Indian governance and its institutions

A nation of 1.3 billion has stayed united, resilient and ambitious. For all the warts, governance hasn't failed.

Government, governance, institutions



Governance is the structured process of decision making and effective implementation of the decisions so made. A government is required to make decisions  for the welfare of the public, that has voted it into power to do that. Its role in governance should be restricted to proactive decision making but not much more. We can as well say that better governance asks for minimum government as a prerequisite. The implementation of the decisions should be the responsibility of the various institutions created and established for this purpose. A government’s failure is reflected in the poor implementation of various decisions, and hence strong systems should be in place that actually work! This is what institutional mechanisms mean.

Thus, elected government + strong institutions = effective governance.

For governance to be effective and efficient, it is necessary to have a well-thought institutional mechanism in place. When we say that Somalia is a failed state, we mean it lacks any institutional mechanism, though it may have a government (either elected or shot into position!). In the long run, only a capable institutional mechanism decides the success or failure of a modern democratic society.

[Read this Bodhi in Hindi, here]


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Despite all its shortcomings, the Indian system has witnessed creation of credible, effective institutions like the Election Commission, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), Finance Commission etc., which have responsibly implemented  various government decisions. India’s Election Commission has been appreciated across the world for conducting frequent elections in a vast and varied country, successfully. We have also witnessed the important role played by CAG in recent times, by exposing anomalies in large impact decisions. Such actions reaffirm our faith in the effective functioning of important institutions.

An idea of the amazing size and complexity of the modern government can be had here!


America and institutions



The USA has managed to retain its position of strength in the world due to a strong culture of independent institutions that brook little nonsense. But simply creating institutions is not enough. They must be efficient and effective. They should possess certain characteristics like reasonable neutrality as well as accountability, which alone can enable them to implement the government decisions as desired by the general public. However, the election of Donald Trump in 2016 has upended all assumptions about the continuity and stability that an institutional mechanism may provide.


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Accountability
is the foundation for a long-lasting institution. Irrespective of how powerful it is, it must be answerable for its actions. Similarly, transparency enables people to see and understand the implementation of government decisions. Institutions should also be responsive, equitable and inclusive, serving the needs of the entire community. All should be given an opportunity to participate in the process. This participatory nature can bring a lot of social buy-in, as citizens realize that anyone who will be potentially affected by decisions can participate in the process.


[इस बोधि को हिंदी में पढ़ें, यहाँ]


The demonetisation exercise undertaken by NDA 2 government in Nov. 2016 has reignited the debate on federalism in India. 

Summary: For happy societies, we need fair elections that create honest governments. For effective implementation of government’s decisions, we need strong institutions. For a harmonious functioning of them in unison, we need a strong constitution that checks and balances these power centres! Governance, politics and international relations are covered frequently, in-depth in our Bodhi News service. Don't miss!


The Assembly Elections 2017 results have reinforced the Modi Doctrine that not only pushes India's interests positively abroad, but is redefining governance within India. 


Read about   [##leaf## The Modi Doctrine]  and [##leaf## Assembly Elections Analysis 2017]




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    • Bodhi Links (for deeper study; Caution: some may be external links, some large PDFs)
      • ##chevron-right## This is an amazing chart - Complete structure of Indian government ministries here




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    Bodhi Booster: Indian governance and its institutions
    Indian governance and its institutions
    A nation of 1.3 billion has stayed united, resilient and ambitious. For all the warts, governance hasn't failed.
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