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Wasting money on babus

Wasting money on babus
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First Published: Tue, Aug 19 2008. 12 06 AM IST
Updated: Tue, Aug 19 2008. 12 06 AM IST
Backdating the pay revision to 1 January 2006 (instead of 1 January 2007) and overlooking the Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendations speak poorly about the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. The pay panel had called for linking pay hikes to productivity of the notoriously inefficient bureaucracy. It had also recommended reduction in the number of holidays to three in a year. These were very reasonable recommendations. Any government that is concerned with using precious resources efficiently would have accepted them. The Prime Minister, who is an economist, is aware of the implications of these proposals, but has succumbed to the political concerns of his party and the UPA, with a clear eye on the polls next year.
— K.V. Rao
This independence day has been unlike any previous one. Abhinav Bindra changed everything for India — a cricket-crazy nation — by winning the 10m air rifle event at Beijing, the first individual gold medal for the country. The nation has witnessed a new Olympic history.
India is not only delighted but also proud of Bindra’s performance.
One hopes that Bindra’s performance will not only inspire many others in the future, but also inspire those who are still in the reckoning in the Beijing Olympics.
I hope that after this, our media and people view other games with the same fervour as cricket.
— Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee
In the context of the editorial, “Chalk, talk and school reforms”, Mint, 11 August, I would like to understand the tie between the fact that there is no freedom of choice regarding schools and the role of the private sector.
With regards to the freedom of choice, the issue concerns the tutorial programmes made by the government and maybe the “school map” like in France, which doesn’t allow students to choose their school. You’re maybe referring to something else, but I’m not familiar with the Indian tutorial system.
Regarding the origin of the investments, I’m not sure if the private sector is the issue. Even for private schools, the school programmes are made or designed by the government. So, if we don’t call back into the question that attending school is compulsory, the school has to be gratuitous (or at least, there must be solutions for those who cannot pay).
So, are there solutions for free private schooling? (I mean, in the modern Indian society, not in a perfect world according to Mises or Hayek, full of patrons.)
If there is no solution, public schooling has a reason to exist and must be reformed, improved and rethought, and not just replaced by private schools for those who can afford it.
In my opinion, the issue is not about public or private funds, but about democracy at school.
— Marion Decome
The story, “3G policy guidelines: DoT rejects Finmin’s objections”, Mint, 15 August, shows there are differences in government over the 3G policy. The issue at stake is whether giving 3G to state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd was fair, and that it gave a level playing field to others.
The order of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India asking GSM operators to offer links to Reliance is also a bone of contention. The GSM operators feel that existing interconnect agreement with Reliance is limited to providing links for its CDMA network.
It is not surprising that the debate is steeped in confusion. The government has not been able to shake off the suspicion that the Samajwadi Party has been able to extract special favours for a particular business house as quid pro quo for the confidence vote.
— M.M. Gurbaxani
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First Published: Tue, Aug 19 2008. 12 06 AM IST