Home » Investigations » Central » The Amazing Story Of How Government Procreates

The Amazing Story Of How Government Procreates

Share with your friends










Submit
1
Shares
Views
847

How fast is India’s Government growing? Quite fast, given the number of Bills being passed, in turn leading to the birth of a host of new authorities, bodies & Commissions.

 

A detailed study by IndiaSpend’s Bhumish Khudkhudia shows that between 2000 and 2012, the Government of India enacted Bills to set up 10 new bodies each with extensive staffing and infrastructure. Actually, if all the Bills lying in Parliament were to be passed, at least 20 new organisations with thousands of more staff could get created. That would take the total close to 40 new bodies.

 

The objectives vary. In some cases, the legislations were enacted to create and increase regulatory authority or replace existing ones (Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority created to replace the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board; Educational Tribunals Bill to resolve disputes between employees, students and universities).

 

Some legislations were created to empower an established body (for example, Lokpal inquiring into allegations of corruption against public functionaries) and also to monitor and review the implementation of the Acts passed by Parliament (National/State Food Commissions).

 

In some cases, circumstantial changes in environment also led to legislations. Post the Fukushima nuclear accident, the Government proposed the formation of the Council of Nuclear Safety. This will be governed by the Nuclear Safety Authority Bill, 2011. In others, they involve the setting up of new universities and colleges.

 

The Mushrooming Effect

 

But each organisation or body actually sprouts several more bodies and departmental heads either functionally or geographically. For instance, the Higher Education and Research Bill, 2011 will lead to the creation of:

 

a)    National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) to facilitate determination and maintenance of standards of higher education and research in all areas except agricultural education;

 

b)    Board for Research Promotion and Innovation to recommend measures to the NCHER to facilitate research;

 

c)     Higher Education Financial Services Corporation, which shall disburse grants to educational institutions based on norms to be specified by the NCHER and Qualifications Advisory Councils in vocational education

 

The National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutions Bill, 2010 allows only government controlled agencies to accredit educational institutions.  Countries such as the US, UK and Germany allow both public and private entities to accredit institutions.   Also, under the Bill, private players cannot register as accreditation agencies.

 

Bodies like the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) have been set up on executive orders, pending the passing of a Bill, in this case the National Identification Authority of India. The body already has a budget of Rs 1,700 crore allotted and several hundred officers and staff working for it.

 

Overlapping Jurisdictions

 

Incidentally, of the 38 Bills we looked at (passed and pending); there are several instances of overlaps. Similarly, many of the institutions have no specific bearing to the present. For instance, the National Jute Board Act addresses an industry whose relative importance in the economy may have declined. The board would oversee the development, cultivation, manufacture and marketing of jute and jute products.

 

In case of National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board Bill, 2010 the basic problem was the existence of large number of agencies at the centre and state with little coordination amongst them. The Bill however does not do away with the existing agencies and the role of the Board is to aid and advise the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

 

The Bill adds yet another institution to the existing ones.  It does not empower the Board to act as a coordinator among existing bodies. Incidentally, the Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture chaired by Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Sitaram Yechury recommended the Bill be withdrawn and the government should come out with a comprehensive legislation that addresses the entire gamut of road safety.

 

The National Commission of Heritage Sites Bill, 2009 only has the power to notify a heritage site but no power to protect the sites.  The Bill does not provide for any enabling agency either.  While the Commission’s mandate is to lay down standards for development of scientific and technical institutions for heritage sites, the Bill does not provide any details about such institutions.  There are many existing institutes working in the area of heritage preservation and conservation.

 

Then there are the ‘new’ ones. The Electronic Services Bill, 2011 enacted by Ministry of Communications and Technology and the Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011 enacted by Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions aims to provide prompt basic services to the citizens.

 

Problems With Collaboration

 

Building up new organisations is not necessarily a staffing challenge because the Government recruits internally too. Often, the problem will be that the bodies may or not work harmoniously with existing ones.

 

In the case of the Lokpal structure, finding the judicial and policing manpower to run these organisations will be bigger challenges. In any case, as our report on Top 5 Spenders shows, the Government has huge unfilled vacancies.

 

The gaps between the intent, the passing of a Bill, setting of new bodies and the actual feet on ground to run the whole machinery are thus huge. Not many perhaps realise this.

 

Organisations Formed Over Last Decade

 

Here are details of the Organisations which were formed after the Bills got passed in the Parliament during the last decade.

