Would Smaller States Improve Administration?

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Generally it is believed that smaller the state it is easier to reach people. Other obstacle quoted is in larger state there is regional discrimination. Powerful representatives spend more amount in their constituencies than the other constituencies. This means some constituencies are given priority over others. There may be similar constituencies forming a region. People from this region feel they are always neglected. Of course this would happen in any state irrespective of size of the state. It happens even in a family irrespective of size of the family. Comparing different systems is a natural tendency of a human.

He/She would always find some one else getting priority and advantages irrespective whether it is true or not. General perception, advantages and disadvantages of smaller states are listed below.

India 2040: 50 States and 8 Union Territories

General perception: Every state in India works under a central governing system. Central system and the states have responsibilities as described in the constitution of India. Some of the subjects (responsibilities are shared between the state government and the central government). Elected representatives are required to assess aspiration of citizens of India and take action to provide whatever is in the interest of the citizens. In order to ascertain desire of citizens elected representatives have developed their own procedure. This procedure is basically based on personal contact between a citizen and the elected representatives. Personal contact with the government officials also is considered essential to fulfil citizens’ aspiration. Thus the present system is more or less totally dependent on personal contact.

Advantages: 

Smaller state means reduced physical distance between place where a citizen stays and the capital of the state. Government officials and ministers availability for a citizen increases. This means time needed for expressing desires for a citizen is less and expense wise cheaper too. Officials and the ministers would understand problems more easily and in a better way. Possibility of finding solution increases because of reduction in size of the state.

Disadvantages: 

In practice it is found that citizens contact officials and ministers for personal problems. Many times the solution found is in favour of the citizen who takes up the same but not in favour of the majority. Therefore, when another citizen contacts and explains the situation decision might be changed. Because of large number of citizens contact officials and ministers, time needed to study other cases may not be adequate and decisions may go wrong. There is always a possibility of partiality while taking decisions. When expenditure is considered it shall be clear that expenditure shall increase many folds on account of additional services needed by a separate state. Experience of smaller states like Goa, Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand etc. shows that smaller state are unstable on account of political problems. Elected representatives have a tendency to change their loyalty from one political party to other. There may be transfer of huge amounts during this process. Whatever amount spent shall finally be from the state treasury i. e. finally expenditure is indirectly borne by the state.

Above discussion reveal that smaller states are needed for easy access to the government machinery. However, cost involved is too high. What could be the solution? In my opinion change in administrative structure is a key to the solution. All states could be divided in to zones, each zone consisting of 2 or more districts. Each zone should have one elected representative to head the zone. Each zone should have independent budget for the zone and distributed to districts and tehsils in the zone. Elected representatives should be made responsible for budget for respective jurisdiction and expenditure.

Written by Jana Hitwadi >>

Retired Officer from Indian Defense Service of Engineers. Interested in development of India.
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Indian Exponent: Would Smaller States Improve Administration?
Would Smaller States Improve Administration?
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