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Public Policy - Rural Electrification Corporation

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Public Policy Memo - 1

What do you understand by the term "state"? What in your understanding is the role of state in society?

The state as I understand comprises of a group of people collectively responsible for governance in a given society. The state creates laws and rules that people within the society must follow. To do this, the state must have sovereignty over the given society. Politically what we call states (which is also the most common meaning in which the word is used) have authority only within a given geographical territory. Hence these states require sovereignty within a given territory. However, I believe that certain other institutions such as the Church possess characteristics similar to a state without having any territory limited influence. There are other institutions functioning within the state which help in its proper functioning.

Due to the defined role of the state, it has a continuous interaction with the civil society, which is inherently bidirectional. The civil society can impact the way states function and the state is formed, while the state makes decisions which impact the way civil society functions both in the social as well as economic sphere.

Thus the role of state in the civil society includes:

1) Creating laws and deciding on policy decisions

2) Maintaining law and order

3) Granting and protecting the basic rights of people in society

4) Defending the sovereignty of the state

5) Providing stable governance

6) Working for equitable development of the society

The Rural Electrification Corporation aims to "facilitate availability of electricity for accelerated growth and for enrichment of quality of life of rural and urban population" (http://www.recindia.nic.in/charter.html). This initiative was taken by the Government of India because of the need that was seen in the society for availability of electricity. Having seen this need and received a mandate for governance through democratic means from the society, the state created a law to set up this scheme. This would provide equitable development in the society. Thus the creation of this scheme can be seen as result of the role of state as well as the interaction of the state with the society.



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