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Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Oct 7, 2014

Do smaller states facilitate better governance?

This debate topic is very sensitive. In the last few years, we've seen bigger states being divided into smaller ones. The most recent example being Telangana separating from Andhra Pradesh. The demand for separate Vidarbha state has been picking up pace too. The big question is whether creating a smaller state ensures that the development is uniform all over and not concentrated just to some parts of the bigger state?

Do you think smaller states facilitate better governance and development?
I for one firmly believe so, echoing EF Schumacher's "Small is Beautiful'.
One should recall Northcote Parkinson's famous law and various corollaries.
In one of his essays he specifically refers to the first cabinet of India extolling its virtues for being compact and functioning.

The original article on Parkinson's law is here:
https://www.economist.com/node/14116121
PS : Thanks for a good and much relevant question @Kaustubh Katdare

Can smaller states facilitate better governance?
Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Mizoram are very small compared to many other states. Are they happy with the governance over there?

Can smaller countries facilitate better governance?
Syria, Iraq, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, Nigeria, Greece, Spain are very small compared to many other countries. Are they happy with the governance over there?

They have their own reasons.

And also yeah we can not say that all the big states and big countries are lacking better governance.

People demand for the smaller states for better governance and development. Yes I do agree that there would be great accessibility to funds, government programs, schemes, offices, better crisis management, uniform development etc. However, creation of more and more no of smaller states is not a solution. A problem should not create a new problem.

Remember, creation of smaller states is a simple issue to India and Article 2 and 3 of our constitution helps us to do so. But we should be aware of the consequences of it.
Creation of more number of states -
  • creates more inter state problems,
  • needs more money for administration,
  • disturbs unity and integrity,
  • creates political instability,
  • creates unstable central government,
  • affects federal structure.
And even after separation there is no guarantee of success, just look at Jharkhand.

We have already districts, blocks, mandals, villages for decentralized approach. We have got 11th and 12th schedules with 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments for strengthening the local administration. We are gradually moving from top-bottom approach to bottom-top approach.

What we can further do for uniform sustainable development is -
  • Strengthening Panchayati Raj Institutions, Urban Local Bodies here people have more say in day to day affairs,
  • Strengthening social audit,
  • Empowering the masses,
  • make sure the funds, resources allocated for the backward regions should spent effectively,
  • improving the political will,
  • establishing and strengthening the regional councils in the backward regions,
  • fastening the developmental projects in the backward regions,
  • improving social security services in the backward regions,
  • creating efficient grievance redressal mechanism.

Most of the people think that the demands for separate states come from the states which are poorly governed. No that's not true. Last year AP govt got the best governance award and today Telangana was divided from AP and I am quite sure that very soon the telangana is going to see the pain of its gain.

We should remember that People need Governance and not smaller states. Governance is more important than creation of small states. Politicians should stop playing with innocent people who will become the victims of the political play.

Same the case for Vidharba, Sourasthra, Gorkhaland, Bodoland etc They have their own reasons. They should fight for their grievances and not for their bifurcation. Their problem should not create a new problem for them.
Ankita Katdare
Ankita Katdare • Oct 14, 2014
Sada
And even after separation there is no guarantee of success, just look at Jharkhand.
I think we can not generalize in this regard.

In the case of Jharkhand, the leadership had been wrong. The past CM involved in one of the biggest scam in the country and it might've resulted in the state becoming more poor. (Another reason could be that it has not held any panchayat elections since it was formed. Correct me if I am wrong here) Even Chattisgarh has been facing the problem of Naxals after separation.

Even then, we can't overlook the fact that already the states that have an average of 35 million people each, look unmanageably large, on the whole.
Punjab was split into three - Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab and all of these are better off.

The advantages as highlighted by many are plentiful -
1. State gets better & faster access to funds as well as government schemes.
2. Ethnic & regional tensions ( as was the case in Telangana) are removed.
3. Politicians & Bureaucrats have lesser area to handle & can focus on growth and governance quite effectively.