 

  1. Competition Commission of India (CCI):

 

The Competition Act, 2002 was passed by the Parliament in the year 2002. As a result the Competition Commission of India (CCI) was established in the year 2003 to promote and sustain competition in markets, to protect the interests of consumers and to ensure freedom of trade carried on by other participants in markets.

 

Name of the Authority

Strength/Number of Officials/Members

Year of Formation

Competition Commission of India

104

2003

 

As you can see from above, the CCI has about 104 members.

 

     2.    National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)

 

Next on the list is the National Disaster Management Authority. The government enacted the Disaster Management Act, on the 23rd of December 2005, which envisaged the creation of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). This body is headed by the Prime Minister, and State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) which are headed by the respective Chief Ministers, to spearhead and implement a holistic and integrated approach to Disaster Management in India.

 

Name of the Authority

Strength/Number of Officials/Members

Year of Formation

National Disaster Management Authority

38

2005

 

As you can see from above, this authority has about 38 members.

 

   3.    National Commission For Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)

 

Another authority that was established in the last decade was the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). This is governed under The Commission for the Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005.

 

Name of the Authority

Strength

Year of Formation

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights

N.A.

2007

 

The Commission’s Mandate is to ensure that all Laws, Policies, Programmes, and Administrative Mechanisms are in consonance with the Child Rights perspective as enshrined in the Constitution of India and also the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Child is defined as a person in the 0 to 18 years age group.

 

   4.    The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA)

 

This is a statutory body constituted under the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008. It was established as an independent regulator to determine tariffs charged by all major airports – those with annual passenger traffic higher than 15 lakh and any other airport notified by the government.

 

Name of the Authority Strength Year of Formation
Airports Economics Regulatory Authority 18 2008

 

     5.    Airport Economic Regulatory Authority Appellate Tribunal

 

This tribunal was established under the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008 to settle any dispute between two or more service providers, between a service provider and a group of consumers and to hear and dispose appeal against any direction/decision/order of the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority. The Tribunal consists of a Chairperson and two Members.

 

Name of the Authority Strength Year of Formation
Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Appellate Tribunal:

To adjudicate disputes among or between service providers and/or consumer groups.

3 2008

 

    6.    Indian Maritime University (IMU)

 

This was established as a Central University by the Government of India under an Act of Parliament, namely, the Indian Maritime University Act 2008. The University is headquartered at Chennai and regional campuses at Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata and Vishakhapatnam.

 

Name of the Authority

Strength/Number of Officials/Members

Year of Formation

      Indian Maritime University

N.A.

2008

 

The University hopes to facilitate and promote maritime studies and research with a focus on marine science and technology, marine environment, legal and other related fields.

 

      7.    National Investigation Agency

 

On 31st December, 2008 the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act, 2008 was enacted and was set up at the central level with powers to probe terrorism and other crimes having national ramifications. At present NIA is functioning as the Central Counter Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency in India. The NIA is headed by the Director General and is headquartered at New Delhi with branch offices at Guwahati and Hyderabad.

 

Name of the Authority

Strength/Number of Officials/Members

Year of Formation

    National Investigation Agency:

80 Officials and 35 Nodal (State & UT) Officers

2008

 

     8.   National Jute Board

 

The National Jute Board was developed to promote jute and jute products and advise the central government on all matters related to jute development, cultivation, imports and exports. The National Jute Board replaced the Jute Manufacturers Development Council (JMDC) and the National Centre for Jute Diversification (NCJD), as the central body to coordinate the operations in the jute sector. The National Jute Board is governed by National Jute Board Act, 2008.

 

Name of the Authority

Strength/Number of Officials/Members

Year of Formation

National Jute Board:

34

2009

 

      9.    National Green Tribunal

 

This tribunal was established on October 18, 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010. These are specialised courts that specialise in handling environmental disputes.

 

Name of the Authority

Strength/Number of Officials/Members

Year of Formation

National Green Tribunal

7

2010

 

    10.  South Asian University

 

This is established for South Asian Nations with the main campus in New Delhi, India. The University is governed by the South Asian University Act, 2008.

 

Name of the Authority

Strength/Number of Officials/Members

Year of Formation

South Asian University

14

2010

 

11. Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI)

 

The Land Ports Authority of India Act, 2010 was passed by the Parliament to regulate the movement of people and goods across land borders.

 

The LPAI has been tasked with the responsibility of putting in place systems which address security imperatives relating to the cross border movement of passengers, vehicles and goods as also developing Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) at designated points along the international borders of India. In the first phase seven ICPs are proposed to be set up, of which five are under construction.

