Q) "Trust is the foundation upon which the legitimacy of public institutions is built and is crucial for the success of public policies." Do you agree? Justify your answers with example. 150 Words
Source: Indian Express Editorial: Shot in the Dark;
Topic: GS IV: Probity in Governance
Introduction: Trust is nothing but the belief that somebody is good, honest, sincere, etc. It is one of the most essential components of establishing legitimacy of the government as well as belief in the public policy. Therefore, I agree with the statement.
Importance of Trust in Public policy:
1. It allows public participation: when trust is established public can participate in a policy. For example - demonetization. Since people believed in the policy it didn't create a ruckus as it did in Venezuela.
2. Removes the scope of opposition to the policy: For example, if the people had trusted the intention of the government that the Farm bills are for the well being and growth of agriculture, there wouldn't have been Farmers protests.
3. Helps in private funding: Often government needs to pool private resources to make a policy successful. For example Smart City mission allows for private funding of certain projects. Businesses cannot partner in a project unless there is a sense of trust.
4. Expands democracy: Democracy means 'Rule by the People'. It essentially means decision-making by the people. When people participate in decision making they govern themselves, and thus democracy improves.
5. Improves Governance: This bridges the gap between the government and the public. This is essential for the formation of responsive governance.
Ways to build trust:
1. Responding to Citizens' needs: The public office has the basic function of governance. If it fails in its function, it loses trust. For example: It is known that the trust in the Donal Trump government went all time low due to its lacklusture response to the COVID crsis.
2. Fairness: The word 'fair' appeals to something that is justified. The reasonableness of the regime instils confidence in the public policy.
3. Competence: It is one of the most important way to gain authority. A competent policy maker is always confident of the direction of the public policy. This too instils confidence in the Policy which creates trust.
4. Transparency: When all the agendas are kept in front of the public, it makes it easier for the public to get out of any confusion. For example if all data of vaccination is kept in front of the public. It can easily decide how effective vaccination is. In an environment of confusion, trust is not built.
5. Inclusiveness: If the public is involved in the public policy, it becomes a part author of it. It then becomes easy to trust the policy.
Conclusion: The 2nd ARC reports delves into the fundamentals of increasing transparency, Social audit, Citizens' Charter, Right to information and grievance redressal to bring the government closer to the people and increase public trust. It wants the government functions to be executed online by the government promoting e-governance, and enhance the scope of public discussion through local governance and also at government office levels. This point s towards the importance of trust in public policy.