I think that making smaller states might not a problem for our country, but the real issue lies in the kind of leaders that get elected in these separated states.

[​IMG]
Ankita Katdare
I think we can not generalize in this regard.

In the case of Jharkhand, the leadership had been wrong. The past CM involved in one of the biggest scam in the country and it might've resulted in the state becoming more poor. (Another reason could be that it has not held any panchayat elections since it was formed. Correct me if I am wrong here) Even Chattisgarh has been facing the problem of Naxals after separation.
You are right.
But I am not generalizing it. There are different reasons for the failures of different states like lack of political will, reluctance from the people, outbreak of naxals or Maoists, inter-state disturbances, lack of financial resources etc. That's the result of the states that are bifurcated for political selfishness. Thus states should not be bifurcated without foreseeing the consequences of it.

Now there are chances for AP and mostly for Telangana for naxals or Maoists outbreak. Happy that recently AP govt and Chattisgarh govt started cooperating each other to control the naxal or maoist operations. Rapid socio economic infrastructural development is the main key here to control the problem.

Even then, we can't overlook the fact that already the states that have an average of 35 million people each, look unmanageably large, on the whole.
Punjab was split into three - Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab and all of these are better off.

The advantages as highlighted by many are plentiful -
1. State gets better & faster access to funds as well as government schemes.
2. Ethnic & regional tensions ( as was the case in Telangana) are removed.
3. Politicians & Bureaucrats have lesser area to handle & can focus on growth and governance quite effectively.
We should not only consider the success of the states based on their governance in the state, but also the fact that how does those states have effect on the Central govt.

I have already given you the advantages of having smaller states in my earlier post.
1. Come on Ankita, administrative or financial functions have already decentralized to local bodies. State govt has less role now.
2. What? You are absolutely wrong. Infact the regional tensions have increased now. See the governments in administration now. TDP in AP and TRS in Telangana. Both have no common say in atleast one issue. Water disputes, power disputes, education issues, financial issues, locality issues have already started burning. TRS is creating hatredness among the people of telangana. Is this the reason for which telangana was bifurcated?
3. I already told you, administration has already decentralized and localized. Districts, Mandals, Blocks, Villages are created for governing efficiently and effectively.

I think that making smaller states might not a problem for our country, but the real issue lies in the kind of leaders that get elected in these separated states.
[​IMG]
Its not just the leaders-leaders issue. It is really the people who bear the pain or gain.

See, It is not just the backwardness of the region that creates the demand for new state, but also the political play. Whenever the available state is not able to accommodate all the political aspirants in its administration, then political players with public starts demanding for a new state with different reasons.

We should always remember the fact that UNITY IS THE STRENGTH. It is not fine to divide the people for political selfishness or just for a small reasons.

PS : @Ankita Katdare - I didn't expect such a reply from you. Nice 👍
In the light of this debate, I would like to mention here a question in the last year civil services mains examination.

Q- Many State Governments further bifurcate geographical administrative areas like Districts and Talukas for better governance. In light of the above, can it also be justified that more number of smaller States would bring in effective governance at State level? Discuss. - 30M (300 words) 👍

I would like to know the take of our CEans.
Jeffrey Arulraj
Jeffrey Arulraj • Oct 18, 2014
Smaller the states in population the better the resource directed to them. At the same time managing many small states is more costlier than managing few big chunks.

MP, Up and Bihar were split into smaller states cause of population hike. Other than that there is no major reason quoted by the media or any other personnel. In the current scenario that is not the case in telengana.

People having an idea that smaller states have better governance of the people is wrong.

Lets take an hypothetical example of a state comprising of just the 4 metros New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkatta and Chennai. Imagine the hurdles which the government will face in handling the nearly 50M Population of the states.

This scenario resulted in the bifurcation of states like MP UP Bihar and Punjab, Whereas one man's interest to become CM has done the trick now.

Hope the results of this bifurcation is as peaceful as intended.

PS: Is only the Mods and few others active now a days

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