Report by Odisha Diary bureau, Cuttack: Sri Sri University inaugurated National Conference on ‘Good Governance: Then, Now and Beyond’. This Conference is organised in collaboration with Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) New Delhi.
The inaugural session witnessed Mr. B K Patnaik, IAS (Retd.) Former chief secretary, Odisha as the chief guest. Drawing from his professional experience, he cited interesting governance examples. He set the tone of the conference by throwing open the question on governance whether it has to be state led or led by more agencies where state is just an important partner. He highlighted that minimum government and maximum governance needs to be analysed and how this is being reflected in the contemporary discussions on the theory and practice of governance.
Key note Speaker Dr. Prasanna K Mohanty, IAS (Ret’d) Chair Professor of Economics, University of Hyderabad, Director General at centre for Good Governance, spoke extensively on Governance and Performance: Measuring and Monitoring through Indicators. In a succinct way, he narrated his experience in various parts of Andhra Pradesh and the country. He emphasized that, since Government does not do Research, it end up utilising most of the time in firefighting. When he joined services, he had a dilemma whether to focus on curbing corruption or development. Both the former Chief Secretaries of two neighbouring states shared their perspective as well as inter-state relations pertaining to administration.
Director Operations Mr Narendra Lamba wanted the participants to think beyond the government and citizen relationship. He deliberated that real Good Governance starts with self-governance. This is only possible by increasing belongingness among people. He emphasized on the need of spirituality in good governance.
Vice Chancellor, Sri Sri University Prof. Nand Lal presided over the inaugural session. He quoted HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on the five qualities required to be an ethical leader. Convener Dr. Vijaya Lakshmi Mohanty spoke about the inception of the unique theme. She emphasized that, the theme is the need of the hour and we need to look beyond the eight parameters laid down by United Nations. The Conference is also an attempt to discover the good practices in Public Policy existent in India in the past and to take guidance for future policy professionals and the conference pose as a confluence and meeting of great minds.
Prof Srinivas Subbarao, the Executive Registrar welcomed the speakers and guests. He stressed that good governance must be related to problem solving in expanding social opportunities and removing poverty. He hoped that the discussions and deliberations would contribute to greater debates in good governance. Dr Pratima Sarangi, HOD Good Governance & Public Policy briefed the development of the department.
In the plenary session of Education governance in India: Scope and area for improvisation and Youth in Politics, Policy and Governance of Odisha where Mr Devdas Chhotray, IAS (Ret’d), Former VC of Ravenshaw University, Mr B.K. Patnaik, President, Vedanta University Project, Former chief secretary, Odisha, Prof Susmit Pani, Director, DDCE, Utkal University, Prof Ranjan Kumar Bal, Chairman PG Council, Utkal University participated and discussed on the challenges and opportunities in the education sector.
More than 70 researchers and academicians across the country, and from few other countries viz., Estonia, Bangaladesh etc are attending the conference.