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Transformation of PDS System in Chhattisgarh: Dr. Raman Singh’s Leadership*

CASE STUDY, ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR
ET Cases - GSMC, 15 Pages
AUTHOR(S) : Shubham, Doctoral Student; Shashank Mittal, Doctoral Student and Atri Sengupta, Assitant Professor, Indian Institute of Management Raipur, India

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Transformation of PDS System in Chhattisgarh: Dr. Raman Singh’s Leadership

 

“The biggest sin for a King is the death of any of his subjects due to hunger” – Chanakya

 

When Dr Raman Singh (Singh) became the Chief Minister of the newly formed state of Chhattisgarh in 2003, he faced the challenges of developing and raising the state which was in the nascent stage of development. Chief Minister is the head of the council of ministers and of the entire administrative machinery of the state. His emergence as Chief Minister did not happen as per planned events as he was not the proposed chief-ministerial candidate of the party for that assembly elections. Given the fact he had no real mass base as Mr. Dilip Singh Judeo (Judeo), he had to make a mark for himself to gain the confidence of the public. The people of the state were his stakeholders and he was responsible and accountable to them. Their expectations were very high from the newly elected Chief Minister. With limited resources available, the challenge was to make the maximum impact on the lives of the people of his state.

Being politically active in the state for almost more than two decades, he had vast experience in handling the problems of the public. state was lacking in various social and human development indicators. The people of the state were toiling even for two meals a day and were deprived of many basic necessities like clean water, sanitation and education. With this, he had to make a fresh start and take some tough decisions....................

Background

In 2003, the newly formed state of Chhattisgarh had first ever assembly elections after its formation. Singh, then Minister of state for NDA government in central was given the charge to head the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state unit and was poised to take it to victory in the forthcoming state assembly election. Singh, known for his organizing skills was mainly responsible to look after the management of BJP state unit workers and resources and co-ordinate with central leadership. The main contender for the assembly election was Judeo who had an image of a populist mass leader...............

Public Distribution System in India:

Food Policy in India

In India, food production was less than the demand. In order to make food arrangements for the large population, the government has to make arrangements. For the food grain sufficiency, few options before the government were direct procurement from farmers/domestic markets or through import or both. As poverty and inequality was deep entrenched in the Indian society, so arrangement and distribution of food grains was not the only concern of the government............

Need for the Public Distribution System

PDS is a system whereby accessibility of vital supplies is assured within easy reach of consumers in every corner and bend of the country. The supply of essential commodities ensures the timely availability and provides protection against the vagaries of weather and subsequent changing of the prospect of crops. PDS serves as an effective mode of meeting the goal of social welfare in general and the welfare of the poor in particular who don’t have the means of entering open market..........

Pre-1960s era

Important feature of PDS in the initial years till 1960:- i) PDS as a rationing system for equitable distribution of scarce commodities and later as a ‘fair price’ system working in free market ii) distribution mainly remained limited to rice and wheat as a major food grain, iii) PDS was restricted to major cities, rural coverage was not seen, iv) import being the main source of supplies for PDS Post-1960s era.............

Processes involved in a PDS system:

Harvested food grains are procured from farmers at Minimum Support Price (MSP) declared by the government of India. The procured food grain is stored in the warehouses which are then transported to the private millers which convert them into processed grains for consumption...........

Chhattisgarh Public Distribution System then and now: Journey from existence

As in the traditional PDS system, the state government is responsible for the distribution of food grains to the consumers which are the most important part of the value chain (See Exhibit-1&3 for more details). Chhattisgarh came into existence on 1st Nov 2000 when it got separated from Madhya Pradesh (MP).

Though Chhattisgarh is called as the rice bowl of India, but because of the existing PDS process and the challenges of newly formed state, the coverage of the PDS process was very poor..............

Legal Reforms:-

On December 23rd 2004, the government passed an order cancelling the ownership of all private FPS. Even the high court ruled in favor of government against the petitions filed by the private FPS owners. The ownership of the FPS was given to the Co-operative Societies, Self-help groups, Gram Panchayats, forest protection bodies and urban local bodies, bringing in more transparency, accountability and inclusiveness................

Process Reforms: -

The Unified ration card database: -

The state government decided to make a unified computerized database of ration cards, by cancelling all the existing ration cards and issuing new ration cards using computer software, leading to the creation of a Unified Ration Cards Database. In order to ensure that every entitled beneficiary had the ration card with him, the cards were distributed in panchayat area on a pre specified date...............

The Impact of PDS and Procurement Reforms: -

The reforms brought about transparency, reduced leakages, increased accountability. The new system benefited the farmers financially. Now, they get immediate payment for their produce, compared to delayed payment in the earlier system.With the increased paddy procurement, money flow had increased in the rural economy.The farmers now didn’t have to travel large distance for selling their produce..............

Organizational and People-centric Social Reforms

Chhattisgarh government led by Singh made efficient and corruption-free PDS, the top priority. The same officials and state machinery had to be used like earlier governments. Indian bureaucracy had the reputation of being very powerful and without its full support, no government program can be implemented effectively. There was the need of step-by-step cautious planning to bring organizational reforms.............

