Entries are invited for the Annual Essay Prize Competition-2012. The value of the prize for the competition will be as under:
- First Prize Rs.5,000/-
- Second Prize Rs.3,000/-
- Third Prize Rs.2,000/-
Any competitor who has got a prize on one occasion will not, on any subsequent occasion, be eligible for an equivalent or lower prize. The joint authorship of essays shall not be allowed and any essay under joint authorship shall not be considered for competition.
THE FOLLOWING SUBJECTS have been prescribed and it is open to competitors to choose any of them:
- The Meaning and Relevance of Public Administration in Today’s India
- Civil Society and Parliamentary Democracy in India
- Administrative Measures for Increased Agriculture Production
The essay writers are expected to cover the following aspects in their respective entries:
TOPIC(1): The Meaning and Relevance of Public Administration in Today’s India Public administration is often seen as a set of state institutions, processes, procedures, systems and organizational structures, practices and behaviour for managing public affairs to serve the public interest. Public administration, as a bureaucratic organization, is conceived to work within a set of rules with legitimate, delegated, legal-rational authority, expertise, impartiality, continuity, speed and accuracy, predictability, standardization, integrity and professionalism in order to satisfy the general public interest. As an instrument of the State, it is expected to provide the fundamental bases of human, societal and economic development and security, including freedom of the individual, protection of life and property, justice, protection of basic human rights, stability and peaceful resolution of conflict, whether in allocation and distribution of resources or otherwise. In this light, effective public administration is indispensable for the sustainability of the rule of law and for transforming countries in desired directions.
Consensus exists that the public needs a better government and bureaucracy which is more flexible, works efficiently and effectively, moves quickly toward objectives, and at the same time responding to the needs of the people without delays and with maximum social sensitivity, responsibility, and morality. Accordingly to make Public Administration relevant as an instrument of State action and the guarantor of the general interest and for ensuring development it needs to be revitalized. In a general way, a revitalized public administration, including its institutions, structures, systems, procedures, processes, networks, relationships, practices, approaches and methods of work, as well as leadership behaviour, should be effective, efficient, economic, transparent, accountable, equitable and responsive to the needs of the public and should embrace the participation of a broad spectrum of stakeholders and actors in all sectors at all levels.
The essay writers on this theme are expected to dwell upon among other things, the issues relating to the following;
- The changing contours of Public Administration in today’s India
- The role and relevance of Public Administration in public policy and socioeconomic development
- The necessity of partnerships, collaborative and participatory governance in the process of human development and poverty reduction,
- The need to redefine and reaffirm the role of the Public Administration and of the State vis-à-vis that of the private sector and civil society.
- Reorganizing the public services to embrace the principles of good governance, partnership, transparency, accountability, professionalism, ethics and integrity,
- Mechanism for strengthening Public Administration and the institutions of governance to reduce trust deficit
TOPIC(2): Civil Society and Parliamentary Democracy in India While democracy is considered to be the best available form of government, there has been considerable debate over the years regarding the scope and limits of representative democracy. Recent years have also seen an increasing concern for engaging civil society institutions in the processes of governance. This has taken the form of partnerships as well as creation of consultative spaces for various groups. While Government of India has for long supported the voluntary sector initiatives in social welfare areas, the forms of association and support have multiplied. The financial commitment to the voluntary sector has also grown.
Recent debates on Lok Pal legislation brought the debate to a new level with Parliamentarians asserting the doctrine of Parliamentary sovereignty and the right of Parliament to decide the shape of legislation while civil society institutions raised the issue of engaging people in the processes of decision making and implementation. Parliament has been accused of being dominated by the criminal elements in society, whereas civil society institutions are accused of
being plotted and funded by vested interests.
In this scenario, it is important to examine the possible ways of improving the state of governance and policy outcomes by not only increasing the synergy between Parliamentary democracy and civil society in India, but also ensuring that the quality of both improves. The essay writers may examine: What should be done to improve the quality of Parliamentary democracy without compromising on the issues of autonomy and accountability as well as quality governance?
TOPIC(3): Administrative Measures for Increased Agriculture Production India is growing but its agriculture is not. Indeed, the farm sector is in bad shape. During the last two decades, beginning from early 1990s, the share of agriculture in the GDP has slipped from 35% to 17% and its annual growth is stagnating around 1.5%. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of Indian farm land is still dependent on rain-god. About half of the farmers are indebted and 40% of them have taken loan from non-institutional sources, including money lenders at exorbitant interest rates. Almost a quarter of million farmers have committed suicides during the last two decades. Due to rising input costs, farming has become less profitable. As a matter of fact, 8 million people quit farming
between the two earlier census periods (1991-2001).
Against this backdrop, the proposed essay can be attempted by address the following issues:
- Identification of issues restricting the growth of farm sector, including administered prices not in tune with the production cost, depleting underground water sources along with overuse of chemicals and fertilizers making farming unsustainable, collapse of agricultural extension services and institutional credit mechanism, vagaries of market including increasing control of MNCs over production and distribution of seed.
- Designing a comprehensive policy to address a plethora of issues including those referred above and administrative intervention to synchronise functioning of several departments and ministries controlling policies separately on subsidy, credit, fertilizer import and agricultural research, extension management of land and water for agriculture and production.
- A call for production increase would invariably necessitate huge investment and also changes in farming practices including better appreciation for genetically modified crops. There is need for dispassionate analysis based on hard facts with long term implications (of direct capital investment in agriculture, switching over to genetically modified (GM) crops, more particularly, impact of GM (social, economic and environmental) on overwhelming small and marginal farmers.
- Apportioning the role of state and government, of market and of civil society with appropriate regulatory frame prepared by the administration.
A competitor may attempt a comprehensive survey of all these factors or may opt for focusing only on problems of a specific sector. These are flexible guidelines, illustrative rather than comprehensive. The competitors may not feel in any way rigidly bound with them.
Essay should be based on personal research or experience of the competitors and show evidence of original thinking and scholarship as well as a critical analysis of the subject. Broad generalizations should be avoided.
The essay should be in English or Hindi. The length of an essay should approximately be 5000 words and the competitors must indicate the total number of words of the essay contributed by them. Essay exceeding 5500 words will not be accepted. The contestants must indicate the total number of words of the essay, failing which it will not be accepted. All essays must be typed in double space on one side of the paper only and those entries which do not adhere to the stipulation can be rejected. It should be submitted in triplicate under a “nom-deplume or alias. The full name and address of the competitor should be given on a separate sheet and enclosed in a sealed envelope bearing the nom-de-plume on the outer cover with the following inscription.
All essays should be sent to the Director, Indian Institute of Public Administration, Indraprastha Estate, Ring Road, New Delhi-110002, by Registered Post, so as to reach him not later than the 14th August, 2012. The envelope should be marked “Annual Essay Prize Competition 2012”. The entries received after the due date may not be entertained.
The essays will be adjudged by a body of judges and the award of the judges shall be final. The institute reserves the right not to make any award if none of the essays submitted meets the necessary standard. Any essay which receives an award shall become the joint intellectual property of the author and IIPA.
N.B.: Intending competitors who wish to seek any further clarification may write to The Director, Indian Institute of Public Administration, Indraprastha Estate, Ring Road, New Delhi-110002.
For queries/ submissions: