Courage to Lead

For far too long governments in this country were held to ransom by the entrenched employee unions who were able to get almost anything they sought. Out of the total 28 million employees in the organized sector who get a monthly secure wage, 20 million are in government alone. This makes even the lowest employee in government more powerful than the 900 million ordinary Indians. In spite of getting a decent wage and having life-time security, government employees rarely deliver services of quality.

Fresh Blood In Public Service

There is no greater calling than public service


Agents of the “Crown”

During colonial times, the British Raj used to administer its provinces in India through Governors and “Resident Agents” (in princely states). And within each province/state, the head of administration for each district was the “Collector” who used to report directly to the Governor. Not withstanding the fact that many civil servants of that era have done an outstanding job in public service, they still used to function as the agents of the Crown/Raj.

Policing – Welcome Changes

Recently, the home minister Sri Devender Goud has announced some major changes in the functioning of the police. The three critical changes deal with: abolition of the outdated and inhuman “Orderly” system, introduction of citizen’s charters for various services, and removal of the responsibility of guarding the treasuries. All the three are welcome changes and the government should be commended for initiating these measures.

AAG and VIP Culture

International athletes waved goodbye to Sheroo in an impressive event, but the real chunk of Hyderabadi sports-lovers was not even there.  Only around 2000 tickets were sold to the enthusiastic public for the Afro-Asian Games’ (AAG) closing ceremony on November 1, even though the GMC Balayogi stadium can seat around 30,000.  The VIPs and their dear ones filled up almost the entire venue.  Even more shameful is that some people with valid tickets (costing 500 rupees, each!) were denied entry to the grand show staged at great public expense.

Corruption in Civil Services

The Civil Servants thought of themselves as Guardians, in the Platonic sense : “ All who are in any place of command in so far as they are indeed rulers, neither consider nor enjoin their own interest but that of the subjects on behalf of whom they exercise their craft….” (Republic)


Philip Woodruff : The Guardians


Reform Public Administration – A “Common Will”

The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s suggestion to recruit the Civil Servants after 10+2 (Intermediate) has generated an interesting debate on the various possibilities of recruiting civil servants. The candidates selected after the usual entrance exams will be put in a national academy and after completing three years will get a graduate degree. The meritorious students among them will then go for a service-oriented course in the academy for two years. On successful completion of which, the candidate will get an MBA degree and would be inducted in the services.

Citizen, Wealth and Society

To Paraphrase Dickens, we seem to be living in the best of times, and in the worst of times!

On the one hand, there is undiluted exultation among growth enthusiasts.  Low tax rates, 9% growth, high savings, declining deficits – all seem to be promising.  “If only we pursue the reform agenda, particularly in pension, insurance, and labour sectors, things will only get better”, claim market fundamentalists.

Millions on the Margins

The spate of brutal killings of Salva Judem members by Maoists in Chattisgarh and encounter deaths of Maoists in Andhra Pradesh expose the fault lines of our society and polity. These are not acts of violence inspired by extra-territorial terrorist agencies to destabilize our nation. These are the products of anguish, despair and bitterness resulting from decades of misgovernance and an economic growth process which relegates millions to the margins.

Nature’s Fury Compounded by Human Folly

December 26 2004 saw an unprecedented disaster killing more than 150,000 innocent people, uprooting millions, and devastating the economy of vast regions in many nations in South and South-East Asia. It is impossible, with today’s technology to precisely anticipate an earthquake and know when and where it will affect people. Such unavoidable suffering is part of human existence, and we have to face it with courage and accept it with equanimity.