A two-day national convention on “Good governance and nation building” ended here on Friday with a call for simplification of laws, better standards for accountability and innovations to provide a human touch to public dealings of the government authorities.

Delivering the valedictory address, Rajya Sabha MP Gyan Prakash Pilania said the governance practices must strengthen values which could ensure liberty and justice to citizens. “Transparency, honesty and accountability will go a long way in generating people’s confidence in the system,” he remarked.

The convention, organised by Jaipur-based Management Development Academy (MDA), covered the themes of innovation and creativity, ethics and work culture, compassion in governance, reaching the unreached, higher education and horizons of tourism on its last day.

Central Administrative Tribunal member Meenakshi Hooja and former SEBI Chairman D. R. Mehta also addressed the valedictory session. Ms. Hooja said a regulatory mechanism must be evolved to address the changing needs of governance, while an “exemplary leadership” would help produce a pleasant work culture.

People’s confidence

Mr. Mehta observed that the role of political class in governance was more visible at present than that of civil servants. “Bureaucracy can win people’s confidence if it adopts a human touch in governance,” he said.

MDA chairman Ramesh K. Arora summed up the workshop’s conclusions and said the event had turned out to be very successful and drawn participants from all over the country.

Addressing the session on “Expanding horizons of tourism”, India Tourism Development Corporation Managing Director Lalit K. Pawar said tourism was a “double-edged sword” and the tourism activities should be expanded without compromising on the environmental and cultural heritage.

He said the mindless tourism was affecting cultural, religious and traditional values in several States which, if ignored, would have serious consequences. He cited the instance of popular tourist destination Pushkar, where there are at least 45 children born out of illicit relations between foreign tourists and local residents.

“They are the tourism midnight children,” said Mr. Pawar. On the other hand, the Kashmir Valley had reported a record arrival of 13 lakh tourists despite the threat perception, he said, while highlighting salient features of the Union Government’s policy for promotion of domestic tourism.

During the session on “Innovation and creativity”, former civil servant Rajendra Bhanawat, who heads “Doosra Dashak” voluntary agency, said doing away with unnecessary laws and simplifying the existing legislation would make the life of citizens “less miserable”.

R. Sreedher of A.P.J. Institute, New Delhi, addressed the session on “Media and national development”.

The participants included administrative officers, policy makers, legal experts and representatives of voluntary oganisations.