One of the components of good governance as stated by UNDP is participation of citizens in decision making. In India, this has been done in the through legislative measures like MGNREGA, RTE, RTI, NFSA, etc. The enactment of 73rd and 74th constitutional amendment acts also provided for increased people participation.
There is a direct relationship between effectiveness of governance and people’s participation in governance systems. This has been discussed below:
1.Demanding accountability – government more responsive, efficient and effective
2.Enabling the poor and marginalized to influence public policy and service delivery to – improves their lives. The involvement of mothers to inspect mid-day meal scheme food at schools in Madhya Pradesh has bought at qualitative improvement in them.
3.Citizens participation in governance -healthy democracy. The active participation of citizens in the delivery of public distribution system has enabled the effective implementation of national food security act(NFSA).
4.Making information available through RTI – Empowering citizens for their interaction with government.
5.Listening to the voices of citizens and their suggestions through public hearings, writing to various Parliamentary Committees and commissions when policies are put in public domain, surveys etc.
6.Holding service provider and government agencies accountable through mechanisms like social audit., Demanding better services through Citizen Charters (CC) – socio economic development + The effectiveness of social audit in Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has eradicated ghost beneficiaries and enhanced accountability . This has been able the act to be hailed as a successful anti poverty measure
7. 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts. – Participating actively in administration and decision making through Panchayati Raj institutions and urban local bodies.
Moreover, environmentalists have stressed that people participation is the only way to guarantee is sustainable environmental protection model.
India is a welfare state and participation of citizens in democratic processes is one of the best ways to achieve the ideals enshrined in the Constitution.