To conclude, the first of two phases of progress have been achieved by India's bureaucracy in its transition from governance to administration in the past 50 years. Today, it stands poised at the threshold of a new breakthrough in its transition from administration to management.
P. K. BASU
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INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, HABITAT. The special immediate relationships that link small-scale traditional societies with their habitats and their uses of natural resources, which form the basis for native title- and landrights policies in a number of settler countries.
The term, indigenous people, is rightly applied to any who have established a particular country as their home and who were born there. It has, however, been given a more specific political meaning; that is, that part of a country's population that has been there beyond the memory of humans; who are members (and/or their descendants) of small-scale, low-energy societies that live, or once lived, by hunting and gathering, horticulture, or pastoralism, and whose present cultural meanings and values are directly oriented toward that tradition.
These modes of subsistence connect peoples to their respective habitats with obvious immediacy. The technologies of foragers and low-energy farmers do not enable them to manipulate the productivity of their habitats to any great extent, contrasted with, for instance, high-energy farmers who use irrigation, mechanical tillage and cultivation, and radical change in the genetics of crops and livestock. Instead, those termed "indigenous" peoples developed profound knowledge of the patterns of nature and its effects on the productivity of the local flora and fauna. They used their mobility, low population densities, and generalized, rather than specialized, technology to enable them to follow opportunistic strategies of utilizing the resources until the resources' abundance passed, when they were able to change to other strategies.
The connection between indigenous peoples and their habitats should not be seen in the simplistic terms of Marxian economic determinism. Their knowledge of, and their strategies for exploiting, resources developed and was maintained in the contexts of belief systems and forms of social organization that led to a much more intimate connection, in which land and natural resources were accorded meanings that far transcended bare utilitarian values. The connection between the habitats and their resources, and the purpose and ways of life of indigenous peoples is complex and closely knit. Disruption of any part of that intricate web has consequences far more damaging than merely changing the way in which women and men get their daily bread.
Although not isolated, these societies were politically autonomous, or nearly so, with their own economies and cultures, including languages. Overtaken by the sequence of colonial conquest of their homelands, followed by the local development of the nation-state, they are now dispossessed, disadvantaged ethnic minorities, sometimes derided for what is perceived as their primitive technology (often rationalized-quite falsely-as indicative of moral and mental backwardness) by the dominant society of which they have involuntarily become part.
Modern nation-states must necessarily participate and integrate themselves in the world market economy, which entails a view and use of natural resources that is consonant with that of Western industrialized economies. The need for profit is inherent in economic endeavor in the market economy. Continuing profit requires improving efficiency and productivity, usually only feasible at a limited number of critical junctures in the operations. To this end, industrialized economies increasingly develop and use technology to enable them to move away from labor-intensive operations toward greater use of capital in the form of impersonal equipment and information. A consequence has been a steady decrement in the perceived significance of social relationships in economic operations. The former are now seen as no more than peripherals to the economy. This is demonstrated by the extreme difficulty and small success that sociologists and economists have had in meaningfully relating their respective concepts and data to each other's frames of reference, and in sensibly integrating each other's data. The dislocation of the economic from the social is further illustrated by the lack of success in applying ethical principles to the applications of technology and other economic operations. There is also no clear vision of how to reconcile conservation imperatives with the de-