A series of panel discussions were held on 26th May 2023 in New Delhi organized by Mint as part of their India Public Policy Summit 2023.
The panel discussion titled “Marrying Political Will and Bureaucratic Responsibilities” included eminent speakers like Hon’ble MP and Former Deputy CM, Bihar Shri Sushil Modi, career bureaucrats Shri K.N. Srivastava and Shri Raghav Chandra, and President & Chief Executive, The Centre for Policy Research Smt. Yamini Aiyar along with Co-Founder and CEO, Primus Partners Shri Nilaya Varma as moderator. Primus Partners was the knowledge partner for the event.
The key points highlighted by the panel included:
- Decision-making should aim to convert from a "file" based scenario to actual implementation goals.
- Efficacy of the state depends on efficient bureaucrats, for pushing the right vision. Empowering those who implement thus becomes essential.
- Regular review and monitoring, feedback mechanism are essential factors for corrective reforms in a 'bureaucracy and politics marriage'.
- Education and intellect are two different things. Skill upgradation training from time to time is an implementation prerogative.
- Sensitivity for the poor and the beneficiaries should be there, especially at the grassroot level.
- Role of consultants in modern day policy implementation has become imperative with the right skills and strategy.
- Too much of a canvassing effort can be detrimental. There must be a synergy between the political interests and executive implementation.
- Building capacity in the frontline is important for managing difficult policy situations.
- Bureaucracy is like a 'large body slow mover'. Strong political will is important for the push.
- Bureaucratic performance should be delinked from "orders" and should be judged by impact and outcome-based parameters.
- Objective of a policy and instruments of implementation are rather different. Both needs to be clear.
- Bureaucracy has succeeded in places where there has been a certain level of freedom delegated by the political executives