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Social audit not only increases accountability and transparency but also facilitates good governance. Discuss. Also, highlight the challenges with the institutionalisation of social audits in India. Viewpoints: Briefly discuss the social audit and...


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 Anonymous
Joined: 53 years ago

Social audit not only increases accountability and transparency but also facilitates good governance. Discuss. Also, highlight the challenges with the institutionalisation of social audits in India.

Viewpoints:

  • Briefly discuss the social audit and its salient features with suitable examples.

  • Discuss how it increases accountability and transparency leading to good governance.

  • Highlight the impediments in institutionalizing social audits in India and suggest a way forward. 

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 Anonymous
Joined: 53 years ago

Model Answer: 

Social Audit (SA) is a process of measuring, reporting and improving an organisation’s performance and holding it socially accountable. The resources used by public agencies are proactively shared amongst people so that they can do a “performance audit”.  

Reasons how Social Audit also facilitates good governance:  

  • It increases the efficiency and effectiveness of a scheme. 

  • It ensures participation of people in implementation of programmes. 

  • It finds out irregularities and malpractices, thus reducing leakages and corruption. 

  • It focuses on the neglected issue of social impacts, thereby helping in the comprehensive policy evaluation. 

  • It highlights the social and ethical impact of an organisation’s performance. 

  • It boosts professionalism in public bodies by ensuring proper record keeping of the spending. 

Challenges with the institutionalisation of social audits in India:

  • Lack of technical and managerial capacity such as bookkeeping, accounting practices among the people to conduct social audits.

  • Social audit units continue to face resistance and intimidation and find it difficult to even access primary records for verification. 

  • Violation of SA principles and norms does not attract any penalty. 

  • Lack of an independent agency to investigate and effectively implement the findings of the social audit

  • Lack of awareness about the powers given to the Gram Sabha members regarding social audit

  • Lack of interest of people due to their livelihood reasons leading to poor participation. 

In 2017, Meghalaya became the first State to pass and roll out a social audit law to cover all departments. It holds tremendous potential in bridging gaps between policy objectives and outcomes. 

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