Part 1 of this series can be ‘accessed’ here. This is Part 2.
As another eventful year draws to a close considered by many experts as perhaps a crucial churning period in history of independent India as the underlying old National meta-narrative is being sought to be replaced by a new India of equal opportunities for all and a transition from an Old India based on Class hierarchy, patronage and Rent seeking to one based on Rule of Law, meritocracy and Social inclusiveness and mobility.
As India prepares for a change it’s socio-economic model and ushers in Digital governance Technologies and new policy frameworks to smoothly transition into a New India it’s imperative the fundamental legacy issues are addressed squarely to understand the real challenging bottlenecks in this transition from Old to New India.
NitiAayog should ensure economic policy initiatives are insulated from Political pressures and should be granted Constitutional powers to audit all financial expenditures of Central & State Governments
Many experts have pointed to the importance of rapid reforms in Agriculture, Education, Healthcare, Urban & Rural infrastructure to Police-Justice systems as essentially crucial to bringing any visible transformational change in New India.
The long arduous road to effective governance reforms in India needs careful and painstaking change management acceptance within the Government itself as any development without governance reforms is not going to be meaningfully effective. Modi govt should initiate a dedicated time bound institutional process as the engine of further reforms.
Sharing a conceptual framework of key Federal independent institutional structures needed to deal with multi-state problems of daily governance in India.
For India aspiring to be 15 Trillion economy in next few decades, there cannot be any doubt about the need for an Institutional body capable of undertaking long-term strategic economic thinking with consistent focussed policy implementations as the Finance Ministry gets pre-occupied with more short-term revenue or growth concerns. Hence there is a desperate need for Constitutional Entity of Top Financial, Economics Experts & Bureaucrats working together with fixed 5-year service terms to develop and implement Policy roadmaps for India to achieve its goal of developed economy. It should enjoy Constitutional mandate to advise PMO on Economic & fiscal policies while also engaging with State administrations & industry to implement economic goals within defined policy time frames. The Prime Minister be entrusted with powers to appoint members of NitiAayog.
NitiAayog should ensure economic policy initiatives are insulated from Political pressures and should be granted Constitutional powers to audit all financial expenditures of Central & State Governments to plug leakages and wasteful Public Funds deployments of Govt. All ad-hoc Economic Advisory Councils attached to Govt of India without appropriate Constitutional mandates have yielded limited results as such Councils get mired in controversies of eroding the primacy and efficacy of the Government in Power and eventually of undermining the Constitution itself. Hence it’s important for NitiAayog to be granted with adequate Constitutional powers of authority and responsibility to discharge its duties to the Nation.
National Court of Appeals &Justice :
India must implement the proposal in the works for Federal Court of Appeals &; Justice established at a Level between the High Court and Supreme Court of India with Two Sections( Appeals& Justice).
Appeals Sections can act as the final court of justice in dealing with all appeals and judgements from the decisions of the Lower Courts &tribunals within their region in civil, criminal, labour and revenue matters as there is a genuine need for One higher Court of appeal both on facts and law. Today, appeals from the High Courts as well as from various Lower Courts land up in the Supreme Court creating a backlog of such cases. Thus by creating Federal Court of Appeals the status of the Supreme Court in India will be restored to that of a truly Constitutional Court as it will shed some of the workloads it does now by creating another competent Judicial institution that will take over that work. Hence there exists a strong case for an appropriate National Court of Appeal to reduce the burden of the Supreme Court of India.
The Prime Minister and Attorney General should jointly select Special independent Prosecutors in the Federal Court with the final consent of Hon’ble President & Chief Justice of India
Justice Section can act as special Fast Track Court to hear and disburse within specified Timeframesall cases of illegal Actions & criminal Offences committed against the Union of India violating the basic principles of India’s Constitution and such cases can be heard and Final Judgement pronounced by the federal court.
The outcomes decided by the Federal Court of Appeals & Justice in India be deemed just as satisfactory& Final as a judgement rendered by the Supreme Court of India.
Five Regional Zonal Benches of Federal Court of Appeal and Justice with appropriate no of Judges with credible proven track records will serve Federal Court
The Justice Section should also have special Federal Independent Prosecutor’s Court to investigate and prosecute within defined timeframes illegal activities within and outside Government with powers of jurisdiction over all Investigative agencies of the country to swiftly book Lawmakers, Bureaucrats, Foreign Corporations & Organisations, NGO’s for cases of willful wrongdoing and actions against the interests of Nation and for which a conflict of interest exists for the usual prosecuting authority.The Prime Minister and Attorney General should jointly select Special independent Prosecutors in the Federal Court with the final consent of Hon’ble President & Chief Justice of India.
Five Regional Zonal Benches of Federal Court of Appeal and Justice with appropriate no of Judges with credible proven track records will serve Federal Court well across India.
Judicial Reforms in India has been hotly debated for long and the NJAC and Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill have hogged News headlines and are notably two poster reforms along with major legal moves to improve the regime for enforcement of contracts, which extends from a dispute between road contractors and its vendors to one involving a multinational Corporations all of which if successfully undertaken by this present Govt within its Tenure period would go a long way in enhancing performance of the Indian Judicial System.
National Environment Protection Agency :
India needs a federal green agency to oversee and protect interstate environmental challenges such as Clean Air, Water and Oceans, Ponds and Lakes in the country. The agency should have climate change scientists, economists, environmental activists and political parties and bureaucrats to work together and granted with Constitutionally granted powers of implementation to ensure a consistent long-term policy for the Environmental protection of the Country.
National Natural Resource Management Authority
National Natural Resources Management Authority should have the task of aggregating the data about natural resources of India from the remote sensing satellites and other conventional techniques and latest available technologies.
The Authority should have following Constitutional powers of mission: 1) To implement policies, laws, strategies and Government decisions related to the management of forests and natural resources of India 2) To assist in the establishment of standards and regulations relating to the management of forests and natural resources of India.
National Police Service Commission :
India needs a National Police Service Commission as an Independent Government Commission established under the Constitution of India to ensure smooth functioning of the National Police Service of India.
The NPSC’s roles should include independent management of following functions :
- Training & Recruitment and Appointment of Officers in the Police Service.
- Transfer & Promotions of Officers in service, to confirm appointments and determine promotions and transfers within the National Police Service as per transparently laid down Standard Merit and Seniority parameters.
- Retirements / Ex Gratia & Discipline enforcement for Officers of the Police Force with responsibility for observing due process, exercising disciplinary control over Officers and Actions against Officers acting in contravention of Duties and responsibilities of the Police Service.
- Selection of Chief Police Commissioner of India and Regional Zonal Police Commissioners to ensure Inter State co-ordination and smooth joint functioning and sharing of Police Intelligence to fight Crimes in India.
- Separate Cells for Cyber Crime / Homicides / Thefts & Burglaries/ Crimes against Women/ Anti Terror Ops in each State of India.
To be Continued…