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Leveraging Innovations for Inclusive Governance

By Anil K. Gupta

Abstract

The concern for making services of public systems accessible, accountable and affordable for the disadvantaged people has been there since independence of the country. However, after recognising the limitations of trickle down theory despite witnessing economic growth for a decade, government has realised the need for more inclusive approach. The disparities have increased just as they had in the post green revolution era. The declaration of this decade as the ‘decade of innovation’ by the Prime Minister and the President of India has underlined the concern for inclusiveness. On Civil Service Day, April 24, 2010, I had the opportunity to witness the awards to the outstanding civil servants and also share my thoughts in a panel having concerned Minster and former Cabinet Secretary and Advisor to Prime Minister. I have argued that the urgent concern is not so much about triggering new innovations as about learning from existing innovations. I also refer to the efforts of 13th Finance Commission in this regard. Two major changes were enacted on the advice of Finance Commission based on the background papers prepared by NIF. The Commission has recommended in the paras 12.92 and 12.96 setting up of “Centre for Innovations in Public Systems to identify, document and promote innovations in public services across states”. A grant of Rs.20 crore has been recommended for the purpose. In addition, “a second grant of Rs.1 crore per district is for the creation of District Innovation Fund [DIF] aimed at increasing the efficiency of capital assets already created.” I hope that the paper will trigger discussion about the need for a more systematic cataloguing of innovation in public system so that the benefits thereof can reach the masses rapidly.

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