Problems in governance hurt the overall health of any society. This is an admitted fact, and our society is no exception. Internationally governance is defined as ‘the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented’. Moreover, for good governance, the United Nations has laid down eight basic parameters. ‘It should be participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law. It assures that corruption is minimised; the views of minorities are taken into account and that the voices of the most vulnerable in society are heard in decision-making.’ So far, good governance has been chasing a will-o’-the-wisp. Over the decades, lack of answerability and inertia at every level of administration has immensely contributed to the bad governance and prevented benefits of good governance from percolating down to the masses.
The inaction has not afflicted the directorates of various offices or the development departments only but every wing of the civil secretariat. In this regard, one of the classic examples is the General Administration Department (GAD), which is considered as the nerve centre of the administration. It has been for the lethargy of this department that nearly eighty-nine per cent slots are lying vacant in the promotion quota of I A S, I P S and I F S cadres of Jammu and Kashmir. It is disappointing to note that out of 177 top slots in the administration in the promotion quota, 157 posts are vacant. Based on available data, it can be said that at the decision-making level of the administration, the representation of officers from the state is almost negligible. The state officers, after working at nearly every tier of administration accumulating colossal experience, could immensely contribute to the development of the state. But, by not timely filling up top slots in the promotion quota during past almost a decade, it has deprived the state of the services of experienced officers in higher echelons of administration, and closed avenues of promotions to scores of officers.
These officers who have worked at various levels could have contributed to increasing the interface between people and the government and fortified the concept of participatory development. It is time for the administration to fill up the vacant positions in the promotion quota for various services and regularise the services of already promoted officers in multiple departments.