Friday, September 4, 2009

A Visionary PM, a qualified government

These days, often the discussion with my friends turn towards the Indian Govt. and the changes it is trying to bring about in the various spheres. Even though NDA govt was impressive under Mr. Vajpayee, the policies of the current UPA government leaves NDAs tenure far behind. That the re-elected UPA government was upbeat was evident from the speech of Dr. Manmohan Singh. A man who had mostly remained silent when he was accused of being a weak PM, was oozing with confidence in the opening speech of Parliament. Probably, Dr. Singh was now upbeat that people of this country had put their faith in his able leadership and provided him with enough seats, where he could implement his decisions without having to worry about allies taking away support and acceding to their demands.

An Oxford product himself, he had been the architect of economic reforms which bore fruits in the longterm, and NDA reaped full benefits of it. A visionary, he chose his Cabinet Ministers with care. Above all, the various committees that he set up to study the reforms required in different sectors were headed by intellectuals, and not politicians. He went about this in such a manner that Congress finally asked him to see that the committees included politicians too, who were left grumbling in private. Case in point is The Yash Pal Committee, the UID project. There couldn't have any better person at their helm.

In this regard, I would also like to appreciate Mr. Kapil Sibal. I have always believed that India requires leaders who can bring about radical changes in the current scenario. Mr. Sibal's efforts to reform the whole education system is a step in this direction. Without such radical steps, its not possible to put India on a fast track to development, and we would continue to be in our pathetic state of affairs. We might not be able to see short term gains, but in the long term, it is going to have a deep impact. For a country to develop, it must look at long term benefits, just like Manmohan Singhs economic reforms bore fruit after nearly 10 yrs, and now, we have a vibrant economy. I would also like to mention that the govt has introduced various policies and scholarships to attract bright minds to research.

Talking about educational reforms, The Right to Free and Compulsory Education is another appreciable step of the govt. The bill makes it compulsory for private schools to keep aside 25% seats for the economically weak students. Govt. would bear all expenses, including that of books. A family can approach concerned officer who would make sure that the child gets admitted in a pvt or govt. school in the neighbourhood. Schools would be adequately fined on denying the provisions. Another historic decision of the government
is its decision to pay the interest being accrued on Educational Loan for studying in a recognised private or Govt. Institution in India during the period of study for students whose family income is less than 4.5 lakhs. Though, its unclear to me currently whether its benefits can be enjoyed only by students who have taken loans in 2009( and after) or also by those who are already studying. Again, in one of the articles that a net search threw, it was written that you can avail of this facility only once, either in UG or PG. So, kindly gain complete information about it before availing this facility.

In the end, I would like to point out the fact that Dr. Manmohan Singh is a higly qualified academician and intellectual, revered world over for his knowledge and vision. So is Mr. Sibal, P Chidambaram and many others who are holding key positions in the current government. Appointing people like Mr. Tharoor and Miss Sangma key position in their first term as MP shows that Dr. Singh looks above petty politics of loyalty towards Gandhi family or a religion. He respects knowledgable persons, and knows they can bring revolution. Kudos to this visionary PM and his government. I suppose, (as I have always believed) its time that we bring in certain minimum qualification for a person to be a MP. This way, Politics can get rid of many hooligans.

Once again, Kudos to the current government. If it continues like this, there is no reason to believe that it wont come for a 3rd term under Dr. Singh.

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