Governance Failures during COVID – UPSC GS2

Instances of Failure of Governance in India
  • Sudden Imposition of Lockdown: Sudden imposition of lockdown during the first Covid-19 wave was inhuman. The decision gratified the wellbeing of aspirational middle-class society. Whereas, the decision-makers were indifferent towards the problems of daily wageworkers especially the migrant community.
  • Weak laws: Lockdown was supported by weak legal instruments such as the epidemic diseases act and disaster management act. It led to the harassment of citizens. For instance, Custodial death of P Jayaraj and Bennicks in Tamil Nadu.
  • Inadequate budgetary support: for the economic safety, relief, and protection of vulnerable citizens.
  • Delayed Vaccine policy: Delayed rollout of the vaccine policy compounded by a complex and multi-layered pricing policy.
  • No planning for healthcare infrastructure: Lack of preparedness in terms of health infrastructure. Even after the first Covid wave, neither long-term plans nor new budget provisions were available to strengthen the health infrastructure. Only makeshift shelters were planned during the first covid wave, however, they were either closed or not usable during the second covid wave.
Apart from these issues, the problems of Misgovernance were complicated by the following issues,
  • Lack of transparency in the PM cares fund.
  • Lack of public communication over the pandemic during post lockdown periods.
  • Shifting the responsibility towards the States at a time when a large-scale human tragedy required statesmanship, partnership, and collaboration. This has resulted in a dirty blame game politics between the Centre and States.
The authoritarian rule will be the outcome of misgovernance where citizens and political opponents will eventually be penalized. We have now entered that stage with threats of seizure of property for criticism of the mistakes, stating the facts, and for demanding accountability of government.