Since the advent of democracy in the year 2007B.S. one can claim that a new era of modern Nepal began from that year. But the country had to face a couple of tumultuous political upheavals in the past 59 years. Predictably, all rulers in those 59 years including kings and political leaders had ready-made excuses for the poor state of affairs in almost all sectors.
Public at large were helpless spectators of this dismal state of the country, especially in the economic front. Ironically, majority of politicians and top bureaucrats including intellectuals never did any in-depth analysis and study as to what went wrong in the past. Kings and politicians were always busy blaming each other and debating, discussing and lecturing about political ideologies/theories and reminding numerous irrelevant stories of historical events which occurred in various parts of the world. Main objective and mission of any political ideology or theory should be to give tangible benefit to maximum number of population in the shortest possible time. Compared to other Third World countries, we failed miserably.
It is being said that one of the institutions which gave tremendous impact in socio-economic development in human history is the science of management. The concept of management emerged only after 1850s, when Karl Marx was beginning the work on DAS KAPITAL. In the world history of past 150 years, management is considered to be the main key factor which helped to transform the social and economic fabric of all developed countries of the world. Obviously, one can easily prove that under-developed countries like Nepal could not leap-frog in terms of socio-economic growth, mainly due to lack of managerial know-how in the whole government machinery.
In broadest term, management could be defined as liberal art, which deals with actions and applications, which deals with people, their values, their growth and development, which also concerns moral factors, the nature of man, good and evil. It is a pity that in the whole gamut of governance, intellectuals in Nepal used to talk about the topic of management only in case of Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs). As most of PSEs could be considered as business organizations, many have wrong notion of assuming that management is basically a business function. On the contrary, concept of management is applicable in much more diversified institutions like ministries, government departments, army, hospitals, universities etc.
Management basically addresses three important functions of any institution. Firstly, the specific purpose and mission of the institution must be clearly established. The way the country is being governed in the last few decades, one may be tempted to conclude that many policy-makers and decision-makers seem to be not clear about purpose and mission of their respective institution, department or organization.
The second task of management is to make any development works or projects as well as any other work-activities as productive as possible and to motivate, train, guide and educate all people involved in those activities. Finally, the third important function of management is to take care of external environment, especially social impacts and social responsibilities.
There may be many other reasons for dismal state of economy of our country compared to countries like Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam etc. But one distinct cause of failure is the mis-management of state institutions like ministries, government departments and PSEs. The result is very poor performance of all development activities, slow pace of infrastructure building and almost stagnant trade and industry.
Thanks to manpower intake by Arabian countries and Malaysia, otherwise combined effect of mis-management of state
institutions would have been total disaster due to frustration of hundreds
of thousands of un-employed youths.
It is high time that Nepal should take immediate
initiative to devise ways and means to bring up managerial and leadership abilities of top political executives and bureaucrats. Staff
College could be made as focal point for not only training, but also for research and analysis wing of the government, where detailed analysis of the problems in each ministry
and each mega-project could be carried out.
A country’s success is largely dependent upon financial success of the state. Financial success cannot be achieved without dynamism in economic activities and economic activities could be geared up fast implementation of infrastructure projects and other trade and industry activities. We have no time to waste now.
All development activities must be carried out at faster pace and may be traditional ways may have to be
compromised. May be we listen to an advise by one management guru- chaotic action is preferable to
orderly inaction. But the question is do our political executives and top bureaucrats have enough guts
to defy our traditional “Tippany Culture”.