What do you understand by Good Governance? Discuss the main characteristics of good governance. (15 marks)



  • Introduce with the meaning of the term Good Governance.
  • Discuss the key characteristics of good governance.
  • Conclude by pointing out some initiatives taken by the government in this regard.
Model Answer :

The World Bank popularised the concept of Good Governance in the 1990s. It deals with improving both qualitative and quantitative aspect of the governance framework in which the people can achieve their true potential and maximum welfare of the people is realised.

The XII five year plan (2012-2017) defines Good Governance as an essential element of any well-functioning society. It ensures effective use of resources and deliverance of services to citizens and also provides social legitimacy to the system.

As per the UNESCAP, the characteristics of Good Governance are as follows:

  1. Participation: Participation by people of all race, caste, creed, and gender in governance ensures that the rights of citizens are respected and citizens feel obligated towards their duties at the same time.
  2. Rule of Law: This provides a suitable framework for good governance and ensures that human rights are protected and weaker sections feel safe.
  3. Transparency: It is important that the citizens are aware of the functioning of the government. The access to information and its free availability ensures fairness in decision making and implementation.
  4. Responsiveness: The institutions of the government ensure that the citizens are served in a reasonable time frame by removing unnecessary delays in decision making and implementation.
  5. Consensus-Oriented: The diverged interests are reconciled and the consensus is reached for maximum welfare of the society accounting for both short-term and long-term interests.
  6. Equity and Inclusiveness: The government takes care of interests of all its citizens and special care is given for most vulnerable groups such as minorities, SC/STs, women, etc. so that they don’t feel sidelined from the mainstream.
  7. Effectiveness and Efficiency: Good governance calls of optimal utilisation of resources at disposal. The wastage is minimised and sustainable development is encouraged.
  8. Accountability: It is crucial that both public and private institutions are accountable to their stakeholders and uphold the interest of the public at large.

The concept of Good Governance goes beyond the concept of Governance. Over the time the government has taken steps like Constitutionalising Panchayati Raj, formulating Citizens’ Charters, promoting Cooperative Federalism and even celebrating December 25th as “Good Governance Day” each year. The mechanisms and institutions promoting the Good Governance must be strengthened over the time.

Subjects : Governance