The adequacy of public services in the democratic context and environment of rapid change is a matter of continuing concern. As the residuary of authority there is a continuing love-hate relationship between the public and governmental services for, the latter is supposed to serve the former. The public services constitute the mechanisms or the tool to achieve the goals and purpose of government, which is itself an operational expression of societal needs. Hence the public services are also a social institution. A society caught in the mainstream of change is bound to raise questions and misgivings about the capability of public services to cope with the change, which is usually many-sided and occasionally qualitative in nature. The character, quality and dimensions of the capability of public services cannot easily be determined since they deal with complex human affairs. Quite often this debate takes on the form of the commitment and social responsibility of public services. The two terms are neither necessarily interchangeable, nor have their contents and implications always clearly been spelt out. The book under review seeks to raise and answer some of the questions in the Indian context.
Jan-Feb 1980, volume 4, No 1-2