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THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK INFLIBNET
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CHAPTER I1, THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK, The concept of decentralisation is used differently by different. economists and groups The philosophy of economic planning and its. application in different parts of the world in various ways made the. question of centralised and decentralised planning still more complex. and subtle Centralisation is frequently regarded as the antonym of. decentralisation in the sense that it is the transfer of powers or functions. fiom the subnational levels of government and planning to the national. level or from a lower to a higher sub national level but the inter. relationship between the two is much more complex than it appears. because of many different criteria which can be used to measure. decentralisation and therefore centralisation Thus many changes in the. organisational structure involve some elements of centralisation and others. of decentralisation and hence any change cannot be easily classified as. falling in to the domain of either centralisation or decentralisation No. system of planning and administration can be completely centralised or. decentralised, 2 1 Decentralisation Conceptual Issues. The English word decentralisation has got its roots in Latin. According to Macmakon A W 1 961 the word s Latin roots convey. its meaning as away from centre To some others like Leonard D White. 1 959 decentralisation denotes the transference of authority legislative. judicial or administrative from a higher level of government to a lower. In the opinion of Datta Vijay Ranjan 1990 to an economist. decentralisation means dispersal of industries To a local government. expert it implies devolution of function and responsibility to small. territorial units To an administrator at the centre it means discretion. for field or regional offices or delegation of responsibility within the. same hierarchy To a managing director of a business organisation it. denotes the necessity of starting some new administrative branches in. certain areas All these interpretations lead us to terminological. confusions and do not present a full view of decentralisation Besides. these interpretation have no conceptual frame work. Although the basic idea of decentralisation is sharing the decision. making authority with lower levels in the organisation power can be. shared within the system at a lower level or by creating new mechanisms. in the system Power can also be shared with out side organisations or. 2 l 1 Different degrees of decentralisation, Rondenelli D A Nellis J R and Cheema G S 1984 indicate. the four types of decentralisation viz a deconcentration b delegation. c devolution and d privatisation, a Deconcentration It is the transfer of powers and functions. by administrative means to local representative of the central government. or it is the handing over of some amount of administrative authority or. responsibility to lower levels within the government ministries or agencies. But according to Feslar James 1968 though deconcentration. may be efficient and convenient for the public and may even promote a. feeling that government is closer to people it may not provide the. opportunity to exercise substantial local discretion in decision making. and hence not much of a decentralisation At the same time in the opinion. of Collins Paul 1974 in case of lightly centralised countries even the. shifting of work load from central offices of staff office outside the. capital may have an important impact on development and may become. a crucial first step that highly centralised governments must take towards. extensive deconcentration or decentralisation later on In the opinion of. Leonard D White 1959 deconcentration denotes more delegation to a. subordinate oficer of capacity to act in the name of the superior without. a real transfer of authority, b elegation It means transferring responsibility for specifically.
defined functions or organisations that are outside the regular bureaucratic. structure and are only indirectly controlled by the Central Government. In other words delegation means the transfer of powers or functions to. either local government or local representatives of the central government. which is undertaken by administrative means that is not irrevocable. Hence it is a more extensive form of decentralisation. In the opinion of Budhoo Martin J 1976 delegation implies the. transfer or creation of authority to plan and implement decisions. concerning specific activities or a variety of activities within specific. spatial boundaries t o an organisation that is technically and. administratively capable of carrying them out According to A W. Macmakon 1961 delegation refers to relations in which powers are. formally conferred under law on an executive agency or by an. administrative order to a subordinate or from one level of government. to another, c Devolution Devolution is the creation and strengthening of. subnational units of the government activities of which are substantially. outside the direct control of the central government In other words it is. the legal transfer of powers or functions to a locally elected public body. As a result devolution will enhance the strength and powers of independent. local self governing bodies, According to Sherwood Frank P 1969 devolution is a concept. quite separate from decentralisation because it denotes the divestment. of functions by the central government and the creation of new units of. governance outside the formal command structure of the central. government In the opinion of Datta Vijay Ranjan 1990 devolution is. not much different from decentralisation The method of devolution is. applied to the formally constituted local authorities while deconcentration. is applied generally to the field agencies or staff It is thus clear that. deconcentration and devolution are simply the technical methods of. efficient administration, According to Henry Maddick 1966 devolution refers to the. process of the legal conferring of powers to discharge specified or residual. functions upon a formally constituted local authority As per the report. of the team for the study of community projects and national extension. service 1957 most often delegation of power is mistaken for. decentralisation The former does not divest the government of the. ultimate responsibility of the actions of the authority to whom power is. delegated This authority is under the control of the government and is in. every way subordinate to it Decentralisation on the other hand is a. process whereby the government divests itself completely of certain duties. and responsibilities and devolves them on to some other authority As. Harold J Laski 1960 observes decentralisation process is a training in. self government It confines the administration to those who will feel. most directly the consequences of those powers, d Privatisation It refers to the passing of all responsibility or. functions to non governmental organisations or private individuals and. enterprises independent of the government, Amitava Mukherjee 1991 adds another concept of.
