Governance and Administration Reforms in India
The project LEAF has undertaken, in association with the Future Institute, has evolved over time, and with that, the mandate that the group is working with has changed. The initial mandate that was provided to the group was to study and understand the functions and structures of the Indian Administrative Service. The scope of the project was later expanded to include not just Administration in India, but also Governance. The aim of the project is to be able to provide practical reform recommendations with the aim of making the system more efficient and effective. To this end, the group first decided that there was a need to work towards end-goals, and in doing so, assess the process of policy formation and implementation and its ability to meet these end goals; the Sustainable Development Goals were chosen for this purpose. However it was thought that rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, it would be better to study and understand models that currently exist and have been deemed successful.
Singapore, which has been deemed as the Asian model for excellence, has now become the focus of the group’s study. The group is in the process of studying Singapore for its government structures and functions – their sustainability, their monitoring and evaluation, and the impact that these structures have had in developing Singapore into a “first world oasis”. Apart from this, the group is also attempting to understand the rationale behind the decisions taken by Lee Kuan Yew – the man credited with making Singapore what it is today. The main question that remains to be answered is this: what are the lessons that India can learn and imbibe from India?