning than in earlier days. From the maintenance of law and order and the collection of revenue, the major emphasis now shifts to the development of human and material resources and the elimination of poverty and want. The coming years must be a period of intensive endeavour if the goal of the Welfare State is to be realised. The patterns of organisation and the claims upon both government and administration will now be determined by the needs of development and the effort entailed by the process of development which has been described in the first part of this report. Democratic institutions are in thcir nature difficult to work, for they call for a consciousness of social purpose, courage to stand by principles, and restraint in the exercise of authority. In addition to these, leadership is needed in every field of activity if rapid economic development, which must involve effort, privation and social adjustment, is also to be secured through democratic means.

3. The objectives of development are to be fulfilled through national planning within a democratic framework which encompasses the Central Government and the States as well as, in increasing degree, local self-governing bodies and voluntary social welfare organisations. A great deal of leadership, organisation and cooperation are, therefore, called for; One important aspect of the problem relates to the relationship between the political leadership which forms the government and the public services which carry out the administration. They have a common aim, the raising of standards of living through rapid economic and social development and better distribution of wealth and income; their functions are complementary, and neither can fulfil its part without the active help and trust of the other.

4. The processes through which political leadership emerges in a democratic system determine also the character of its responsibilities. Adult suffrage, party organisations, legislatures empowered to make laws and vote taxes and appropriations and'the responsibility of government to the legislature, are all different facets of a single purpose, namely, so to organise political life that those who attain power shall reflect the will of the people. When a party forms the government, it has to strive to carry as large a pioportion of the people with it as possible. At all times the government has to try and maintain close contact with the needs of the people and to secure their support and cooperation for programmes designed to meet those needs. The political executive in charge of the government has thus a twofold responsibility to fulfil. Its principal task becomes one of assessing what the public desires, what its essential needs are, and how they may be met. In other words, its sphere is, in the main, one of policy and the principles that lie behind policy. The political executive has, therefore, to give special attention to the formulation of principles and policies in each field of activity. Secondly, it has to ensure that the principles and policies which are laid down are followed faithfully and, where discretion is vested, it is exercised in tlie public interest.

5. In the implementation of these responsibilities, there has to be devolution of power to large numbers of public servants who, as a body, constitute the administration. The public services stand outside the arena of political life. The security of tenure, expertise and knowledge and appreciation of the implications of different problems and programmes derived from experience of dealing with them over many years tends to give to the higher grades of public servants a considerable share in the shaping of policy. Their advice is always available to the government and they should be encouraged, as indeed it is their paramount duty, to tender advice without fear or favour. Even though their views generally influence decisions, their main role is to implement and to administer policies approved by the Government.

Policy And Administration

6. The influence of policy on the character of the administration is well understood. Errors of policy may be far-reaching in their effects and the most careful administration will not wholly compensate for them. In the management of public affairs failures in policy and failures in administration can be equally unfortunate. In some situations policy may be the more fundamental aspect, in others the administration. In recent years, the Central Government as well as State Governments have had to assume new responsibilities without always having the personnel and the experience for undertaking them. Sometimes they had no other choice and, indeed, it is inevitable that the responsibilities of the government should grow rapidly. Since trained manpower is limited, it is necessary that the relative importance of different objectives and the ability of the government to achieve them, should be carefully considered in determining the priorities. In the fields which are selected by the Government, it is important to remember that unless a policy which has been decided upon is pursued in a sustained manner, the administration can seldom be satisfactory. In relation to national planning the formulation of correct policy has an altogether crucial significance. In particular, it is important to ensure both at the Centre and in the States that individual economic programmes and proposals are carefully related to the requirements of national planning and the common national interest should always prevail over sectional and local claims.

7. The decline in the standards of administration which has taken place during the past few years points to the urgent need for carrying out administrative reforms. Important achievements stand to the credit of the Central and State Governments and the administration has undertaken large responsibilities. Nevertheless, it is true that numerous functions are now performed less efficiently than before. To some extent this is due to the fact that while the work falling to the administration has considerably increased, the strength of experienced personnel in the public services everywhere has been depleted and key personnel work under considerable strain and pressure. Growth in the responsibilities of government and in the expectations held by the people now call for a drive for improvement in the quality of the administration and in the service v/hich it renders to the community. Each administrative authority under the government should hold itself responsible and work to a programme for bringing about such improvements as are needed in its organisation and in its performance. The significance of the present period in the economic and social development of the country should be fully recognised by those now engaged in administration, in particular, by the higher ranks of the public service. They have the opportunity, and upon them rests the obligation, which is both collective and individual, of helping to establish a structure of administration and a tradition- of service which will be capable of fulfilling the national programme and will provide a sound basis for future advance. Ministers have of course a most important part to play in improving the administration. The higher ranks of the administration are entitled to receive from them confidence and understanding and, in particular, steady support in reforming the system of administration and in re-organising it for the implementation of development programmes. It should be the combined and earnest effort of both, throughout the country, to effect those adjustments in outlook and in the methods of government as will enable each to give its best.

Three Groups Of Problems

8. In the two chapters that follow we consider at some length the principal problems which arise in connection with the improvement and strengthening of the administration. These may broadly be divided into two groups. First, there are the problems bearing on the entire field of public administration, such as, for instance, the achievement of high levels of integrity, efficiency and economy. To these may be added the need for structural changes to raise the level of administration in the less advanced States and to equip the government with machinery to carry out its economic functions in a manner more adequate to its present responsibilities. In a second group, we may include problems which bear upon the administration of development programmes in the district. It is in the district that the administration comes into the most intimate touch with the citizen and development programmes become vital to the people. It is, therefore, necessary to consider questions such as the improvement of the machinery of general administration, on which so much else depends, the establishment of an appropriate agency of development at the village level, the coordination of development activities undert iken on behalf of government, the State agencies and, finally, questions such as regional coordination and supervision of district development programmes and the place of social service agencies in the reconstruction of rural life.

9. Even if the government does all that lies in its power to improve the administration, the success of planning under democratic conditions will still depend upon the measure in which the association and co-operation of the people is enlisted in formulating and implementing various programmes. The experience of the past few years brings out clearly the need for a reorientation in outlook on the part of officials as well as of non-official representatives. In each field of activity there is a great deal of assistance which the people can render to the administration and, in a later chapter, we consider the directions in which such co-operation may be developed as part of the Five Year Plan. As the administration responds to the needs and the wishes of the public, the latter may be expected to react with a positive desire to assist the administration. In the context of the Five Year Plan, it is especially pertinent to remember that the distinction between official and non-official workers is related to the content of their respective responsibility ; no longer to the objectives they subserve.

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