Citizen Awareness, transparency, independent monitoring mechanism, and participation:

Any program or a scheme cannot be successful if various stakeholders, especially purported beneficiaries are not fully aware of their rights. This was the main agenda of Singh government and there were widely appreciated reforms to create awareness and involve people in the entire delivery mechanism of PDS. Ahead of the local body elections, Singh government in Chhattisgarh first time organized the “rice festival” on July 8th 2009 to mark the launch of the second phase of its populist subsidized rice scheme for the poor and to create awareness among the people about its welfare schemes............

Employee motivation

Even after bringing various reforms and taking various measures for people’s involvement, nothing could be expected until one’s employees were motivated. Until they were able to connect with the mission and vision of program/scheme, all the reforms and measures were expected to completely fail. Employee motivation at the time of Singh was all time high due to various measures undertaken in his most efficient and capable regime...................

Future of PDS in Chhattisgarh

“Supreme Court seeks Centre’s response on Chhattisgarh PDS mode” -TOI March 5th 2013

“A Supreme Court bench consisting of Justices TS Thakur and FM I Kalifull asked the Centre to reply on the government’s model of Targeted Public Transportation System (TPDS) implementation, which was repeatedly cited by petitioner People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as the one which could be taken as a model for other states to compete”..............

Exhibits

Exhibit : Structure of Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection

Exhibit II: Comparative Data of States and India Level PDS

Exhibit III: A Simple Model on the Public Distribution System

Exhibit IV: Year-wise Procurement of Paddy (in lakh metric tonnes)

Exhibit V: Organizational Design of the PDS in India

Teaching Note Preview

Transformation of PDS System in Chhattisgarh: Dr. Raman Singh’s Leadership

 

Case Synopsis

Dr. Raman Singh (Singh) became the newly elected Chief of a State of Chhattisgarh situated in the Western part of India. He was originally not the first choice of newly elected MLAs. These MLAs in turn had chosen the Chief Minister. He became the Chief Minister of the state because Mr. Dilip Singh Judeo (Judeo) who was the original choice of MLAs was marred by controversy, leading him to drop the claim on the top post. Judeo was a very popular leader and largely contributed for the victory of his party in the state general elections. Singh lacked such popular base and was not the leader of the same stature as that of Judeo in Chhattisgarh. However, after getting into power, Singh established himself as a leader of masses through the series of reforms in the Public Distribution System (PDS) system and this helped him establish his credibility as a leader who can bring victory to his party as well as fulfill the aspirations of the people of the state.

When Singh took over, he faced many challenges and social sector was the one which required immediate attention. Faced with many challenges, he decided to place the PDS as his top priority of reforms. The PDS was in the bad phase at that time and the food grain supply intended for poor was lost in the middle before reaching the intended beneficiaries. Having worked closely in Central Government Ministries as Cabinet Minister, he knew that the task of reforming PDS system in the state is not going to be an easy task. The challenges faced were primarily from that of the reticent bureaucracy and dealing with them requires patience and skill of a transformational and motivational leader which Singh possessed.......................

Pedagogical Objectives

This case study intends to develop understanding of various dimensions related to transformational and motivational styles of leadership. Further, it intends to develop understanding of crucial institutional and organizational changes and how leader brings about these changes in sync with technological and process changes. The following are the pedagogical objectives:-

  • • To increase an understanding of a situation where the person chosen as a leader is not the first choice for leadership. This situation places the newly formed leader in an interesting position where he/she has to establish credibility in the employees and shareholders.
  • • This case intends to increase the understanding of management students that how the leader uses transformational style along with motivational style to turn otherwise reticent and hostile employees into motivated and committed employees. Transformational leadership style many a times requires to be complemented with other leadership styles to make transformation a success.
  • • This case also increases the understanding of how institutional and organizational changes are orchestrated by the state as well as the crucial role of leader as most powerful agent of that change. It also deals with how these changes are most important to make any state run scheme to be a success whereas technological and process based changes alone may not make any scheme successful.

 

Case Positioning and Setting:

  • • This case study can be used in the first year MBA program for the courses such as Organizational Behaviour-1 or Organizational Behavaiour-2. It can also be used in second year MBA program in the elective courses on leadership and change management.
  • • It can also be used in Management Development Programs (MDPs) related to change leadership and change management to train middle level managers in the industry.

 

Themes

The following themes are captured in this case:

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Abstract

This case study intends to develop an understanding of various dimensions related to transformational and motivational styles of leadership. Further, it intends to develop an understanding of crucial institutional and organizational changes and how leader brings about these changes in sync with technological and process changes.



Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To increase the understanding of a situation where the person chosen as a leader is not the first choice for leadership. This situation places the newly formed leader in an interesting position where he/she has to establish credibility in the employees and shareholders
  • This case intends to increase the understanding of management students that how the leader uses transformational style along with motivational style to turn otherwise reticent and hostile employees into motivated and committed ones. Transformational leadership style many a times requires to be complemented with other leadership styles to make transformation a success
  • This case also increases the understanding of how institutional and organizational changes are orchestrated by the state as well as the crucial role of leader as most powerful agent of that change. And how these changes are most important to make any state run scheme to be a success whereas technological and process based changes alone may not make any scheme successful

Case Positioning and Setting:

  • This case study can be used in the first year MBA program for the courses such as Organizational Behaviour-1 or Organizational Behavaiour-2. It can also be used in second year MBA program in the elective courses on leadership and change management
  • It can also be used in Management Development Programs (MDPs) related to change leadership and change management to train middle level managers in the industry


* GSMC 2016, IIM Raipur

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