 

The Home Ministry identified 13 Integrated Check Posts (ICPs), across West Bengal, Manipur, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, Bihar, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. The total cost of construction of these ICPs is estimated to be Rs 734 crore (as of 2006).

 

Name of the Authority

Strength/Number of Officials

Year of Formation

Land Ports Authority of India:

21 (plus other representatives yet  to be appointed by the Governemnt)

2012

 

Pending Bills In The Parliament

 

Currently, there are many pending bills in the Parliament which once passed as an Act will lead to the formation of Authorities, Universities and Statutory bodies. Some of the pending Bills are as follows:

 

1)    National Food Security Bill, 2011.

 

The Bill seeks to provide for food and nutritional security by providing specific entitlements to certain groups.

 

The Bill specifies that up to 75 percent of the rural population and 50 percent of the urban population shall be entitled to food grains. Of these, at least 46 percent and 28 percent, respectively, shall be categorised as priority groups (the rest are “general”)

 

The central government and every state government shall constitute a National and State Food Commission, respectively, for monitoring and reviewing the implementation of the Act.

 

2)   National Commission for Higher Education and Research governed by the Higher Education and Research Bill, 2011.

 

The Bill seeks to establish the National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) to facilitate determination and maintenance of standards of higher education and research in all areas except agricultural education.  The University Grants Commission Act, 1956; the All India Council for Technical Education Act, 1987; and the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993 shall be repealed within a year of this Act coming into force.

 

The central government shall establish a Board for Research Promotion and Innovation to recommend measures to the NCHER to facilitate research.

 

The central government shall establish the Higher Education Financial Services Corporation, which shall disburse grants to educational institutions based on norms to be specified by the NCHER.

 

The central government shall establish Qualifications Advisory Councils in vocational education. Each Council shall be appointed for a specific skill area and shall made recommendations on qualification framework, accreditation norms etc

 

3)   The Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University Bill

 

The Bill seeks to establish an agricultural university called the Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh.  The jurisdiction of the university shall extend to the Bundelkhand region (covering 7 districts in Uttar Pradesh and 6 in Madhya Pradesh).  Initially, it would establish two colleges in Jhansi and later two in Madhya Pradesh.

 

The key objectives of the university shall be to impart education in different branches of agriculture and allied sciences, undertake research in agriculture, undertake programmes of extension education in Bundelkhand region and promote linkages with national and international educational institutes.

 

4)   The National Commission for Human Resources for Health Bill, 2011.

 

The Bill seeks to establish a mechanism to determine and regulate the standard of health education in the country.  It shall revoke the Indian Nursing Council Act, 1947; the Pharmacy Act, 1948; the Dentists Act, 1948 and the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 on such date as decided by the central government.

 

The NCHRH shall take measures to determine and maintain the minimum standard of human resources in health education.  The measures may include (a) conducting studies to assess the needs of human resources in states; (b) conducting elections in the national councils; (c) providing grants to the NBHE, NEAC and councils, and (d) regulating the entry of foreign institutions in consultation with NBHE and any law that may come into force.

 

5)   The Pension Fund Regulatory Development Authority which aims at establishing an Authority to promote old age income security by establishing, developing and regulating pension funds, to protect the interests of subscribers to schemes of pension funds.

 

6)   The Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development Bill, 2011 which once passed shall be deemed as an Institute of National Importance at Kanchipuram District of Tamil Nadu.

 

The objectives of the institute are to

 

(a) Evolve an integrated approach to youth development,

 

(b) Establish a National Youth Centre,

 

(c) Act as a nodal agency for capacity building of stakeholders, and

 

(d) Provide for higher education in the field of youth development through employment-oriented courses at the post-graduate level.

 

7)    National & State Mining Regulatory Authority to be governed by the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Bill, 2011.

 

The Bill seeks to consolidate and amend the law relating to the scientific development and regulation of mines and minerals.

 

The central government shall establish a National Mining Regulatory Authority and a National Mining Tribunal. States can establish State Mining Regulatory Authorities and State Mining Tribunals.

 

8)   The National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board Bill, 2012.

 

The Bill seeks to establish the National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board for the development and regulation of road safety, traffic management system and safety standards in highway design and construction.

 

9)   The National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutions Bill, 2010.

 

Seeking to maintain academic quality, this Bill seeks to make it mandatory for every higher educational institution (other than institutions engaged in agricultural education) to be accredited by an independent accreditation agency.

 

The Bill establishes a National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Education, which shall register and monitor accreditation agencies.  These accreditation agencies shall accredit every higher educational institution based on a specified procedure and fees.

 

An accreditation agency has to be a non-profit organization, which is controlled by the central or state government.

 

10) The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011.

 

The Bill aims at the establishment of a Lokpal for the Union and Lokayukta for States that will inquire about allegations of corruption against certain public functionaries.

 

The Lokpal shall constitute an Inquiry Wing headed by the Director of Inquiry for the purpose of conducting preliminary inquiry into any offence alleged to have been committed by a public servant punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

 

The Lokpal shall, by notification, constitute a Prosecution Wing headed by the Director of Prosecution for the purpose of prosecution of public servants in relation to any complaint by the Lokpal under this Act.

 

11) The Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2011
India had agreed to establish the Regional Centre for Biotechnology (Regional Centre) under the guidance of UNESCO. The Bill confers upon the Regional Centre the status of an Institution of National Importance.

 

The objectives of the Regional Centre are to disseminate and advance knowledge by providing instructional and research facilities in biotechnology; to facilitate transfer of knowledge and technology at the regional level; to create a hub of biotechnological expertise in the SAARC region.

 

12) The Electronic Delivery of Services Bill, 2011.

 

According to this Bill, the central and state governments and public authorities will have to deliver all public services through electronic modes, except those that cannot be delivered electronically.

 

The Bill provides that every public authority should publish the list of public services to be delivered electronically within 180 days of its enactment.

 

The functions of both the State Electronic Service Delivery Commission and Central Electronic Service Delivery Commissions include:

 

(a) Monitoring the publication of services to be delivered electronically,

 

(b) Monitoring the progress made by the central and state governments towards achieving the electronic delivery of services,

 

(c) Recommending the simplification of processes and forms relating to the electronic delivery of services,

 

(d) Monitoring the effectiveness of feedback and Grievance Redressal Mechanisms and

 

(e) Monitoring the governments’ progress towards compliance with electronic governance standards.  While conducting an inquiry related to a grievance, both Commissions have the powers of a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure.

 

13) The Micro Finance Institutions (Development and Regulation) Bill, 2012.

 

The Bill aims to provide for the development and regulation of micro finance institutions.

 

The Bill allows the central government to create a Micro Finance Development Council with officers from different Ministries and Departments.  This council will advise the central government on policies and measures for the development of MFIs.

 

In addition, the Bill allows the central government to form State Micro Finance Councils.  These councils will be responsible for coordinating the activities of District Micro Finance Committees and reviewing the MFIs in their state.

 

District Micro Finance Committees review the development of micro finance activities within the district, monitor over-indebtedness and monitor the methods of recovery used by MFIs. These committees can be appointed by the RBI.

 

14) The Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011.

 

The Bill seeks to confer on every citizen the right to time bound delivery of specified goods and services and provide a mechanism for grievance redressal.

 

The State and Central Public Grievance Redressal Commissions have the power to refer cases of failure of delivery of goods and services to the Head of Department of the concerned public authority.

15) The National Identification Authority of India.

 

The National Identification Authority of India (NIAI) has to issue unique identification numbers (called ‘Aadhaar’) to residents of India. The information collected shall be stored in the Central Identities Data Repository.  This shall be used to provide authentication services. The Bill also establishes an Identity Review Committee which shall monitor the usage patterns of Aadhaar numbers.

 

16) The Educational Tribunals Bill, 2009.

 

The Bill seeks to set up Educational Tribunals at the national and state level to adjudicate disputes involving teachers and other employees of higher educational institutions and other stakeholders such as students, universities and statutory regulatory authorities.

 

17) The National Commission for Heritage Sites Bill, 2009

 

The Bill seeks to constitute a National Commission for Heritage Sites to give effect to UNESCO Convention, 1972. India ratified the Convention in 1977.

 

The functions of the Commission include (i) recommending policies with respect to conservation, protection, and management of heritage sites; (ii) laying down standards for the development of scientific and technical institutions and courses; and (iii) creating guidelines for conservation and management of heritage sites.

 

18) The Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority Bill, 2011

 

The Bill provides for the dissolution of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB).  It establishes the Council of Nuclear Safety (Council) and the Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority (NSRA).

 

The NSRA is empowered to take measures to ensure that the use of nuclear energy is safe for workers, public and the environment. It may undertake to:
1) Devise and implement policies for nuclear safety
2) Advise the central government on nuclear safety and preparedness in emergencies
3) Regulate grant of approvals for production, storage, transport and use of nuclear material
4) Notify in the official gazette nuclear incidents under the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, 2010

 

Source : prsindia.org

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*