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Governance and the Government

The election fever in India is peaking and politicians from all ideological hues are trying to make themselves heard. One factor that has been a prime speaking point in this election has been governance, with all the major political parties promising good governance. It surely is a noble goal and necessity if the economic and investment climate in this country has to improve.

A major factor in the improvement of governance, whether it be in the corporate sphere or the government sector, is the human resource that is being deployed to reach the stakeholder or developmental goals as the case may be. In the corporate sector, the goals of the HR department are being aligned to corporate governance goals of the organisation, which include improving productivity, driving structural transformation programmes, communicating and creating compliance structures, clarity in organisation structures supported by role clarity, creating a corporate culture that is in alignment with corporate business directions, delegation of authority and accountability, creating and adhering to fair and just reward plans and programmes, talent acquisition management and retention, resource allocation, succession planning, and performance planning and monitoring. Together with corporate values, integrity and skill enforcement, HR shapes ethical corporate behaviour in successful companies. In the government and the public sector while HR has played a transformational role in creating successful public sector giants that have been instrumental in the development of the country, we are yet to see a clear direction that helps HR further the governance goals of the government.

Our country, right from the First Five Year Plan, has been giving importance and emphasis on the public sector for the development of a nation that needed all round growth across manufacturing and social sectors. The public sector determined the outcomes it wanted to achieve and the different types of intervention. These included enacting legislation or regulations through the legislation and the bureaucracy; delivering goods and services  promoting fairness, peace and order, and sound international relations. Till about 1991 when we saw the advent of economic liberalisation, the public sector was the preferred destination for employment for the educated youth of the country.  Though over dependence on the public sector stifled the growth rate, the quality of talent that was being attracted to the government sector created some well governed organisation. The policy shift post-liberalisation made the corporate sector a more attractive destination for the employment seekers, and this has thrown up many challenges before the government and the organisations in the public sector. Ever since the government sector has been struggling to create a better structure that can attract and retain the talent, it would require to help the nation take the next leap in development.

If the party in power in the next government, whichever party that might be, has to deliver on its promise of good governance, it will have to put new emphasis on creating an government sector that is once again able to attract the best talent. To do this the government will have to create HR structures that are aligned with the goals of the governments governance and developmental goals.

Happy Reading!

Indranil Das, Executive Editor           

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