decentralisation to the above mentioned once viz dispersal. e Dispersal It means the posting of personnel outside the national. capital without any significant transfer of functions or powers to them. It is thus clear that deconcentration delegation devolution. privatisation and dispersal are simply the technical methods of efficient. administration The meaning and scope of decentralisation are much. wider and deeper It is a process of democratisation of political power. and thereby aims at achieving democratic values in practice. Decentralisation aims at widening the area of people s participation in. the decision making micro level political authority and autonomy through. transfer of specific power to people s representative institutions at the. Misra Sweta 1994 makes the distinction between, decentralisation devolution and deconcentration in the Indian context as. follows panchayati raj is an example o f decentralisation State. governments in India demanding for more powers corresponds to. devolution The district collector being vested with authority over. development departments in the district is an example of deconcentration. The commissioner of police delegating powers to permit holding of public. meetings to the assistant commissioner of the concerned area is an. example of delegation, 2 l 2 Approaches to the concept of decentralisation. The different approaches to the concept of decentralisation have. been clearly spelt by J W Fesler 1965 He has grouped the approaches. in to four categories viz, a doctrinal b political c administrative and d the dual role. a doctrinal approach, The doctrinal approach seeks to transform decentralisation as an. end itself through a process of romantic idealisation The Gandhian. concept of concentric circle of power distribution and the idealisation. of village community in panchayat raj have reduced decentralisation almost. to a dogma and as an article of faith Instead of treating decentralisation. as a means to the achievement of some end values such idealisation. tends to elevate it to the status of a hardened doctrine. b Political approach, The political approach under lines the essentially political character.
of decentralisation Initiatives to decentralise and willingness to pass on. powers and functions to decentralised units and to allow these units to. actually operate within a framework of autonomy are politically. determined Decentralisation in the shape of devolution to local self. governing bodies marks an attempt to set up autonomous governments. at the local level Field units of government like district administration. are the long arms of the central government To create and maintain. local government is thus a major political commitment In the absence of. such commitment devolution to sub national governments including self. governing bodies will remain more in law than in practice This leads to. what Fesler calls illusory decentralisation Both panchayati raj and. muncipal governments in India represent to a considerable extent this. sort of devolution, c Administrative approach, This approach is motivated by efficiency criterion When field. administrative units are setup through a process of deconcentration the. measure is considered appropriate for field level decision making and. prompt problem solving In this process administrative units might come. up at many levels between the locality and central head quarters With. more and more demand for specialised functions multiplicity of functional. departments would appear at the field level The administrative situation. gradually presents a picture of polarisation between general area based. administrative demands and specific function centered claims of particular. functional departments Decentralisation in administrative terms may not. therefore always guarantee clarity of authority and orderliness of. operations To promote such operational principles conscious attempts. are needed to readjust from time to time the conflicting claims of area. and functions in decentralised field administration. d The dual role approach, The dual role approach is a kind of rehearsal of the area function. dichotomy in a new setting Decentralisation is placed within a larger. context of development and change as distinguished from maintenance. of status quo conceived in administrative terms The dual role approach. seeks to highlight the conflict in field administration between tradition. and change Most field administrative systems were evolved in an earlier. era mainly to maintain the established order to collect revenue and to. keep things from going wrong Almost all the developing countries that. have inherited the colonial field system are seeking to bring about speedy. social and economic changes As a consequence the functions of field. administration have changed radically, In the opinion of Fesler J W 1965 they intent to change. established ways of doing things so as to carry economic and social. development forward rapidly This contrasts with the status quo. orientation of a field system geared to the maintainance of the established. order and may conflict with the personal orientation to field generalists. so chosen and trained as to identifjr themselves with the classes families. and other groups who constitute the establishment, Resolution of conflict between two different orientations in field. administration calls for adaptation of decentralisation to changing. circumstances The theme is so familiar to Indian administration in general. and to district administration in particular, 2 1 3 Types of decentralisation.
According to Misra Sweta 1994 four types of decentralisation. can be identified viz a administrative b functional c political d. geographical, a Administrative decentralisation refers to the decentralisation of. authority to the lower officials in the administrative hierarchy of. organisation It may also mean decentralising powers and functions. to the subordinate units, b Functional decentralisation implies that the functions are. decentralised to the specialised units or departments like education. c Political decentralisation involves that political powers and functions. concentrated in the hands of higher level political organs are. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK The concept of decentralisation is used differently by different economists and groups The philosophy of economic planning and its application in different parts of the world in various ways made the question of centralised and decentralised planning still more complex and subtle Centralisation is frequently regarded as the antonym of decentralisation in the sense

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