With overlapping and sometimes even conflicting interests and mandates, local governing bodies in Indian cities portray a messy picture. What course corrections would you suggest in order to improve local governance and public service delivery in cities?
DPSP promised and later 73rd and 74th amendment assured the three tier democratic setup in India. After 20 year of evaluation many gaps we find on the urban bodies functioning as
Unprofessional-ism- local body election in city is dominated by party politics and so it does not address the major city problems. It result that urban bodies lack professionalism to address key problems.
Nepotism- More than talent and excellence, nepotism has scored high in urban bodies governing bodies.
Poor state support- different states provide different level of support to urban bodies and largely they fail to do what is desired. It is the region that many Indian big cities were not able to enter in 100 smart cities list.
Political interference- in functioning by MLAs and MPs especially because of vote bank politics demoralizes the enthusiasm of workers.
HR policy- Indian urban bodies largely do not follow expert staff selection process with transparency . Its top bosses are either politically elected or bureaucrat with no professional city development experience.
To overcome this challenge many step need to take
- Professionalism- should be the sole criteria to elect the leadership of urban bodies.
- No political interfere- in day to day functioning as it deviates from main function.
- People participation- on key working areas to ensure transparency and develop the civic sense among citizens.
- R &D- research, analysis, learning from diff models, documentation must be habit of these bodies for knowledge sharing.
- Fund allocation- A dedicated fund must be kept aside to implement the policies.
These steps are incorporated in new smart city project and it is expected that it will deliver better services than what we have till today.
How do you reconcile the idea of distributive justice and the policy of reservations? What is your take on the ongoing debate whether reservations should be scrapped? Critically discuss.
Reservation was meant to serve those who left far behind in development race because of caste stratification. Distributive justice refers to socially distribution of goods and services to all section of society without any preference or bias. Because it could not happen in India, so reservation system developed after independence.
Today reservation has created many challenges because
Narrow political gains- political parties discuss and debate reservation in wrong notion and so it has created more harm than good to society.
Societal stratification- on reservation issues as for few jobs and opportunity general class people feel cheated because of reservation policy.
Caste tension- has been emerged as many castes like ZAT, Patidar, and many others are fighting to fall under reservation ambit.
Poor out from development– the irony is most deserving candidate are not significantly getting its benefit. So debate has arisen to shift income based reservation system.
To overcome such these challenges few concrete steps need to adopt-
Focus on education quality– to make people competent for any job rather than job seeker which is core of all debate.
Political debate- need to set for understanding of emerging reservation issue; parliament need to discuss its all aspects and set action plan.
Focus on most needy section– SC rightly point out that we need sure reservation for transgender, disable person and other deprive section who really need reservation support.
Limited Reservation– everywhere we need not to put reservation criteria for selection where nothing can substitute talent like Armed forces, higher education, scientist in elite institutes, and so on.
Reservation we need to ensure up lift the deprived section but selection of its beneficiary is a tedious process and it need to solve for actual gain of this policy.
Make in India must pave way for indigenization of defense and space technology in order to bring India on the forefront of global production and supply chain. Evaluate the potential of Make in India campaign in this regard.
An ambitious but achievable target has been set to increase degree of indigenization of technology under Make in India. Defense and space tech are two key areas where cutting edge technology makes real difference. In this regard MII campaign has following prospects
Technology transfer– with other nations will bring a great help especially in defense area. Under MII, developing F-16 plain is in discussion; similarly main foreign firms are interested to invest as FDI has been open up to 100% in defense area.
Grooming young talent- in defense and space research has huge scope under MII. International collaboration, participation in international projects like MARS exploration or Gravitational wave India already set the path for that. Similar in Defense area DRDO and other institutes need to groom scientist under international standards.
Focus on private sector– till recently space and defense has been seen a area of PSU. Now under MII privates are invited to compete with PSU in all dimensions. It is needed to bring more competencies among PSUs and also to manage fund in those areas.
Procurement policy– under MII is highly indigenous oriented now which will attract foreign firms to set units in India as India is the largest purchaser of defense equipment.
Export potential– Indian made products like Barhmos will be offered to friend countries. Export policy will push MII campaign. For space also Indians high success rate to deliver the satellites by PSLV has been attracting many countries to Indian services because low cost and quality services.
MII has offered a new path of opportunity which has many challenges also like niche marketing of both sectors, Huge R&D cost, rapidly changing technology, hesitancy in tech transfer, and many others. But with time it may get resolve if Indian firms continuously deliver the result as ISRO is doing in space research.